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Why is My Apple Watch Not Charging? (6 Problems Fixed)


Your Apple Watch comes packed with features that standard wearables don’t have. Sadly, none of that matters if the battery is not charging. But why won’t your Apple Watch charge and what can you do to fix the problem?

Technically, your Apple Watch is not charging because the charger is dirty, the charging cable is faulty, or the watchOS is not up to date. The battery might be completely empty or the charger you’re using isn’t compatible with the Apple Watch.

I understand that Apple Watch charging problems are disruptive and equally irritating. That notwithstanding, most of the issues are easy to fix.

Why is My Apple Watch Not Charging?

The table below is a summary of the possible reasons why your Apple Watch won’t charge and what you can do to fix each potential cause.

 Probable CausePossible Solution
1.The Apple Watch or its charger is dirty.Dampen a soft, clean cloth with a little bit of alcohol and clean the watch and its charger. 
2.The charging cable is faulty.You should get a new charger for replacement, as the faulty one won’t serve anymore.
3.The charger you’re using is not compatible with your Apple Watch.You cannot charge an Apple Watch with any other charger. Use the proprietary one to get the job done.
4.Your Apple Watch most likely overheat.Ensure the watch is at normal temperature before you charge it.
5.The battery is completely dead.Connect the Apple Watch to the charger and give it time to charge.
6.Your Apple Watch jammed, malfunctioned, or watchOS is outdated.Force reset the watch if it jammed or malfunctioned and the update the watchOS to stay up to date.

How to Fix an Apple Watch that Won’t Charge

It’s highly unlikely that your Apple Watch won’t charge. But if you ever run into such a problem at one point in time, here’s what you can do:

1. Clean the Apple Watch and its Charger 

Here’s the deal:

You’re going to expose your Apple Watch to all kinds of environments. And as long as you wear it outdoors for an extended period, it’s sure going to collect dust.

Dirt will accumulate on the Apple Watch screen, the replaceable band, and the charging area.

If masked with dirt, the charging will lose contact with the proprietary charger, causing the watch not to charge.

So, clean the Apple Watch and the charger.

Dampen a clean, soft piece of cloth in clean water and use it to wipe the watch. Ensure you clean the back area where the magnetic charger holds. Also, clean the charging dock to remove any dirt present.

2. Buy a New Apple Watch Charger for Your Model

Is your Apple Watch not showing the charging screen even after plugging it to power and waiting for 10 to 15 minutes?

It’s highly likely the charger is faulty.

If the proprietary charger wears out, it becomes difficult for the magnetic tips to clamp correctly onto the back of the watch.

Your best option here is to get a new replacement charger.

The ZAPOGO Magnetic Charging Dock is a good example of a portable charger that’s compatible with Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. You’ll love it because it’s easy to use. Just place your Apple Watch upright and it will start charging.

3. Stick to the Apple Watch Proprietary Charger (Forever)

If you’re using a different charger other than the recommended for the Apple Watch, and you’re wondering why the watch won’t charge, you’re doing it wrong.

I need you understand that Apple Watches come in different Series, with the Apple Watch Ultra being the latest model on the market.

And if there’s one thing that stands out about Apple Watches, it’s that they’re choosy when it comes to chargers.

Use the charger that came with your Apple Watch for charging.

If the current charger stopped working, I recommend that you invest in a charging dock that’s compatible you’re your Apple Watch series to fix this problem.

4. Let Your Apple Watch Cool or Warm Up

Weather changes is perhaps the last thing you ever think about when wondering why your Apple Watch won’t charge.

But temperature is a factor that can either increase charging times or cause charging to stop altogether.

The recommended ambient temperature range for the Apple Watch is 32º to 95º F. Trying to charge the watch outside of this range may even reduce the battery lifespan, so you want to avoid that.

So, just let your Apple Watch cool or warm up and then connect it to a charger later on when the temperature range is right.

5. Give Your Apple Watch Additional Time to Start Charging

Sometimes a green lightning bolt on the side or at the top of the screen won’t show immediately you connect the watch to the charger.  

It doesn’t mean something is necessarily wrong with your Apple Watch. It means you used the watch until the battery drained completely.

This should be easy to fix.

What you want to do is to let the watch charge for 10 to20 minutes, after which you should see the charging display on the screen.

6. Restart the Watch to Fix System Glitch

Sometimes the best way to fix an Apple Watch that won’t charge is to restart the device.

It’s not once that my refurbished Apple Watch Series 6 has jammed – mostly because of apps conflicting in the background.

Forcing a restart always helps to fix most issues, including the charging problems.

I highly recommend that you do the same. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Won’t My Apple Watch Turn on or Charge?

Your Apple Watch won’t turn on or charge because the battery is dead. I suggest leaving the watch on the charging dock for at least 10 minutes.

If the charging screen doesn’t light up, clean the charger and the charging contact and try again. If the watch still doesn’t charge, try a new charger compatible with your series.

2. Why is My Apple Watch Showing a Green or Red Lightning Bolt but Not Charging?

Your Apple Watch isn’t charging despite showing the red or green lightning bold because there is a problem with the charger.

Ensure your connections, from the power outlet to the charging cable and from the charging cable to the dock are secure.

You may have to try a different power outlet just in case the current one is faulty. Also, ensure the charging cable is in good condition.

3. How Long Before an Apple Watch Charge Enough to Turn On?

Your Apple Watch should take at least 10 to 15 minutes to charge enough to turn on.

However, I do recommend that you wait 2 to 2.5 hours for the watch to charge to completion.

Remember, using the Apple Watch while not fully charged, or when it’s charging, will affect the battery lifespan.

So, don’t.

Related Reading

Final Thoughts

As you have learned, problem is an Apple Watch not charging after being dead isn’t something you can’t fix yourself.

My recommendation is to make sure you clean your Apple Watch from time to time to remove the dirt that comes to contact with the charging area.

Furthermore, ensure you use only the recommended charger, not to mention that you should charge the watch as soon as the battery is between one and two percent full.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

2 thoughts on “Why is My Apple Watch Not Charging? (6 Problems Fixed)”

    • Please be informed that Apelo Studio isn’t up for sale.

      The goal of this web property is to help smartwatch and fitness tracker enthusiasts to choose, use, troubleshoot, and get the most out of their models.

      The goal holds whether or not we earn ad and/or affiliate revenue from the platform.

      And I would like to keep it that way.

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