Has Your Apple Watch Series 7 Stopped Fast Charging? You’re Not Alone
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Although the Apple Watch Series 7 turned out to be less exciting than many hoped, it brought one handy feature: faster charging speeds.
This enhancement was particularly useful for folks who like to use their Apple Watch for Sleep Tracking since wearing your device to bed means that you can’t pop it on a charger overnight.
Previous Apple Watch models could take up to two hours to return to a full charge in the morning, but the faster charging allows the Apple Watch Series 7 to hit 80 percent in only 45 minutes.
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Plus, even if your watch has hit Power Reserve mode before bedtime, you only need to pop it on the charger for about eight minutes to get a full night of sleep tracking.
Unfortunately, it looks like the latest watchOS update may have curtailed that advantage for many Apple Watch Series 7 owners.
According to 9to5Mac, several users are reporting much slower charging speeds after updating to watchOS 8.5 — even when using the official Apple USB-C charger that comes in the box.
Note that this problem doesn’t appear to be affecting everyone. Although the folks at 9to5Mac were able to confirm the issue, those at The Verge could not do so using a 41mm Series 7 and a 20W Apple charger.
Some reports have suggested that the charging speeds may be even slower than those of the Apple Watch Series 6, which doesn’t support Fast Charging. Some users on Reddit have noted that their Apple Watch Series 7 units only gained about five percent after an entire hour of charging.
Initial reports seemed to indicate the problem may have been confined to Belkin’s BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad. While there are some indications that it may still be more common when using that particular charger, numerous reports have revealed that it affects at least some folks using the original Apple charger also.
In at least one reported case, an Apple Watch Series 7 owner found that their Belkin charger had stopped charging entirely after the watchOS 8.5 update, although their Apple charger still works just fine.
I can also confirm, the boost pro stopped charging my Series 7 altogether after updating to watchOS 8.5. It’ll charge normally on Apple chargers, but the Belkin fast charger recently released no longer works. Considering the absolute desolate landscape that third party fast charging for Series 7 is currently, how quickly Apple releases a fix for this is critical for Belkin and others to keep customer trust.
It’s also not just affecting Apple Watch Series 7 users. It’s more noticeable on that model since it’s a more significant drop from the faster charging speeds. One Apple Watch Series 6 owner reported that their watch only charges to 49 percent overnight. Others say they’re getting a full charge, but it’s taking twice as long as before.
Apple and Belkin have yet to comment on this issue, but at the very least, it sounds like if you have an Apple Watch Series 7 and haven’t updated to watchOS 8.5 yet, you may want to wait.
Lastly, if you are running into this problem, you should also make sure you’re using the correct charging setup. Apple supplies the proper USB-C fast charging cable in the box, but not the necessary USB-C power brick — and you won’t get fast charging unless that can deliver the required power.
Most of Apple’s first-party USB-C power adapters will work (but not all). However, you’ll need to be more cautious if you’re using a third-party USB-C adapter, as it has to support the latest USB-PD profile and deliver at least five watts of power.