Fix Apple Watch Not Charging in 7 Steps

How to Fix Problems With Apple Watch Not Charging

There may be times when you’ve placed your Apple Watch on its charger but it won’t charge at all. This could happen to any Apple Watch owner and I would feel annoyed if it happened to me.

There are several reasons why your wearable device might stop charging. Perhaps the fastest way to resolve these kinds of problems will be to force your Apple Watch to restart. To do this, press and hold the side button and Digital Crown at the same time for at least 10 seconds or until the Apple logo appears. If that doesn’t work, read on for several other solutions to problems with your Apple Watch not charging.

How to Know If Your Apple Watch is Charging Properly

Your watch is charging when a green lightning bolt appears on the screen when you connect it to its charging puck. A red lightning bolt means that your Apple Watch’s battery is severely depleted.

When recharging, the red lightning bolt will turn yellow. Then as soon as sufficiently charged, the lightning bolt will turn green.

You may also see a message saying that charging with this accessory is not supported. When this happens, make sure that you are using the official cable that came with your device. This could either be the Apple Magnetic Charging Cable or USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable.

Photo Credits: Apple, Inc.

Common Reasons Why Your Wearable Won’t Charge

The most common reason an Apple Watch doesn’t charge is caused by software issues. This could be a temporary software glitch or bug in watchOS. Resolving that could be as simple as force restarting your wearable, as described above.

Other common reasons for these charging problems include:

  1. A poor connection between the device and its charging puck.
  2. A damaged USB cable.
  3. A faulty power adapter.
  4. An electrical outlet that’s not working.

How To Troubleshoot an Apple Watch That Won’t Charge

Now that we’ve identified the most common causes for an Apple Watch not to charge, we can narrow it down and find out what’s preventing your wearable from getting the battery charge it needs. We’ll start with the most common cure, and move down the list until you see that green lightning bolt giving you the good news.

1. Force Restart Your Wearable

As previously mentioned, more often than not charging issues with the Apple Watch are caused by software bugs and glitches. The solution to this is simple: force restart your device. You can do this by pressing and holding the side button and Digital Crown on your Apple Watch until the Apple logo appears. This usually takes around 10 seconds.

2. Clean Your Apple Watch and Charger’s Magnetic Disk

Dirt and other debris that gets stuck on the magnetic disk of the charging cable could impede contact with the back of your Apple Watch. So, make sure the magnetic puck is free of any dirt or debris. The same goes for the back part of your wearable. Use a clean, damp (not wet) cloth to remove any debris or dirt, then immediately dry the back part of your Apple Watch with a soft, clean cloth.

3. Reposition the Back of the Apple Watch

Sometimes, just nudging the watch on its charger will fix things. This is especially true for a dock or stand that holds the watch at an angle to allow you to read the time from bed. To check this, simply move your Apple Watch slightly, feeling for the pull of the magnetic disk. If you sense the watch being tugged into place and hear a chime, you may have fixed it just with a gentle tap.

4. Check Your Power Connection

If your Apple Watch is not charging even when plugged in, you need to check its power connection. This is especially true if you’re using a third-party dock or stand. These sometimes connect to the disk of the original magnetic charger that came with your device. Other times they include their own magnetic charging disk.

These third-party charging pucks aren’t always the best. To rule out that as a cause of your charging problems, try using the original charging cable that came with your Apple Watch. Also, make sure that the magnetic disk is making contact with the back of your Apple Watch.

Finally, check whether the USB-C port is connected to the power adapter properly. If not properly plugged in, your wearable won’t charge at all.

5. Check the USB Cable for Any Damages

Although the power cord that comes with your Apple Watch is made of durable materials, it’s still susceptible to damage. Even the magnetic disk could be damaged or frayed accidentally, so check it thoroughly. If you see any sign of damage, use another cable, if available.

6. Use Another Power Outlet

If you are sure that your cable and the magnetic disk are in good condition with no sign of any damage, try using another wall outlet and power adapter. A faulty power outlet may not be transmitting electrical charge to your cable; that’s why your Apple Watch is not getting power.

7. Contact Apple Support

If nothing seems to be resolving the problems with your Apple Watch not charging, it might be time to contact Apple Support for help. If your watch is still under warranty, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a resolution that costs you very little, if anything, out of pocket. If you have an Apple Store nearby, getting this fixed could also be done quickly and without much hassle.

Prevention: 4 Ways to Prevent Similar Charging Issues

Now that you’ve gotten your wristwatch charging again, it’s important to take some steps to prevent the problem from happening again. Here are X things you can do to make sure you never have problems charging your Apple Watch.

  1. Make sure you’re using a high-quality charger. The best option to use a magnetic charger made by Apple, but alternative choices are fine as long as it’s MFi-certified.
  2. Periodically check your USB cable for damage and replace it if necessary.
  3. Keep the charging disk and back of your device clean at all times.
  4. Only use power adapters rated with enough power for your model of watch.

Final Words

Since the battery on your wearable rarely lasts more than 16 to 18 hours, being able to effectively charge it is vital. Hopefully, the troubleshooting steps and advice above will ensure you never run into problems charging your Apple Watch’s battery again.

What is the best way to clean my Apple Watch’s charging dock?

Use a soft microfiber cloth and gently rub any dirt or residue away. If necessary, you can dampen the cleaning cloth with water, but never pour or spray any liquid directly on the dock.

What does a green lightning bolt mean?

This means the device is charging normally.

What’s the recommended charging voltage for an Apple Watch charger?

For Series 7 and Series 8 devices and newer, you may want to ensure you can fast charge. This requires an Apple USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable and an Apple USB-C power adapter rated at least 18W. You can also use a third-party USB-C power adapter capable of providing USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) of 5W or greater.
Otherwise, any MFi USB charger 15W or greater will work fine.

One thought on “Fix Apple Watch Not Charging in 7 Steps

  • “Clean Your Apple Watch and Cable’s Magnetic Disk”

    Oh yeah, particularly the back of the watch. The last time I cleaned it I noticed that my Milanese watch band was also quite grimy so I removed it and gave that a good cleaning.

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