How to charge your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 6 charging on a wooden table

Credit: Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Keep your Apple Watch charged so you never miss an important measurable. (Does a workout even count if you don’t get the data?) Throwing your device on the charger is pretty straightforward. When you charge is up to you.

How to charge your Apple Watch

You will know your Apple Watch is charging when a lightning bolt appears on the screen. This icon will be green or red depending on how dire your power situation gets. If your device is completely out of juice, it may take a few minutes for the icon to appear.

  1. Insert your charging cable into a USB port or USB power adapter plugged into a power outlet.
  2. Place the back of your Apple Watch against the concave side of the charger. You will feel magnets align your device in place.

How long does it take the Apple Watch to charge? According to Apple, it should take a Series 6 about an hour to charge to 80%.

When do I need to charge my device?

With the new ability to track sleep on the Apple Watch, you may need to adjust your charging habits. Your device will remind you to charge leading up to bedtime, and prompt you to leave it on the charger if its at less than 30% when you head to bed. To check how much is left in the tank, swipe up to the Command Center (aka quick settings). You can also streamline this step with a battery complication on your custom watch face.

Conserve resources

To save battery life, opt into Power Reserve mode. Your watch will still work as, well, a watch, but you won’t be able to use apps or track your activity.

  1. Swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center and tap the battery percentage.
  2. Drag the Power Reserve slider to the right.
  3. To exit Power Reserve mode, press and hold the side button.

When your Apple Watch battery is low, it will enter Power Reserve mode automatically.

Charging in Nightstand mode

Charging Apple Watch Series 6 displays Nightstand mode on a bedside table

Credit: Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

If you aren’t keen to track your Zs, you’re probably charging your watch overnight, likely on your bedside table. With this in mind, Apple designed Nightstand mode which turns your watch face into a mini bedside clock. This will display the time, date, charge level, and any alarms you have set. The screen will wake if it detects motion and alert you in the morning with a peaceful alarm at the designated time.

Apple Watch not charging?

Try these troubleshooting options before losing your head or springing for a new charger.

  1. Start off by making sure both halves of the equation — the charger and your Apple Watch — are clean and clear of dust as well as any plastic from packaging.
  2. Verify your plug is completely inserted into the power adapter and that you are using a working power outlet.
  3. If you still can’t spark a charge, force the device to restart by holding down the Digital Crown and side button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.

It could also be time to replace the Apple Magnetic Charging Cable that came with your device, in which case we have the full round-up of top third-party retailers for chargers and docks. Apple sells replacements on its website as well, but these retailers are often more affordable.

See also: The best Apple Watch chargers you can buy  | The best Apple Watch accessories

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