My Apple Watch Won’t Charge! Fix “Green Snake of Death”

A question from Yana: My Apple Watch won’t charge at all. Every few seconds the Apple sign comes on and then goes away. Hard re-start is not working.

If your Apple Watch isn’t taking any charge, don’t throw it away. 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 in the end, you will learn some cool techniques to charge your Apple Watch faster.

When one or more of the following components stops working, then your Apple Watch may stop charging.

  • The software of your Apple Watch
  • The magnetic charging cable
  • The back of the watch that connects to that magnetic charging cable
  • The power source or charging port you are using

We have compiled a list of steps to help you narrow down your charging issues.

How to know if your Apple Watch is charging

Some people are too quick to assume that they’ve done everything correctly. Before we start with the troubleshooting process, let’s check to make sure that your Apple Watch is even charging.

apple watch battery status image

Start by plugging your watch into an adapter. If the battery is going through, you should see a green lightning 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 the display, everything should be working fine. Just wait a few hours. If you don’t see a green or red lightning bolt, something is working.

Emma Rawlins asked a question

My watch went into battery reserve mode and since that won’t charge I have tried holding down the two side buttons but the Apple logo doesn’t appear just the below does ? Can anyone suggest anything ? The chargers fairly new and all plastic has been removed from it thank you in advance.

I have an Apple Watch series 3 .. version 7.1 (18R590) it’s been on charge all night and still the same .. I think it’s just a charger off Amazon just don’t want to waste money on a charger if it’s something else .. I’ve tried with a plug and tried it into a computer.

If your Apple Watch won’t charge

  1. For new owners, be sure to remove the 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.
  5. Force restart the device by pressing and holding the side button and Digital Crown until you see the Apple logo.
  6. Inspect your charger and cables, if they’re broken or damaged, go to the Apple Store and buy another charger.
  7. Perform a hard reset on your Apple Watch.
charging apple watch screen image

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.

Sometimes it does take a while to charge. 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.

Why won’t my Apple Watch charge?

Is it a genuine Apple charger and plug? Most charging problems come from using cheap third party bits on Apple kit.

Tom Ashworth

I have experienced this. What worked for me is an old iPad power adapter, that is stronger than an iPhone charger

George Pace

That means the battery too flat to do anything. Check the charger itself.. Use the original one or take that one out the case. Try rebooting by holding the crown and the dock button together. If that doesn’t work I think your battery may need replacing.

Bradley Field

Had this issue a lot awhile back. Never figured it out, in store diagnostics couldn’t find the problem either. A reboot seemed to make it charge again but the problem would resurface a day or two later. After a few months it finally started charging correctly by itself. Hope you figure it out. Let me know if you do.

Jeff Griffith

Check the charging port of the watch – it’s often lint in the charging port. I use sharp tooth picks. Apple shops will clean your watch for free.

Scott Farrell

Yeah I bought a refurbished Apple Watch Series 4 off of Amazon and they sent me a generic charger. The charger would not charge the watch no more than five minutes at a time. I went to Walmart and purchased a Apple certified Apple Watch charger and it worked perfect. I guess you do get what you pay for!

John Seagle

How to Make your Apple Watch Charge Faster

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.
  2. Find a cool place to charge. Don’t expose your watch to the sun or hot areas.
  3. Enable Power Reserve Mode: When on, it will disable all the features on your Apple Watch. You can still tell time, though.

Apple is aware of the battery problems on its Apple Watch and is 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 newest watchOS update via the Settings app (General > Software Update).

If you’re going to update your Apple Watch firmware, you must do the same for 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.

Apple Watch stuck on green snake of death

Ellayna Oliver

I’m starting to regret upgrading to an Apple Watch. I’ve had more issues trying to get this stupid thing to charge then I did with my Fitbit. I had it on the charger all night instead of charging it’s completely dead and won’t charge at all now.

I’m having the same problem since the update, was fine and now it wont charge past 78%. Called Apple support and “everything is fine” on their end. Left it on the charger, now it doesn’t even turn on. Won’t even reset to see Apple logo. Using Apple charger. Tried going to different outlets, usbs.

Brandon Beyer

Hard restart the watch. Hold the crown down with the button below. Let it restart. Hold both down till you see the Apple logo.

Steve Vlahos

I suddenly got this issue with my power bank every few minutes stopping to charge (both of them) but I’m hoping the updating process wasn’t disturbed as I got to push the power button on the brick every some seconds. My watch never charged up to 100% like usual so don’t know. Wall plug was okay though. Luckily I have many wall chargers around. Also did anyone else got two updates? At first I got one 6.1.4 and later it was 6.2.

Evita Miķelsone

That’s what they called green snake of death. This really helps, do not restart or hard restart your watch. Just let the battery drained well and it might take a 3 to 5 days. After a week, open it and it will turn on. Just be patient and wait. That’s what I did on my AW

Lyn Don

Sounds like it got knocked off the charger. I have had that a come of times. Here’s a little tip. In your widgets add battery to it and you can see if it’s charging or not.

Tricia Pettus

More complains from Apple Watch users

Юлия Баксли

I bought series 5 in July and it’s dead now – won’t charge. Issues started with watch quitting at random times. Apple sending me repair shipping box…

Ellayna Oliver

Does anyone have suggestions on why my watch won’t charge at all? I’ve tried plugging it into my computer and an adapter and it literally either doesn’t charge or when I finally get it to start charging it takes a day or more to charge.

Magnus Kristiansen

So my Apple Watch (series 4) died the other day. No more power I thought, but it won’t charge or do a forced restart (both buttons, 10secs). When I press the button this screen shows up, but that’s all.

