How You Can Fix The Green And Red Snakes Of Death On An Apple Watch

There are a few symbols on Apple devices that some people will refer to as symbols of ‘death’ meaning the device has either frozen completely or even worse, needs an entire factory reset, which can sometimes be the case with the dreaded spinning Mac beachball.

Luckily the green and red ‘snakes’ on the Apple Watch are not this severe and will not mean that you need to replace the watch entirely because it has become dysfunctional.

Green & Red Snake Of Death On Apple Watches (Solved)

It does, however only appear when you charge the watch and means that something has gone wrong or isn’t working as it should during the charging process, so it can be extremely worthwhile for every Apple watch user to know about these symbols along with how to resolve them when they inevitably appear.

Here is what the green and red snakes mean for Apple Watches and how you can get rid of them quickly.

What Do The Red And Green Snakes Mean?

Not only can both of these symbols appear while the watch is in the middle of charging on its port, but they can also show up after you try and turn the watch on after a few hours of charging, or even when you try to power it up without having charged it all.

They are both the same shape in a ‘snake’ like formation zig zagging to the top left corner of the watches interface, the only difference being if the top corner is a green or red symbol.

If you see a green symbol at the top of the cable shape, this means the Apple Watch is charging but doesn’t actually have enough power, however the phone can also become stuck on this symbol even after you have charged the watch for hours.

The red snake in contrast means that rather than not being charged enough, there is no charge in the watch at all.

Usually the quick fix is to charge the watch and the symbol should turn green, however if there is a problem with the charging cable or port then it can often stay red.

How Do I Know When My Apple Watch Is Charging Properly?

The green snake symbol will appear on your watch to let you know it is charging.

The problem comes if the snake is still there after at most 3 hours of charging since by this point the watch should turn on after being completely charged.

If you notice the green snake won’t disappear or the red snake is not going away either, then it can be time to troubleshoot.

Solution Methods

Sometimes fixing the problem is not as easy as just putting the watch on charge since the symbols can sometimes stay on the screen regardless.

Green & Red Snake Of Death On Apple Watches

If you find this happening to your watch there is no need to worry, here are some of the most efficient and popular methods of troubleshooting both snakes of death.

Deplete Battery Completely

One of the most popular solutions is leaving the watch active and on until it completely dies where when you press the side button, there will simply just be a black screen and no snakes.

To completely drain the watch like this it can take a day or two, however after this time when you feel ready to try the watch again, place it back on the charging port and let it charge for about 2.5 hours.

By letting the battery die completely it recalibrates the charging procedure so the entire watch is essentially reset and is a reliable solution if you have the time with multiple users reporting that it had worked for them.

Complete System Reset

Another resetting solution but one that is a bit easier and takes much less time, while the watch is on the charging port, press and hold down the side button and the digital crown for about 10 seconds until the watch restarts and the Apple logo appears on the screen.

This hard reset will fix the issue if it is because of a built in system malfunction and so is a good solution if you find that the issue is a lot harder to remove than just simply charging the watch up.

Replace The Battery

If you find that the red snake is permanently staying on the screen and is not budging even if you’re charging on the port, the issue can be that the battery is dead completely.

In which case, you will need to replace the battery to be able to charge your watch again.

This is a very difficult task to do on your own and can put the screen at a big risk of getting scratched and damaged, however if your watch is covered by AppleCare+ then it can be replaced at no extra cost, or alternatively you can simply contact Apple Support.

Replace The Charger

Another replacement solution which is a lot easier to do than replacing the battery, this can be a common reason for a watch failing to charge as it should.

Luckily standard charging ports are very accessible and you can even opt for a wireless charging port if you don’t want to trust the wires again, however another option is to try using the Apple Watch proprietary charger instead if you have not tried it already.

Because it is specifically designed for Apple products including the watch and is not a third party device which could be less compatible, this charger will make sure the watch is getting its required configurations of power to be able to function properly.

Some users report that while their watch normally sticks on the green snake for too long while charging, the snake quickly disappears as soon as they switch to the proprietary charger.


Both the green and red snakes of death are very common symbols for an Apple Watch and are not a cause for major panic.

Try out a mixture of these troubleshooting methods until the snakes are gone from your screen completely and the Apple Watch is good to go once again.

Garrett Jones

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