Terrible battery life

MuffCabbage

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2012
182
3
let the watch working through 3 days without modifying its settings... and see after that if battery consumption improves
I spent a month or so with bad battery before doing all this stuff and have also let it “settle”

it doesn’t matter

trying to think back I think the bad battery started around the time of iOS 13/watchOS6

what does the watch need to do for three days anyways? We don’t have very much data to index and regardless why wasn’t that needed before when it was brand new?

why would turning off WalkieTalkie or GymKit or Podcast sync cause three days of battery drain?

If I had to guess this could be solved if Apple allowed for true clean installs of WatchOS. I suspect something is corrupted that doesn’t get cleared out on re-pairs or upgrades that’s causing this.

now for the people who wonder why I/we would care about still getting 18-20 hours, it largely is because I use the watch as my silent alarm and I now can’t charge it just once per day. I have been having to charge before bed, when I get into work, and before leaving work.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: akidokraja

fredash

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2018
32
22
I spent a month or so with bad battery before doing all this stuff and have also let it “settle”

it doesn’t matter

trying to think back I think the bad battery started around the time of iOS 13/watchOS6

what does the watch need to do for three days anyways? We don’t have very much data to index and regardless why wasn’t that needed before when it was brand new?

why would turning off WalkieTalkie or GymKit or Podcast sync cause three days of battery drain?

If I had to guess this could be solved if Apple allowed for true clean installs of WatchOS. I suspect something is corrupted that doesn’t get cleared out on re-pairs or upgrades that’s causing this.

now for the people who wonder why I/we would care about still getting 18-20 hours, it largely is because I use the watch as my silent alarm and I now can’t charge it just once per day. I have been having to charge before bed, when I get into work, and before leaving work.
The energy management circuit in the Apple Watch estimates the remaining battery life and the percentage of battery consumed based on the usage of the watch. If you constantly change settings, open apps like system settings in the watch to check the battery consumption, then the estimation will be biased. That’s what I was talking about.
 

Nütztjanix

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2019
109
97
Germany
The energy management circuit in the Apple Watch estimates the remaining battery life and the percentage of battery consumed based on the usage of the watch. If you constantly change settings, open apps like system settings in the watch to check the battery consumption, then the estimation will be biased. That’s what I was talking about.
The entire point of this discussion is that the watch does not last 18 hours for many of us. Like, really dies way before the 18 hour mark. Not about some wrong battery percentage display …
 
  • Like
Reactions: luxx80

Uln4321

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2011
199
7
I’ve tried all the things and my watch is now worse than ever. Got my 10% battery notification with 4 hours 30 min standby and usage times matching. Considering selling and leaving the Apple Watch for good.
 

spaceman_spiff

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
10
3
California
I turned off the “detect gym equipment” setting on my series 5 LTE and it got me at least 50% battery improvement. Insane. Instead of having to charge my phone at 7pm, I’m going to bed with 30-50% now. There has to be some software issue with that.
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,910
1,431
now for the people who wonder why I/we would care about still getting 18-20 hours, it largely is because I use the watch as my silent alarm and I now can’t charge it just once per day. I have been having to charge before bed, when I get into work, and before leaving work.
Your life would probably be a ton less stressful if you pick up a used series 1 or 2 watch to use as your silent alarm.
 

joedan76

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2013
25
21
My Apple Watch series 4 battery has been stellar lasting 2 days if I try hard enough.
Except now that I have started using the native workout app. I might lose 10% during a heavy workout which is fair enough but I get terrible battery drain after the workout is completed. That drain then continues until I reboot the watch.

There is no sign of gps usage after the workout has stopped but something is still obviously running in the background.

I have stopped using workout for now.
 

IBMikey

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2008
7
2
Seattle, WA
Here is something I just tried, and from all indications - has worked.

I have tried everything including IPSW updates with no backup restore and nothing worked - I have many devices in active use and a lot of past devices I have donated on to family or sold. Many of these still appear in the iCloud pref pane on my Macs.

In my case and some others it appears to be an issue with Keychain/AppleId synchronisation, specifically I believe it to be related to how AppleId uses other devices as a form of MFA when you sign into iCloud on a new device and it requests the PIN/Password of another device.

In my case, my Watch and phone were going flat for a week by 3-5pm, where they would typically last over 24 hours before. Nothing I did stopped it, but I did notice various devices randomly requiring me to sign back into iCloud to "restore all services". This made me suspect it was AppleId related.

