Apple Watch Not Charging? How to Fix It & What It Costs
Apple Watch won’t charge? Here’s how to troubleshoot Apple Watch charging issues, a comparison of repair options and costs, plus a breakdown of whether you should fix it or sell it.
NOTE: If your Apple Watch is still under warranty, you might be able to get it repaired free of charge. Check warranty coverage on Apple’s website.
Apple Watch charging issue repair costs compared
Here’s what you can generally expect to pay to fix an Apple Watch that won’t charge.
|Repair Option||Estimated Price Range|
|DIY Repair||$5 – $70|
|Professional Repair||$150 – $800|
|Insurance Claim Deductible||$59 – $229|
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Option 1: Troubleshoot Apple Watch charging issues – $0
Apple Watches are charged wirelessly and do not have charging ports (though pre-Series 7 models have hidden diagnostic ports some say can be used for charging). Before you consider expensive repairs, try these troubleshooting tactics to fix your Apple Watch charging issues.
Make sure it’s a charging problem
Your Apple Watch should last around 18 hours on a full charge, and it should take around 2.5 hours to charge it to 100%. If you’re getting a full charge within that time frame, but your watch isn’t lasting 18 hours, you might have a battery life issue instead.
Note that your Apple Watch should display a red lightning bolt when the battery is low. A green lightning bolt should display when you set it on the charging dock. If you don’t see a green lightning bolt, your watch isn’t charging.
If your Apple Watch screen is stuck on the green lightning bolt but the watch doesn’t charge, you might be dealing with the “green snake of death.” We’ll cover how to fix that below.
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Check your charger
Make sure all connections are secure, from the wall outlet adapter to the charging cable, and then from the charging cable to the charging dock. Make sure the cable isn’t frayed and the dock and plug aren’t damaged. You can also try a different wall outlet.
If your charger seems like it’s in good shape, enlist a friend to see if:
- Their charger will charge your Apple Watch (your charger is probably bad)
- Your charger will not charge their Apple Watch (your charger is probably bad)
- Their charger will not charge your Apple Watch (your watch is probably bad)
- Your charger will charge their Apple Watch (your watch is probably bad)
Official Apple Watch charging docks cost between $29 and $79. You can find cheaper charging docks online, though it’s worth noting that aftermarket charging docks can cause their own issues.
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Force restart your Apple Watch
If a software issue is the culprit for your charging woes, a forced restart might resolve it:
- Remove your Apple Watch from the charger
- Press and hold the digital crown and side button for 10 seconds
- When the Apple logo appears on the screen, release both buttons
See if your Apple Watch will charge after the restart.
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Update your operating system
A watchOS update might fix your Apple Watch charging issues. If you have watchOS 6 or a later version, follow these steps:
- Browse to Settings > General > Software Update
- If an update is available, tap Install and follow the instructions
If you have watchOS 5 or an earlier version, you’ll need to update via your iPhone:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
- Browse to My Watch > General > Software Update
- Agree to download updates, then follow on screen instructions
Note that Apple recommends having at least 50% charge and leaving your watch on the charger during the update, but if your Apple Watch won’t charge and it’s already dead, you won’t be able to update the operating system.
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Fix the “green snake of death”
Some users have reported the “green snake of death,” which is when the wired dock with green lightning bolt icon gets stuck on your Apple Watch screen. Though your Apple Watch won’t charge, it’s actually an issue with the battery rather than the charging system. The good news is you might be able to “reset” your battery and remove the green snake of death so you can charge your watch again.
- Leave your Apple Watch off the charger until the battery is completely drained. This could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days
- Plug your charger into a wall outlet using the wall adapter (do not use a USB port)
- Place your Apple Watch on the charger and let it charge for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight
Here’s a video that describes the process:
If your Apple Watch still won’t charge, you probably have a defective battery.
Try cleaning your Apple Watch and charging dock
Though unlikely, it’s possible that some type of dirt or debris is preventing the wireless charging system from working. Make sure the back of your Apple Watch and your charging dock pad are clean and free from debris.
If none of these troubleshooting methods fixed your charging problem, you probably have a hardware issue that requires either battery or charging coil replacement.
Option 2: DIY Apple Watch charging coil or battery replacement – $5 to $70
Unless you’re an experienced technician, we do not recommend replacing your own Apple Watch charging coil. The part is hard to find, since most parts suppliers do not carry it, and the repair is difficult.
