This guide will show you how to fix bad Apple Watch battery life. This works for all Apple Watch models including the first all the way up through the Apple Watch 3 with LTE. Complaints about battery life are one of the most common Apple Watch problems, but you can fix it on your own most of the time.
Apple rates the Apple Watch battery life at about 18 hours with average use. This means your Apple Watch battery should last a full day including checking your Apple Watch for the time 90 times, using apps for 45 minutes, playing 30 minutes of music over Bluetooth. This takes into account a workout and it also takes into account WiFi and LTE connectivity.
If you have bad Apple Watch battery life, you can fix it by taking some steps on the watch and using the Watch app on your iPhone. If you can’t make it through a full day of use, you definitely have bad Apple Watch battery life. Your iPhone battery life should remain about the same after pairing the Apple Watch. If it gets worse, you may need to restart both devices or re-pair the Apple Watch.
Fix Bad Apple Watch Battery Life
One of the times when most people see bad Apple Watch battery life is right when they get the watch or right after installing a major watchOS update that adds new features. There is a good chance that this isn’t something you need to fix. Most of the time this simply means you are using the new features and watch faces and it is causing the battery to drain. Sometimes you will see this improve simply, by waiting a day or two.
One of the first things to check is if your watch is going into Standby mode. This is when you aren’t actively using it, and you should see more standby time than usage time.
- On your iPhone open the Apple Watch App.
- Go to General.
- Go to Usage.
- Scroll down to the Time Since Last Full Charge.
This will show you the Apple Watch battery breakdown. This will not show you what apps are using the battery most, or any specific details that will help you fix your bad Apple Watch battery life other than simply showing you if standby is not working.
Reboot Your Apple Watch
The first thing to do is reboot your Apple Watch. It’s a small step, but the first one you should take before you worry about other problems.
- Hold the Digital Crown and the side button for about 10 seconds.
- You will see an Apple logo and then you can let go.
This will restart the Apple Watch. This can fix many battery life issues in under a minute. You may also want to restart your iPhone at this time.
Re-Pair the Apple Watch
If the problems continue, you may need to re-pair the Apple Watch using the steps outlined in the video below. if you do this it may fix your problems even if you restore from a backup. If you are concerned, you may need to set it up as a new Apple Watch instead of restoring from a backup to play it safe.
- In the Apple Watch app tap on your watch.
- Tap on the i button to the right of your watch.
- Tap Unpair Your Apple Watch.
- Confirm you want to Unpair your Apple Watch.
Now you can follow the directions below to pair your Apple Watch and you can decide to set up as new or to restore from backup.
This process can take some time, so make sure you do it when you are home and have time to spare. You will need your Apple Watch on the charger to pair it with your iPhone.
Change Watchface for Better Battery Life
The OLED screen on the Apple Watch only uses power when it is showing something other than black. If you are very concerned about bad Apple Watch battery life, you should try using a watch face that has more black in it.
You’ll see the biggest difference if you currently use photos as watch faces or the time lapse style watch faces. Pick a new watch face with more black and it could help you get better battery life.
Control Your Apple Watch Notifications
When you get notifications and raise your hand to look at your watch every 2 seconds you are using up more battery life. We cut the notifications to the bare minimum so that we only get them for important things. If you cut your notifications down to just those you actually need on your wrist you can expect better Apple Watch battery life. Go to the Watch app, Tap on Notifications and then turn off those you don’t want or need.
Apple Watch Apps & Battery Life
If you aren’t using an Apple Watch app, you should delete it. This can help you get better battery life. Do we understand exactly why this works? Not really, but getting rid of apps you don’t use can help almost as much as limiting your notifications. You can delete them from the Apple Watch using the Watch app on the iPhone. Go to the Watch app, scroll down to the app list, tap on the app name and then toggle Show App on Apple Watch to off.
You can also try using Power Reserve to get better battery life when you can’t get to a power source. If you still have problems with this
Set Your Apple Watch Ahead 5-10 Minutes
If you are always running behind and you are used to setting clocks ahead so that you leave early enough to get there you'll love the Apple Watch.
There is a setting on the Watch that lets you set the Apple Watch time ahead up to 59 minutes fast. Most people will set the watch a few minutes early or 15 minutes early if they are always late.
Alarms and timers should stick to the real-time, but when you look at the time on your Apple Watch you will see the time you want, instead of the real-time.
Here's how to set your Apple Watch ahead so you're always on time.