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How to Charge Your Apple Watch in 4 Simple Steps

Keeping your Apple Watch powered up is easy with the right charging routine. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk through the complete process to charge your Apple Watch in just 4 steps.

Whether you have the latest Apple Watch Ultra or a Series 3, the way you charge your watch is basically the same. We‘ll cover everything from checking your battery level, setting up your magnetic charger, connecting power, and properly aligning your watch.

Follow along as we dive into the specifics of charging various Apple Watch models. With the right technique, you‘ll keep your watch charged up and ready for action.

Step 1: Check Your Apple Watch Battery Level

Before charging your Apple Watch, it‘s important to check your current battery level so you can gauge how urgently your watch needs power.

According to Apple, the Apple Watch battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 500 complete charge cycles. So you want to avoid fully depleting the battery too often.

Here are three simple ways to check your Apple Watch‘s battery percentage:

Glance at Your Watch Face

All Apple Watch faces have a battery indicator icon, showing remaining power as a slimming green bar or circle. Swipe through your watch faces to view battery status on each.

Tip: Choose a watch face with a prominent battery complication for easy charging reminders.

Open Control Center

Swipe up from the bottom edge of your watch face screen to open Control Center. Battery percentage and lightning bolt icon appear in upper left.

View Battery Widget on iPhone

Add the Batteries widget to your Today View on iPhone. This displays current battery levels for paired devices including Apple Watch.

According to Wristly‘s 2022 survey of Apple Watch owners, the average battery life for daily use is just over 18 hours. So for most users, charging daily is essential.

When your watch battery drops below 10%, a red lightning bolt icon appears signaling it‘s time to charge. Letting your watch battery fully deplete too often can degrade long-term battery capacity by as much as 20%, per Battery University.

Step 2: Position Your Magnetic Charger

To charge your Apple Watch, you need the magnetic charging cable that came in the box with your watch. The charger connects to power and magnetically attaches to charging contacts on the back of your watch.

If you have an Apple Watch Series 7 or newer, your charger will be the USB-C to Magnetic Charger Cable. This enables faster charging compared to the USB-A cable included with older models.

Start by placing the circular magnetic charger on a flat surface like a nightstand or desk. Use an open, ventilated area away from direct sunlight and liquids.

You can purchase stands like the Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger to neatly dock your watch charger and iPhone. But the simple cable works just as well.

Position the charger somewhere you‘ll remember to connect your watch each night. Most Apple Watch owners charge while sleeping, according to a 2022 survey by Statistica.

Step 3: Connect Charger to Power Source

Next, you need to plug your magnetic charging cable into a power source. You have several options:

  • Use the 5-watt Apple USB Power Adapter included with Apple Watch.

  • Connect to a higher wattage 10W+ USB power adapter like an iPad charger. This enables faster charging.

  • Plug into a powered USB or USB-C port on a computer, iPad, or iPhone charger brick.

Higher wattage adapters will charge your watch safely in less time. Apple recommends using at least 5V/1A adapters. 2.5A adapters are optimal for faster charging Apple Watches that support it.

Here are recommended adapter pairings and their typical charge times:

  • 5W adapter + USB-A cable = 0-100% in ~2.5 hours
  • 10W adapter + USB-C cable = 0-100% in ~1.5 hours
  • 18W+ adapter + USB-C cable = 0-80% in ~45 mins

Using the right combination allows you to quickly top up your watch when needed.

Step 4: Align and Place Apple Watch on Magnetic Charger

With your charger plugged in, you‘re ready to attach your Apple Watch to charge.

Place your watch directly onto the magnetic charger, aligned flush with the charger surface. The magnets will pull the watch into the proper charging position.

For the fastest charging, power down your watch before connecting to the charger. But leaving it on is fine too.

When properly connected, the green lightning bolt appears on the watch face indicating charging mode. The charger uses inductive technology, so there are no exposed contacts to connect.

Apple does not recommend charging Apple Watch while it is on your wrist, as the magnets can pinch skin. Always remove watch before charging.

Once connected, charging progress can be monitored through the Apple Watch app on iPhone or by waking the watch screen.

Monitor Your Charging Progress

When charging overnight, Apple Watch automatically enters Nightstand mode showing the time, date, and charging status.

Tap the screen to view current battery percentage. You‘ll see the following charge stages:

  • 0% to ~80%: Fast charging period when battery capacity increases quickly.
  • ~80% to 100%: Slow charging period as battery reaches full capacity.
  • 100%: Fully charged, displayed by completely filled-in battery icon.

If charging overnight, most Apple Watch batteries will go from 0% to 100% in under 2 hours with a 5W charger or under 1.5 hours with a 10W+ USB-C charger, per Apple.

Enable Fast Charging on Apple Watch Series 7 & Newer

Starting with the Apple Watch Series 7, new models support fast charging capabilities.

By using the USB-C magnetic charging cable and a higher-wattage USB-C power adapter (18W+), you can charge your watch from 0 to 80% in about 45 minutes.

This is perfect for topping up your watch battery before heading out for the day or getting in a quick charge before a workout.

To fast charge, use one of the following Apple power adapters:

  • 18W
  • 20W
  • 29W
  • 30W
  • 61W
  • 87W
  • 96W

Check the wattage printed on your adapter to confirm which you have. Fast charging only works with USB-C adapters using the USB-C cable.

Check Time Since Last Charge

Want to see how long it has been since you last charged your Apple Watch? Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to access the Home Screen.
  2. Open the Settings app (gears icon).
  3. Scroll down and tap on Battery.
  4. View battery usage chart and text showing last full charge time.

Checking this info periodically helps you identify gaps where you forgot to charge. It can also help diagnose battery issues.

Optimize Your Apple Watch Battery Life

To maximize daily battery life on your Apple Watch, follow these tips:

  • Turn on Theater Mode when not in use to disable the screen and notifications.

  • Enable Low Power Mode to reduce power usage when battery gets low. Displays only time.

  • Customize your watch face and disable unneeded features like constant heart rate monitoring.

  • Force close apps not in use instead of letting them run in the background.

  • Install watchOS updates for the latest battery optimizations.

  • Limit Background App Refresh for apps that don‘t need constant data feeds.

  • Lower screen brightness to a comfortable level to reduce power demand.

  • Use Airplane Mode to conserve battery when you don‘t need connectivity.

Properly maintaining your Apple Watch battery will keep it operating at peak capacity for years.


Charging your Apple Watch properly is vital for keeping it powered on daily. Follow these 4 key steps:

  1. Check your battery level.
  2. Set up your magnetic charger.
  3. Connect charger to a power source.
  4. Align your watch to the magnetic charger.

Charge daily, use fast charging when available, and monitor charging progress in the Apple Watch app. Optimizing your charging habits will ensure your watch easily lasts a full day on one charge.

Do you have any other Apple Watch charging tips? Let us know in the comments!