Apple Watch battery percent showing 100% all the time? Here's the fix!

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

Some Apple Watch owners have experienced an odd battery issue. Unfortunately, it's a problem without a definitive solution, although there are plenty of troubleshooting steps worth trying.

Your Apple Watch's battery suddenly gets stuck at 100% and stays that way until it dies without warning hours later. It's an issue I dealt with earlier in the year with my Apple Watch Series 5. Luckily, it's one that hasn't been repeated thanks to dedicated posters over on the Apple Support forum.

What's the issue?

For most folks, the issue follows a familiar pattern. After appearing stuck at 100% for many hours, the Apple Watch battery eventually shuts down. When being recharged, the watch starts at around 70% (never below this) until it reaches 100%, then the process begins again.

As this 13 page (and counting) online posting shows, this issue doesn't appear isolated to one Apple Watch model or watchOS software version. Weirdly, it's been a lingering issue since at least November 2019, and one Apple has never addressed.

As the first poster on the issue recently noted:

It's both reassuring to keep seeing comments on this issue and disheartening since it means that all the updates since I first wrote about it have had little effect.

If you find yourself with the stuck battery issue on your Apple Watch, follow these troubleshooting steps. Hopefully, one of these will work, although there are no guarantees, unfortunately.

Turn off your phone

Firstly, you should try turning off your phone for about 20 minutes, then turn it back on again. Some users have reported this fix unofficially resets the connection between the iPhone and Apple Watch.

Start at Zero

Some Apple Watch users have found success by allowing the battery to completely drain on the wearable device, then charging it for a few hours. A variance of this calls for a few more steps:

  1. Drain the Apple Watch battery until the screen goes blank.
  2. Hold both side buttons until the display turns on again. Continue to hold until the screen turns off again.
  3. Lay your watch flat on a surface for a few hours.
  4. Recharge Apple Watch until it reaches 99% (or something close to it), but don't let it hit 100%.

If these steps are successful, your Apple Watch battery level should begin dropping like normal after a few minutes of use.

Charge, then turn off

Another solution some have found successful is to recharge the Apple Watch for a few hours, making sure it reaches 100%. From there, turn off the Apple Watch manually for about 20 minutes before rebooting.

Turn off the watch regularly

You should never have to shut down your Apple Watch. And yet, some claim doing so every few days puts an end to the pesky 100% battery issue. After shutting down your Apple Watch, let it sit for a few minutes undisturbed, then have it restart on the charger before wearing again.

Unpair and Update

You could also consider unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone, then repairing it again. This probably won't resolve your issue, but it's worth trying regardless.

You should also make sure you're using the latest versions of iOS and watchOS on your iPhone and Apple Watch, respectively. Again, this issue probably won't get resolved solely by doing updates. However, it's a best practice, regardless.

Contact Apple Support

There are troubleshooting steps Apple can perform remotely on your iPhone and Apple Watch. When I was having my Apple Watch battery issue, this was one of the first steps I took. Unfortunately, forum posts suggest this could be a waste of time.

Typically under this scenario, Apple can't find a problem remotely, then suggests sending the watch to the company for further testing. A week later, your watch returns untouched as Apple says it has found no problems, even though this is incorrect.

A better solution here is to make an appointment with Apple (or a third-party service provider) and make your case in person. In the time of COVID, unfortunately, a one-to-one meeting isn't always possible.

What worked for me

I spent hours in the Apple Support forums looking for a fool-proof solution to the 100% Apple Watch battery issue. I tried most of the troubleshooting steps above with minimal success. In the end, letting the Apple Watch battery drain completely, then keeping the wearable device untouched for a while before recharging did the trick. Since June, my watch has worked as intended with no further problems. However, I understand that my solution might not work for everyone.

If you're experiencing similar battery issues on your Apple Watch, I strongly recommend following the steps above and also visiting one or more of the many discussion groups where this is being discussed online, including:


Have you had this type of problem on your Apple Watch? What solution worked for you? Let us know below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.