How to make your Apple Watch battery last longer

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in Apple Watch
For some heavy Apple Watch users constantly checking their wrists, Apple's wearable device may not quite provide the 18-hour battery life the company advertises. For Apple Watch addicts, AppleInsider offers a handful of simple things you can do to squeeze some extra time out of your battery.


Disable Wrist Raise

If you live a particularly active lifestyle or tend to talk with your hands, there's a good chance the Wrist Raise feature -- which illuminates the screen when it thinks you've moved the watch to view the time -- is falsely activating. This takes a significant toll on battery life as it's constantly subtracting from the "90 time checks" Apple insists you can get out a full charge.

To prevent this from happening, we recommend disabling the functionality by heading into Settings on your Apple Watch application for iPhone, followed by General. Now click Wake Screen, then flick the switch next to Activate on Wrist Raise to Off.

Once complete, you'll need to tap the display (or press the power button) whenever you want to view the time.

Ensure your Apple Watch is running the latest software

This may seem like a given, but upgrading to the latest software is something many users fail to do. Apple has an extensive history of tweaking algorithms to increase battery life and bundling them into downloadable firmware releases. To make sure you're getting the maximum amount of hours from your device by default, be sure to upgrade to the most recent build.

Want to find out if your Apple Watch is running the latest firmware? All you have to do is navigate into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, press My Watch, select General, then hit Software Update. If a new software version is available, you will be prompted to download and install it.

Your Apple Watch battery must have at least 50 percent capacity, and it must be connected to a charger, for the update to install.


Pick a minimal watch face

Using a minimal watch face has been proven to reduce battery consumption, so it would probably be a good idea to ditch the animated butterflies, in favor of something a lot more simple. When selecting a new face, your main priority should be finding one that has as much black space on the screen as possible.

Turn on Power Saving Mode while working out

While engaging in continuous physical activity -- like a workout -- the Apple Watch continuously monitors your heart rate to provide an accurate live reading of how many calories you've burnt. What most people are unaware of, though, is that using the sensor actually puts an immense strain on the device's battery.

Thankfully, Apple has built a Power Saving Mode into the Apple Watch, which disables the heart rate monitor and adjusts the refresh rate for a slew of other sensors, so that power-conscious users can preserve battery life.

To activate it, open up the Apple Watch application on your iPhone, select My Watch, tap General and turn on Workout Power Saving Mode.

Reconsider Mail notifications

The average consumer receives more emails per day than any other message (Slack and other work-related communication platforms are an exception), and repeatedly pushing those notifications to a watch consumes a lot of power -- so ask yourself, "Do I pay much attention to mail that arrives on my wrist?" If your answer is no, disable it right away.

If you'd like to turn off alerts, open the Apple Watch application on your iPhone, click My Watch, locate and select Notifications and press Mail.

Now you're going to need to tap Custom and slide the toggle next to Show Alerts from On to Off.

Using this menu, you also have the facility to deactivate notifications for individual inboxes and keep them on for VIPs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    hodarhodar Posts: 188member
    Kudo's on the 2nd Gen Watch. I use every complication I can fit on the watch, I use it to work out (and let's face it .... I can stand to do this), I use my Apple Watch with everything listed above enabled, and still find myself using the timer function, the elliptical bike function, walking, maps and more - ... and generally when I got to bed - I'm still sitting with at least 70% charge remaining. . Maybe I got an exceptionally efficient watch, but I am impressed. I have not yet tried going 2 days, but there is every reason to believe I could.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,412member
    I must be using mine very little because I get 2 - 3 days out of mine :smile: Its the truth, but I have to admit I am not a typical user. I always have my iPhone with me and prefer that for almost everything. I use reading glasses and whenever those are on my nose I have the phone with me. When I am out and don't wear glasses I struggle to read much beyond the time on my phone. When I get a notification on my wrist, I check my phone...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    levilevi Posts: 300member
    paxman said:
    I must be using mine very little because I get 2 - 3 days out of mine :smile: Its the truth, but I have to admit I am not a typical user. I always have my iPhone with me and prefer that for almost everything. I use reading glasses and whenever those are on my nose I have the phone with me. When I am out and don't wear glasses I struggle to read much beyond the time on my phone. When I get a notification on my wrist, I check my phone...