I got the main hint from noticing a MacBook running with fans on due to a process TrustedPeersHelper using a full core flat out.

Searching that process led me to this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/dmbuj5
Based on some comments from that thread, what I did was:

1. Shut down ALL iOS devices
2. On Macs, I ran (first one deletes a database about trusted devices for the AppleId):

> rm -f ~/Library/Keychains/*/com.apple.security.keychain-defaultContext.TrustedPeersHelper.{db,db-shm,db-wal}

Followed by (which resets "CuttleFish" - can't find any documentation on this but I believe to be an iCloud service for syncing this database):

> tpctl reset

I then shut them down.

3. With all devices shut down, I booted a single Mac, and went to preferences and re-signed in as prompted (reseting the cuttlefish service seems to lose all the device trusts I guess - but doesn't actually sign you out of iCloud).

4. Once signed in, I reviewed the list of devices associated to the AppleId, and cleaned them out.

5. I rebooted the Mac and left it for 10 minutes to re-build the local database deleted earlier.

6. Booted another Mac and signed in and waited for its keychain to rebuild and rebooted it.

7. One by one, I restarted iOS devices, signed them back in from settings as prompted.

immediately my iOS devices are drawing a normal amount and TrustedPeersHelper on the Macs are using pretty much no CPU time.

It took a while for each device to settle down again, and the iPhone needed me to -look- at the iMessage settings to get it working again properly.

I don't know which part fixed it, but I did have about 10 old devices still bound to my AppleId that are now gone- fingers crossed it keeps working for me and helps others :)
This worked for me. A few weeks ago my Apple Watch S4 would die after less than 12 hours of normal use. I did all the recommended tweaks (turn off background refresh, turn off Wake Screen on Raise, turned off Siri, etc.) but still the watch died after between 10 and 12 hours of use every day. Yesterday I followed all of the steps in otech's post and now, today, after 16 hours of wearing my watch I still have 56% of battery left. This is the first time in a few weeks that I've made it through the day without having to charge it. Thank you for posting this!
 

Plett

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2016
289
212
What I am noticing is how varied my end of day charge is. My days this past week have been very consistent but the range of remaining charge has spread of 30%. Today is a low day, expecting to finish lower than normal. Of course if I hadn't found this blasted thread I might not have ever checked and been just fine in my blissful state of ignorance!!!;)
 

MuffCabbage

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2012
182
3
I spent a month or so with bad battery before doing all this stuff and have also let it “settle”

it doesn’t matter

trying to think back I think the bad battery started around the time of iOS 13/watchOS6

what does the watch need to do for three days anyways? We don’t have very much data to index and regardless why wasn’t that needed before when it was brand new?

why would turning off WalkieTalkie or GymKit or Podcast sync cause three days of battery drain?

If I had to guess this could be solved if Apple allowed for true clean installs of WatchOS. I suspect something is corrupted that doesn’t get cleared out on re-pairs or upgrades that’s causing this.

now for the people who wonder why I/we would care about still getting 18-20 hours, it largely is because I use the watch as my silent alarm and I now can’t charge it just once per day. I have been having to charge before bed, when I get into work, and before leaving work.
7 days later and still nothing has changed
 

spaceman_spiff

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
10
3
California
Alright, so the good battery life (~2.5%/hour) lasted a couple days after I disabled "Detect Gym Equipment," and now it's back to being poop and draining 4-5%/hour with very little activity. It's just about shot by 6pm if I do any workout at all in the morning.
 

Bigdog9586

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2015
316
94
I used to get almost 48 hours out of my four by leaving the display off unless I touched it. The 5 is about a day of 16 hours with always on. With always off like 4 Im at 58% at 24 hours. Im going to use it till it gets to the 10% mark and recharge it then use it with on at wrist rise to see what I get.
 

se95dah

macrumors member
Dec 30, 2014
99
131
For those experiencing poor battery life, can you check your watch usage and standby times (in the Watch app on your iPhone, go to general-usage and scroll to the bottom)?
My wife and I have experienced poor battery life on and off since November 2019 and when the battery life is poor (meaning at the end of the day we are in power reserve mode instead of normally having 60% remaining) we see that the watch usage and standby times are equal (say 14 hours), as if a rogue process is running continuously in the background. At the same time we see our iPhones using lots of mobile data (more than 30mb a day) for “system services”, specifically for “push notifications”.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rMBP2013

skillwill

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2008
449
529
Not sure what people are doing to their watches get these issues. I got my S5 for Xmas, so been using for a couple of weeks now, and am finding exactly the same battery life as my S3 which I replaced.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Plett

Nütztjanix

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2019
109
97
Germany
Not sure what people are doing to their watches get these issues. I got my S5 for Xmas, so been using for a couple of weeks now, and am finding exactly the same battery life as my S3 which I replaced.
I'd say, most of them are doing nothing strange/special/different than before.
I certainly didn't. Set up and used my S5 exactly the same as my S3 it was replacing (save for obvious changes in hardware), and battery life went downhill fast.
 

