How to charge your Apple Watch

How long does it take? Can it charge wirelessly? We detail it all
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The Apple Watch is a formidable piece of hardware, but it's still yet to learn how to hold its battery - and that means charging it pretty much every day.

Charging the device itself is fairly self-explanatory, but we'll be going through the details on how to do it, as well as whether it can charge wirelessly and how long the battery will last for once it is fully charged.

Essential reading: Complete guide to the Apple Watch

And for those who already know how charging works, find out how to improve Apple Watch battery life with our complete guide.

How to check your battery level

How to charge your Apple Watch

If you're not sure how much battery your Apple Watch has, it's easy to find out. Just swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch's screen to see the Control Center. You'll see a battery level percentage, and here you can use power saving modes.

You can also add a battery level complication to most Apple Watch faces.

How to charge the Apple Watch

How to charge your Apple Watch

Unlike the iPhone, the Apple Watch isn't really a device you can use while it charges, since the magnetic underside of the watch will need to be connected. So, once you've taken off your Apple Watch, here's how to charge it:

1. Plug the Apple Watch's magnetic charging cable or dock into a wall socket or USB.

2. Position the back of the Apple Watch on the charging puck, as shown above, ensuring it locks into place. The green lightning bolt icon should subsequently appear on the watch face.

3. Wait for the Apple Watch to charge by following the battery indicator on the screen. When charging, the device goes into Nightstand Mode, which means only the time, date and battery level are displayed.

4. When you want to take the device off charge, just simply pull the magnetic puck away from the back of the Watch.

How long does it take to charge the Apple Watch?

How to charge your Apple Watch

Given that you'll need to sit your Apple Watch on the charger pretty much everyday, 24/7 tracking simply isn't an option. However, by knowing how long it takes the Apple Watch to fully charge, you can be more efficient with your tracking and pick and choose when to hook it up to the charger.

And while battery levels do vary slightly from generation to generation, Apple has been fairly consistent with the time it takes to charge the Watch.

According to the company, the Apple Watch can go from 0% to 80% charge in just 90 minutes and reach 100% after around 2.5 hours. With that considered, those who want to track their sleep, but don't necessarily care about the Watch tracking while sat at a desk for a couple of hours could easily take advantage of the speedy charging.

Can the Apple Watch charge wirelessly?

How to charge your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch cannot charge wirelessly, as it is not compatible with the Qi charging standard, like the iPhone. The company's AirPower (shown above) charging mat was an attempted solution to this, though it was cancelled earlier this year by Apple.

What if your Apple Watch won't charge

First off check the cable's connected - and if you're using third party equipment go back to basics with the standard, supplied cable.

Check that there's not dirt on the charger or Apple Watch – and of course that any plastic protectors have been removed after purchase.

Finally, it might be time for a reset.

Press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo.
TAGGED Apple Watch

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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