    You're not alone. I usually charge daily, but have gone working days (with one night of sleep) wearing the Watch with battery to spare. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,843member
    I was expecting to see ways in which you can save a lot of battery when you're in certain locations, like in a movie theater or on a plane, which having to turn it off completely, since it's so slow to restart.
    edited February 22
  • Reply 5 of 22
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,006member
    If your Apple Watch is working fine, DO NOT upgrade the software.  I did that with 3.0.0 and had a piece of crap on my wrist for 3 months.
    It was working great and did everything I needed.  I updated because that was the thing to do.

    Boy, Jesus, was that a mistake!  It tuned into the worst piece of crap I could have imagined.  It wasn't until the ill-fated 3.1.1 update that usability was finally returned.  (It may have bricked Series 2 watches, but not my Series 0.  It saved it.)

    I'm NEVER upgrading my watch again!  I don't care what features they add.  I didn't care much for the new features of 3.0.0 except the speed and IT WASN'T even faster!  

    At least I can back up my Mac and restore it if something goes wrong.  I could do nothing with my watch.  I was one week from going back to Apple to ask for my money back under an extended warranty, but 3.1.1 saved me.    Lesson learned.  No more updates for the watch.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,190member
    hodar said:
    Kudo's on the 2nd Gen Watch. I use every complication I can fit on the watch, I use it to work out (and let's face it .... I can stand to do this), I use my Apple Watch with everything listed above enabled, and still find myself using the timer function, the elliptical bike function, walking, maps and more - ... and generally when I got to bed - I'm still sitting with at least 70% charge remaining. . Maybe I got an exceptionally efficient watch, but I am impressed. I have not yet tried going 2 days, but there is every reason to believe I could.
    I don't own one but my wife has had the version 2 since Christmas and like you she uses it from when she gets up till she goes to bed everyday and it's never run out of juice yet not even close.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,174member
    Series 2 has major trouble running down the battery in a day.
    bestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Boy howdy, usually these tips features offer several really good ideas that I hadn't thought of. 

    This one, however, not so much, save maybe for the last one. It's not a bad idea, but I'd already figured that one out. I limit email notifications on the watch to the few people on my "vip" sender list. No need for a ping from every spammer out there.

    Otherwise, these tips seem to say, the best way to extend battery life of your Apple watch is to not use any of the features on your Apple watch! I suppose that'll work, but what's the point? 

    One tip it left out was this: As with any computer that's acting funny, a shut down and re-start (e.g., rebooting the computer) can often cure what ails you. I wear my first generation watch most every day, and only on very infrequent occasions have I not come to the end of the day with plenty of battery life left. In those cases, rebooting seemed to do the trick. That, or the faster burn-rate was a fluke and re-booting made no difference one way or the other.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 9 of 22
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,006member
    AppleZulu said:
    ...
    Otherwise, these tips seem to say, the best way to extend battery life of your Apple watch is to not use any of the features on your Apple watch! I suppose that'll work, but what's the point? 
    ...
    Optimize your usage to optimize your battery life would be a better way of putting it.  Do not use it for what you do not need, but only what you do need.

    But otherwise, that is what they are saying: use it less
  • Reply 10 of 22
    eriamjh said:
    AppleZulu said:
    ...
    Otherwise, these tips seem to say, the best way to extend battery life of your Apple watch is to not use any of the features on your Apple watch! I suppose that'll work, but what's the point? 
    ...
    Optimize your usage to optimize your battery life would be a better way of putting it.  Do not use it for what you do not need, but only what you do need.

