Google Pixel Watch not charging or charging slowly? Check out these tips

Pixel Watch charging

Google’s first edition of the Pixel Watch has numerous cool features that users have come to love and appreciate.

Recent software updates on the watch have also increased the battery availability. That said, some users have found that their Pixel Watch stops charging or charges very slowly.

This short article aims to provide you with some helpful tips and tricks to solve this annoying issue.

Related reading:

About the Pixel Watch’s battery and fast charging 

Before we can delve into some of the troubleshooting tips or tricks, it’s important to address the questions about the Pixel Watch ‘charging slowly.’

The Google Pixel Watch has a 294mAH lithium battery that provides a 24-hour charge lifespan.

Most users using the Pixel Watch without using Battery Saver or any modifications or tweaks to how apps use the battery can manage about 18 to 20 hours on a full charge. That includes using features like sleep and heart rate tracking and GPS for workouts.

What are the expected charging times for the Pixel Watch? Google Pixel Watch sitting on its charger

Before you explore the issues around slow charging, it’s essential to understand the Google Pixel Watch parameters around charge time. A new Pixel Watch should meet the following standards:

  • It takes about 30 minutes to 50%
  • About 55 minutes to 80%
  • About 80 minutes to 100%

The above charging parameters were observed using the Google-supplied in-box charger with the 18W USB-C adapter plugged into a wall socket.

We found that our Pixel Watch charges pretty fast using a USB-C adapter to a wall outlet. Charging was much slower when we used a USB-A adapter to a wall outlet.

Charging speed also depends upon the battery age of the device. Since all Pixel watches are relatively new, battery age may not be an important variable. However, as time goes by, your Pixel Watch’s battery health and capacity diminish and can eventually result in slow charging.

The other variable that impacts charging speed is the ambient temperature, and since most of us are charging our devices at home in ambient temperatures, this can be overlooked.

In a recent survey of about 250 Pixel watch owners, most of them said that their Pixel Watch can charge to 100% in about 45 minutes to an hour. This is much faster than Google’s stated charging times.

Google Pixel Watch Charging times as reported by users

About wireless charging and the Google Pixel Watch

Some smartwatch users prefer to use wireless charging for ease. Regarding the Google Pixel watch, the company does not offer a separate wireless charger for the Pixel watch as of writing. The only charging mechanism is driven by the magnetic charging cable that comes with your watch. 

Google’s 5W Magnetic charging cable has a year warranty and retails for about thirty dollars. You may want to buy another charger if you are splitting time between two locations for your work or home. 

Although Google’s documentation clearly states that the watch does not support Qi charging, many users have tried out charging the watch using a Qi charger.

Numerous Reddit and Twitter reports show people using the Pixel watch with a Qi-based wireless charger. We have tried charging it with third-party chargers, including Belkin’s charger, but the charging turns off in less than a minute.

Third-party Pixel watch chargers are not worth it.Charging symbol on Charging Google Pixel watch

Numerous third-party brands offer magnetic charging cables on Amazon and elsewhere for the Pixel Watch. However, it’s important to remember that when you buy a third-party charger, you may experience issues with it.

One common complaint about third-party chargers and Google Pixel Watch is that the Watch gets hot when using some third-party chargers. As your watch heats up, charging slows, and the watch might even stop charging to avoid overheating.

Google says you should use a PD Complaint brick to charge the Pixel watch. PD stands for power delivery and allows your watch to take on more power in less time, which translates to superfast charging.

However, some users who tried to use products like Belkin’s 60W USB-C PD Brick find that it sometimes takes two hours to charge the watch completely. 

If you must use a third-party charger, we recommend using a Moto 360-type charger, as users are having a decent experience with it. You should be able to use your old Moto 360 charger if you still have it!

You can also try the Samsung Galaxy Watch chargers if you were a Galaxy Watch user before owning the Pixel watch. Our Galaxy Watch 4 and Active 2 chargers work fine with the Google Pixel Watch.

How to fix a slow-charging Pixel Watch

First, we recommend restarting the watch and placing it on the charger. See if it charges normally.

Some users also notice that if they switch off their Google pixel watch and then turn it on before charging, it charges better.

Restarting particularly works when your watch starts charging slowly after an update.

  • To restart, press and hold the crown for 3 seconds and tap Restart. You can also go to Settings app > System > Restart.restart Google Pixel Watch

If you can’t restart your watch, try a forced restart. See this article for directions on how to force restart your Pixel Watch.

Now if your Pixel Watch continues to charge slowly after restarting it (or forcing a restart,) try cleaning your watch’s charging sensor and the magnetic charging cable’s pad. 

Clean the charging sensors on the back of the watch and its charger Pixel watch clean back sensors

Okay, it might seem obvious, but if the back of your watch is dirty or greasy, it will have more trouble charging. The same goes for your charger–if its pad is grimy, it won’t charge well because the connection is partially obstructed.

Although the Google Pixel watch has dust-resistant properties, the charging sensors on the back of a smartwatch tend to get dirty with repeated use and over time.

