The newest Apple Watch is here, complete with an Always-On display, a built-in compass, and all-new design materials. For the most part, the Apple Watch Series 5 is a solid upgrade, but you might experience some battery drain problems out of the gate.
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- How to reset or restart and Apple Watch
Battery drain problems in watchOS 6
With a new watch comes a new update to watchOS, in this 6th iteration we get new watch faces, new apps, and a dedicated Watch App Store. But we also get a bug that causes series battery drain on all Apple Watch models.
Users with watchOS 6 on their wrist have seen up to 30% of their battery drain every hour. That’s only a three-hour battery life, which is substantially shorter than the 18 hours Apple boasts for their watch.
Fortunately, this battery drain issue is down to a software bug, making it easy to fix with three simple steps.
If you haven’t updated to the latest watchOS, this would be the time to update it since the new software addresses some of the battery woes.
Step 1. Unpair and repair your Apple Watch
- On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app.
- Go to the ‘My Watch’ tab and select the i next to your Apple Watch.
- Tap ‘Unpair Apple Watch’ and confirm you want to unpair.
- If prompted, enter your Apple ID password.
- When unpairing is complete, follow the prompts to set up your Apple Watch again and restore its backup from your iPhone.
Step 2. Restart your Apple Watch
- Press and hold the Side button.
- Slide to power off your Apple Watch.
- Wait 30 seconds before pressing the Side button to restart your watch.
Step 3. Restart your iPhone
- Press and hold the Side button with either Volume button.
- When prompted, slide to power off your iPhone.
- Wait 30 seconds before pressing the Side button to restart your iPhone.
Most users saw a drastic improvement in their battery life after completing these steps. Some Redditors said they saw battery drain drop from 30% to 5% an hour. That’s much better!
If it didn’t work for you, repeat the steps but do a Force Restart for your Apple Watch and your iPhone instead.
Get even better battery life on the Apple Watch Series 5
If you wear your Apple Watch Series 5 to bed, the Always-On display might seem more of an inconvenience than an improvement. Not only does the light brighten your room and shine in your face, but it could use as much as 20% extra battery power through the night.
There’s an easy solution to this, and it was introduced to the Apple Watch back with watchOS 3.
Turn on Theater Mode while you sleep
- Swipe open Control Center on your Apple Watch.
- Scroll down and tap the Theater Mode icon to turn it on.
- Now your watch face turns off unless you tap it or raise your wrist.
With Theater Mode switched on through the night you should be able to sleep in greater darkness and wake with extra battery power.
How are you getting on with the Apple Watch Series 5 and watchOS 6? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments. Do you like the Always-On display? Do you sleep with your watch on? Or do you miss the impressive battery life of the Apple Watch Series 2?
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.