    But otherwise, that is what they are saying: use it less
    I agree with Zulu.  Turning off the heart rate sensor when it's most useful (when working out) and picking a watch face with a lot of black to save power are "tips" that we would ridicule if it were referring to a Samsung device, so they deserve ridicule here.  If your watch is running out of power, either you got a lemon or your behavior is pretty unusual.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22

    eriamjh said:
    If your Apple Watch is working fine, DO NOT upgrade the software.  I did that with 3.0.0 and had a piece of crap on my wrist for 3 months.
    It was working great and did everything I needed.  I updated because that was the thing to do.

    Boy, Jesus, was that a mistake!  It tuned into the worst piece of crap I could have imagined.  It wasn't until the ill-fated 3.1.1 update that usability was finally returned.  (It may have bricked Series 2 watches, but not my Series 0.  It saved it.)

    I'm NEVER upgrading my watch again!  I don't care what features they add.  I didn't care much for the new features of 3.0.0 except the speed and IT WASN'T even faster!  

    At least I can back up my Mac and restore it if something goes wrong.  I could do nothing with my watch.  I was one week from going back to Apple to ask for my money back under an extended warranty, but 3.1.1 saved me.    Lesson learned.  No more updates for the watch.
    Care to explain what about 3.0.0 turned your watch to crap?  Performance? Battery life? Just didn't like the changes?
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    My series 2 goes about 36 hours. 

    My iphone 6S Plus seems to die now. I assume it's because I check my watch more often than I used to check my phone,  and that uses the phone power??
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Is not there Siri command to turn Low Power Mode on for Watch? There is one for iPhone. I do not have Watch to try.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    The battery life of my first gen 42mm was great until the latest update. Even 3.0 was fine for me. A typical day of use, and I'd still have around 50% left. Now, it barely has 30-35% left at the end of the average day (I've had several unusually long days result in less than 10% left), and there has been no change in my activities or use. My husband said he's noticed the same thing with his. 

    Another issue since the last update is the activity monitor. Holy balls did my activity increase dramatically, just by updating my watch! At the rate my calories are burning now, I should be slim and trim just in time for the beach this summer! s/  My husband noticed that, too. Seriously, Apple needs to fix whatever got messed up in the last update. sitting at my desk for over an hour and a half this morning has already consumed 5%, and I haven't done too much yet this morning. My watch says I already burned 32 calories and have stood for 2 hours... all while sitting at my desk. Since 5:30 AM, I've been upstairs once, and made 2 trips to the coffee maker about 15 feet away. I'm suspecting that to be the culprit for my battery drain. I'm going to turn off activity tracking to see if my battery life improves. Oh, wait... you can't. The only option is to turn off notifications for it. 
  • Reply 15 of 22
    I broke down and bought a Series 2 last week (gave my wife my original). I track my sleep with HeartWatch and AutoSleep (not invested in them, but well worth the $3 each), so have been in the habit of charging mornings or evenings. Depending on how sedentary I have been in the past (software engineer - so not much exercise on the job), my original has lasted up to 36 hours.

    I'd noticed that my S2 was not draining as fast, so I started a test yesterday. I ran to a 100% charge yesterday morning a little after 9am. It's now 8:15am - 23 hours later. Charge level is 67%. At this point, I feel comfortable going 2 full days minimum between charges. I'll take in my charge cable tomorrow and let y'all know when it hits the power reserve popup.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    My series 2 goes about 36 hours. 

    My iphone 6S Plus seems to die now. I assume it's because I check my watch more often than I used to check my phone,  and that uses the phone power??
    More likely, your phone's battery is getting older and slowly declining in power and reserve power. 
  • Reply 17 of 22
    The battery life of my first gen 42mm was great until the latest update. Even 3.0 was fine for me. A typical day of use, and I'd still have around 50% left. Now, it barely has 30-35% left at the end of the average day (I've had several unusually long days result in less than 10% left), and there has been no change in my activities or use. My husband said he's noticed the same thing with his. 