Elizabeth Farrell

I have the 6. I charge it overnight and put it on in the morning. When I put it on, and unlock it, the rings wont start moving. They are “frozen” at 0. I have to turn the watch off and then turn it back on and the the rings move. At this point they also show any movement that occurred while it was “frozen”. Is there a better way to do this so I don’t have to turn it off and on every day ?

Should I get a new Apple Watch if my current one isn’t charging?

Suzy Bullett asked a question

I have an Apple Watch 3 that won’t charge. I have tried. 2 original chargers, held down both buttons nothing… when I put it on the charger I get the red lightening bolt but nothing happens when left on the charger. Does this mean I can buy a 6?

Yea basically time to update. I got the SE from a series 3.

Mark Villanueva

When I upgraded from series 3 to series 6, Apple offered me $100 for my series 3. I bought the 6 but kept the 3.

James Allan

Can I get a replacement or refund if my Apple Watch doesn’t charge?

Ashley Kailahi

Super bummed that my watch won’t charge! Just got it, first watch also. I know I may have to go to Apple, I’ll make an appointment online. Without an appointment, the wait is like 5-10 hours long out here lol (learned the hard way)

Mine wouldn’t charge either, would display it was charging, and would lose battery and Verizon overnight shipped me a replacement. Where did you order it from?

Hailee Grmick

Just walk in and say the watch isn’t charging. They will replace it for you or simply say I am returning it for a full refund. They will do it.

Lizette Majourau

I’d suggest you to go to nearest Apple distributor and try to charge your watch on their store charger. Just to make sure it isn’t the charger. I’m sure they will allow you do it without any cost.

Rainier Antonio

Manufacturing defect. Happened to my wife’s. They will replace it.

Michael Sheehy

Apple has a great service. You will get a replacement charger or clock.

Jo Espen Brenden

If it can be returned, I would and buy another. Or try support, sometimes they are helpful. They can do a diagnostic over the phone.

Nonie Masterson

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Bad to Leave Your Apple Watch Charging Overnight?

Many people choose to charge their Apple Watch overnight because it is most convenient for them. This is okay to do because you cannot overcharge your Apple Watch, and the battery will not become damaged from regular charging. When the watch has fully charged, the charging will automatically stop.

Can You Replace an Apple Watch Battery?

If your Apple Watch battery holds less than 8- percent of the original battery capacity and it is covered under AppleCare+, then you can get a new battery at no additional charge. The replacement you are given will either be a new battery or one that is equivalent to a new Apple Watch battery.

How Can You Charge Your Apple Watch Without a Native Charger?

If you don’t have your native charger, then a portable charger, a USB power bank, that has a built-in charging puck can work and can charge your Apple Watch without cables. The charging dock has a stand with the built-in charging puck and a power cable that is attached.

What Is the Lightning Bolt Symbol on the Apple Watch Display?

If you see a lightning bolt symbol in the upper left-hand corner of your Apple Watch display, this means that the watch is plugged in, and it is trying to charge. However, if you see this icon and find that the watch is NOT charging, then there may be an issue with the software. If it is plugged in and you do not see the symbol, then this could be a sign that there is an issue with the hardware.

What Kind of Damage Should I Check for When My Apple Watch Stops Charging?

When your Apple watch doesn’t charge, take a closer look at the charging cable you are using as well as the USB power adaptor and see if there is any visible damage. Check the watch display as well. If it is cracked or there is some other kind of damage, then this could also be a reason for the watch not properly charging.

Your charging cable should be well-maintained and in good condition. It should not be frayed in any way. The prongs should not be bent on the power adaptor. If so, you will need to purchase replacements.

How Do You Clean an Apple Watch?

Sometimes an Apple Watch might not charge because it is dirty and needs to be cleaned. See if there is any accumulation on the back of the watch or the charger. Take a clean cloth and wipe up any messes. Never use any kind of chemical solvent on your watch.

What if These Solutions Don’t Work and My Apple Watch Still Isn’t Charging?

If you have tried all our tips and find that your watch still won’t charge, you can try a different Apple Watch charger. You can plug the magnetic charging cable into the USB port on a computer, a wall charger, or try it on the car charger.

Does it start charging when you change this up? If it does, then the problem may just be the charger malfunctioning and not your Apple Watch. If this still doesn’t work, you will need to take your watch into your local Apple store to be looked at. It helps to have AppleCare+ on your side as well.

Leave a Comment

  1. What if i have left my apple watch for about 5 days with no charge at all, then i come back and try to charge it and it doesnt charge at all, it just shows a display of the cable on the screen and nothing else…i have left it for hours on the charge and still nothing what should i do now?

    Reply
  2. I have the same problem & it’s very frustrating! I recently contacted apple care since mine is still under warranty but by the time I received the return box it was working again (after being charged for almost 3days) so I decided not to return it & not hassle but now I’m back with the same problem… Sighs… I guess I’ll have to return it this time

    Reply
  3. Wow the new Apple watches series 2 have really good battery life! I went to bed last night with it on my wrist and forgot to charge after a full day and woke up to it with 60% left!

    Reply
  4. I put my watch on the charger last night the night clock was on. 8 hours later it was only charged to 64 percent started at 50 percent. I laid it flat so the clock was off and it went to 100 in about 30 min.

    Reply
  5. I left my watch in storage (on accident ) and now when I️ place on the charger it displays the apple for about 10 seconds then a blank screen for abou 5 seconds and the Apple displays and this goes on and on and on. What do I do???

    Reply
  6. My watch is totally dead. Iput it on the charger and it shows the green snake for about 5 seconds and turns off. It keeps on doing this and will not charge. I have tried to hard reset and the watch is completely dead so I can’t do anything. Anyone have this problem. Cords are all fine.

    Reply

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