watchOS 7 Battery Drain Issues: Tips to Improve Apple Watch Battery Life

BY Parth Shah

Published 3 Oct 2020

watchOS 7 has introduced 50+ new features for the Apple Watch series. However, whenever a major update to an operating system drops, there are bound to be issues and bugs. One of the common issues which many will likely encounter is related to battery life. If you are facing battery drain issues on your Apple Watch after updating it to watchOS 7, check out some possible fixes below.

watchOS 7 comes with major additions such as native sleep tracking, a new Activity app, fresh watch faces, customizable complications, and more. However, the poor battery life on watchOS 7 can spoil the experience of using the OS for many Apple Watch users.

In this guide, we will provide tips on how to fix battery issues that users are facing on their Apple Watch running watchOS 7.

How to Check Apple Watch Battery Life

Before we proceed further and give you tips on how to fix watchOS 7 battery life problems, we think it is important to know how much battery life your Apple Watch is expected to deliver, so you can gauge for yourself if you should be concerned about battery life. According to Apple, the Series 3 and later models should offer 18 hours of battery life. Meaning, it should be perfect for full-day use.

It is important to understand that your Apple Watch battery life will vary as per your usage, so if you disable the Always-on display, use a simple watch face, or go light on the Cellular functions, your Apple Watch battery life would be much better.

Battery Percentage

It’s easy to glance at the remaining battery life of your Apple Watch. Swipe up from the bottom of its screen to access the Control Centre. You’ll see the remaining battery power as a percentage.

To see battery usage in detail, opt for the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. Make sure you’re in the My Watch tab at the bottom, then go to General and scroll down and tap Usage.

Here you can 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, chances are something is hampering battery life while you aren’t actually using the watch.

Now that you know how much battery life you should expect and you can track it with the battery percentage indicator, let us see how you can fix and extend Apple Watch’s battery life.

Tips to Improve Apple Watch Battery Life on watchOS 7

Go through the tricks below and fix the battery drain issue on your Apple Watch running watchOS 7. Let’s start with the most-basic fixture.

1. Restart Apple Watch

Just power your watch off then on again. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to restart while charging. Press and hold the side button until the slider appears, then drag the Power Off slider to the right. To turn back on, hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears.

If you are unable to turn your Apple Watch off, you can do a force restart by holding down the side button and the Digital Crown at the same time for at least 10 seconds, until the Apple logo appears. Many users have reported that the trick worked for them to fix the battery drain on watchOS 7.

2. Restart Your iPhone

You should also restart the iPhone that is connected with your Apple Watch.

For iPhone X and later models, simply press and hold the side button and a volume button, then drag the slider to the right.

For older models with a physical home button, press and hold the side or top button until the slider appears, then drag the slider to the right. You can also Shut Down the phone by going into the Settings > General > Shut Down.

turn off iphone

To turn on your iPhone, hold down the side or top button until the Apple logo appears.

3. Unpair Your Apple Watch

Apple recommends this solution to anyone looking to fix the battery drain on Apple Watch running watchOS 7. Apple Watch owners unpair the smartwatch from their iPhone and then restore it again to fix all the issues.

Do note that the process will erase all the content and settings on your Apple Watch. Don’t panic though. Your iPhone will automatically create a new backup of your watch. You will be able to use this backup to restore your Apple Watch’s content and settings if you choose to Restore from Backup when setting up your watch.

To unpair your Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Navigate to Watch tab > Select Watch > Info > Unpair. If you have your watch on a cellular plan, choose to keep your cellular plan. Tap to confirm. If requested, enter your Apple ID password in order to disable Activation Lock.

Now set up your Apple Watch as new and restore the data from the backup. Many users have reported an increase in battery life after unpairing and pairing the Apple Watch from scratch.

4. General Tips

Please note that the tips under section are to highlight areas where you could disable things that are not applicable to you so you can extend battery life. We are not recommending or advising you to disable features just for battery life, as then there would be no point in using a smartwatch like the Apple Watch.

i. Use Minimal Watch Faces

watchOS 7 update brings new watch faces for the Apple Watch users. To improve battery life, you should skip animated butterflies, cartoon characters, or graphics-heavy watch faces and instead go with simple clock faces with more black and the fewer animated graphical elements.

watch face on apple watch

ii. Turn off Always-On Display

This one only applies to Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 users. Always-On Display allows you to discreetly check the time and more without having to tap your Apple Watch screen or turn/raise your wrist to activate it. Keeping your Apple Watch screen on all the time might affect the battery life on the device. You should consider turning off the function.

Open the Settings app on the Apple Watch and go to Display & Brightness and turn off the Always-On Display toggle.

iii. Turn off Wrist Raise

The Wrist Raise feature on Apple Watch allows you to turn on the display when you raise your wrist to check time or notifications. If you often raise your arms during working hours then it’s wise to turn off the feature from the Settings app.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone. From the My Watch tab, tap General > Wake Screen, then tap the slider at the top. Alternatively, you can turn this feature off on the Apple Watch itself. Tap the Settings icon > General > Wake Screen, then tap the slider next to Wake Screen on Wrist Raise.

disable wrist raise

iv. Turn off Reduce Motion

You can use some accessibility features to improve the battery life of your Apple Watch.

In the Apple Watch, go to General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn on Reduce Motion. This will limit animation and automatic resizing of the Apple Watch user interface on the Home screen when you open and close apps.

v. Use Silent Mode

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

Go to the Apple Watch app on your phone, choose Sounds & Haptics and tap the Silent Mode toggle below Alert Volume. Don’t worry, alarms and timers won’t be muted.

vi. Use Optimized Battery Charging

All Apple Watch models come with a lithium-ion battery. Due to its nature, the lifespan of lithium-ion chemicals is limited over time. Meaning, your Apple Watch battery comes with fixed charge cycles.

The Apple Watch battery capacity degrades over time. You should keep track of your device battery capacity percentage periodically. If it goes down to 60%-50% percentage, then it’s time to replace the battery on your Apple Watch to improve the general navigation of watchOS. Open the Watch Settings and enable Optimized Battery Charging under the Battery menu.

vii. Enable Workout Power Saving Mode

The Power Saving Mode under the Workout section can extend the battery life as it turns off the built-in heart rate sensor during running and walking. Do not that the calculations for energy burned in some workouts may be less accurate.

viii. Enable Greyscale Viewing Mode

I won’t recommend this step but if you desperately want to stretch out battery power open the Watch app on the iPhone and go to General > Accessibility. Turn on Greyscale and remove any color from the Watch.

How is your Apple Watch’s battery life following the watchOS 7 update? Let us know your experience in the comments below.