How to Charge Apple Watch in 4 Steps (With Photos)

how to charge apple watch

How to Charge Apple Watch in 4 Steps (With Photos)

When you notice your battery is low on your Apple Watch, it’s a good idea to charge it as soon as possible. This is especially true if you have enabled Low Power Mode (OS9) or Power Reserve Mode (OS8 and earlier).

In Low Power Mode and Power Reserve Mode, some watch features are turned off to save battery life. To keep your watch fully functional at all times, learn how to charge your Apple Watch in 4 steps. Let’s get started!

When to Charge Your Apple Watch

Check your battery charge to determine when it’s time to charge your watch. There are several ways to check your charge level:

  • If you have added a battery complication to your watch face, you can simply check your display.
  • Swipe up on your watch face to go to Control Center and check your battery’s power level.
  • Use a battery widget on your iPhone to show the battery percentage of your connected watch.

You will also know it’s time to charge your watch when you see the red lighting bolt icon appear on your display. Now let’s begin charging your Apple Watch.

Step 1: Set up Your Charger

how to charge apple watch
Place the charger on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.


First, you need to set up your charger. Select a well-ventilated area and place your charger or charging cable on a flat surface. If you have an Apple Watch Series 7 or later, the Magnetic Fast Charger to USB-C cable was included with your watch. The Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable was included with previous models.

You can only charge your watch with its designated Magnetic Charger, the Apple MagSafe Duo Charger, or an Apple Magnetic Charging Dock. Unless you have the correct charger, your watch will eventually run out of power and shut down. This guide will focus on charging Apple Watch with the charging cable that came with the device.

Step 2: Plug Your Charging Cable into a Power Adapter

how to charge apple watch
Plug the cable into the compatible power adapter.


Next, plug your charging cable into a USB power adapter. Note that you can charge your watch with Apple USB power adapters for iPad and laptops. Some USB-C Power Adapters and the USB-C to Lightning cable are also compatible with some iPhones and iPads.

Step 3: Plug the Power Adapter into a Power Outlet

how to charge apple watch
Plug in your power adapter.


Third, plug the power adapter into a power outlet. Alternatively, if you have a device with a USB or USB-C port, you can plug your watch cable into your device’s USB port.

Step 4: Place the Watch on the Charger

how to charge apple watch
Ensure the charger’s magnet is aligned with the back of your watch.


Next, situate the back of the watch so it is in the correct position on the Magnetic Charging Cable. It’s crucial for your safety to take off the watch before charging it.

Neither the watch nor its accessories should come into sustained contact with your skin. The watch and charging cable may get hot when they’re connected to a power source.

Position your watch so that the end of the charging cable magnetically locks onto the back of your watch. When the cable is properly aligned with the back of your watch, you will see the green lightning bolt icon on your display.

This indicates your battery is charging. You can charge your watch flat or on its side. Now, just let your Apple Watch charge. If you’d prefer any of these steps in a video tutorial, we found the perfect guide on YouTube to help you through the process.

Nightstand Mode

how to charge apple watch
Apple Watch in Nightstand Mode.


When your watch is charging, it will go into Nightstand Mode. Nightstand Mode shows your watch’s charging status and the time and date. It will also show the time of your alarm if you’ve set one. If the display goes dark, you can gently tap it to see the time.

Fast Charge on Apple Watch

how to charge apple watch
Find the wattage on top of the adapter.


If you have a Series 7 Apple Watch or later, you can fast charge your watch. According to Apple, fast charging will go from 0 percent battery to 80 percent battery in around 45 minutes. This requires an Apple USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable.

You will also need one of the following Apple USB-C Power Adapters: 18W, 20W, 29W, 30W, 61W, 87W, or 96W. If you don’t know which Apple Power Adapter you have, you can check the top or bottom of the adapter to find the wattage.

Time Since Last Charge

how to charge apple watch
Check battery information under Settings, then Battery.


You can check the time since your last charge from the Settings on your watch. Press the Digital Crown to go to your Home Screen. Open the Settings app.

Scroll down and tap on Battery. The battery screen shows your current power level, a graph detailing recent battery charges, and how long it has been since the battery was last charged.

Optimized Battery Charging

Battery performance can degrade over time, but Optimized Battery Charging can extend the life of your battery. Any Apple Watch running WatchOS 7 or higher has Optimized Battery Charging enabled by default. This feature is intended to improve the battery’s lifespan by decreasing the amount of time your watch stays fully charged.

Once the watch has figured out your charging patterns, the Optimized Battery will start working whenever your watch predicts that it will stay on the charger for a long period of time. If you typically charge your watch during the night, the watch may stop charging when it gets to 80%. Then it will charge the last 20% before you wake up.

how to charge apple watch
Tap the circle with the charging icon.


There may be times when you need your watch at 100% battery before it is set to be completely charged. First, ensure your watch is on the charger, then tap the display to show the charging screen. Next, tap on the circle with the lightning bolt charging icon. Finally, tap Charge to Full Now.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to charge your Apple Watch. Just 4 easy steps will get you up and running again. Now that you’re back to full power, you can go about your day knowing the features you rely on will work as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take my Apple Watch to charge?

Fast charging will charge your phone to 80% in approximately 45 minutes and 100% in about 75 minutes. Regular charging will take about 1.5 hours to reach 80% and 2.5 hours to reach 100%.

How will I know my Apple Watch is charging?

You will see the green lightning bolt icon on your display when the watch is charging.

Can I charge my Apple Watch using my Mac laptop?

Yes. If your device has a USB or USB-C port, you can plug your Apple Watch cable into your device’s USB port.

How can I extend my battery life on Apple Watch?

To extend your battery life, ensure that Optimized Battery Charging is enabled on your Apple Watch. This feature is enabled by default on Apple Watches running watchOS 7 or higher.

How can I see my battery's power level on Apple Watch?

If you have added a battery complication, you can check your display.
You can also open Control Center to check your battery’s power level.
A third way is to use a battery widget on your iPhone to show the battery percentage of your connected Apple Watch.

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