Apple Watch Battery Suddenly Dying

I have an Apple Watch Series 8. Since I’ve gotten it, the battery life would last all day. I usually had 20% to 40% battery left by the end of the day. I could sleep with it and still have some juice left in the morning.

A week or two ago, I suddenly noticed the battery was at 14% just past noon. I’m now stuck charging it two to three times per day. I’m lucky to get four to five hours of battery life. Even on low power mode, the battery drains quickly.

Has this been an issue with the last update? Is there something I should look for? Anyone else seen this? Is there anyway I can see what my watch could be doing to drain the battery so quickly?

The first update to Watch OS10 dramatically reduced battery life. A subsequent update fixed it.

Mine is updated to 10,2 and claims to be up to date.

What does Settings->Battery->Battery Health say? Unfortunately, you don’t get a list of apps that are using battery the way you do on an iPhone, but you do get a general battery health percentage. Have you tried just restarting the watch?

I have a Series 5 watch and, from time to time I have had a few days where the same thing happened. In four years or so, it’s happened on maybe 6 or 7 days. It mostly seems to happen when I spend the day walking around Chicago’s Loop, but I’ve never had it happen for more than one day at a time. I thought it might have something to do with the level of concentrated electromagnetic interference that must be present in the Loop. But the last time I spent the day in the Loop I didn’t have a problem with the power draining.

I’d say the first thing to try is to power cycle both the watch and the phone and see if that helps.

As time goes by, battery health decreases (though it shouldn’t be that dramatic for a one year old plus watch), but I do believe that each new major release of watchOS does drain battery a little faster. It’s true that watchOS 10 had a battery drain issue at first, but I believe it was fixed with 10.1, and I have noticed better battery life since then.

My ultra definitely doesn’t have the same battery performance as it did when it was new since watchOS 10 appeared; it’s one thing that makes me happy to have the extra battery life.

If simple restarts don’t help, some of the other things I do to help save battery is to dial down brightness to as low as I can still see when I am outside in bright sunlight. Lots of people also turn off background processing, but I really don’t think that has much effect. If you can live without always on display (I can’t), you can try turning that off. Lastly I suggest turning off handwashing detection (watch app, handwashing) and walkie talkie access (control center, it’s one of the tiles / it’s yellow when walkie talkie is on) unless you use those. And if you don’t need it you can turn off loud sound detection: watch app, privacy, environmental sound measurements - though I’m not sure that makes a large difference, either.

One last issue (which might appear as people’s names not showing in the messages app, but instead just their phone numbers or Apple ID email addresses) is to try watch app, general, reset, reset sync data. This doesn’t show any sort of progress when you tap it, but it fixes any issue with sync data corruption for contact or calendar sync.

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That didn’t show me my Apple Watch battery, but it did show my iPhone’s battery needs replacing. I’ve scheduled for that.

It also exists on the watch itself, where it will tell you about the watch battery.

The same thing happened to me just about 10 days ago. I am on 10.2. I had 40 to 60% at the end of day before this happened. I was ready to test if I could find the reason when it got a bit better 3 days ago. I hoped this was solving itself, but looking at the watch now just before going to bed, the battery is down at 20%. It is not practical for me needing to charge during the day and it is close to that happening now. If it does not get better soon, I will reset the watch.

My wife solved it.

I was telling her my problem with my Apple Watch, and she said “Did you try rebooting it? You always tell me to do that.”

I rebooted my watch. It’s now 7pm, and it’s at 44%.

In fact, it took me a while to figure out how to even how to boot it.


I don’t know why, but all Apple products seem to experience power-drain for a few days (maybe even a week or so) after a software update.

The prevailing theory is that it is repopulating caches and re-generating internal databases for various things. It takes a while because it’s done at low priority (to keep the device responsive) but it does result in a persistent power drain until it eventually finishes.

