Apple Watch users complain that watchOS 8.5 broke fast charging

If fast charging on your Apple Watch Series 7 isn’t working properly, that could be due to Apple’s watchOS 8.5 update.

A photograph showing an Apple Watch Series 6 case sitting upright on a table, with a colorful lights in the background blurred with a depth-of-field effect
Image credit: AB / Unsplash
  • Apple’s recent watchOS 8.5 update seems to be causing an unknown percentage of Apple Watch Series 7 units to charge at a snail’s pace.
  • Series 7 is the first Apple Watch model to support fast charging, allowing the battery charge to jump from zero to eighty percent in about 45 minutes.
  • One of the earlier watchOS updates also caused a small number of Apple Watches to exhibit erratic behavior and various charging issues.

watchOS 8.5 breaks fast-charging on Apple Watch Series 7

The problem is well-documented on Apple’s support forums, Reddit and other places, with some Reddit posters reporting abysmal charge speeds. One user said it would take their Series 7 twenty minutes or more to charge a meager five percent. Believe it or not, some folks are in a worse place because their watches are taking circa one full hour to charge five percent. Read: How to fix Apple Watch running slow

Apple has not acknowledged the issue (the company rarely does) but it’s no doubt aware of it. We can assume that a fix is being worked on. If you’re affected by this issue, there’s nothing you can do aside from waiting for a fix in a future watchOS update. Those who haven’t yet installed watchOS 8.5 might want to hold off until the situation is resolved. Read: 30+ things to do after buying an Apple Watch

The latest Apple Watch Series 7 can fast-charge from zero to eighty percent in about 45 minutes. For context, regular charging on an older model like an Apple Watch SE is much slower. For example, Apple itself states that the Apple Watch SE goes from zero to eighty percent in 1.5 hours.

“Fast charging is only compatible with Apple Watch Series 7,” Apple notes at the bottom of the Apple Watch Series 7 page. “Other models will have regular charge times.” This isn’t the first time Apple Watch owners have encountered this issue—watchOS 8.3 also caused various hiccups when charging the device.

How fast charging on the Apple Watch Series 7 works

When it debuted in September 2021, the Apple Watch Series 7 became the first model in the family to support a fast-change feature. With it, you can charge the Apple Watch battery from zero to eighty percent in about 45 minutes. Apple provides another metric to illustrate the difference in charging speed: Eight minutes will get you eight hours of sleep tracking. Overall, charging your Apple Watch Series 7 should be about 33 percent faster compared with Series 6.

Apple says that the entire charging system has been re-engineered specifically for Series 7 to support the fast-charge function. Apple also provides a fast-charging USB-C cable that has a wireless charging disk on one end to support fast charging. Like all models to date, the Apple Watch Series 7 is rated with an 18-hour battery life.