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Does the Always On Display Drain the Battery on my Apple Watch?

Last Updated Dec 5, 2022
Apple Watch Sideways on Shelf

The Apple Watch comes with many important and useful features, but some of these features can drain the battery. Does the Always On Display drain the battery of an Apple Watch?

The Always on feature can drain the battery of an Apple Watch. It keeps the screen lit even when you’re not actively using the display. Anything of this nature will cause battery drain.

Read on to learn more about the Apple Watch’s Always On Display and how it could be negatively impacting the battery life of your device.

Does the Always On Display Drain the Battery of an Apple Watch?

The Apple watch has an Always On Display option. When the user activates this option, the Apple watch will always display notifications and the time.

If you’re not careful with some features, you can find yourself scrambling for your Apple watch’s charger in the middle of the day.

But does the Always On Display drain the Apple Watch battery?

Apple’s Always On Display, which keeps the screen lit even when you’re not looking at it, can drain the battery. However, the amount of battery power the always-on display uses depends on the series of Apple Watch.

Keeping the display on is one of the most energy consuming activities for any electronic device.

The Always On Display Affects Each Series Differently

The biggest differences, besides the additional features and options that use the battery, is the Apple Watch generation.

The Apple Series 6 watch is optimized for battery life in ways that the Apple Watch series 5 and Apple Watch series 4 are not. For comparison:

Apple Watch Series45678
Always On Display?NONOYESYESYES
Avg. Battery Life4 hours3-4 hours1-2 hoursLess than an hourLESS THAN AN HOUR

Should I Turn off Always On Display?

If your Apple Watch is at full charge, then you do not have to turn it on. But if you are passing the 50% charge, then it would be a good idea to turn the Always On Display off.

Also, if you forgot to charge your Apple Watch last night, then turning off the Always On Display setting will preserve the battery.

You may only save a few percentage points, but every point counts when you have less than 50 or even 30% of your battery left.

Will Turning off Always On Display Make My Battery Last Longer?

Yes, turning off the Always On Display setting will help extend the life of your battery. But it actually may not be worth the effort to turn off the battery and to activate the display manually.

It all depends on the series of Apple Watch. If you have the newest Apple Watch, Apple Watch series 8, then the Always On Display will not drain the battery so badly.

But if you have an Apple Watch series 5, then you can easily preserve 20 to 30% of your battery by turning the setting off.

Dimming Setting

There is the option of adjusting the dimness on the Always On Display option. Turning up the screen brightness all the way to the highest setting will require more battery life.

But if you set the dimness to the lowest setting, then you’ll be able to save battery life. The apps and time that appear because of the Always On Display will be dimmer.

Power Saving Mode

Besides using the dimming setting and turning off the Always On Display, you can preserve your apple watches battery buy activating power saving mode.

The Apple Watch monitors your activity so it can get used to your patterns. When using the power saving mode, the watch knows what times you use it the most and which times you use at least.

It can then adjust its performance to your schedule. Also, it will minimize or turn off absent settings that you’re not currently using.

How to Lessen Apple Watch Battery Drain

Even with leaving Always On Display on, there are some things you can do to lessen battery drain, like:

  • Turn off the display when you finish looking at the screen.
  • Disable notifications for apps you do not use anymore or uninstall the app.
  • Do not charge your watch if it is not below 15%. Repeatedly charging your watch will wear the battery out faster. The battery will not last as long.
  • Turn off the Raise Wrist to Wake feature. Turning this feature off will preserve the battery far more than turning off the Always-On-Display.

Overall, it would be wise to eliminate all unnecessary features that are being used in the background. These things may not seem like a significant source of battery drain, but they are!

Final Thoughts

Older series of Apple watches may find that the Always On Display feature drains their batteries, while newer generations of watches are not affected.

The Apple Watch series 6 to 8 are better optimized to handle the Always On Display feature. However, it looks like the Raise Wrist to Wake feature might drain the battery the quickest.


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