Your Apple Watch may not charge mainly due to issues with the charger or charging cable. The problem is reported on all variants of the Apple Watch. The problem occurs when you try to charge the Watch but it fails. In some cases, the problem occurred on an out-of-the-box Apple Watch.
For some, a WatchOS update triggered the problem, especially, with 3rd party chargers. In some cases, the charge of the battery does not pass a specific limit like 80%. Some people reported seeing a charging indication but the Watch was not charging whereas, in other cases, no icon was shown on the Watch when plugged in.
1. Enable the Airplane Mode of the Apple Watch
Enabling the Airplane Mode of the Watch may resolve the issue as it may cut any electromagnetic interference. A point to remember is that some newbies may confuse the disconnection or missing notifications icon with the low-charging icon, so, make sure that is not the case.
Moreover, if your Apple Watch is in a cover or using a protector, check if removing the cover or the protector resolves the problem.
- Open the Apple Watch Settings and select Airplane Mode.
- Then enable Airplane Mode by toggling its switch to on and afterward, check if the Apple Watch can be charged.
- If not, open the Settings of the paired iPhone and open Bluetooth.
- Now disable Bluetooth and hit the back button.
- Then open Wi-Fi and disable Wi-Fi.
- Now check if the Watch has started to charge.
- If the Watch starts charging with Airplane Mode enabled but you want to charge it without enabling the Airplane Mode, disable Airplane Mode and launch the Watch Settings.
- Now open Bluetooth and disable Bluetooth by toggling its switch to off.
- Then check if the Apple Watch is charging.
2. Restart the Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch may also not charge due to a temporary glitch. Here, restarting or force restarting the Apple Watch may resolve the issue. It will refresh all running modules and force the device to restart.
- Press the side button and digital crown buttons of the Apple Watch
- Now, wait till the Apple logo shows on the Watch’s screen and then release the buttons.
- Then check if the Apple Watch is charging.
- If not, put the Watch on charging and wait for 30 minutes.
- Now repeat steps 1 to 2 while the watch is still connected to the charger and check if the Watch has started to charge.
- If that did not work, put the Watch on charging for another 30 minutes and then unplug the Watch from the charger.
- Now repeat steps 1 to 2 and check if the Apple Watch’s charging issue is cleared.
3. Clean the Watch’s Charging Port
Apple Watch may fail to charge if the debris or dust in the Watch’s back is not letting the charging magnet make a proper connection with the charger. Clearing the charging port/back of your Apple Watch and charger may solve the problem.
- Grab a toothbrush and clean the Watch’s charging port/back. You may also use a dry microfiber cloth, q tip, or something similar.
- Now clean the charger’s port/back and charging cable ports as well.
- Then check if the Apple Watch is charging fine.
4. Disable the Nightstand Mode of the Apple Watch
In the Nightstand Mode of the Apple Watch, the Watch works as a bedside alarm while on charging, but this may interfere with the Watch’s charging mechanism and thus cause the issue at hand. Here, disabling the Nightstand Mode of the Apple Watch may resolve the issue.
- Launch your Apple Watch Settings and open General.
- Now tap on Nightstand Mode and then disable the Nightstand Mode.
- Afterward, check if the Apple Watch is charging fine.
5. Disable the Optimized Battery Charging of the Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch may not charge if the Watch’s Optimized Battery Charging feature is hindering the proper charging of the Watch. This can be especially true if your Apple Watch is not charging over a specific limit. Here, disabling the Optimized Battery Charging of the Apple Watch may resolve the issue.
- Launch the Settings of your Apple Watch and tap on Battery. You may have to scroll a bit to find the Battery option.
- Now open Battery Health and disable Optimized Battery Charging by toggling its switch to off.
- Then select Turn Off and afterward, check if the Watch is charging normally.
6. Update the Watch’s OS to the Latest Build
Your Watch may also fail to charge due to an OS bug. The bug causing the issue might have been patched in the latest WatchOS. Here, updating the Watch’s OS to the latest build may resolve the issue.
