How and Why You Should Use Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 8 charging icon on a yellow background.

View of the Apple Watch Series 8 when charging begins.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

with the release of iOS 16 And the WatchOS 9Apple has added a bunch of new features to the iPhone and Apple Watch Both. iPhone got features like the ability to Edit or delete iMessageswhile the Apple Watch I got better fitness tools, and what’s shaping up to be my favorite addition to my Apple Watch – the new Low Power Mode.

The iPhone has had a similar situation for years, which, when enabled, will limit some aspects of your phone’s performance in order to free up every last bit of battery to extend its life before you need to charge it again.

Low Power Mode is a nice feature on the iPhone, but it’s better to have something like the Apple Watch, which has a small battery and usually lasts a day.

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Below, I’ll dive into what happens to your Apple Watch when Low Power Mode is turned on, and outline the steps you need to follow to get it working.

Apple Watch Ultra with time and date.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

What happens when Low Power Mode is enabled on Apple Watch

In order to preserve battery life and ensure that your Apple Watch lasts until you reach the charger, Low Power Mode disables some features.

According to AppleHere are the features that turn off when Low Power Mode is on:

  • always on screen
  • Heart rate notifications for irregular heartbeat, high heart rate and low heart rate
  • Background heart rate measurements
  • Background blood oxygen measurements
  • Exercise start reminder

but that is not all. Low Power Mode also turns off Wi-Fi and cellular connections, along with disabling calls and notifications when your iPhone isn’t nearby. To be clear, this does not mean that you cannot access data, notifications, or phone calls.

If your iPhone isn’t nearby and you open an app that needs data, your Apple Watch will temporarily restart the connection to retrieve data, then disable it once it’s done. For alerts and notifications, your Apple Watch will periodically retrieve and display any new alerts on the watch.

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You’re not completely cut off from the outside world, but don’t expect any real-time communications.

How about tracking a workout in low power mode?

Well, it is possible, and in fact, you shouldn’t really notice a difference in the data being captured. In fact, you can automatically enable Low Power Mode when you start a workout to help you save battery life.

Screenshots from Apple Watch Low Power Mode

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

When your Apple Watch’s battery reaches 10%, you’ll get an alert on the watch asking if you want to turn on Low Power Mode, but you can turn the feature on whenever you want.

How to enable Low Power Mode on Apple Watch

Swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch screen to view Control Center. Locate the Battery Percentage tile and tap on it.

At the bottom of the screen there is a switch to turn on low power mode – tap the switch to move it to the on position. Another screen will appear explaining what Low Power Mode is and give you the following options: On, On for… and Decline.

Choose his job If you want to turn it on immediately or let it turn off automatically when your watch is then charged to 80%. Choose run for… If you want to run Low Power Mode for one, two or three days.

You can easily check if Low Power Mode is on: there should be a yellow circle on top of the watch face, the battery percentage will turn yellow in the Control Center, and the charging circle when charging your watch will be yellow instead of green.

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