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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2013
Shelton, WA
I've had my AW3 for about 3 months now. Up until about a week ago, I would routinely get 2-3 days battery life. I added the Heart Study app, which may have just been coincidental, and then my battery drained at an average of 10% per hour! I rebooted both the watch and iPX. No change. Thinking it was the app, deleted it a few days ago. No change. What used to be one of my favorite things about the watch (battery life) is now a royal PIA. Suggestions?


Jan 10, 2012
Not a direct answer to your question but it may help answer some questions...

When I first got my Apple Watch 3 NON-GPS last year in November (late) - my watch would end the day at 92%. The second day I could end at 40% and go on a third day without a problem. This was Watch OS 4.1? I think.

Watch OS 4.2 came out and not much changed.

Watch OS 4.3 came out and I noticed that after charging to 100% my watch would stay at 100% for 6-8 hours then drop rapidly. Also, I noticed that after weeks of usage, I could charge to 100% and it would only stay at 100% for a few hours then drop rapidly (much more rapidly) down to 0. So instead of ending the day at 92% I now end the day and overnight at 70%. The second day - 30-40%.

I don't think anything has changed - just the way that Apple reports the battery usage from 70-100%. I just charge every day now while I hit the shower and I'm always at 100% and ending my day (and overnight) at 70%.

I notice that traveling for whatever reason causes the AW to drain noticeably faster. So if I'm going internationally, I'll take a watch charging cable in my backpack with an Anker battery brick.

I noticed too that hitting 100% then rebooting the watch, I can continue to charge the watch for almost an hour additionally and it will stay at 100% longer. Again, I don't think it's anything changing, just how Apple reports the battery % (an overall estimate).

I've been part of the Apple Heart Study for 158 days (1,357 contributions). I know they had an update about a month back - maybe that is the cause for slightly worse battery life? But I just think it's the way Watch OS reports battery %.

Draining at 10% an hour does seem excessive. Have you rebooted your watch? (Hold Crown + Button when unlocked for 4+ seconds). This usually helps my watch - I do this once a week or so.

Buying an extra Apple Watch charging cable makes travel easy and allows me to have a cable at work if I want to charge it up for an after-work event. Highly recommended.
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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2013
Shelton, WA
Tried the unpair/pair method twice. The improvement was minimal. Now it drains at about 7% per hour. I've turned almost everything off that runs in the background, which I shouldn't even have to do. My wife's AW3 has everything running and tons more apps than I have and at the end of the day, she is always above 70% while I have had to charge mine at least once. Since I bought it at AT&T do I take it to those knuckleheads or the Apple Store?


macrumors G5
This is called the "TimeToGetMoreMoneyFromgregski" function of watchOS. It's normal. Same function exists in iOS, macOS and probably tvOS too. Again, normal.

As with any such problem communicated about Apple stuff, the problem is you. You're reacting to this wrong. You are supposed to be using phrases like "a bit long in tooth" and similar as part of moving yourself toward buying anew again. That's the correct script.

Yes, we know that technology should have longer life... that conceptually, software should get MORE optimized over time, eeking even more usefulness out of older technology. But frankly, Apple needs the money. Comply. And be honored that you are permitted to own such tech.

All ;) (barely)

Real advice: 90 days is much too fast even for Apple stuff. Can you reset to factory settings and see if the problem persists? If yes, try that. If no, BigMcGuire in #6 offered the best advice.


macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2016
sunny So. Ca.
I had the same thing happen to my watch yesterday. It didn't hold a charge for the day which it usually does. It would not fully charge using the cable it came with yesterday. it was on there for over 2 hours, but didn't completely charge. I put it on this morning around 6:00 and by 8:30 it was sending me a warning that it was at 10% or less. We are headed up to the Apple Store for something else and I'm hoping they will look at it for me.


macrumors 65816
Funny I see this thread. I’ve had my S1 since launch. I have a great gauge of what battery life to expect day to day. I’ve never ever ended a day below 30%. This last week or so however, I’ve been hitting 30% by 4-5PM. It’s strange that the battery life seems to have suddenly plummeted.
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