Getting Poor Battery Life on Your Apple Watch? A Fix is On the Way

Apple Watch Battery Charger Credit: Framesira / Shutterstock
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Although watchOS 10.1 delivered some useful new features for Apple’s popular wearable, including Double-Tap and NameDrop support, it also arrived with a significant downside for many folks.

Shortly after installing the update, numerous Apple Watch users reported exceptionally poor battery life — with hundreds of comments on Reddit, the Apple support forums, and even dozens from our own readers.

While the problem hasn’t affected every Apple Watch user — I have a Series 8 that’s performing as well as it always has — it’s widespread enough to be a serious concern. There are also no real workarounds for those who are encountering this problem, which often combines both rapid battery drain and overheating while charging.

The problem can be mitigated by practicing the usual battery-saving tips, but these are a bandaid at best for an issue that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

The good news is that it looks like Apple is well aware of this issue and already has a fix in the works — although there’s no word on when it will arrive other than “soon.”

The news comes from an internal service memo sent to Apple Authorized Service Providers that the folks at MacRumors got their hands on. The memo is incredibly vague on details and seems intended chiefly to reassure service providers that Apple is working on a fix so that they, in turn, can advise customers who come in reporting these problems.

For example, nothing in the memo talks about why the issue is happening, nor how many customers or different Apple Watch models are impacted.

The Problem (and Possible Interim Solutions)

Based on what we’ve seen, the answer to those last two questions is “a lot.” There are hundreds of posts in the usual online mediums, from the Apple Support Community and MacRumors forums to X and Reddit. Since we reported on the issue last week, over four dozen of our readers have also weighed in to say they’re also experiencing the same problems.

I use to charge My Apple Watch 6 overnight. Now I have to charge it twice a day! I have to make sure I have a charger with me at all times! So frustrating!!

Janet Battaglia, iDrop News reader

The battery impact also appears to be no respecter of Apple Watch models, with reports across all watchOS 10-compatible wearables, from the Apple Watch Series 4 to the Apple Watch Series 9 and both the first- and second-generation Apple Watch Ultra.

Some folks have reported success when switching away from specific watch faces — the new Snoopy one appears to exacerbate the problem for those who have encountered it. However, it’s not necessarily the cause, as others — myself included — have been using that watch face without issue since before watchOS 10 was even released to the public.

iDrop News comments on Apple Watch watchOS 10.1 battery drain MobyFox app

Several other iDrop News readers reported that uninstalling the third-party app Watch Faces by MobyFox solved the problem for them, while we’ve seen other reports from our readers and elsewhere that their battery life went back to normal after unpairing their Apple Watch and setting it up as a new device.

When Will We See the Fix?

Unfortunately, the memo offers no timeline for when Apple will release a fix other than to say it’s “coming soon.” This will most likely take the form of a watchOS update — likely watchOS 10.1.1 or watchOS 10.2, depending on Apple’s timeline.

Apple is reportedly preparing an iOS 17.1.1 bugfix update for the iPhone that is said to be “imminent,” according to 9to5Mac’s sources. Since iOS and watchOS releases typically arrive at the same time, there’s a good chance we’ll see watchOS 10.1.1 alongside iOS 17.1.1, both of which could arrive as soon as this week.

Whether watchOS 10.1.1 will fix the battery drain problem is another matter. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Apple has identified whatever is happening under the hood and worked it into this upcoming release.

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