How to Use Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Low Power Mode Featured

Looking to squeeze more hours of productivity out of your Apple Watch? Perhaps you find yourself constantly reaching for your Apple Watch charger, or maybe you are sporting an older Apple Watch with an aging battery that struggles to make it through the day. In such scenarios, the power-saver feature or Apple Watch Low Power Mode comes in handy. Learn how to enable, disable, and schedule this mode on your Apple Watch in just a few simple taps.

Understanding Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

With watchOS 9, avid Apple Watch wearers can take advantage of an all-new Low Power Mode that can effectively double your Apple Watch battery life according to Apple. With Low Power Mode turned on, your Apple Watch can last up to 36 hours of normal use on a single charge, provided your iPhone is within the range of your Apple Watch while Low Power Mode is enabled.

Watchos 9 Low Power Mode Hero

Low Power Mode vs. Power Reserve Mode

Low Power Mode

  • Must be enabled manually.
  • The current time, watch faces, apps, and other core features remain accessible.
  • Some background processes, sensor data collection, and miscellaneous features are temporarily disabled.

Power Reserve Mode

  • Must be toggled manually.
  • Automatically enables itself when Apple Watch drops below 1% battery.
  • Only the current time is visible via a press of the Side Button.
  • While enabled, Apple Watch no longer communicates with iPhone.

Models of Apple Watch That Support Low Power Mode on watchOS 9

The following models of the Apple Watch will support Low Power Mode when updated to watchOS 9. Actual battery life may vary depending on battery age and average use.

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

Features That Are Temporarily Unavailable While Low Power Mode Is Enabled

Activating Low Power Mode comes at a cost. While the new mode improves the average usage time and standby efficiency of the Apple Watch, it does so by disabling several hallmark features and capabilities. Low Power Mode sure isn’t something you will want to have enabled all the time if you’re looking to take advantage of the full Apple Watch experience. Here is a complete list of every feature that Low Power Mode disables:

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

How to Enable Low Power Mode

The easiest way to toggle Low Power Mode is to use Control Center. Learn how to conserve battery life on the fly using this method.

  1. From the watch face on your Apple Watch, swipe up from the bottom of the display to reveal Control Center.
Apple Watch Control Center 1

If you are not on the watch face, tap and hold your finger on the bottom portion of the display, then immediately swipe up to activate Control Center from within apps.

Apple Watch Control Center In App
  1. Tap on the oval-shaped icon housing your current battery percentage to reveal the fullscreen battery status widget.
Apple Watch Batterey Percentage
  1. Tap on the switch to the right of the text that reads “Low Power Mode.”
Apple Watch Low Power Mode Button
  1. Use the Digital Crown or your finger to navigate the Lower Power Mode splash screen by scrolling down until you see these three buttons: Turn On, Turn On For…, and Dismiss.
Apple Watch Lpm Splash Screen
  1. Select the button labeled “Turn On” to enable Low Power Mode instantly. Tap “Dismiss” if you would like to exit the Low Power Mode settings screen.
Apple Watch Low Power Turn On

How to Identify When Low Power Mode Is Active

When Low Power Mode is enabled on your Apple Watch, you will see a hollow circular indicator outlined in the color yellow centered at the top of your display while glancing at your watch face. The indicator is visible directly to the left of the current time when apps are active.

Low Power Mode Icon Apple Watch

How to Disable Low Power Mode

You can use Control Center to promptly disable Low Power Mode when you need access to more advanced Apple Watch features, including key health and wellness tracking capabilities.

  1. Toggle Control Center and tap on the yellow oval-shaped icon housing your current battery percentage.
Battery Toggle Apple Watch Yellow
  1. Tap on the switch to the right of the text that reads “Low Power Mode.” The fill color of the switch will turn gray, indicating that you have successfully disabled Low Power Mode.
Low Power Mode Disable Apple Watch

How to Schedule Low Power Mode

For long-distance journeys when you may not have access to a charger, you can schedule Low Power Mode to remain enabled for up to a few 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 “Turn On For…” from the list of options.
Apple Watch Turn On For
  1. On the following screen, select whether you want to enable Low Power Mode for a day, two days, or three days at a time.
Low Power Mode Day Select Apple Watch

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still close my rings in the Activity App with Low Power Mode enabled?

Yes. According to Apple, core fitness tracking and safety features including activity tracking as well as fall detection remain enabled while Low Power Mode is turned on.

Are there alternatives to Control Center for accessing Low Power Mode?

You can additionally access Low Power Mode from the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Navigate to “Settings -> Battery -> Low Power Mode.” This workflow is helpful if you are already on the Home Screen, or after you have finished checking your battery health in the Settings app.

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

watchOS 9 brings expanded metrics for workouts including ground contact time for runs, and trackable heart rate zones for various activities. Alongside wellness features like AFib history, the new Apple Watch Series 8 unleashes breakthrough innovations for women’s health with the introduction of a body temperature sensor., To learn more, take a look at our “Far out” Apple event recap detailing the iPhone 14 lineup, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and the Apple Watch Ultra.

Image credit: Luke Chesser All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank

Brahm Shank
Brahm Shank

Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts - including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.

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