How to Charge Apple Watch: A Comprehensive Guide

The Apple Watch has rapidly grown in popularity since its initial release in 2015, becoming one of the best-selling smartwatches to date. As useful as the Apple Watch is for notifications, tracking fitness and health data, making payments and more, keeping it powered on and running is crucial for utilizing all of its features.

Luckily, charging an Apple Watch is simple. This guide will walk you through the process in detail, covering everything from the necessary charging equipment to step-by-step charging instructions and tips for optimal charging. 

There are a few different charging methods available depending on your Apple Watch model and accessories. Standard magnetic charging cables are included with all models, while fast charging requires newer models and cables. Third-party stands and docks are also available for convenience.

How to Charge Apple Watch

Getting Started: What You Need

To charge your Apple Watch, you only need a few essential items:

  • The Apple Watch itself
  • Magnetic Charging Cable (USB-C for Series 7+)
  • Optional: USB Power Adapter or computer USB port
  • Optional: Charging dock/stand

The standard Magnetic Charging Cable connects via USB and snaps onto the back of the Apple Watch using magnets. Models before Series 7 can only use this standard cable.

Series 7 and newer models can take advantage of fast charging capabilities using a USB-C fast charging cable and adapter, charging up to 33% quicker. An optional fast-charging dock is also available.

Keep in mind fast charging requires an Apple 20W power adapter or higher, and third-party adapters over 20W may damage your watch. For portable charging, a computer or portable battery pack can be used as well.

Step-by-Step Charging Guide

Follow these step-by-step instructions to properly charge your Apple Watch:


  • Take off your Apple Watch and ensure the back and band are clean and dry.
  • Unwind the necessary charging cable (standard or fast charge compatible).
  • Connect the USB end to a power source like an adapter, computer, or battery pack.


  • Place the magnetic charging disc at the end of the cable onto the back of the Apple Watch, aligning with the indentation.
  • The fit should be snug and the watch will vibrate and display a charging symbol on the screen when connected properly.

Charging Modes 

There are a few different charging modes depending on your model:

  • Standard Charging (All models): Charges from 0-80% in about 1.5 hours or 0-100% in 2.5 hours.
  • Fast Charging (Series 7+): Charges 0-80% in about 45 minutes or 0-100% in 75 minutes. Requires fast charge cable/adapter.
  • Low Power Mode: Can be enabled to reserve battery but slows down charging.

Charging Tips and Troubleshooting

  • For optimal charging place your watch flat on its back or upright on its side.
  • If your watch isn’t charging, gently adjust the cable connections, clean the contacts, and check the power connections.
  • For abnormally slow charging, switch cables and power sources to isolate the issue.

Alternative Charging Options

The Apple MagSafe Duo Charger released alongside the Series 7 allows compatible wireless charging in addition to the magnetic cable. This dual-device charger can wirelessly charge your watch while connected to your phone.

There are also many third-party Apple Watch charging stands and docks available. Ensure accessories are MFi-certified and rated for your Apple Watch before purchasing. Off-brand options may not charge properly or maintain full compatibility.

FAQS About How to Charge Apple Watch

  1. Do I need a special charger for my Apple Watch? 

No. Most Apple Watch models come with a standard magnetic charging cable that works with any USB power source.

  1. My Apple Watch isn’t charging! What do I do?

Start with the basics:

  • Clean and dry: Ensure the charging contacts on both the watch and cable are clean and dry.
  • Secure connection: Check that the cable is securely magnetically attached to the watch.
  • Power source: Try a different USB port or power adapter.
  • Software update: Make sure your watch is updated to the latest software.
  • Restart: Restart your watch by holding the side button and Digital Crown until “power off” appears, then swipe to power off.
  1. Can I use other chargers besides the official Apple one? 

Yes, with caution. Many third-party chargers use standard specifications and work fine. However, choose reputable brands and ensure they are certified for Apple devices.

  1. Is fast charging really safe for my Apple Watch? 

Yes, when used with the correct charger. Apple has designed fast charging to be safe for your battery. However, any charging can contribute to battery wear over time. Use fast charging occasionally, not as your primary charging method, to maximize battery lifespan.

  1. Will using a charging stand damage my watch?

No. Charging stands offer convenience, but choose one with a stable base and soft padding to avoid scratching your watch. 

  1. How long does it take to charge my Apple Watch fully? 

It depends on the model and charging method:

  • Standard charging: 1.5-2 hours for most models.
  • Fast charging (Series 7+): Around 1 hour.
  • Wireless charging: Similar to standard charging speeds.
  1. Can I charge my Apple Watch while I’m sleeping? 

Yes, but consider these points:

  • Battery health: Frequent overnight charging can contribute to long-term battery wear.
  • Charging reminders: Set reminders to charge your watch before bed instead of keeping it constantly charged.
  1. How can I maximize my Apple Watch battery life between charges? 
  • Adjust screen brightness: Lower brightness reduces battery drain significantly.
  • Reduce notifications: Disable unnecessary app notifications.
  • Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not in use.
  • Use Workout mode efficiently: Pause workouts when resting, and use GPS only when necessary.
  • Enable low power mode to prolong battery duration.


Hopefully, this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of charging methods for your Apple Watch. Whether you just got your first one or have had it for years, optimizing the charging routine helps you get the most out of your wearable. Don’t hesitate to refer back to the step-by-step process outlined as needed.

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