Apple Watch battery replacement is easier, and you can find aftermarket batteries for $5 to $70 from sites like iFixit, eTech Parts and eBay. However, without knowing whether the issue is caused by a faulty battery or charging coil, you risk wasting your time and money on a “repair” that won’t work.
In addition, you’ll likely void any warranties or insurance policies if you attempt to repair your own Apple Watch.
If you do decide to fix your own Apple Watch, you can find teardown videos on YouTube and iFixit that show you how to access both the battery and charging coil so you can replace them. Here are some examples:
Apple Watch Series 6 Teardown
Apple Watch Series 5 Teardown
Apple Watch Series 4 Teardown
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Option 3: Professional Apple Watch repair service – $150 to $800
A safer option is to opt for professional Apple Watch repair. Expect to pay between $150 and $800, depending on your model and whether the issue is your battery, the charging coil or something else.
That price range is skewed by Apple’s repair fees for higher end models; for example, Apple’s service fee for an Apple Watch Series 5 GPS Aluminum is $299, but it’s $800 for an Apple Watch Series 5 Edition Ceramic.
Here are some example prices for mail-in Apple Watch repair services.
|Model||Apple||Joe’s Gaming & Electronics||iFixYouri|
|Apple Watch Series 6|| Battery: $79|
Other: $299 – $499
|Charging Issues: $150||Battery Replacement: $170|
|Apple Watch Series 5|| Battery: $79|
Other: $299 – $800
|Charging Issues: $150||Battery Replacement: $150|
|Apple Watch Series 4|| Battery: $79|
Other: $299 – $399
|Charging Issues: $150||Battery Replacement: $150|
Before you choose a repair company, be sure to ask if they offer a warranty on parts and labor. You should also ask about part quality and your service tech’s experience and credentials.
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Option 4: File an insurance claim – $59 to $229
If you have Apple Watch insurance, you can file a claim directly with your insurer. Expect to pay a deductible ranging between $59 and $229, depending on your model and insurance company. Here are some example Apple Watch insurance deductibles.
|AppleCare+||$69 – $79|
|SquareTrade||$59 – $160|
|Verizon||$129 – $229|
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Is it worth fixing an Apple Watch that won’t charge?
Should you fix your Apple Watch or sell it broken? You can base your decision on how much your Apple Watch is worth broken versus repaired and whether you plan to upgrade soon.
Start by calculating the net value of your Apple Watch after repair (look up current values on Flipsy).
For example, at the time of this writing, an Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum Cellular 44mm was worth $225 in good condition. Here’s a breakdown of its net value after different repair options.
Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum Cellular 44mm Value – Cost of Repair = Net Value After Repair
|Repair Method||Value (good condition)||– Repair/Deductible Cost||= Net Value After Repair|
|DIY (not recommended)||$225||$70||$155|
|Independent Repair Shop||$225||$150||$75|
|Apple Battery Repair (out of warranty)||$225||$79||$146|
|Apple Other Repair (out of warranty)||$225||$349||-$124|
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Next, compare the net value after repair to what your Apple Watch is worth in broken condition. At the time of this writing, a broken Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum Cellular 44mm was worth $24.
Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum Cellular 44mm Net Value After Repair VS Broken Value
|Repair Method||Net Value After Repair||Value Broken|
|DIY (not recommended)||$155||$24|
|Independent Repair Shop||$75||$24|
|Apple Battery Repair (out of warranty)||$146||$24|
|Apple Other Repair (out of warranty)||-$124||$24|
As the table shows, our example Apple Watch will have around $130 greater net value if you repair it yourself, file an insurance claim via AppleCare+ or SquareTrade, or have Apple complete an out-of-warranty battery replacement.
Your Apple Watch will also be worth around $50 more if you take it to an independent repair shop versus selling it broken.
However, the Verizon insurance deductible leaves a net value of just $36, which is only $12 more than the Apple Watch is worth broken, so it might not be worth the trouble of repair. If the problem is anything but the battery, you’d lose around $150 in value if you opted for out-of-warranty Apple repair.
Note that in this case, some professional repair options cost about the same as DIY repair – another reason we don’t recommend attempting the repair yourself.
Of course, your decision depends not only on the value, but also how long you intend to keep your Apple Watch. If you plan to have it for a few more years, it’s cheaper to repair it than it is to buy a new Apple Watch. If you plan to upgrade soon and trade in your old Apple Watch, however, it’s worth running the numbers to see whether you’ll get more net value after repair or selling it as-is.
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