How to Charge Your Apple Watch

It's simple to keep your watch battery at 100%

Smart products are meant to make life easier, but one common issue among most heavily used electronics — including the Apple Watch — is keeping them sufficiently charged. Here's how to charge an Apple Watch and maintain battery power.

Information in this article applies to Apple Watch Series 5, Series 4, and Series 3.

Apple Watch charging next to computer
Photo from Amazon

How to Charge an Apple Watch

The Apple Watch comes with a magnetic charging cable that plugs into a power outlet or a USB port. You position the back of the Apple Watch on the supplied charger to charge it, and the charger's magnets align the watch on the charger. A green lightning bolt appears on the watch face when it is properly aligned, and charging begins.

There are also plenty of third-party chargers available for the Apple Watch. Their features vary, but the charging process is basically the same.

Battery Life

Apple engineered the watch to have an 18-hour battery life following an overnight charge, on the assumption that you want to wear your Apple Watch all day long. That estimate is based on the wearer checking the time throughout the day, receiving notifications, participating in a 60-minute workout, and using various apps.

You don't have to charge your Apple Watch overnight if that doesn't work for you. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge the watch to 100 percent and about 1.5 hours to reach an 80 percent charge. You can even split the charging time between morning and evening if that works better for you.

Battery life varies for users, depending on how they use the Apple Watch. Apple estimates for battery life for Apple Watch Series 5, 4, and 3 are:

  • Typical all-day use: 18 hours
  • Calls placed from Apple Watch: 1.5 hour (1 hour for Series 3)
  • Indoor workouts: 10 hours
  • Outdoor workouts: 5 to 6 hours (4 to 5 hours for Series 3)
  • Music playback: 10 hours from Watch storage or 7 hours streaming with LTE

Check the Battery Charge

To check the Apple Watch battery charge while you are wearing it, swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center, which displays the battery percentage.

Use Power Reserve to Save Battery Charge

When the battery charge reaches 10 percent, the Apple Watch asks if you want to enter Power Reserve mode. If you choose not to, when the battery charge gets even lower, the watch enters Power Reserve automatically.

During Power Reserve, the Apple Watch no longer communicates with your iPhone, and you can't use other watch features. You can see the time on your watch only by pressing the side button.

Power Reserve mode can conserve battery life at any time, not only when an Apple Watch is low on power. To enter it, swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center and tap the battery charge. Slide the slider next to Power Reserve to turn on the feature and tap Proceed. To turn off Power Reserve, press and hold the side button on the watch.