How to Fix Apple Watch Won’t Charge and Increase Charging Speeds

If your Apple Watch isn’t taking any charge, don’t try to throw it away, blame on other people, or assume that the battery is broken. The causes and solutions are right around the corner.

In this post, I’ll explain why you shouldn’t freak out when your watch is not taking any battery juice, how to troubleshoot such problems, and at the end, you will learn some cool techniques to speed up the charging process.

How to Know if your Apple Watch is charging?

Some people are too quick to assume that they’re doing everything correctly. Before accusing any surrounding elements, let’s see if the watch is even charging.


Start off by plugging the device into an adapter. If the battery is going through you should see a green lighting bolt appears on the screen. If the watch is already out of battery, you should see a red lighting bold instead. Both of these do look like a “snake”.

As long as either icon is on display, everything should be working fine. Just wait a few hours. If you don’t see a green or red lighting bolt, something is not running properly.

Got your facts straight? Let’s find out why your Apple Watch is not charging.

When your Apple Watch won’t charge

Before we jump into conclusion, here are some of the things you may want to double check.

  1. For new owners, be sure to remove plastic wrap from either side of the charger
  2. Use only the Apple Magnetic Charging Cable and the USB Power Adapter that came with your Apple Watch.
  3. Check every single cable and make sure they’re plugged in completely
  4. Clean out the back of your Apple Watch and the magnetic charger


If your Apple Watch refuse to charge, try these.

  • Force restart the device by pressing and holding the side button and Digital Crown until you see the Apple logo
  • Inspect your charger and cables, if they’re broken or damaged, go to the Apple Store and buy another charger.
  • Perform a hard reset. I don’t know if this will help, but there are scenarios where hard resetting kicks in and save the day.

Quick Tip: Avoid buying low-quality chargers online. You may find yourself battling with the “Charging with this accessory is not supported by Apple Watch.” error.

I don’t recommend trying the methods above if:

  • You know for sure your Apple Watch is dead. C’mon now, you can’t instantly turn it back on if it has no power left.
  • You barely start charging the device. It does take awhile for your watch to turn back on if it’s completely out of battery.

Please be patient and monitor the screen.

In case your watch battery takes way too long to charge up, it may be a hardware related issue. The good news is that it is easy to replace the battery of the unit. You can also probably pick up a decent battery replacement for less than $30 at Amazon.

Speaking from past experience, this problem is very minor, and I haven’t seen anyone going out to the store to buy and replace their Apple Watch battery. Sometimes it does take awhile to charge up. You should also make sure every component on your side is working correctly. For example the charging cable, the outlet, etc.

In most cases, the issue comes down to slow charging time rather than the watch not taking any charge at all.

Tips for Faster Charging

According to the official document from Apple, it can take up to 2.5 hours to fully charge an Apple Watch. The study also mentioned that charging time around 1.5 hours can get your watch up to 80%.

Testing conducted by Apple in March 2015 using preproduction Apple Watch and software paired with an iPhone using preproduction software. Charge times are from 0% to 80% and from 0% to 100% using the included MagSafe inductive charger. Charge time varies with environmental factors; actual results will vary.

To speed up the charging time of your Apple Watch, follow the tips below:

  1. Turn on AirPlane Mode, this method is similar to the iPhone isn’t it?
  2. Find a cool place to charge. By that I mean don’t get your watch expose to the sun or hot area
  3. Enable Power Reserve Mode: When on, it will turn off every single feature on your watch. You can still tell time, though.

How to Fix Apple Watch Won't Charge and Increase Charging Speeds 1

Keep your Apple Watch updated

Apple is aware of the battery problems on their Apple Watch and is always trying to optimize its usage via software updates.

If you have not updated your watch to the latest watchOS version yet, now might be the right time to do so and check if it improves your battery life. You can find the latest watchOS update via the Settings app (General > Software Update).

Don’t forget to update your iPhone as well

If you’re going to update your Apple Watch firmware, it’s important that you do the same thing on your iPhone.

You can also open up the Settings app, go to General > Software Update, and get the newest iOS version whenever possible. This reduces your chance of running into multiple software problems.

Turn Off “Activate on Wrist Raise” feature

This is a nice feature to show off to your friends who do not have an Apple Watch. But if you are having battery related issues, this can help out.

Every time you use your hands to do the talking, your watch unit gets activated and munches up on some of the precious battery juice. To disable the Activate on Wrist Raise feature, go to Settings > General, and toggle Activate on Wrist Raise to off.

Smarter Notifications System

How to Fix Apple Watch Won't Charge and Increase Charging Speeds 2

By default, your Apple Watch notifications are set up to mirror your iPhone settings. For example, If you set your iPhone Mail app to notify you only of VIP emails, and your watch notifications mirror your iPhone, you’ll see only VIP email notifications on your Apple Watch.

For built-in apps, you can always customize their notifications system:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to My Watch > Notifications.
  2. Tap on an app.
  3. If you want the app’s notification settings to mirror settings on your iPhone, tap Mirror my iPhone. If you want to use different notification settings just for your Apple Watch, tap Custom.

For third-party apps, you can turn off notifications. We recommend that if you are having battery issues.

Last but not least, a secret port that not every Apple Watch owners know about. A third-party service has discovered that the Apple Watch charges faster through a built-in hidden port.

How to Show Battery Percentage on an Apple Watch

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By default, your Apple Watch won’t show its current battery percentage. However, there will be an option to change that, just like on the iPhone & iPad.

When you can see the current battery life in percentage on your Apple Watch, it will allow you to know when to charge the device and how far you can go without having to worry about running out of battery.

You can easily add a battery percentage to your existence watch face. Start off by turning on your watch, firmly press on the display until you see Customize option.

  1. Swipe left until you can select a feature
  2. Then use the Digital Crown to change it
  3. Hit the Digital Crown again after you have selected the Battery and its location

Since watchOS 3, Apple has made a lot of improvements to their Watch Faces as well. Some of these changes can be seen from their press room.

Once enabled, the battery percentage of your Apple Watch will be shown in the corner of the screen.

But this time, you get more space for creativity and accessibility. Unlike the status bar on the iPhone, with the amount of room left, you can add more information such as daily activity or other details from different apps.


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