How to Use Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

Want to squeeze more productive hours out of your Apple Watch? You might find yourself constantly reaching for your Apple Watch charger, or maybe you’re wearing an old Apple Watch with an aging battery that struggles to last through the day. In such cases, the power saving feature or the Apple Watch power saving mode will come in handy. Learn how to enable, disable, and schedule this mode on your Apple Watch with just a few simple taps.

Understanding Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

With watchOS 9, avid Apple Watch owners can take advantage of an all-new Low Power Mode that Apple says can effectively double Apple Watch battery life. With Low Power Mode turned on, your Apple Watch can run for up to 36 hours normally on a single charge, as long as your iPhone is within range of your Apple Watch when Low Power Mode is turned on.

Watchos 9 Power Saving Mode Hero

Low Power Mode and Power Reserve Mode

Low Power Mode

  • Must be enabled manually.
  • The current time, watch faces, applications and other basic functions remain available.
  • Some background processes, sensor data collection, and other features are temporarily disabled.

Power reserve mode

  • Must be switched manually.
  • Automatically turns on when Apple Watch battery drops below 1%.
  • When you press the side button, only the current time is displayed.
  • When the Apple Watch is turned on, it no longer communicates with the iPhone.

Apple Watch models that support power saving mode on watchOS 9

The following Apple Watch models will support Power Save Mode when updated to watchOS 9. Actual battery life may vary based on battery life and average usage.

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE (1st and 2nd generation)
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Ultra

Functions Temporarily Unavailable When Power Saving Mode is On

Activating the power saving mode is expensive. While the new mode improves the average use time and standby efficiency of the Apple Watch, it does so at the cost of disabling several signature features and functionality. Power saving mode isn’t something you need to keep on all the time if you want to get the most out of your Apple Watch. Here is a complete list of all the features that are disabled in power saving mode:

  • Always On Display (AOD)
  • Instant notifications and emergency alerts
  • Permanent Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • Background heart rate measurements
  • Irregular heart rate notifications
  • Blood oxygen measurements
  • Autostart for workouts

How to enable low power mode

The easiest way to toggle low power mode is to use the Control Center. Learn how to save battery power on the fly using this method.

  1. On the Apple Watch watch face, swipe up from the bottom of the display to open Control Center.
Apple Watch Control Center 1

If you’re not on the watch face, touch and hold at the bottom of the display, and then immediately swipe up to activate Control Center from apps.

Apple Watch Control Center in the app
  1. Click on the oval icon showing the current battery percentage to open the full screen battery status widget.
Apple Watch Battery Percentage
  1. Tap the switch to the right of the text labeled “Low Power Mode”.
Apple Watch power save button
  1. Use your Digital Crown or your finger to navigate the Low Power Mode splash screen by scrolling down until you see these three buttons: Enable, Enable for…, and Decline.
Splash Screen Apple Watch Lpm
  1. Press the button labeled “Enable” to instantly turn on the power saving mode. Click “Reject” if you want to exit the power saving mode settings screen.
Turn on Apple Watch Low Power

How to determine when low power mode is active

When Power Saving Mode is enabled on your Apple Watch, you’ll see a hollow round indicator circled in yellow at the top center of the screen, looking at the watch face. The indicator is visible to the left of the current time when apps are active.

Apple Watch power saving icon

How to disable low power mode

You can use Control Center to quickly turn off Power Saving Mode when you need access to more advanced Apple Watch features, including basic health and wellness tracking.

  1. Toggle Control Center and tap the yellow oval icon that displays your current battery percentage.
Battery Switch Apple Watch Yellow
  1. Tap the switch to the right of the text labeled “Low Power Mode”. The fill color of the toggle will turn gray, indicating that you have successfully disabled power saving mode.
Low Power Mode Disable Apple Watch

How to schedule low power mode

For long trips where you might not have access to a charger, you can schedule a power saving mode to stay on for up to several days in a row.

  1. After accessing the Low Power Mode splash screen, as shown in the How to enable Low Power Mode section, select the button labeled “Enable for…” from the list of options.
Apple Watch turns on for
  1. On the next screen, choose whether you want to turn on power saving mode for a day, two days, or three days at a time.
Apple Watch Power Saving Mode Pick of the Day

Frequently asked Questions

Can I still close my rings in the Activity app with power saver turned on?

Yes. According to Apple, core fitness and safety tracking features, including activity tracking as well as fall detection, remain enabled as long as power saving mode is enabled.

Are there any alternatives to the Control Center to access the power saving mode?

You can additionally access Power Saving Mode from the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Go to “Settings -> Battery -> Power Saving Mode”. This workflow is useful if you’re already on the Home screen or after you’ve finished checking the battery status in the Settings app.

What else is new in watchOS 9 and Apple Watch hardware?

watchOS 9 provides enhanced training metrics, including ground contact time for runs and tracked heart rate zones for a variety of activities. Along with wellness features like the AFib story, the new Apple Watch Series 8 brings cutting-edge innovation to women’s health with the introduction of a body temperature sensor. , Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and Apple Watch Ultra.

Image credit: Luke Chesser. All screenshots are by Bram Shank.

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