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How Long Does The Always On Display Last On An Apple Watch?

Last Updated Nov 26, 2022
Apple Watch BPM Close up screen

The Always On feature on Apple Watches is handy, but doesn’t it seem like it uses a lot of battery? How long does the Always On display last on an Apple Watch?

According to Apple, an Apple Watch with Always On display can last up to 18 hours on a full charge. Always On mode is the default setting on Apple Watches Series 5 and up. 

If you’re worried about your Apple Watch’s battery life while using the Always On feature, or want to learn more about how this feature works, keep reading for more helpful information and tips.

How Long Does the Always on Display Last on an Apple Watch?

Your first thought upon hearing about Apple’s Always On feature might be, “wow, there goes my battery life,” but Apple kept your battery in mind while designing this feature for their watches. 

The Apple Watch display dims when you lower your wrist or cover the display with your palm to preserve battery while using the Always On feature. 

All Apple watches have a predicted battery life of at least 18 hours, equivalent to a day of use. The table below compares Apple Watch models’ battery life with Always On mode. 

Apple Watch ModelBattery Life
Series 518 hours
Series 618 hours
Series 718 hours
Series 818 hours
Ultra36 hours

As you can see, Apple Watch Ultra is the only model intended to last longer than 18 hours on a single charge while using the Always On feature.

However, if you want to extend the battery life of your Apple Watch, you can find tips in this article on what drains the Apple Watch battery

What Does Apple Watch’s Always On Feature Do?

The Always On feature can be found on Apple Watch Series 5 and up. Earlier models and Apple Watch SE do not support the Always On feature. 

Always On makes it easy to check the time and other “glanceable information” without needing to wake up your watch’s display. Customize the information displayed using these steps:

  1. Open Settings on your Apple Watch
  2. Select Display and Brightness
  3. Tap Always On
  4. Select Show Complication Data, Show Notifications, or Show Apps
  5. Choose which apps and notifications you’d like to see

You can set your watch to show details from apps (AKA complications) like the timer, fitness, or whether to keep all the information you need just a glance away. 

Complications related to time, like your stopwatch or timer, will be rounded up on your display to the nearest minute with the Always On feature. You’ll need to open the app to get an exact time. 

Complications from third-party apps and devices, as well as from Calendar and Weather, are refreshed once a minute when using Always On mode to ensure the information is up to date. 

Is Always On Display Worth It?

Although Always On is a handy feature, it plays a big role in draining your Apple Watch’s battery life. Is the convenience really worth it? 

Many Apple users find the Always On feature extremely useful for workouts because it lets you check your health stats and time without moving your arm, allowing you to maintain proper form.

The Always On feature is also incredibly helpful for people with mobility disabilities who are unable or would prefer not to move their arm to check the time. 

However, unless you’re in the middle of a workout or have issues with mobility, the Always On feature probably isn’t worth it, as turning this feature off conserves a lot of battery.  

To turn off Always On:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Select Display and Brightness
  3. Scroll down and select Always On
  4. Toggle the switch off

If you find that your Apple Watch battery is not making it through the day, try turning the Always On feature off. You’ll still easily be able to see your display by raising your wrist.

How to Keep Apple Watch Display on Longer

If you don’t want your display to be Always On, but find yourself frustrated by how quickly the display dims after checking your Apple Watch, there is a solution for you.

You can adjust your display’s wake time (the amount of time the display stays illuminated after you check your watch) easily in your Apple Watch’s settings.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Select Display and Brightness
  3. Select Wake Duration
  4. Select either 15 or 70 seconds

Setting your watch’s wake time to 15 seconds will help extend your battery life, but a 70 second wake time is a good alternative to using Always On mode and uses up less of your battery. 

Conclusion

Apple Watches are intended to last up to 18 hours with the Always On feature, however you can conserve battery by turning the feature off if you don’t find it useful.