4 Tips for Preserving Apple Watch Battery Life

If I have one thing to complain about in regards to my new Apple Watch, it’s the battery life. It hasn’t been terrible, but I’ve found myself needing to top it off before the end of the day. Granted, I have a 38mm device, and as Apple puts it in their battery information article, the 42mm “typically experiences longer battery life.” So, of course, your mileage may vary. 

To the end of preserving your happy little Watch’s ability to last you as long as possible, though, here are some tips on keeping your battery going!

1. Turn off wrist detection. You know how your Watch will helpfully turn on whenever you raise your wrist? Well, that’s a neat feature, but it’ll result in plenty of false positives, which means your device will be on more than it needs to be. This can be turned off in two places: On the Watch, open Settings, tap “General,” and then toggle off the “Wrist Raise” setting under the “Activate on Wrist Raise” pane…

…or turn “Wrist Detection” off within the Apple Watch iPhone app under My Watch> General. Of course, doing so will mean that you’ll have to tap your Watch’s face to activate it instead of just raising your wrist. You’ll need to consider if that small inconvenience is worth a bit of extra battery life.

2. Turn the brightness down. This is kind of a no-brainer, but having the screen brightness cranked all the way up will drain your battery faster. Change this either on the Watch itself (within Settings> Brightness & Text Size) or under the iPhone app (My Watch> Brightness & Text Size).

3. Cut down on notifications. This particular tip should help with both the Watch and your iPhone, as the latter won’t have to send as much data to your wrist. Within the “My Watch” tab on the iPhone app, choose “Notifications,” and turn off anything you don’t need, especially under the “Mirror iPhone alerts from” section:

I love you, iPhone, but you don’t need to send me notifications from the Apple Store app, OK? I know when I’m in one most of the time.

4. Turn on Power Reserve. In a pinch, you can use the Apple Watch’s special low-power mode, which’ll automatically toggle on if the battery drops below 10 percent. There are a few ways to turn this on manually, but my favorite method is to press and hold the side button. 

In a second or two, you’ll see this screen:

Slide the “Power Reserve” switch from left to right, and your Watch will swap to only showing you the time. 

Hmmmm…yeah. That’s pretty.

You can’t interact with the Watch when it’s in Power Reserve, meaning that you won’t see notifications and so on. To get back to its normal functions, hold down the same side button until you see the Apple logo, and then wait for the device to restart.


Finally, if you want to check and see how you’re using the battery (and how much time you could spend in Power Reserve mode if necessary), open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and visit My Watch> General> Usage (it’s at the bottom). Scroll down on the subsequent screen to find that info.

So as of this writing, I’ve spent about an hour and a half interacting with my Watch and over six hours wearing it, and it’s at 70 percent battery. Maybe I should stop complaining—that’s actually pretty darned good! Mea culpa, Apple.