The Red Lightning Bolt on an Apple Watch is an indication to charge the device. Apple implemented two systems on the Watch that both have a use for the lighting bolt symbol and I’m talking specifically when it turns red. This is an automatic response that alerts the user to be aware of the remaining power on the Watch.
There are two different reasons your Apple Watch may be showing the red lightning bolt symbol. One of the reasons may be that your device has gone into Power Reserve or you may find that your Apple Watch has low/no charge remaining.
Don’t worry if you see either screen because it’s not a serious issue to fix.
Screen Shows Only Red Lightning Bolt and No Time
If you find that your Apple Watch is only showing a lighting bolt in red with no signs of the time, you will need to charge your device. Before doing so be sure to take off the watch before placing it on the charger.
To charge your Apple Watch follow the steps below:
- Plug your Apple Magnetic Charging Cable, Case or Dock into its USB power adapter.
- Plug the adapter into a power outlet or if easier you can use a USB port.
- Now you need to place the charger, to the back of the Apple Watch. The magnets on the charger will align with the Apple Watch. You can see if this is successful, as a charging symbol will appear on the face of the Watch. (The Apple Watch Edition can be set to charge with the Charging Case lid open).
- Finally, your Watch will start charging.
This can take some time. You can ensure the watch is charging by looking for a Green Charging symbol on the screen of your Apple Watch. Once your Apple Watch has charged you should notice that the Red Lightning Bolt will no longer be on the screen and your device will now be charged.
What About a Red Lighting Bolt With the Time Next to It?
The Apple Watch has a feature called Power Reserve mode that allows the user to see the time on the Watch while saving battery life. To view the time, you can press the side button that will enable you to see the current time in a 24-hour format. The downside to Power Reserve is that your Apple Watch and iPhone will not communicate, also disabling other watch features.
Why use Power reserve?
When your battery charge is at 10 percent, an automatic response will be sent asking if you wish to use the Power Reserve mode. Once the watch gets too low, it will by design enter Power Reserve, displaying the Red Lightning Bolt next to the time.
To manually turn Power Reserve on:
- Swipe Up on your Apple Watch.
- Open up Control Center.
- Tap on the battery percentage.
- Then locate Power Reserve and click on Proceed.
If you followed the above steps, then congratulations you are now in Power Reserve.
If you wish to Turn Off Power Reserve:
- Press and hold the side button, if you keep holding you will see the Apple Logo.
- Wait for your Apple Watch to restart. (if you are unable to restart your Apple Watch then you may need to charge the Watch first).
By now you should be able to identify why your Apple Watch is showing the Red Lightning Bolt Symbol and how to resolve the issue. You can prevent this by simply knowing how to check your Apple Watch battery. Using the methods above you can be sure to check your Apple Watches charge before it runs out and also place it into Power Reserve if you are running a bit low.
Finally, if you still continue to receive the Red Lightning Bolt Symbol, then more advanced methods such as a hard reset may need to be carried out on your Apple Watch. This should help fix any of those problems.