Green & Red Snake of Death in Apple Watches – Explained and Fixed

Apple Watch displays the Red or Green snakes as part of a charger animation to communicate that the charging mechanism isn’t working as expected and the battery is fully drained. This scenario usually occurs if the Apple watch is discharged for a long time and you are trying to get it back on again.

Users will usually see this snake when:

  • The watch was just bought from an Apple store. It is possible that the watch was sitting on the shelf for too long which caused all of its charge to drain.
  • You haven’t used your watch in a while and its reserve charge is also drained.
  • The battery of the watch is worn out and needs replacement. This scenario occurs very rarely.

Red Charging Snake

The Red charging indication (or Red snake of death) gets displayed when there is no charge left on your Apple watch. It prompts the user to plug the watch back into the charger.

Red Charging indication (or Red snake of Death)

This indication also occurs when you are already encountering the green charging indication and you take out your charger. Simply put, this image prompts the user to put the watch back on charge and displays that the watch is not getting charged.

If you have your watch plugged in, make sure all the connectors and wires are connected.

Green Charging Snake

The Green charging indication (or the Green snake of death) means that the Apple Watch is charging but there isn’t enough charge for it to turn on.

Many users keep facing this screen even when they have charged their watch for more than 24 hours. The charging capacity of the watch doesn’t increase and stays on this green charging screen.

The ‘green screen of death’ got its name from its behavior; once this screen occurs, it doesn’t go away. In this article, we will go through all the different ways through which you can remedy this issue on your own.

How to Fix this Issue

We are going to start with the most effective solutions first and work our way down accordingly.

Using an Apple Outlet Charger

The easiest workaround that works in the majority of cases is to make use of an Apple outlet charger instead of plugging in the Watch USB to your computer or a USB extension wire. If we use the Apple outlet charger, we are making sure the watch is getting the correct amount of electricity to charge.

Using Apple outlet charger
Using an Apple outlet charger

This isn’t the case with other “USB outlets”. They usually provide low power which isn’t enough to charge the watch completely or make it come out of the loop. This is why it keeps going on in a loop.

It might work if your watch is already charged but you will face the green snake of death if you are trying to revive a completely dead watch.

Make sure that you keep your watch plugged into an outlet charger for at least 6 hours.

Change the Charging Wire of the Apple Watch

Another thing that we can try before moving on to more tedious solutions is to change the charging wire of your Apple watch. There are numerous cases where the magnetic wireless charging mechanism of the wire doesn’t work as expected which in turn doesn’t charge the watch.

Using new Apple watch charging wire
Using the new Apple watch charging wire

A faulty charger can keep charging the watch but in reality, it wouldn’t be charging the battery. Try charging your watch with a wall-outlet charger with a new charging wire. See if this fixes the problem.

Again, make sure that you charge your watch for at least 6 hours. 

Completely Discharging your Apple Watch

Another workaround that we can try is completely discharging the watch. Once the watch is discharged, you can plug it back into an outlet charger and wait for it to charge completely. By discharging, we are making sure that the watch completely resets its charging mechanism.

If the previous solutions don’t work, it probably means that the battery is in an error state. The easiest way to discharge your Apple Watch is to leave it without a charger. Every now and then, click the button to see if the indication is still there. You would know that the battery is completely discharged when the indication vanishes and nothing is displayed on the screen.

Do note that this can take more than a week if your Apple Watch has juice in it but is displaying the error message because of internal errors.

After the watch is discharged, plug it back into an outlet charger and wait for it to come to life.

Hard-Resetting the Watch

Another thing to try is to hard reset your Apple watch. By hard resetting, the watch is forced to restart all of its components and then reboot properly. You can do this while the watch is connected to a wall outlet charger.

  1. Press and hold the Crown and the Power button on the Apple watch for at least 10 seconds.

    Apple Watch Restarting
    Apple Watch Restarting
  2. Then release both buttons and wait for the screen to go black before it turns back on.

Keep plugging the watch into a charger and see if this does the trick for you.

Contacting Apple Support

If none of the methods work, it probably means that the battery of your Apple Watch is dead or damaged. We tried all possible workarounds which should bring the battery back to life.

This scenario is common even in new models of the Apple watch including Series 6 & 7. If you have Apple Care active, your device will be taken care of. Otherwise, if it is a manufacturing fault, you might be eligible for a replacement as well.

Contact Apple Support and be prepared to provide additional information including your Apple ID on which the watch was logged on to. Here is an article from Apple Support that further demonstrates this problem.

Shaheer Asif

Shaheer is the lead troubleshooter at Computer Verge. He has over 7 years of IT experience. He has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and has completed various IT programming and support certifications.
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