FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: All links pay commission
Top 14 tips: How to make the battery last longer on Apple Watch Series 7
This is an explainer article covering all aspects of the Apple Watch 7 battery from tips to specifications to unusual things to know. If you’ve just come here for the tips to make the battery last 36-hours rather than the headline 18 hours, then please use the Table of Contents below to skip ahead to that section.
The Apple Watch has an official battery life of 18 hours. This headline claim never changes from one series to the next. The reality is that by disabling a few peripheral features you can easily & sensibly double the battery life to 36 hours.
All “Top 10 battery tips” articles boil down to different ways of temporarily or permanently disabling; the screen, GPS, heart rate, playing music and other elements of the watch that you might not need. It’s worth noting that you can definitely get good battery performance and still use these key features, for example, I recorded GPS and Heart Rate on a 7-hour bike ride on the Apple Watch 7 and still had over 50% charge at the end.
Please use the table of contents to skip ahead for the top tips, or check out the next bit to better understand what to expect from the battery in your watch.
Battery: What To Expect
Whilst you can readily get a 36-hour battery life, expect to charge your Apple Watch 7 once a day, just charge it whenever is most convenient for you.
If you have an Apple Watch older than Series 5 then it’s likely that you’ll end up charging it overnight rather than using it overnight as you can with Series 7. Tip: Buy a Watch 7, 6 or Watch SE for the best battery experience.
If you are live-streaming Apple Music over LTE whilst recording a workout with your HR also being logged as you stare at a permanently-on screen, then expect that battery to be gone within about 30 minutes! Tip: Have realistic expectations.
Precise Claim: Apple claims that an 18 Hour Life means 90 time-checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 60-minute workout using music playback from Apple Watch over Bluetooth.
Apple Watch 7 Battery Facts – Battery Boosts
1000 charging cycles of your Apple Watch battery WILL reduce its performance/capacity to 80% of that on a new Watch. That’s about 3 years of once-daily charging. In fact, Apple suggests the Watch has a 4-year battery life after which you can replace the battery for about $100. Tip: Don’t buy a second-hand Apple Watch, it will come with a degraded battery!
Your Apple Watch 7 (review here) has rapid charging and you can get from a zero charge to 80% charge in under an hour. So, for example, a 15-minute boost as you shower will give you at least 4 hours of charge. Tip: Do focus on minimising battery usage but remember the new speedier charging makes it’s easier to keep the battery topped up if you are organised.
Your Apple Watch will come with a magnetic charging puck. Just because the other end fits into one of your old smartphone adapters does NOT mean that you will get fast charging. Tip: use a 2A adapter and use an Apple-branded ‘plug’ so you can be sure it will charge quickly. Perhaps get a spare charging puck for the car and for work so you can top up the charge frequently. The Watch Series 7 charging puck is different to all previous charging pucks as only the newer ones support fast charging.
Apple Watch 7 – Battery Saving Tips
Let’s start with some Sensible Tips …ones you might use!
- Play music on your iPhone where possible. Generally, if your iPhone is nearby, the music will be played from that and that is what’s best for prolonging your Watch 7’s battery life.
- Keep your iPhone with you – when you are exercising, the GPS from your phone will be used rather than the GPS from your watch. The presence of your iPhone roughly halves the amount of Watch battery used in the workout.
- Avoid using the optical HR sensor during workout and enable power saving (Watch> Settings> Workout> Power Saving) – if you use a quality chest strap like the Polar H10 or armband like the Polar Verity Sense then this will save you 1-2% of battery and improve accuracy at the same time.
- Turn off the optical HR sensor during unimportant workouts or, perhaps more sensibly, turn it off if you are not especially bothered about it recording, say, a 6-hour hike and just record the GPS track if that’s what you really want.
- Permanently disable the Blood Oxygen/SpO2 sensor on Watch 7. Unless you are monitoring a specific medical condition you won’t need it and it GOBBLES battery.
- Make these screen changes (Watch>Settings>Display & Brightness)
- Turn off Always-on Screen Mode – Turning off the screen will obviously improve battery life but not as much as you might thing. The always-on screen mode is a clever screen saver that selectively and automatically disables energy consumption of different elements of the screen eg by blurring, dimming and reducing the live pixels of the image as well as selectively simplifying the data displayed for example omitting ‘seconds’ on a digital clock. Really ‘always-on’ screen mode means super-quick-on.