Bigdog9586

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2015
316
94
I'd say, most of them are doing nothing strange/special/different than before.
I certainly didn't. Set up and used my S5 exactly the same as my S3 it was replacing (save for obvious changes in hardware), and battery life went downhill fast.
Are you using always on? Do you get the 49 hours I’m getting with always on turned off along with raise to see time.
 

Nütztjanix

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2019
109
97
Germany
I do not use always on. It is of no benefit for me.
On good days I get the advertised 18hrs (without workout), on bad days or when working out, I don't.
 

spaceman_spiff

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
10
3
California
Wow, if you're not working out and have AOD off, and only getting 18h, that's awful.

Apple's battery specs state that you should get 18h with AOD on, an hour workout with music, and 4h of LTE connection (on an LTE model, of course). On GPS, even more.
 

rMBP2013

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2013
124
25
Sydney
Getting crap battery life here as well.

I charge it to 95% just before going to bed, and it's at 65% 8 hours later. I again charge it when I wake up for about 30 minutes and within 12 hours, it's down to power reserve.

Sucks.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,509
1,703
192.168.1.1
Getting crap battery life here as well.

I charge it to 95% just before going to bed, and it's at 65% 8 hours later. I again charge it when I wake up for about 30 minutes and within 12 hours, it's down to power reserve.

Sucks.
Definitely not right.

While my S5 had very bad battery life on watchOS 6.0.0 when it was brand new, it's been totally fine since the various updates past 6.0.1. I always have well over 30% left at bedtime even with a 30-45 minute workout. In the 40% range without a workout. AOD on, background app refresh on, LTE on (though minimal usage), HR sensor on, raise to wake on, sound meter off.
 
Last edited:

Plett

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2016
289
212
I have been getting a full 17 hours of use before I go to bed and my charge is sitting at around 30-40% so pretty pleased these days. I use AOD, and have turned OFF raise to wake. I don't care if it lights up as long as I can see the time most of the time, so that is working for me. I use outdoor walk with GPS for 1hr per day and HIIT workout 30" per day, other than that my use is intermittent for different apps. One other item I do put it on charge during my shower after the workout, so maybe a few percent bump from that.

I have had all of the iterations of AW and don't recall having any better battery life with those units. I don't struggle with the idea of charging at night (don't like to wear a watch on my wrist while I sleep, been the way since my first Casio in the 70s) and don't need multi-day battery since I sleep 7hrs a night so that may be part of the disparity amongst us on Macrumors.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,895
6,085
California
My AW 5 GPS - with an exercise, I can get to 24 hours with 20-30% left pretty consistently. In winter with long sleeves I'm noticing longer battery life - probably cuz brightness is near 0 when it is woken up under a sleeve.

AOD off.

Still nowhere near my AW3 - I could do 2 days easily.
 

rMBP2013

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2013
124
25
Sydney
Definitely not right.

While my S5 had very bad battery life on watchOS 6.0.0 when it was brand new, it's been totally fine since the various updates past 6.0.1. I always have well over 30% left at bedtime even with a 30-45 minute workout. In the 40% range without a workout. AOD on, background app refresh on, LTE on (though minimal usage), HR sensor on, raise to wake on, sound meter off.
Is there any way for me to improve the battery life or fix this issue?
 

Nütztjanix

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2019
109
97
Germany
Is there any way for me to improve the battery life or fix this issue?
If you look through the 64 pages of this thread, you'll find a lot of suggestions - but there doesn't seem to be a OSFA universal thing that works in any case.

And, again, I don't think that turning off essential features (AoD, background refresh, noise, HR and the like) to get the advertised battery life is or should be normal. You can do that to get beyond the 18hrs - but out of the box with stock settings you should get what was advertised. Sadly, many of us don't.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rMBP2013

basehead617

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2017
78
83
A couple times with my AW2 the battery drained super fast and it turned out that the green lights for the heart monitor were on nonstop (and thus i assume it was monitoring nonstop)..