Before moving on, make sure to fully charge the iPhone and charge the Watch (by other means, if possible). Otherwise, you may try to update the Apple Watch if its battery is more than 50%.
- On the paired iPhone, launch Settings and open General.
- Now select Software Update and then download the latest iOS.
- Once downloaded, install the iOS update, and once done, connect your Watch to a Wi-Fi network.
- Now launch Settings of the Apple Watch and select General.
- Then open Software Update and if a WatchOS update is available, download it.
- Now install it and once installed, restart the Apple Watch.
- Upon restart, check if the Watch is charging fine.
If that did not work, check if updating the Watch’s OS to a beta build resolves the charging problem.
7. Try Another Charger, Cable, or Charging Method
You may also encounter a charging issue on your watch if the charger, cable, or charging method is not supported or compatible with the Watch. Trying another charger, cable, or charging method may solve the problem.
- Firstly, check if reseating the charger, Watch, and charging cable clears the error. You may have to try a few times. Make sure to fully push the charging PIN in the charger’s charging port. If there are tangles in the cable, untangle it and then try again to charge.
- If not, check if charging the watch sideways (the band is not in contact with the charger) resolves the issue.
- If the issue persists, check if laying the charger flat on the desk and placing the watch on the top lets you charge the Watch.
- If that was not able to resolve the issue, place the watch on its face on the charger and check if the Watch has started to charge.
- If the issue is still there, closely look at the charging cable, and charger, and Watch for any plastic wrapping that is not letting the devices make a proper connection. If plastic or something similar is found, remove it and then check if the Apple Watch has started to charge.
- If this is not the case, connect the charger of the Apple Watch directly to a different wall outlet (without any extension lead or surge protector) and then check if the Apple Watch is charging.
- If not, check if charging the Watch through an iPad charger works. You can also try to use a MacBook or PC to charge the Apple Watch.
- If that did not work, power off the Watch and put it on charging. Now check if the Watch has started to charge in the power-off condition.
- If the Watch is still not charging and you are using any type of metallic bands with the watch, then remove those bands from the Watch and afterward, check if the Watch is charging fine.
If so, then the metallic bands were causing the issue and you may remove them whenever you have to charge the Watch.
- If this is not the case, check if charging the Watch by using a different (but original) cable from Apple lets you charge the Watch.
- If the issue still persists, check if using a different Apple Charger (not a 3rd party) charger clears the problem.
- If this does not work and the charge gets hot when charging, let the Watch cool down and then check if it charges fine.
- If that also fails to work, put the Watch on the charging for a longer period (like overnight) and then check if the Watch has started to charge. This can be especially true if the Watch’s battery has gone very low or the issue is occurring with an out-of-the-box Apple Watch.
- Lastly, let the Watch’s battery die completely and then charge it for 24 hours to check if that resolves the issue. You may try this step at your own risk as the Watch may not charge if its battery is fully exhausted. It will be better to try this step after trying all the other methods discussed in this article.
8. Unpair and Reset the Apple Watch
If none of the above worked, then your Apple Watch may not charge due to the corrupt OS of the Watch. Here, unpairing (if paired to a phone) and resetting the Apple Watch to the factory defaults may solve the problem. If your Watch’s battery is low, then you may charge it by using any other method. If your Apple Watch is not paired with an iPhone, you can start from step 5.
- Launch the Watch app on the paired iPhone and head to the My Watch tab.
- Now select the problematic Watch and tap on the Info icon.
- Then tap on Unpair Apple Watch and if asked to, select to keep or remove the cellular plan.
- Now confirm to unpair the Apple Watch and once done, restart both devices (i.e., iPhone and Apple Watch).
- Then launch Settings on your Apple Watch and select General.
- Now open Reset and tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
- Then confirm to reset the Apple Watch and afterward, wait till the process completes.
- Now set up the Watch (without restoring from a backup) and hopefully, it will be charging fine.
If that did not work, you may get your Apple Watch checked on Apple or claim a replacement under the warranty.