In order to explore the influence of the electromagnetic force (EMF) on the coupling mechanism in a high-power wireless power transfer (WPT) system, the characteristics of the EMF are investigated by theoretical calculation and simulation. The expressions of the EMF on the WPT structure with magnetic shielding are derived in time domain and frequency domain, respectively. The EMF is divided into Lorentz force and Kelvin force. The distribution and changing regularity of the EMF on the coil and the magnetic shield under different exciting currents are solved by the finite element model, and the harmonic of the EMF is analyzed in detail. The results show that the coil is subjected to the EMF in both radial and axial directions. The EMF on the magnetic shield is opposite to the EMF on the coil, and the force between the transmitting coil and the receiving coil is repulsive. The frequency of the EMF is twice that of the system resonant frequency. An experimental prototype is built to prove the correctness of the predicted characteristics. It is shown that the EMF should be carefully considered in the application of high-power WPT systems.