How to Use Power Saving Mode on Apple Watch

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and can earn commissions as an Amazon Associate and Affiliate on qualifying purchases. These partner relationships do not affect our editorial content.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Apple Watch since the beginning is the battery life. Here’s how to use Low Power Mode, which can double your battery life.

“Low Power mode retains many of Apple Watch’s core features,” said Deidre Caldbeck, director of Apple Watch Product Marketing, at the Apple event in September 2022. “Providing maximum battery savings with the least impact on user experience.”

Although not in the original watchOS 9 betas surprised Apple users by announcing the feature on their “Far Out” Apple event in Sep 2022.

Here’s the background to Low Power Mode, the devices that support it with watchOS 9, and how to enable it – plus what disables it – to maximize your watch’s battery life.

What Power Saving Mode Does on watchOS

Low Power Mode on the Apple Watch works the same as Low Power Mode on the iPhone. The feature disables background features that are not important to you at the moment.

While it disables features that might run in the background and consume power, Apple has made sure that features that are still involved in the core use of the Apple Watch are still enabled and functional.

Prominent features that are disabled when Low Power Mode is enabled include: the Always-On Display, automatic workout detection, background heart rate and blood oxygen readings, heart rate and irregular rhythm notifications, Wi-Fi connection throttling, and incoming notifications are delayed as well.

Complications are updated less often, calls may take longer, some animations and scrolling may appear less smooth, and Siri it may also take longer to submit press requests.

While the Apple Watch can use your iPhone for Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, when you’re away from your phone, the Apple Watch can turn on connectivity even in low-power mode to do the tasks you want to complete. This can cause significant battery consumption.

Disabling these features while enabling Power Saving Mode extends the Apple Watch battery to 36 hours of use after a full charge.

Low Power Mode is available on Series 4 models and later, they just need to run watchOS 9.

How to enable power saving mode

Enabling power saving mode is in a very monastery area and very easy to turn on and off. Here’s how to activate Low Power Mode on the Apple Watch.

  1. Scroll up on your Apple Watch to access Control Center
  2. Tap on Battery percentage
  3. To scroll down below the battery percentage information until you see the “Low Power Mode” switch
  4. Tap the switch until to turn on Energy saving mode
  5. A message will appear stating what features will be available temporarily disabled to get a longer battery. Scroll down and tap “To turn on”.
  6. You can also select: how long for which you want to enable power saving mode. You can choose between: 1 day, 2 days or 3 days.

The Low Power mode can also be used during a workout. Here’s how to enable it automatically.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
  2. To scroll down to the bottom until you see it training
  3. To turn on Low Power Mode (it should be the first option)

As long as it’s turned on, your stats — like heart rate and pace — will still be measured.

Disabling the power saving mode can be done at any time. To do this, just tap the switch like you did to turn it on.

The History of Power Saving Mode

The power saving mode has been included in the software of every device so far. The feature promises longer battery life by turning off background features that may not be as important to you at the times when you need to conserve as much battery as possible.

First introduced on the iPhone, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, promised that enabling the feature would extend battery life “by an additional 3 hours.” Low Power Mode was first introduced in iOS 9 back in 2015.

Although it took a few years after that, the iPad and Mac got the feature in their operating systems as well.

The iPad received the power saving mode in iPadOS 14 – which was released in Fall 2020 – and can be enabled the same way you would enable the feature in iOS – via the Settings app.

The Mac got into power saving mode macOS Monterey – which was released in Fall 2021 – and can be enabled in the Battery section of System Preferences.

Power saving mode can be turned on manually, through preset automations, or by asking Siri to turn it on for you.

keep saving

The biggest criticism the Apple Watch has received since its inception has been its battery life. While Apple advertises an all-day battery on the Apple Watch, it depends on what you do with it to see if it lasts.

Low Power Mode extends battery life in the Apple Watch by turning off features that may not be needed at this time. While that’s happening, Apple still keeps safety features — like fall detection — in place, even when power-saving mode is on. It’s nice to see that the same core experience is still enabled whether the feature is on or off.

Anyone with a compatible device can now download watchOS 9 for free to access power-saving mode.