How-To

How to Fix Apple Watch Battery Drain

Apple Watch featured

Are you finding that your Apple Watch battery isn’t lasting as long as you’d like? If you want to know how to fix Apple Watch battery drain issues, follow this guide.

The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market. Along with common features you’d expect from a smartwatch, the latest models include health monitoring tools, such as heart rate monitoring, ECG measurements, and blood oxygen levels.

All of these features need power, however. The Apple Watch is intended to go a full day before it needs charging, but you may find that you’re having to charge it more often than that. If this is the case, there are some things you can try to fix Apple Watch battery drain issues.

Here are some tips for ways to extend the life of your Apple Watch battery.

Disable Always On Display on Apple Watch

One of the biggest drains on your Apple Watch battery is the display. The longer your watch screen is powered up, the quicker your battery is going to drain.

If you have an Apple Watch Series 5 or above, your watch will have Always On mode enabled by default. This mode ensures that the time is always visible on your Apple Watch, along with your watch face or most recently used app. Although the screen will dim somewhat when your wrist is down, this still uses more battery than a blank screen does.

To prolong battery life, you may opt to turn off Always On mode or to tweak the settings a little.

To turn off the Always On display on your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap Display & Brightness.
    apple watch display brightness
  3. Select Always On.
    apple watch always on settings
  4. To disable Always On, toggle the switch to the Off position.
    apple watch always on toggle
  5. If you want to leave Always On enabled but want to reduce the amount of information that your Apple Watch will show, tap on one of the options under Wrist Down.
    apple watch wrist down settings
  6. For each option, you can choose whether that type of information will display on your watch face when your wrist is down. Turning these off may help to reduce battery drain.

Turn Off Wake on Wrist Raise

Wake on Wrist Raise is a feature that automatically turns your Apple Watch screen on when you raise your wrist to look at your watch. This saves having to tap the screen to wake it. Since this feature involves the use of motion sensors, it can contribute to battery drain.

You can turn this feature off in the Apple Watch settings.

To turn off Wake on Wrist Raise:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Scroll down and select Display & Brightness.
    apple watch display brightness
  3. Toggle Wake on Wrist Raise to Off.
    apple watch wake on raise

Reduce Wake Time

When you tap your Apple Watch to wake it, if the Always On setting is off, your watch screen will turn off again after a short period of inactivity. You can specify how long this is in the Apple Watch settings.

By reducing your Apple Watch’s wake time, you can reduce the drain on your battery.

To change the wake time on your Apple Watch:

  1. Open Settings.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Select Display & Brightness.
    apple watch display brightness
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the screen and tap Wake Duration.
    apple watch wake duration
  4. Select Wake For 15 Seconds.
    apple watch wake for 15 seconds

Disable Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh allows your Apple Watch to update apps even when they’re not open. This can be very useful for some apps, but may not be that important for other apps. Since updating in the background requires power, this can become a major source of battery drain.

Thankfully, you can disable Background App Refresh completely or disable it for specific apps. You’ll need to do this through your iPhone.

To disable Background App Refresh:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
    apple watch general settings
  3. Select Background App Refresh.
    apple watch background app refresh
  4. Toggle Background App Refresh to Off to turn it off completely, or turn it off for individual apps in the list of apps beneath.
    apple watch background app refresh toggle

Reduce Apple Watch Brightness

The brighter the display on your Apple Watch, the bigger the drain on your battery. You can minimize this by turning down the brightness on your Apple Watch.

You should be aware that with the brightness set low, it may be much harder to see your watch face, especially in bright sunlight.

To turn down the brightness on your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Select Display & Brightness.
    apple watch display brightness
  3. Tap the Brightness Down icon or turn the digital crown to reduce the brightness.
    apple watch brightness down

Use Workout Power Saving Mode

When you do workouts using your Apple Watch, information about these workouts will be displayed on your watch face if Always On is turned on. The heart rate sensor will also measure your heart rate throughout the workout.

