Top 11 Ways to Fix Apple Watch Not Charging

The Apple Watch serves multiple purposes like tracking workouts, listening to music, and you can even match it to your style with custom watch faces. After you get into the habit of wearing an Apple Watch, it’s hard to go by without having it on your wrist. That’s why it’s frustrating when your Apple Watch is not charging.

If your Apple Watch won’t charge, it won’t be able to boot. Which means you won’t be able to use it either. There can be various reasons why your Apple Watch won’t charge. We’ll try to address the most common reasons with their respective solutions.

Why Is My Apple Watch Not Charging?

If your Apple Watch says charging but it won’t charge, or if your Apple Watch isn’t charging with a red lightning bolt, there are multiple reasons that could cause this behavior. It could be an external factor like a case or even a faulty software update for all you know.

When you consider an Apple Watch that’s not charging, you will be surprised to know that there are several types of issues that people face –

  • The Apple Watch says that it’s charging but it won’t charge
  • The Apple Watch turns green when connected to a charger but doesn’t charge
  • Sometimes, the Apple Watch won’t charge beyond 10% or a certain number

Regardless of the issue, we’ll suggest a few solutions that you can try one after the other. One of them should surely help you fix the problem.

1. Clean the Rear Surface of the Watch and Charging Puck

One of the most common reasons for the Apple Watch not charging is dirt and sweat accumulating on the contact surface. Wearing the Apple Watch daily means that the rear surface accumulates dust and gets subjected to sweat regularly.

Apple Watch cahrging sensor

You can use a microfiber cloth along with some lens cleaning solution to clean the surface of the Apple Watch where the charger sits. It’s also a good idea to clean the charging puck to make sure there’s no dust or debris on it.

Make sure to dry the surface of the Apple Watch and the charging puck before you try charging the Apple Watch again.

2. Remove Any External Case From the Watch

A lot of users put a third-party case on the Apple Watch for added protection. While this isn’t a bad idea, a thick case that’s not fitted well can often hinder the charging mechanism.

Remove the external case from the Apple Watch and then try charging. If it works, you know the issue is with the case. Either don’t use one or get one that has better compatibility.

3. Use a Compatible Charging Adaptor

All Apple Watches from the first generation to the Series 6 use a USB-A adaptor for charging. The Apple Watch Series 7 uses a USB-C adaptor. Make sure you’re using the relevant adaptors to charge your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch chargers

It’s also worth noting that the Apple Watch requires about 5W of power to charge so if you’re using an adaptor with a lower wattage, try using the one that you use to charge your iPhone. Alternatively, you can get a good wall adapter with a higher wattage.

4. Use the Original Charger That Came in the Box

The Apple Watch uses a proprietary charging solution and ships with a wireless charger in the box. If you’re using a third-party charger, try going back to the one that was in the box as it’s made officially by Apple.

5. Update the WatchOS Software

It could be possible that your Apple Watch isn’t charging due to a software bug. WatchOS 8.3 introduced an issue where some Apple Watches would not charge properly, especially with a third-party charger. However, it was also applicable to the official charger in some cases.

Apple has rolled out WatchOS 8.4 addressing this issue so it’s best to update your Apple Watch to the latest version. This should ideally fix the issue if it was software-related. Here’s how you can update your Apple Watch to the latest software version.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Settings app

Step 2: Select the General option. Then tap on Software Update.

Software update option

Step 3: Install any pending updates and then try to charge the watch.

Software update on Apple Watch

6. Leave It on the Charger for a Few Hours

If you drained your Apple Watch’s battery completely or you haven’t used it in a while, the battery would have depleted completely. In such a scenario, leave your Apple Watch plugged into the charger for 2-3 hours without disturbing it. A completely drained battery takes a long time to charge.

7. Connect It to a Mac/Computer and Charge It

At times, a completely drained battery may not accept charge at higher voltages instantly. To tackle this, try connecting your Apple Watch charger to the USB port on your Mac or any computer. Let it remain connected for a while and check if it has started charging.

Apple Watch charging via Mac

After it has charged for a bit, you can connect it back to a wall adapter.

8. Let Your Apple Watch Cool Down

Did you wear your Apple Watch out in the sun for a long duration? Or were you on a call with someone via your Apple Watch? These are some instances where your Apple Watch would end up getting hotter than usual. If that’s the case, your Apple Watch wouldn’t charge to keep the battery safe.

How to Modify Activity Goals on Apple Watch

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to allow your Apple Watch’s temperature to come down. You can do so by getting it off of your wrist and placing it in a cool place for a while. Once your Apple Watch cools down, connect it to the charger.

9. Force Reset the Apple Watch

Sometimes, the solution to a lot of problems is a simple reboot or reset. Press and hold the side button of the Apple Watch along with the digital crown simultaneously for 10 seconds. Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.

Your Apple Watch will restart. Note that you’re just rebooting your watch by doing this and it will not wipe your data.

10. Reset Your Apple Watch to Factory Settings

If there’s an issue with the software and there’s no update available, your best option is to factory reset the Apple Watch. This will erase all your data on the Watch so make sure you take a backup before proceeding. Here’s how you can factory reset your Apple Watch.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Settings app

Step 2: Select the General option. Then scroll down to find the ‘Reset’ button.

Apple Watch Reset

Step 3: Tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings’.

Apple Watch Factory reset

11. Visit an Apple Authorized Service Centre

If all the above methods fail, chances are that there is an issue with a hardware component on your Apple Watch. It could be the battery or the charging circuit, but that’s something only the service center would be able to confirm.

You can find your nearest service center by heading over to Apple’s Store Locator page.

FAQs for Apple Watch Not Charging

1. Can I fast-charge an Apple Watch older than Series 7?

Even if you use the USB-C fast charger from the Series 7 with other Apple Watches, you won’t be able to fast-charge it.

2. Is it possible to charge the Apple Watch using any wireless charger?

The Apple Watch used a proprietary charging puck. So, you cannot use a standard Qi charger to juice up your Apple Watch.

3. Is it safe to charge my Apple Watch overnight?

If you don’t wear your Apple Watch for sleep tracking, you can charge your Apple Watch overnight without any issues.

Time to Charge Up

The above tips should help you restore the charging ability on your Apple Watch and help you stay charged up as well by finishing your workouts! It’s a good practice to not let your Apple Watch’s battery die down completely to zero since it can cause battery issues. Little things like this can help you extend the life of your Apple Watch.

Last updated on 09 May, 2023

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