So give it a quick clean with a microfiber cloth. If anything is stuck and won’t come off with a dry cloth, you can also apply a few drops of isopropyl alcohol to the cloth (not directly on the device) and then clean the back of your watch and the charger’s pad.

Watch out for low-power ports

Charging your watch using a port on your computer (or another device) instead of a wall outlet might not put out enough power for fast charging.

The ports on your keyboard are notoriously low, so stay away from charging your Pixel Watch using those ports. 

We always recommend you charge your Pixel using a wall outlet (or a power strip that connects directly to a wall outlet) for the fastest charging experience.

Reset the Google Pixel Watch Google pixel watch disconnect and reset

Now if your Pixel Watch continues to charge slowly after restarting it (or forcing a restart) and the other tips, try resetting your watch back to its factory settings. 

Unfortunately, when you reset your watch, all its apps, custom settings, and personal data on your watch are erased, and it’s unpaired from your phone. It’s like starting with a fresh, new watch. 

Unlike other wearable brands, such as Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch, Google does not offer a way to back up your watch. So when you reset it, you cannot restore your watch’s data. So you’ll need to set it up again.

  1. On Google Pixel Watch, swipe down and tap Settings > System. Scroll down and tap Disconnect & reset and choose Ok icon (checkmark.
  2. On your phone, open the Google Pixel Watch app. Tap System > Reset and unpair the watch. Google Pixel Watch app confirm reset watch

Once the Pixel Watch has been reset, try charging it using the Google-supplied magnetic cable and check if the issue is resolved.

What to do if your Pixel Watch stops charging before reaching 100% Google Pixel Watch not charging more than 80 percent

While charging the Pixel watch, some users report that the charging stops after a certain percentage threshold. So, your pixel watch would charge up to 80-85% and then stop charging on the charger. If you are seeing this issue:

  1. Just remove the watch from the magnetic puck for a minute and then put it back into charge. This helps with the issue as the watch resumes charging to the full capacity
  2. Another trick that works for many users is to disable the always-on-mode while charging the watch.
  3. Disable the Battery defender on the watch by picking up the Google Pixel Watch from its charger, waiting a few seconds, and then putting it back on it.

According to Google, “If your Google Pixel Watch stays plugged into its charger for 4 days or longer, Battery Defender will pause charging to protect the battery. If your Google Pixel Watch remains at 80% or less, you may have Battery Defender on.”

Beyond these, most slow charging issues can be resolved with a quick reset of the Google Pixel watch. If you notice that your Pixel watch is charging slowly or not properly charging, 

Is your Google Pixel Watch not charging? Check these tips

Four key areas influence the charging abilities of your Pixel Watch.

  1. Software updates on the watch.
  2. Magnetic charging cable and puck.
  3. Charging sensors on the back of the Pixel watch.
  4. Charging port power.

Software Updates and Watch Reset installing software update on Google Pixel watch

If your Pixel watch is not charging and you have some power left on the device, you may want to update the software on the watch to the latest version and see if it fixes your issue.

Make sure that you are using the latest software update. You can check for any updates to the software version on your Pixel watch by swiping down to access Settings > System updates. system updates on Google Pixel Watch

To find which software version your watch uses, tap on System > About > Versions > Build number, which shows you the details, including the software version installed on your Google Pixel Watch. 

Charging cable and PD Brick

When it comes to charging the Pixel watch, make sure you are using the Google-supplied magnetic charger instead of a third-party charger and see if that solves your problem. Swap out the cable with another cable and see if your watch charges up.

One way to isolate the issue will be to use the PD brick with your phone. If it charges your phone, you know that the PD brick is working, and the issue may be with the cable or something else entirely.

A hard reboot does wonders for most Pixel Watch charging issues

If you have already explored all the above areas that may be responsible for your Pixel Watch not getting charged, your best bet is to do a hard reboot of the watch before you reach out to Google customer service. 

The watch and the associated charger come with a warranty from Google, which means you may get a replacement product from Google if the charging problem continues to linger.

Hold the crown and button just above the crown together to perform a hard reboot of the Pixel Watch until the watch reboots.

Sometimes when you press and hold both the buttons on the watch, it can take 15 – 20 seconds (an unusually long time) until you see the “G” boot screen. Google Pixel Watch white G icon

Once the reboot is complete, try charging your Pixel Watch. Many users have found that a hard reboot on the Pixel Watch often solves charging-related issues.

Sometimes you have to leave the watch on the charger for an extended period (overnight) and see if it works.

We have noticed that sometimes when you place the watch on the charger, you may see that charging sign for a few seconds, followed by a non-responsive dark screen. Keep it charging and see if it springs back to life on the charger after a few hours.

Final thoughts

Many users have experienced this erratic behavior of the Pixel Watch. Watch was charging, but it didn’t show the charging icon, and the battery life wasn’t changing. A hard reset by holding the buttons for 20 seconds or so fixed the issue.

We hope that we were able to provide you with some actionable insights about this charging issue on the Google Pixel watch.

Please let us know if you have a question or would like to share a tip or two that helped you fix the charging issues on your Pixel Watch.

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I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.

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