    Another issue since the last update is the activity monitor. Holy balls did my activity increase dramatically, just by updating my watch! At the rate my calories are burning now, I should be slim and trim just in time for the beach this summer! s/  My husband noticed that, too. Seriously, Apple needs to fix whatever got messed up in the last update. sitting at my desk for over an hour and a half this morning has already consumed 5%, and I haven't done too much yet this morning. My watch says I already burned 32 calories and have stood for 2 hours... all while sitting at my desk. Since 5:30 AM, I've been upstairs once, and made 2 trips to the coffee maker about 15 feet away. I'm suspecting that to be the culprit for my battery drain. I'm going to turn off activity tracking to see if my battery life improves. Oh, wait... you can't. The only option is to turn off notifications for it. 
    Ok...  So a new OS requires more power....   So what else is new?   That's been going on since the first battery powered laptop.

    You yourself say that it doesn't cause a problem -- because it still has 30-35% charge left at the end of the day.  
    ....  So why all the griping and trash talk?

    And, by the way, you've apperently had your watch for awhile.  The battery is simply not as strong now as when it was new.   Sorry.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    I broke down and bought a Series 2 last week (gave my wife my original). I track my sleep with HeartWatch and AutoSleep (not invested in them, but well worth the $3 each), so have been in the habit of charging mornings or evenings. Depending on how sedentary I have been in the past (software engineer - so not much exercise on the job), my original has lasted up to 36 hours.

    I'd noticed that my S2 was not draining as fast, so I started a test yesterday. I ran to a 100% charge yesterday morning a little after 9am. It's now 8:15am - 23 hours later. Charge level is 67%. At this point, I feel comfortable going 2 full days minimum between charges. I'll take in my charge cable tomorrow and let y'all know when it hits the power reserve popup.
    Remember that you are comparing an old battery to a new one -- not just original to series 2.

    I am puzzled what drove the need to publish this article.   I have not seen any complaints about battery life on the Apple Watch -- sure the watch has limitations due to battery life but that's why Apple has managed it so carefully (such as not having an "always on" mode like some competitors like Garmin).

    I am wondering if the GPS on the series 2 is causing some battery problems for some heavy GPS users?
    ...  BTW, that may end up being the deciding factor on when or if Apple will add an LTE function to the phone (can the battery support it?).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    The battery life of my first gen 42mm was great until the latest update. Even 3.0 was fine for me. A typical day of use, and I'd still have around 50% left. Now, it barely has 30-35% left at the end of the average day (I've had several unusually long days result in less than 10% left), and there has been no change in my activities or use. My husband said he's noticed the same thing with his. 

    Another issue since the last update is the activity monitor. Holy balls did my activity increase dramatically, just by updating my watch! At the rate my calories are burning now, I should be slim and trim just in time for the beach this summer! s/  My husband noticed that, too. Seriously, Apple needs to fix whatever got messed up in the last update. sitting at my desk for over an hour and a half this morning has already consumed 5%, and I haven't done too much yet this morning. My watch says I already burned 32 calories and have stood for 2 hours... all while sitting at my desk. Since 5:30 AM, I've been upstairs once, and made 2 trips to the coffee maker about 15 feet away. I'm suspecting that to be the culprit for my battery drain. I'm going to turn off activity tracking to see if my battery life improves. Oh, wait... you can't. The only option is to turn off notifications for it. 
    you're misunderstanding what your watch is telling you. the Stand hours don't mean standing for an hour -- they mean hours of the day during which you stood for at least one minute. 

    as for battery life -- apple said it plainly, they rewrote watchOS to be more aggressive in speed at the cost of battery life. the days of 50% left on a Series 0 are behind you now. 
    edited February 23 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    I have a Series 2 42 mm and I easily get 2 days of use on a charge. My last charge was yesterday morning off the charger at around 9:30 am. As of 1:30 pm today (28 hours of use) and I still have 64% charge. One thing I do is set the brightness to minimum and turn off Activate on Wrist Raise when I go to bed. These save loads of battery for the next day. I also have a red color minimalistic modular watch face that I use if I want to really extend the battery. With OLED screens the less pixels turning on, the less power needed. But I mostly don't bother switching the face since I don't really have battery issues.

    Apple is going to make my nightly ritual a little easier in the next version with a "Theater Mode" which turns off the Activate on Wrist Raise with a single button on the swipe from the bottom control panel. 
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