- In the same menu there are other options to show apps, notifications and complication data when the wrist is down ie when you are not looking at the watch. Disabling these will boost battery performance a little.
- Reduce brightness display – the default mid-level brightness is perfectly fine, maybe too bright. Lowering the level WILL improve battery life.
- Choose Focus Modes that automatically stop a range of distractions and hence automatically save power eg the Fitness Focus Mode can be automatically enabled when you start a workout and will automatically stop selected notifications & people from contacting you and, hence, will stop them from firing up the screen, haptics or speaker on the watch.
- Disable Bluetooth or WiFi on the Watch in Settings> Bluetooth/WiFi. In one sense this will save battery by stopping syncing of any kind to your iPhone but perversely might increase battery consumption if you use watch GPS rather than a connected-GPS from your iPhone. Generally, disabling these will save battery but you will lose functionality. This might be a sensible thing to do when you have a low battery and no easy means of charging.
- Stop automatic Background App Refresh in Watch Settings > General> Background App Refresh. This will save apps syncing data with your iPhone however watchOS already places restrictions on how often apps are allowed to do this so this may work really well for you and your apps…or not. It depends on your apps.
- Set a bedtime schedule and even a wind-down schedule – This will quieten your watch and yourself. Importantly your watch should be put into the correct mode for the entire night and not keep coming on to light up your nocturnal activities…then again, some of you might want that.
- Manually Turn the screen off – A Doh moment…for your watch – Just do a screen-palm tap to turn the screen off, this works in theatre mode and some other modes.
- Emergency Nuke: This option turns off everything apart from the time display. I can only see a point in this if, say, you want to save 2 hours’ worth of battery to use later and really need to see the time when you could instead simply turn the watch off. Watch Settings > General>Battery Health> Swipe right for Power Reserve. OR Swipe up to the control centre and choose battery.
Apple Watch 7 – Silly Battery Tips
These are some tips I’ve pulled off similar posts from other sites. They are all ‘correct’ in that they will save the battery life but they are mostly silly because you want to use the watch’s smart features. That said if you are nearing the end of your daily battery charge with no means of re-charging then it’s useful to know what you need to do to keep the watch running. Although, if you spend 3-4 minutes disabling these features you will, by definition, be using the screen and that in itself will probably consume more power than some of these will save! Like Garmin, Apple needs to implement power-saving profiles perhaps extending the Focus profiles that first appeared in watchOS 8.
- Turn off Siri – Siri is not great in any case. Hey…just don’t use it except when you need to, leave it turned on and ready for emergency action!
- Disable notifications – OK you can disable notifications for specific apps and that is sensible just to remove annoyances rather than to save battery. As we’ve already said, it’s sometimes better to do this by using Focus Modes instead.
- Use a Silent, non-Vibrating Mode. The sounds and haptics from the Apple Watch are well designed and not too intrusive. I’d keep enabled modes that don’t annoy you and then use a specific Focus Mode to control how you are interrupted at key times of the day. You won’t save too much battery by disabling all these modes.
- Use Greyscale Mode. I’m not sure how much battery greyscale mode will save but it will eke out a few extra minutes a day probably. You bought a pretty watch for the pretty screen…so use the colour!
- You might think that using a watch face that’s mostly black will save juice. It will save some but as said elsewhere the Apple Watch is quite clever at how it manages screen power.
- Disable bold text, it makes the white space for the characters very slightly smaller. White needs more power to display.
- Disable Fitness Tracking Settings>Motion & Fitness>Fitness tracking. This will stop the watch saving steps, stairs climbed and other activity data.
- Disable GPS Settings – GPS uses quite a lot of battery and disabling it is a big saving. (Watch>Settings > Privacy > Location Services > set Apple Watch Workout to Never)
- Stop automatic app install and automatic app updates. Watch App>My watch>General>Automatic App Install OFF.
- Unlock with your iPhone is a neat way to cut down the screen usage a tiny fraction and save an even tinier fraction of battery. Do it…but not to save battery.