By turning on Workout Power Saving, the Always On display and the heart sensor will be turned off, allowing you to conserve battery power whilst you’re working out. With the heart rate sensor turned off, however, estimates of energy burned during your workout will be less accurate.

To turn on Workout Power Saving mode on Apple Watch:

  1. Launch Settings.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Workout.
    apple watch workout settings
  3. Toggle Power Saving Mode to On.
    apple watch power saving mode

Turn Off Siri

Using Siri on your Apple Watch makes it easy to perform actions such as playing music or finding out about the weather just by using your voice. The way that Siri is activated will have an impact on your battery life, however.

Activating Siri by holding down the digital crown requires a lot less battery power than using the Hey Siri option. This feature allows you to activate Siri just by saying that phrase, but since it requires your Apple Watch to be constantly listening, it uses up more battery.

Another way to fix an Apple Watch battery drain problem is to turn off Hey Siri in the Apple Watch settings.

To disable Hey Siri on Apple Watch:

  1. Open Settings.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Scroll down and select Siri.
    apple watch siri settings
  3. Toggle Listen For “Hey Siri” to Off.
    apple watch listen for hey siri
  4. You might also want to turn off Raise to Speak. This feature activates Siri when you raise your wrist and then immediately start to speak.
    apple watch raise to speak

Turn on Reduce Motion to Limit Animations

Like all Apple devices, your Apple Watch uses some subtle animations when performing actions that you may not even notice. For example, if you tap the side button to open your recent apps, the apps will slide into view from the bottom of the screen.

This type of animation uses more battery life than simply displaying the apps would do. If you’re having issues with battery drain, you can try turning these animations off by activating the Reduce Motion feature.

To turn on Reduce Motion on Apple Watch:

  1. Launch Settings.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
    apple watch accessibility
  3. Tap Reduce Motion.
    apple watch reduce motion settings
  4. Toggle the Reduce Motion switch to On.
    apple watch reduce motion on
  5. Now when you press the side button, the last used apps will appear instantly without any animation effects.

Update watchOS

If you’ve tried the steps above, and you still need to fix Apple Watch battery drain, you may need to consider updating watchOS. Installing the latest version of the OS could help to reduce battery issues. You can do this either through your watch or through your iPhone.

To update watchOS on your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app.
    apple watch settings app
  2. Select General.
    apple watch general settings
  3. Tap Software Update.
    apple watch software update
  4. If your Apple Watch is up-to-date, you’ll see a message to this effect.
    apple watch up to date
  5. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install the most up-to-date version of watchOS.

To update watchOS on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
    apple watch general settings
  3. Select Software Update.
    apple watch software update
  4. Your iPhone will check for updates. If your Apple Watch is up-to-date, you’ll see a message confirming this.
    apple watch up to date
  5. If an update is found, follow the instructions to install the update.

Pair Your Watch Again

If you’re still having problems with battery drain on your Apple Watch, it may be due to your iPhone and Apple Watch not being correctly paired. Try unpairing your Apple Watch and then pairing it again, to see if this helps.

To unpair your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the My Watch tab, tap All Watches at the very top of the screen.
    apple watch all watches
  3. Tap the information icon next to your Apple Watch.
    apple watch info
  4. Select Unpair Apple Watch at the bottom of the screen.
    apple watch unpair
  5. Confirm your decision and your Apple Watch will unpair from your iPhone.
    apple watch confirm unpair
  6. To pair them again, bring your iPhone near to your Apple Watch. When the pairing screen appears, follow the on-screen instructions.

Get More Out of Your Apple Watch

Learning how to fix Apple Watch battery drain problems is important—you’ll want to make it through the day without having to charge it. There are other things you can try to get more use out of your Apple Watch.

Did you know that you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone even when you’re wearing a face mask, for example? You can also use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, or even use it to approve tasks on your Mac, too.

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