My Apple Watch Stuck on Red Lightning Bolt and I Can’t Reset It

A question from Mary: My Apple Watch is stuck here. It only shows a red lighting bolt with time next to it, and I can’t reset it. The watch was on the charger all night long.

When your Apple Watch is displaying a red lighting bolt

The red lightning bolt on your Apple Watch is an indication to charge the device.

There are two different reasons why your Apple Watch may be showing a red lightning bolt on screen.

  • Your watch has gone into Power Reserve mode.
  • Your Apple Watch has little to no battery left.

Charge your Apple Watch

If you find that your Apple Watch is only showing a lighting bolt in red with no signs of the time, you will need to charge your device.

To charge your Apple Watch, follow the steps below:

  1. Plug your Apple Magnetic Charging Cable, Case, or Dock into its USB power adapter.
  2. Plug the adapter into a power outlet, or if easier, you can use a USB port.
  3. Now you need to place the charger to the back of the Apple Watch. The magnets on the charger will align with the Apple Watch. A charging symbol will appear on the face of the Watch. 
  4. Finally, your Watch will start charging.

This can take some time. Once your Apple Watch is fully charged, you should notice that the red lightning bolt is no longer there.

Disable Power Reserve Mode

Apple Watch has a feature called Power Reserve mode that allows users to tell time while disabling other features. The purpose of this is to save battery life. The downside to Power Reserve is that your Apple Watch and iPhone will not be able to communicate. As a result, it temporarily impairs all the features on your Apple Watch.

Why put your Apple Watch into Power Reserve mode?

When the watch’s battery is at 10% or less, an alert will be sent asking if you wish to use the Power Reserve mode. Once the watch gets too low, it will go into Power Reserve mode. This will trigger the red lighting bolt to appear on your Apple Watch.

How to turn off Power Reserve mode

  1. Press and hold the side button, if you keep holding you will see the Apple Logo.
  2. Wait for your Apple Watch to restart.

To sum it all up, the red lightning bolt icon on your Apple Watch isn’t a serious issue, in fact, it’s not an issue at all. You just need to charge your device or get out of Power Reserve mode.

Apple Watch showing a green lighting bolt

Amiyah Kennett asked a question

Anyone have issues with the series 5 charging? It’s completely dead (obviously) at this point, when I put it on the charger it’ll recognize its on there but it wont gain any battery percentage. Eta picture of screen its stuck on. I did the force restart, I cant update it because it isn’t on, I’ve gotten a new charger for it.

That happened to me. I purchased a new charger. Thinking it was that. Looked at my charger. It wasn’t plugged in all the way.

Kayla Eggers

That means the battery too flat to do anything. Check the charger itself.. Use the original one or take that one out the case. Try rebooting by holding the crown and the dock button together. If that doesn’t work I think your battery may need replacing.

Bradley Field

I’ve had same problem put it on charge overnight … realized I hadn’t put cable in phone correctly easily done connection temperamental

Simon Parkin

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      • My red lightning bolt and time would show when pressing side button, but no charging would occur on charger. Would stay red. Finally, I thought “maybe my charger doesn’t work.” So I used a new one and boom, immediately back to working, turned green and charged. Your charger is probably broken! Trust me! Good luck!

  1. I have had my watch for a couple months and today when I went to put it on the charger I got the red lightning bolt and green time. I put the watch on the charger and tried looking up the issue. As I had no results with charging,I have reset the watch. The phone indicated that the watch isn’t connected to it and the watch has been charging for several hours.

  2. My apple watch is showing a red apple, it also blinking off and on. It will not charge also. I went on the apple website and their instructions didn’t help either.

  3. My apple watch shows time and red lightning bolt tried to reset it but it won’t respond what seems to be the issue I even tried to swipe up on the Apple watch but it will not even let me swipe so I can open up the control.

  4. Make sure you are charging your watch, if it’s charging it will have a green lighting bolt. It will restart after it’s fully charged.

  5. I had the same issue with red lightening bolt and time. Had it on charge and still no go. Then realised as so many on here said, the charger was not fully in. Lightening bolt went green and watch restarted after a few minutes


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