- Disable activity reminders – Depending on your personal preferences, these are either useful or annoying and do take up some power to display them. Watch>Settings>Activity
Apple Watch Battery History & Specs
Not a lot of people know that the Apple Watch Series 3 42mm LTE has the biggest battery capacity of all Apple Watches; conversely, most people WOULD correctly guess that the Watch Series 7 has the quickest recharge time. With those two fascinating facts in mind let’s talk about more battery details of the Apple Watch than any sane person would ever need, or want, to know.
Apple Watch Battery Recharge Time
Apple Watch 7 has made significant gains in recharge times and this improves usability and time-on-the-wrist. When you are talking about a watch with sub-2-day battery life it’s this statistic that’s more important than small improvements to the overall battery life.
- 0 to 80% charge: 1.5 hours for Apple Watch Series 3, 4, 5, SE. 1 hour for Series 6 and 45 minutes for Series 7
- 0 to 100% charge
- Unspecified for Series 0, 1 and 2
- 2.0 hours for Series 3 and 4
- 2.5 hours for Series 5 and SE
- 1.5 hours for Series 6
- 1.25 hours for Series 7 requires the Watch 7 charger puck otherwise 1.5 hours.
Apple Watch Battery Specifications
Here are the battery capacity figures where known. From Series 3 onwards there haven’t been massive increases in battery capacity. Some of the capacity changes will reflect physically different sizes of battery. The battery life you experience can increase even with a lower capacity battery, most notably when more power-efficient components are used elsewhere inside the watch. Newer components make a significant difference…buy the newest watch you can afford.
- Apple Watch Series 0 (first generation), Series 1 (second generation)
- 38mm: 205 mA·h, 3.8 V, 0.78 W·h
- 42mm: 246 mA·h, 3.78 V, 0.93 W·h
- Apple Watch Series 2
- 38mm: 273 mA·h, 3.77 V, 1.03 W·h
- 42mm: 334 mA·h, 3.8 V, 1.27 W·h
- Apple Watch Series 3
- 38mm: 262 mA·h, 3.81 V, 1.00 W·h
- 38mm LTE: 279 mA·h, 3.82 V, 1.07 W·h
- 42mm: 342 mA·h, 3.82 V, 1.31 W·h
- 42mm LTE: 352 mA·h, 3.82 V, 1.34 W·h
- Apple Watch Series 4
- 40mm: 224.9 mA·h, 3.81 V, 0.858 W·h
- 44mm: 291.8 mA·h, 3.81 V, 1.113 W·h b
- Apple Watch Series 5
- 40mm: 245 mA·h, 3.85 V, 0.944 W·h
- 44mm: 296 mA·h, 3.814 V, 1.129 W·h
- Apple Watch SE – Unknown
- Apple Watch Series 6
- 40mm: 265.9 mA·h, 3.85 V, 1.024 W·h
- 44mm: 303.8 mA·h, 3.85 V, 1.17 W·h
- Apple Watch Series 7
- 41mm: 284.2 mA·h, 3.85 V, 1.094 W·h
- 45mm: 308.8 mA·h, 3.85 V, 1.189 W·h
Other Apple Watch Battery-related Tidbits
I think we’ve covered the important ones. How about these
- Your iPhone can show a battery widget for the power left in your connected Apple Watch.
- The Control Center shows the battery percentage. Just swipe up on the Watch.
Battery Take Out
Apple is paranoid about the battery. It is integral to the user experience and you can rest assured that Apple has tweaked everything it can and ensured that developers don’t play rough and ready with the amount of juice their apps consume. It’s all VERY tightly controlled.
That said, the Watch comes pre-configured effectively with one overall power profile that Apple has deemed will suit the most number of people. Maybe it won’t suit you so some of the changes in this article will be sensible for you.
Thus you can get some quick wins by turning off SpO2 and keeping your iPhone with you all the time. In general, turning features off clearly will save juice but it’s just not worth doing that for many trivial actions the Watch performs. Exceptions would be music, GPS, heart sensor, screen and LTE usage, so disable those wisely bearing in mind the tips above.
Me? I turn off SpO2, use a chest strap, use a proper night mode and live with whatever consequences flow from that.
This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners at their regular price. Thank you! This really is reader-powered content.
FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: All links pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.