This is what you need to do if your Apple Watch cannot fully charge

Sometimes you don’t want to fully charge your Apple Watch, even if you leave it on the charger for a longer time. Then try turning off the functions below.

Fully charge Apple Watch

You may have seen it before: when you put your Apple Watch on the charger overnight and check it the next day, it is not fully charged. How is that possible? Don’t worry, your Apple Watch is probably not broken. This has to do with the ‘Optimized charging’ functions and the charging limit. But why is that actually? And how do you disable these functions?

watchos 10.1

The Apple Watch can learn charging habits

The Optimized Charging feature has been on Apple’s smart watch since watchOS 7. With this feature, your Apple Watch learns your daily charging habits to extend your battery life. The optimized charging feature for your Apple Watch is enabled by default when you set up the Apple Watch. In addition, the feature is also enabled after an update to watchOS 7 or newer.

When the feature is enabled, your Watch will wait to charge beyond 80% in certain situations. The battery level of the Watch then remains between 75% and 80%.

charging apple watch

The Watch uses on-device machine learning to learn your daily charging routine, so optimized charging only kicks in when your Watch predicts it will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time. The algorithm is aimed at ensuring that your Apple Watch is still fully charged when you remove it from the charger.

This only works if you regularly follow a fixed routine. However, sometimes it is more useful to tell your Apple Watch that it needs to charge to 100 percent as quickly as possible. For example, when you know that you have to get up extra early the next day. You do this in the following way.

Fully charge Apple Watch (before scheduled with Optimized Charging)

  1. Place the Apple Watch on the charger;

  2. Tap your Apple Watch to bring up the screen (if necessary) and tap the lightning bolt in the green circle;

  3. Then select ‘Fully charge now’.

Your Apple Watch will now charge to 100 percent as quickly as possible. Do you want to turn off the ‘Optimized charging’ function completely? Then follow the steps below.

  • Open the ‘Settings’ app on your Apple Watch;
  • Scroll down and then tap ‘Battery’;
  • Select ‘Battery condition’;
  • Turn off the slider for ‘Optimized charging’;
  • Choose ‘Turn off until tomorrow’ or ‘Turn off’.

Optimized charging limit is better for the battery

In addition to Optimized Charging, some Apple Watch models also offer the Optimized Charging Limit feature. With watchOS 10, this feature is available on Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 6 and later, and Apple Watch Ultra and later.

The Optimized Charging Limit feature learns from your daily usage to determine when your Apple Watch should be charged to a certain percentage (or full). Optimized Charging Limit is turned on by default when you set up your Apple Watch.

charging limit apple watch

Your Apple Watch will then not always fully charge your smartwatch. You will recognize this if a charging ring is displayed when you connect the Apple Watch to the charger. If you still want to charge your Apple Watch further (beyond the optimized limit), follow the steps below.

  • Place the Apple Watch on the charger;
  • Tap your Apple Watch to display the charging screen and tap the lightning bolt in the circle;
  • Tap ‘Fully charge now’.

Fully charge Apple Watch without optimized charging limit

You can also choose to disable these functions entirely. You do this in the following way.

  • Open ‘Settings’ on the Apple Watch;
  • Scroll down and choose ‘Battery’;
  • Tap ‘Battery Condition’;
  • Disable ‘Optimized charging limit’;
  • Choose ‘Turn off until tomorrow’ or ‘Turn off’.

On Apple Watch SE, Series 6, Series 7, and Series 8, turning off Optimized Charging also turns off Optimized Charging Limit.

Buy (or replace) Apple Watch

Don’t have an Apple Watch yet or does yours need to be replaced? Then the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is currently the very best smartwatch from Apple that you can buy.

Do you think it’s a bit too expensive? Then the Apple Watch Series 9 is a good alternative. This is the most recent regular Apple Watch.

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