How to make Apple Watch battery last longer

Running out of juice during the day? Here are some ways to manage and increase battery life.

apple watch power adapter
Keep on ticking

On our first day with Apple Watch, the iPhone battery ran out by the early evening, followed by Watch just a half an hour later. Perhaps our first day’s use had been a little excessive with app usage and messing around with settings, but it’s not as if we had run a marathon. Apple says that Watch offers “all day battery life.” We made it to almost 11 hours on Watch.

In this article we will share some ways to manage and increase battery life. Pick and choose the tips that best fit the way you use your Apple Watch. Whatever your typical usage, you should expect to charge your Apple Watch overnight every day.

apple watch battery remaining
Check battery usage on Apple Watch

To see what your battery usage is like on your Apple Watch and iPhone, launch the Apple Watch iPhone app and go to General > Usage.

You’ll see how many hours of usage your Watch has been subject to since you last charged it. If you think that number looks higher than it should be, chances are something is drawing from the battery while you aren’t actually using Watch.

To see how much battery has been used up on Watch itself, open Glances by swiping up on the clock face, and look for Power Reserve. Here you can see a percentage of battery life left.

Curious about your iPhone’s power usage? On your iPhone go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage and see how power hungry the Apple Watch iPhone app is.

power reserve apple watch
Turn on Power Reserve Mode on Apple Watch

Press and hold the side button and when power off screen comes up choose Power Reserve. Or you can swipe up on the clock face to see the Power Reserve glance and turn it on there.

From this point on your Watch will only work as a clock. When you want to go back to using the Watch normally, hold the side button again.

Apple Watch will always give you the option to switch into this Power Reserve Mode when it is close to running out of battery and Apple says you should get a couple of days use as a clock in this mode.

apple watch simple watchface
Best Apple Watch face for battery life

The more black and fewer animated objects on a watch face, the less power hungry it is. Ditch the Motion watch face with its pretty butterflies and go for Simple.

apple watch grayscale
Go grayscale on Apple Watch

If you are really desperate to stretch out battery power go to Accessibility and turn on Grayscale. Remove any color from your life.

apple watch do not disturb
How to turn on Do Not Disturb on Apple Watch

Turn on Do Not Disturb to prevent Notifications that cause your watch to light up, tap your wrist, or beep at you.

The simplest way to turn on Do Not Disturb is to swipe up on the Clock Face to enter Glances, and swipe along until you reach the Connected screen, then tap on the crescent moon icon.

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Apple Watch Accessibility features

In the Apple Watch iPhone app go to General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and switch this feature off. This will limit animation and automatic resizing of the Apple Watch user interface on the Home screen when you open and close apps.

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How to turn off Wrist Raise on Apple Watch

Do you often raise your arm? Perhaps you drink a lot of tea, or gesture a lot when talking. If that sounds like you, you would be wise to turn off Activate on Wrist Raise.

In the Apple Watch iPhone app, tap General and slide Wrist Detection to off. This will stop Watch from showing the time and alerts when you raise your arm. Some activity measurements won’t be available and your watch may not lock or unlock automatically, so make sure that this is the best option for you.

Alternatively, you can turn Wrist Activation off on Apple Watch itself. Tap the Settings icon > General > Activate on Wrist Raise, and switch the slider to off. Tap the screen to activate it.

apple watch workout
Apple Watch Power Saving Mode for workouts

To switch on Power Saving Mode go to the Apple Watch iPhone app, scroll down to Workout, and select Power Saving Mode. With Power Saving mode, the heart rate sensor is disabled during walking and running workouts. Also, the calorie burn calculations won’t be accurate.

apple watch notifications settings
Turn off Notifications on Apple Watch

Just as with your iPhone, don’t sign up for every Notification. In order to get Notifications on Apple Watch, the device has to be in almost constant communication with your iPhone. Be choosy about your Notifications.

You can use the Apple Watch iPhone app to turn off any Notifications you don’t need. Go to Notifications and go through each of the apps listed.

apple watch mail notifications
Turn off Mail Notifications Apple Watch

Pay particular attention to the Mail notification. Apple Watch will constantly ping the iPhone to see if you have any emails.

If you desperately need to be alerted to an email then leave alerts on. You can even fine-tune it to alert you if you get an email from a VIP. But for the best battery life turn Mail alerts off.

apple watch maps
Turn off Maps on the Apple Watch

Once you have planned a route make sure you Stop Directions when you are finished with the route plan. To do so hard press on the Map app and tap on the cross labelled Stop Directions.

remove app apple watch
How to remove apps from Apple Watch

Be choosy about what apps you add to your Apple Watch. Just because there is a Watch version of an app doesn’t mean you should use.

If you want to remove apps from your Watch, go to the Apple Watch iPhone app. Scroll down to the app you wish to remove, and toggle Show App on Apple Watch to off. You can also remove them from Glances here. (Apple apps can’t be removed from your Watch.)

apple watch power off
How to force quit apps on Apple Watch

If you suspect an app is using too much power, you can force quit it. To quit a Watch app, open the app, hold down the side button until you see the Power Off message, and then hold the side button again until you return to home screen.

apple watch airplane mode
How to turn on AirPlane Mode on Apple Watch

Swipe up on the Clock Face to enter Glances, and swipe along until you reach the Connected screen. Here you can enter Airplane Mode, which means that any communication between your Watch and iPhone will be bared.

digital touch apple watch
Don't get carried away with Digital Touch

Digital Touch is a fun way to connect with a friend or family member. But if you overdo it, your battery life will suffer. Avoid an excessive amount of haptic notifications.

apple watch sound mute
How to stop Apple Watch beeping

Another way to preserve a little bit of power is to stop Apple Watch from beeping when you receive notifications.

Go to the Apple Watch iPhone app. Choose Sound & Haptics and mute Alert Volume.

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Apple Watch and Bluetooth

Apple actually states that in order to maximize battery life on the Watch you should keep Bluetooth enabled on the iPhone as it enables “more efficient communications”.

Bluetooth is required for your Apple Watch and iPhone to communicate, and without Bluetooth the Watch will not offer much in the way of functionality. For example, you won’t be able to load up your latest emails without switching on Bluetooth on the iPhone and you won’t receive any text or call alerts.