With normal use, Apple designed the Apple Watch to provide up to 18 hours of battery life before you need to recharge it.
While that’s definitely good enough for one full day, sometimes you need to push the battery an extra day before you can get to a charger again. If that’s the case, use these tips to help save the battery life on your Apple Watch.
1. Update Your Apple Watch Software
Running the latest version of watchOS is one of the best ways to make sure that your Apple Watch battery is as efficient as possible. To check for a software update, head to Settings > General > Software Update on the Watch.
If you need to update the software, connect your paired iPhone to Wi-Fi and place your Apple Watch on a charger. It also needs to have more than 50 percent battery life.
This is only effective as a pre-emptive step. If you’re already away from a charger, updating now will drain your battery more. So you should only do it when you’re back home.
2. Turn Down the Screen Brightness
Just like with the iPhone or other electronic devices, a brighter screen uses more battery power.
To adjust the Apple Watch screen brightness go to Settings > Display & Brightness on the device. The brightness controls are at the top of the page. You can adjust them by tapping the screen or turning the Digital Crown.
3. Disable the Always-On Display
The Apple Watch Series 5 and later features an always-on display that shows your watch face and complications at all times. That uses extra battery life. To turn the feature off, head to Settings > Display & Brightness on the Watch. Select Always On and then switch the toggle off.
4. Unlock Your Apple Watch With Your iPhone
Creating a passcode for your Apple Watch is a great way to protect the important information inside the device and is a requirement if you want to use features like Apple Pay. But instead of having to enter the unlock code on the watch screen multiple times a day and using precious battery life, there’s a simpler way to unlock the watch with something you’ll usually have with you—an iPhone.
Unlocking Apple Watch with your iPhone will unlock the watch whenever your iPhone is unlocked. To make sure the feature is turned on, go to Settings > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone on your watch.
Just to note, your iPhone needs to be within Bluetooth range of the watch to unlock it. That’s usually around 33 feet.
5. Reduce Your Notifications
By default, your Apple Watch shows all notifications from your iPhone when the handset is locked. So depending on how much you rely on notifications, your Apple Watch could be buzzing all day long and taking battery power with it.
To better select which notifications you see on your Apple Watch, open up the companion Watch app on your iPhone. In the My Watch tab, select Notifications. From there, you’ll first see a list of every Apple Watch app. Below that are all of your iPhone apps. You can select each one and choose to disable notifications on your Apple Watch.
6. Disable the Wake on Wrist Raise Feature
All Apple Watch models allow you to quickly view the screen by raising your wrist. This feature also turns on the screen accidentally when you use your hands for other tasks. To turn this option off, head to Settings > General > Wake Screen.
In the same menu, to better conserve power, scroll down to On Tap. This shows how long the Apple Watch display stays on after tapping the screen. Make sure Wake for 15 seconds is selected. The other option, which uses more battery power, is 70 seconds.
7. Make Use of Do Not Disturb
A great Apple Watch feature you might not have heard about is Do Not Disturb. When selected, the Apple Watch will still collect notifications but not inform you until the feature is turned off. It’s a great choice if you want to focus on a specific task and not be bothered. And it will also help save battery life.
To turn on Do Not Disturb, slide up from any watch face to see the Control Center. Select the Do Not Disturb icon, which is a moon. There are a few options to select from. Along with just turning the feature on, you can choose to turn it on for one hour, on until tomorrow morning, or use a location-based feature that will turn on Do Not Disturb until you leave your current location.
8. Turn On Power Saving Mode During Workouts
The Apple Watch is a great way to track your fitness progress during workouts. But by default, the Watch constantly monitors your heart rate information. That can cause a significant battery drain.
To help preserve battery, you can turn on a Power Saving Mode that disables the heart rate sensor while working out. Activate that by going to the Watch app on your iPhone. In the My Watch tab, select Workout. Toggle on Power Saving Mode.
Just to note, one downside of this mode is that calorie burn calculations aren’t as accurate.
9. Turn Off Heart Rate or Blood Oxygen Monitoring
All Apple Watches check your heart rate throughout the day. And starting with the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, they also check your blood oxygen levels. Both of these features use battery power.
To disable them, go to the My Watch tab in the Watch app on your iPhone. Select Privacy, then disable tracking.
10. Turn Off Activity Reminders
One of the best features of the Apple Watch is the wide variety of health and fitness features. By default, you’ll receive a wide variety of notifications like stand reminders, daily coaching, and goal completions. If you’re not interested in seeing all of that information, turning the Activity Reminders off can help save additional battery power on your watch.
To turn them off, open up the companion Apple Watch app. In the My Watch tab, select Notifications > Activity. From there you can select which notifications to turn off.
11. Disable “Hey Siri”
The “Hey Siri” feature is always listening to see if you ask for Apple’s digital assistant, taking more battery life from your Apple Watch. To turn it off, go to Settings > Siri on the watch. Toggle off Listen for “Hey Siri”.
12. Use a Minimalistic Watch Face
The Apple Watch offers a huge number of different faces. But many of the most colorful and beautiful, like Timelapse and Motion, use more power than a more minimalistic face. Try choosing a simpler face, like Numerals Duo, or X-Large with a gray color.
To set one of those faces, long-press any face and use the Digital Crown to scroll to New. Scroll through the different face options until you find Numerals Duo or X-Large. To switch to a gray color, long-press the screen to see all of the color options.
13. Turn On Theater Mode or Power Reserve Mode
Apple also offers two power-saving modes you can use to save your Apple Watch’s battery life.
Theater Mode is designed to help keep distractions at a minimum while watching a movie or concert. But it also helps save battery power at other times. The mode automatically turns the watch on silent. The screen also stays dark until you tap it or press a button.
To activate Theater Mode, swipe up from a watch face to see Control Center and select the Theater Mode icon. To deactivate the mode, just tap the icon again.
To save even more battery, you can activate Power Saving mode. This mode automatically switches on when your battery life is critical, but you can activate it at any time. Just head back to Control Center and select the Battery Percentage icon. Toggle Power Reserve on and tap Proceed.
Once active, you won’t be able to use any watch features, and it won’t communicate with your paired iPhone. You can still see the current time by pressing the Side button.
To deactivate Power Reserve Mode, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. You’ll have to wait for the device to restart.
Get the Most Out of Your Apple Watch Battery
While these tips might take a little bit of work, you should definitely see an improvement in your Apple Watch battery life, limiting the time you need to leave it on the charger.
And with better battery life, you’ll have even more time to enjoy the best watch faces your Apple Watch has to offer. So make sure you learn how to customize your watch face to find one that fits your lifestyle.