How Long Does Apple Watch Take to Charge? [Complete Guide!]

The Apple Watch is sleek, beautiful, and easy to use. And it is the last aspect that makes these watches sell more than generic smartwatches that might have even more functions. But the convenience Apple delivers can get interrupted because of its smartwatch’s low battery life.

It takes 1.5 hours to charge an Apple Watch to 80% and 2.5 hours maximum to charge the watch to 100%. Different models have different charging duration requirements based on their functionality, battery size, and power usage. Leaving your watch on charge overnight is usually advisable.

In this article, we will look at the specific charging durations of different Apple Watch models alongside the various nuances of preserving battery life and charging quicker. Among other things, you’ll discover whether an Apple Watch can be switched off when charging and at what point you can safely charge the watch. But first, let’s look at the apple watch charging time in depth.

How Long Does It Take to Fully Charge an Apple Watch?

It takes 2.5 hours to fully charge an Apple Watch when it is new. As the battery becomes inefficient and the watch starts accumulating more tasks, the time it takes an Apple Watch to charge fully might increase. The charging time can go up by 15 minutes across a few years of usage.

Since all Apple Watch models aren’t built alike, it is prudent to get specific about which Series your watch belongs to and what its specific charging time is. This table covers the time it takes to charge each apple watch from series 1 to 7 and the SE version as well.

Apple Watch Model  The time it takes to reach 80% battery  The time it takes to charge fully  
Apple Watch Series 1  1 hour  1.3 hours  
Apple Watch Series 2  1.5 hours  2 hours  
Apple Watch Series 3  1.5 hours  2 hours  
Apple Watch Series 4  1.5 hours  2 hours  
Apple Watch Series 5  1.5 hours  2.5 hours  
Apple Watch Series 6  1 hour  2.3 hours  
Apple Watch Series 7  1 hour  2 hours  
Apple Watch SE  1.2 hours  2 hours  
Table indicating time it takes to charge various models of Apple Watch

The Significance of the 80% Mark

You might have noticed that the time it takes Apple Watch to reach 80% charging is not proportionate to the time it takes after crossing the 80% mark.

The key reason behind this is the way modern-day Lithium-ion batteries are designed. It has been observed that as the battery gets charged, heat is generated within the battery. And, as the battery crosses the 80% charge capacity, the temperature goes beyond a certain threshold point where the time it takes to charge the battery further starts increasing.

Furthermore, it is said that certain functions of the smartwatch are dormant until it is charged up to 80%. Only after the watch has 80% charging do these functions get activated. Since they consume energy, the time it takes to charge the remaining 20% is longer as not 100% of the electric charge is being stored.

At What Percentage Should You Charge Your Apple Watch?

You should charge your Apple Watch at a 10% minimum, as this allows the watch to restart without problems. You should aim to charge it up to 80% at least, so the rest of your day is not interrupted by the need to recharge your Apple Watch.

That said, you can start charging your watch no matter its battery power. Charging a watch with a 5% battery isn’t any better than charging one at 90% battery. The Apple Watch battery is not affected by the percentage at which you start charging. In old gadgets, charging a battery when it wasn’t significantly empty would affect the battery life. That is not the case with the Apple Watch.

Is It OK to Charge Your Apple Watch Overnight?

Speaking of old gadgets, another common issue with smartwatches is that if they’re hooked to a charger after they are fully charged, their batteries start to suffer. That’s not the case with Apple Watch, which makes it easier to charge the smartwatch when you’re away or asleep.

It is OK to charge Apple Watch overnight unless you want to track your sleep. If you’re concerned about overcharging the watch, there’s no need to worry. It is impossible to overcharge an Apple Watch as it stops charging as soon as it gets 100% battery power.

Most smart devices today come with an electric cut-off once the battery charges to 100% level. So, as a result, even if you continue to charge above 100% it is not going to significantly affect the battery life.

That means you can err on the side of charging more without any drawbacks. If you err on the side of charging below 100%, you still won’t face any issues as long as the battery power is over 80%. That’s because of the smartwatch’s battery life.

How Long Does the Apple Watch Battery Last on Single Charge?

