Apple Watches have never had great battery life. Even though Apple claims a “full day battery,” they still only quote 18 hours of battery life on the new Apple Watch Series 8. Now, while the watch actually lasts much longer than the claimed 18 hours, it’s still not the best in terms of battery life and leaves a lot to be desired. And that’s where the new low power mode comes in. So the next time you go on a trip and you can’t charge your watch, remember to use the Apple Watch’s low power mode.
Apple Watch Low Power Mode (Power Reserve)
With the release of watchOS 9, Apple has made some changes to Battery Saver Mode in Apple Watch. In older versions of watchOS, Power Reserve was the only way to ensure that your Apple Watch could survive more than a few days without being charged. However, with watchOS 9, you can use the new Low Power Mode to extend your battery life.
In this article, we will see how to enable and disable Low Power Mode on your watch. Additionally, we will also look at the features that Low Power Mode will turn off to save battery life and a quick comparison between the new Low Power Mode and the old Power Reserve Mode.
How to enable low power mode
If your Apple Watch is running out of battery, you can quickly turn on Low Power Mode. There are two ways to do this.
Using the Control Center
- Open your watch’s control center by swiping up from the bottom of the home screen. Here, tap on the battery percentage.
- Scroll down and enable the toggle next to “Low Power Mode”.
- Tap “Enable”. Alternatively, you can tap on ‘Enable for’ and then choose a duration for which you want to activate low power mode. You can activate it for 1 day, 2 days or 3 days.
- Open the Settings app on your watch and tap “Battery”.
- Scroll down and enable the toggle for “Low Power Mode”.
- Tap “Enable”. Alternatively, you can tap on ‘Enable for’ and then choose a duration for which you want to activate low power mode.
To note: When Low Power Mode is on, you will see a yellow circle icon on Apple Watch.
Use low power mode when battery drops below 10%
When your Apple Watch runs out of battery (10% charge remaining), it prompts you to either charge your Apple Watch or put it in low power mode. If you enable Low Power Mode through this prompt, it will automatically turn off once your Apple Watch has been charged to 80%.
How to Disable Low Power Mode
If you no longer want to use Low Power Mode, you can also easily disable it. Again, you can do this two ways.
through the control center
- Open Control Center and tap Battery Percentage (it should be yellow, if Low Power Mode is enabled).
- Here, turn off the toggle next to “Low Power Mode”.
- Open the Settings app and go to “Battery”.
- Here, turn off the toggle next to “Low Power Mode”.
That’s all; Low Power Mode is now disabled on your Apple Watch and it will continue to work as usual.
What does Low Power Mode do?
That pretty much sums up the tutorial part, but if you’re curious and wondering how Low Power Mode saves and extends the battery life of your Apple Watch, let’s take a look at what’s going on. goes behind the scenes.
Basically, Low Power Mode disables a bunch of features that aren’t essential to the operation of the Apple Watch. As such, it disables features that are low priority, but consume a lot of battery:
- Always on show
- Continuous heart rate measurements (in the background)
- Heart rate notifications for low heart rate, high heart rate, irregular rhythm
- Background blood oxygen measurements (Series 6 and later only)
- Workout reminders
Additionally, if your iPhone isn’t near your Apple Watch, Low Power Mode takes it a step further and disables two other things on your watch:
- Incoming calls and notifications
- Wi-Fi and Cellular Connections
To note: Apple says incoming call notifications and other notifications will still be checked periodically by the Apple Watch in Low Power Mode.
Features that may be affected
If you’re using your Apple Watch in Low Power Mode, you might notice that some other features don’t work normally. Here are the Apple Watch features that can be affected by Low Power Mode.
- Background app refresh rate is significantly reduced
- Complications are not updated as frequently
- Animations and scrolling may seem less fluid
- Siri may respond slower and take longer to process requests
Low Power Mode (watchOS 9) vs Power Reserve (watchOS 8)
You might be wondering why Apple decided to change the power reserve to low power mode. Is it even really an upgrade or not? Well, let’s take a look at the differences between the two features.
Power Reserve is the feature to extend battery life in watchOS 8 and earlier. This feature can be enabled by going to the Apple Watch battery settings. This is similar to the new Low Power Mode, both in terms of why the feature exists and how it is activated.
However, the power reserve turn off all Apple Watch features except for the time display. This resulted in an extremely low power state for the watch, but also rendered the Apple Watch pretty useless.
On the other hand, Low Power Mode does not disable all features of the watch. Instead, it disables some battery-hungry features and manages others in ways that extend battery life.
Likewise, disabling Power Reserve mode was no small feat. You had to press and hold the side button on the Apple Watch to restart the watch to disable the feature. On the other hand, disabling Low Power Mode is very easy and doesn’t end up frustrating you.
Arguably, the power reserve was a better feature as it really extended the battery life by leaps and bounds. I, personally, put my watch in power reserve for an entire week and it lasted throughout it. However, with Low Power Mode, you can still use your Apple Watch as a smartwatch, but with some missing features.
Use Low Power Mode to Extend Battery Life on Apple Watch
Well, that’s how you can use the new Low Power Mode on your Apple Watch in situations where you can’t charge your watch for a while. As you can see, enabling the feature is quite simple, and the best part is that disabling it later is just as easy. While it will take me a while before I can say for sure if Low Power Mode is working or not, this seems like a promising update to the Power Reserve feature on watchOS 8. So what do you think of the low power mode in watchOS 9? Let us know in the comments.