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Is watchOS 10 causing battery drain? Here’s what we know

watchOS 10 watch face modular ultra.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Every fall, Apple releases new software updates for the company’s most important products. This year, it introduced iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 for the iPhone and iPad, respectively, tvOS 17 for Apple TV, and watchOS 10 for Apple Watch.

Some Apple Watch users have reported experiencing a significant battery drain since installing the watchOS 10 update, regardless of their model. Is this really happening? Is there something wrong with the update? Here are a few thoughts that may shed some light on the issue.

Does watchOS 10 cause battery drain?

Control Center on an Apple Watch Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The watchOS 10 update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2023) and has been eagerly anticipated by Apple Watch users. This update is the most significant software update in years and introduces various new-and-improved features — including Smart Stack, an adorable Snoopy watch face, advanced hiking tools, and mental health monitoring. As a result, many users have been eager to update their Apple Watches to watchOS 10 as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, some early adopters are reporting Apple Watch battery issues since installing the update. Messages left at MacRumors, on Reddit, and through the Apple discussion groups all say the same thing: there’s something not quite right battery-wise with watchOS 10.

Apple has not yet commented on some Apple Watch users’ concerns, and it probably won’t. Several factors can often affect the watch’s battery life; not all may be related to the software.

We have been using watchOS 10 on a first-generation Apple Watch Ultra since the first public beta was released in July. During this time, we have not experienced any problems with the battery life of the watch. This doesn’t mean problems don’t exist for others, however. It could be, for example, that battery problems only affect users with old Apple Watch models. Or maybe the battery itself is somehow damaged. Any multitude of factors can be to blame for battery drain complaints like this.

Why battery drain in watchOS 10 is normal

watchOS 10 running on an Apple Watch Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It is important to note that beta software versions are known for having battery-draining issues. However, before you consider ditching your Apple Watch due to battery issues, it is essential to understand that the first public version of watchOS 10 can also cause temporary hiccups despite being a technically stable version.

This means that even if you are not using a beta version and are experiencing battery issues, it may be a temporary issue that will level out within a few days. If the issue persists, Apple will almost certainly release a new build, such as watchOS 10.0.1, and the problem should disappear.

How to fix watchOS 10 battery drain

Apple Watch family.

If you’re experiencing battery issues with your Apple Watch and can’t wait for an update, you can try a few basic tips. First, try turning your Apple Watch off and on again, as this can often improve battery life. You can also try clearing apps and turning on Low Power Mode.

If these solutions don’t work, you can consider factory resetting your Apple Watch, but waiting for another software update is recommended before taking this final step.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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