Thanks to your wife! Read this in the morning here. Did a reboot and my battery’s normal capacity is back. I, on the other hand, have rebooted the watch more than normal after iOS 10 got on my watch, so why did I not do that again before I complained? :thinking:

I’ve had this problem since watchOS 10 on my Nike SE (2020, GPS 44mm, purchased 3 years ago). On watchOS 9, I typically finished the day (~15 hours since last charge) without getting a low battery warning. With watchOS 10 I started to regularly have days where the charge would plummet from 100% to 10% in less than 4 hours. Trying the various tips didn’t solve the problem (also, rebooting the watch is really slow). I think the 10.1 update helped and I again had some good days but I still have many bad days.

watchOS 10 has been entirely negative for me, I wish I could go back to watchOS 9. I literally can’t think of anything about 10 that’s better than 9 and can think of multiple things about my experience that are worse (the battery, switching listening from phone to watch, app switching, etc.).

I had a series of good days that ended after installing the 10.2 update in mid-December and which made me think there was a connection. Unfortunately, it’s continued and I’ve had far more bad days.

When watchOS 10 was new, my battery health was ok, 86%. Now the maximum capacity is down to 81% and I blame all the wear from these many fast drains, 2-3 charges per day instead of 1.

I’m considering getting the battery replaced but I’m concerned spending the $99 won’t make the problem go away. A new 44mm SE 2nd gen. GPS is $279, a lot more, but my current one is in good condition and Apple estimates it has a $90 trade-in value; $189 is better than the “renewed” watch prices I’ve seen elsewhere.

Just FYI, unlike iPhone, Apple will not do a battery replacement on a watch if the maximum capacity is 80% or more, even though they don’t actually say that on their watch service support page. They don’t actually replace the battery - they give you a like-new replacement. The only way they will do a battery service is if the watch fails diagnostics, is showing signs of swelling, etc.

So trade in and new watch is likely your best bet.

FWIW, three years is about as long as any of my Apple Watches had decent battery life. I’m not sure that I’d blame watchOS 10 - a three year old watch just is going to suffer from bad battery life, even if you had stayed on watchOS 9. My old series 5, which I keep as a spare, cannot get through a day without charging at some point and its maximum capacity is 83% - and it’s still on watchOS 9.

Thanks. I had only seen that AppleCare+ would replace it only if it was below 80%.

I do blame watchOS 10. This is not a gradual decline, my watch went from daily getting 15+ hours to ~4 hours right after upgrading and it keeps happening most days.

Maybe think about unpairing the watch and pair it back. Even with 81% health, it should be lasting 14-15 hours for most people. Repairing has the watch reestablish syncing data. It may be that your watch has some sort of data corruption that’s causing it to resync constantly.

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Yes, resyncing is one of the things I tried. I’m not going to keep trying it.

Just in the past week I’ve been struck by poor battery performance. Restarting seemed to make no difference. Starting at 100%, if I go for an hour walk in the morning I’ll be less than 50% by midday.

A quick check says the battery ‘needs service’ - $169 AUD for a new battery (3 year old watch). I guess it’s not too bad - my 30 year old Tag costs around $140 for a new battery every few years.

The only question is whether to invest in a new watch or put money into old tech. The Tag is different because it’s essentially timeless.

When do new watches generally get announced? I might limp through until the next model arrives.

September, at the iPhone event. Apple always announces iPhones and watches at the autumn event. Delivery usually begins at the end of September.

FWIW, rumors are heavy this year that there will be a major change in form factor to the 2024 Apple Watch; some rumors suggest a new magnetic watch band attachment mechanism (though how this will work with the compass app I’m not sure). When Apple makes a big change, sometimes new products are constrained and back ordered for many people. The last major change with the watch was the Ultra last year and that was back ordered quickly when orders started, though Apple did deliver mine on October 6 after an initial delivery estimate of October 29.

Just keep in mind that there’s a chance that you’ll be waiting longer than late September for a new watch model.

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A ’timeless’ watch sounds like a problem to me… ;-)