The Apple Watch lasts 18 hours on a single charge, which is practical for people who charge their watches overnight. Even with an 80% battery, the watch can be your active companion for the bulk of the day. The battery life varies by usage, watch series, and battery efficiency.

Apple Watch Model  Battery life after overnight charging  
Apple Watch Series 1  10 hours  
Apple Watch Series 2  14 hours  
Apple Watch Series 3  16 hours  
Apple Watch Series 4  17 hours  
Apple Watch Series 6  18 hours  
Apple Watch Series 7  18 hours  
Apple Watch SE  18 hours  

Is There a Way to Charge an Apple Watch Faster?

You can charge an Apple Watch faster using an Apple Magnetic Fast Charger, but this feature is not supported by all Apple Watches. Using this charger allows you to charge Apple Watch Series 7 up to 80% in 45 minutes.

The Apple Magnetic Fast Charger for Apple Watch 7 doesn’t come out of the box with the device. You will need to purchase it separately. So, it can set you back by an additional $30 to $40 dollars.

Whether this feature is worthy of a buying decision depends on how much you value an extra 30 minutes. Most users who prefer charging their smartwatches overnight don’t find the fast charge possibility as useful. However, people heavily invested in sleep tracking benefit from the fast charge feature available in the latest Apple Watch models.

Charging an Apple Watch faster is also possible in older generation Apple Watches, but the speed is not as high as that of a Fast Charge dock. The simplest way to add charging speed is to put your watch in power-saving mode before charging it. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Swipe up the watch – This opens the control center with various options. The battery option is shown directly as a percentage.
  2. Tap on the percentage – This opens the battery settings, including the power reserve controls.
  3. Drag down the power reserve control – When you drag down the power reserve slider, you decrease active watch functions to maximize battery power preservation.
  4. Tap proceed – Once the power saving settings are in place, you can tap proceed to confirm your choice and put your smartwatch in a specific degree of power-saving.

Putting your Apple Watch in power-saving mode ensures that it charges quicker, especially after it reaches the 80% mark. As mentioned earlier, the smartwatch starts using plenty of power when it reaches 80% power which is why it can take so long to get to 100%.

On the subject of decreasing functions to improve charging time, you might wonder if you can switch off the watch to charge it quicker.

Can Apple Watch Charge When Switched Off?

The apple watch charging process powers up the watch and turns it on. It is not possible to charge an Apple Watch while it is off because the overcharging protection (where the watch stops charging at 100%) requires the smartwatch to be on.

You can use other power-saving methods to get the apple watch to charge faster. One of these is to manage your watch notifications alongside wrist detection so that the watch displays notifications from your iPhone only when your phone screen is off.

Another way to preserve charging is to turn off the watch’s Bluetooth and wifi, so it isn’t constantly communicating with your iPhone. You might find a few more methods to preserve battery in our article on whether an Apple Watch can drain the iPhone battery.

It is crucial to remember that even if there are workarounds that allow you to turn off the apple watch when charging (by jailbreaking the smartwatch), you should avoid them because they make your watch vulnerable in two major ways:

  • A jailbreak Apple Watch is not supported by Apple and allows third-party developers to make fundamental alterations to the device. Programs that claim to keep the watch off when charging aren’t made by authorized developers and could be tracking your watch activity.
  • An Apple Watch that is turned off when charging might overcharge – Overcharging can reduce the battery life of the Apple Watch. When the smartwatch is turned off, it cannot track its own battery power and preemptively stop charging.

How to Tell When Apple Watch is Fully Charged?

You can tell that an Apple Watch is fully charged after it has been charging for over 2.5 hours. You can reconfirm this by swiping up the watch screen to open the control center and looking at the total battery percentage.

When you look at the battery percentage in the control center, there are three possibilities:

  • The apple watch is 100% charged according to battery settings – You can take it off the charging mechanism.
  • The apple watch is charged over 80% – You can safely take off the watch and go about your day wearing it. It will not interrupt your day by requiring a recharge.
  • The apple watch is charged less than 80% – In that case, your priority should be to charge the watch to at least 80%
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