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 the device 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
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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. Position the back of the Apple Watch on the supplied charger to charge it, and the charger's magnets will align the watch with the charger. A green lightning bolt appears on the watch face when it is properly aligned, and charging begins.

There are also third-party chargers available for the Apple Watch. The charger 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'll wear your Apple Watch all day long. That estimate is based on 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% and about 1.5 hours to reach an 80% charge. You can also split the charging time between morning and evening if that works better for you.

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

  • Typical all-day use: 18 hours.
  • Calls placed from Apple Watch: 1.5 hours (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.

To check the Apple Watch battery charge while 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%, the Apple Watch asks if you want to enter Power Reserve mode. If you choose not to, when the battery charge gets lower, the watch enters Power Reserve automatically.

In the Power Reserve mode, 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. Here's how to enter Power Reserve mode:

  1. Swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center, then select Battery Charge.

  2. Slide the Power Reserve toggle switch to turn on the feature, then select Proceed.

  3. To turn off Power Reserve, press and hold the side button on the watch.