Modern technology makes it great to always have our devices with us, but limited battery life means it’s not always possible to have everything available when needed. To make matters worse, we don’t always have our chargers with us when we need them. This is especially problematic for the Apple Watch Ultra since it is still a niche device. So, how can you charge it without a charger?
Apple did not allow much room for charging your Apple Watch Ultra without the correct charger. If you don’t have a charger with you, your best bet is to find another Apple Watch wireless charger. Techniques that worked on older Apple Watch models, like the hidden maintenance port, no longer work.
Apple is a company that’s known for not welcoming tampering and trying to eliminate the use of unauthorized charging methods. This is logical from a safety standpoint since they cannot offer a warranty on the battery if you charge it incorrectly. So, what are your options if you have to charge your Apple Watch Ultra but don’t have your charger? Let’s find out.
Can You Charge An Apple Watch Ultra Without A Charger?
Of course, we all understand that it is currently impossible to charge any battery without some kind of charging device. You need a way to feed the electricity from an outside source into your device’s battery, and the same applies to the Apple Watch Ultra.
However, some people run out of battery power during the day and may not have their chargers with them. For example, perhaps you had a power failure during the night, and your Apple Watch Ultra did not finish charging, but you’re not in the habit of carrying your charger with you to the office.
Previous models of the Apple Watch offered a few alternatives (both official and unofficial ones) to charge your Watch in other ways. Unfortunately, the Apple Watch Ultra provides none of these options.
There are really only three ways to charge your Apple Watch Ultra if you don’t have your charger with you.
Borrow Someone Else’s Apple Watch Charger
The Apple Watch Series 7, 8, and Ultra all ship with the same type of USB-C charging cable. One of these would be ideal for charging your Apple Watch Ultra. An older charging cable with the standard USB cable (that shipped with previous generations of the Apple Watch) will also suffice, but it will charge more slowly. It won’t cause any harm, though, so it will work if you need to charge urgently.
With this in mind, the ideal option would be to find someone with an Apple Watch Ultra or Series 7 or 8 and ask them if you could borrow their charger for an hour or so to get your battery charged up a bit. The Ultra uses the same Magnetic Fast Charger as the Series 7 and 8; you can identify it by its USB-C connector. As the Ultra gains traction, this option should become more readily available.
If you don’t know someone who has an Apple Watch Ultra but someone has another type of Apple Watch (up to series 6), all hope isn’t lost. Many other Apple Watch chargers will also charge the Watch Ultra. These chargers are compatible with the Apple Watch Ultra, but they will not fast charge it.
The MagSafe Duo charger is a charging device with separate charging pads, one to charge your iPhone and the other for an Apple Watch. The charger does not include a power adapter, so you must get that separately.
The same applies to the Magnetic Charging Dock, a device that rests on your desk. You can place your Apple Watch Ultra on the dock to let it charge, but it also sells without a power adapter, so you need to buy an adapter separately or connect it to a USB port on another device, such as a personal computer or laptop.
Note that neither will charge your Apple Watch Ultra as fast as the original charger. However, if you can find someone with one of those chargers, you’re in luck.
The Apple Watch charger has two parts: the power adapter and the charging cable (with the charging puck on one end and a USB or USB-C connector on the other). Apple stopped shipping the power adapter in most countries, starting with the Series 6. But if you don’t have a power adapter, you can use any compatible USB port. Just remember that it might not fast charge.
Use a Third-Party Charger
Apple occasionally certifies specific third-party products, including MFi-certified chargers compatible with the Apple Watch, even the Ultra. Some of these devices even have dual-certification for both MFi and Qi, enabling them to charge a variety of devices such as iPhones, Apple Watches, Android phones, and Android smartwatches.
However, the performance of non-certified third-party chargers can be unpredictable. Purchasing a charger that lacks Apple’s certification can be somewhat risky. As these chargers are not officially approved, they carry potential risks including device damage, personal injury, and in extreme cases, even fire hazards. Therefore, it is advised to exercise caution when considering this option, or ideally, avoid it altogether.
Can’t I Charge My Watch Ultra With USB?
The Apple Watch Ultra does not have a USB port, and connecting it directly to a computer or a wall power socket is impossible.
Many people question Apple’s motives for doing this, some even claiming it’s a bid to sell more chargers. However, when you consider the Apple Watch Ultra’s target market of extreme sports enthusiasts, the Watch Ultra was made with a rugged exterior and high water resistance levels. Having a USB-C or Lightning port on the device could create a potential leak into the watch.
That’s the primary reason why it made sense for Apple to remove the option for USB charging entirely. Having no external connectors helps to keep it even more water-resistant.
What About The Apple Watch’s Hidden Port?
The Apple Watch has been known to feature a hidden port underneath its bottom strap. The purpose of this port was to run diagnostics, but users have also found that there are ways to charge the Apple Watch through this port (and even charge it faster than the standard wireless charging).
However, Apple removed this port from the Watch, starting with the Series 7. The Apple Watch Ultra no longer offers this option. Apple claims to have removed the port for safety reasons. Users who don’t know what they’re doing could easily damage their watch by tampering with the six pins incorrectly. It also offered a (slight) fire hazard.
However, it makes even more sense in the Apple Watch Ultra since it could also potentially lower the device’s water-resistance rating, just like a USB port.
Can’t I Charge The Watch Ultra From My iPhone?
There has been speculation about the possibility of charging the Apple Watch Ultra directly from iPhones. Although this concept might seem plausible considering that many devices, including certain iPhone models, support MagSafe and the Qi standard, it’s crucial to note that the Apple Watch Ultra does not support these technologies yet. Consequently, despite the fact that other manufacturers have implemented similar features, Apple currently does not support this method of charging for the Apple Watch Ultra.
Samsung’s PowerShare feature lets you charge your smartwatch, wireless earphones, or other compatible devices directly from a supported Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
However, Apple has not yet added this functionality to its devices. Perhaps it will come in the future if the technology proves reliable and efficient enough, but at this point, it’s simply impossible.
Another problem with this idea is that the Apple Watch Ultra has a very powerful battery, so it needs quite a powerful charger to charge effectively. It’s possible that a smartphone’s battery would not be able to provide adequate power throughput to charge it.
The Best Solution: Be Prepared
With so few options available, the best (and most reliable) solution is to be prepared for any eventuality where you may have to charge your Apple Watch Ultra. You can do this in a few easy ways:
- Carry your Apple Watch Ultra’s charger with you. Keep it in a backpack, briefcase, or anything you often carry with you, and ensure that you pack it up every time you leave. Some may find this frustrating at first, but it will soon become a habit, and that way, you will have it with you whenever you have to charge your Apple Watch Ultra.
- Buy a spare charger. If you know there’s a chance you will forget to take your charger with you, it’s a good idea to buy an additional charger you can carry with you or leave at the office, for example.
- Carry a power bank with you. Having a charger won’t be of any help if you don’t have a way to power it to charge your Apple Watch Ultra. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a power bank with a USB-C port to plug your Watch Ultra’s charger into. It might not charge your watch as quickly as AC power, but it will give you some power in an emergency.
Apple removed all alternative charging options from the Apple Watch Ultra in an attempt to make it safer and more resistant to moisture and dust. Unfortunately, that limits you to either being prepared and having a backup charger available or trying to find someone who might have a compatible charger that you can use. Of the two, being prepared is definitely the better option.