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Does Apple Watch Drain iPhone Battery? What You Should Know


The Apple Watch is hands down the best smartwatch of all time. Save for the fact that it works only on the iOS and watchOS ecosystem, the watch can do many things for you, including crash detection, stress management, sleep tracking, and contactless payments.

But does the Apple Watch drain iPhone battery?

Your Apple Watch won’t drain your iPhone’s battery. If it does, the effect would be insignificant. Usually, the watch uses minimal iPhone battery even if Bluetooth is on, Wi-Fi is active, background refresh is running, and tons of notifications are active.

To be clear, how much iPhone battery your Apple Watch use isn’t too much to really matter. So even if there’s a difference, it’s hardly noticeable to be frank. 

Does the Apple Watch Really Drain iPhone Battery?

I’ve had an Apple Watch Series 6 for nearly a year, and I have to admit that it’s a well built and performance optimized smartwatch.

With it, I can monitor my heart rate, check my blood oxygen level, analyze my sleep, count my steps, track my swim workouts, and so much more. Some smartwatch features that I’ve constantly include cellular connectivity, GPS, and music streaming.

I also love how stylish the Apple Watch looks on me, as it easily blends with any outfit that I wear for the day.

To this far, the model I have is well worth its price.

But you might be asking, does using the Apple Watch drain the iPhone’s battery life?

Well, it doesn’t.

I’ve used the Apple Watch Series 6 with iPhone 12 long enough to know that the watch uses just a tiny fraction of the iPhone’s battery.

If I’m even keen enough to look, I tend to see a 6 to 12% drop a day, which honestly isn’t something that bothers me.

Plus, I wouldn’t worry that much if my iPhone loses this much power when connected and actively talking to my Apple Watch because it’s just such a small margin.

How to Keep Apple Watch from Draining iPhone’s Battery

I’ll give you some tips to help you keep your Apple Watch from using too much of your iPhone’s battery.

But first, let me make three things clear:

  • I’ve no idea how often you use your Apple Watch. It’s different for everyone after all.
  • How much you consider too much iPhone battery for an Apple Watch to consume is a subjective topic. Everyone thinks differently about this.
  • Optimizing your Apple Watch and iPhone setup in favor for the battery life can hinder performance, and the effect will be easily noticeable.

With that out of the way, here’s how you can optimize your Apple Watch ecosystem to use less of your iPhone’s battery:

1. Turn Off Bluetooth on Apple Watch and iPhone

Your Apple Watch needs Bluetooth to communicate with your iPhone. But the connection doesn’t have to be active all the time.

To the best of my knowledge, the only time you need Bluetooth connectivity is for the initial set up and for synchronizing data from the watch to the phone.

And given that the Apple Watch supports three connectivity options, which are Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth, you can choose an option you believe doesn’t consume too much iPhone battery.

At the end of the day, you can save a small percentage of the iPhone battery by simply turning off Bluetooth when you don’t necessarily need it.

  • Swipe down from the upper right corner of your iPhone to access the Control Center.
  • Tap the Bluetooth icon.

Notice that the icon turns gray to indicate that Bluetooth is off.

2. Regulate Notifications  

The second option to keep your Apple Watch from draining your iPhone’s battery (if you think it does) is to regulate notifications.


The one thing you’ll about the Apple Watch is you can configure it such that it sends you notifications from your iPhone. You can customize it to send you alerts from all the apps installed on your iPhone or from specific iOS apps.

Some people believe that the more push notifications you get the more battery the iPhone uses. And honestly there’s some truth it because the phone uses power to do this function anyways.

Simply reduce the number of push notifications to save battery. Or turn off push notifications altogether if you don’t use the feature that often.

To do this: 

  • Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Go to My Watch.
  • Tap Notifications.
  • Enable notifications for apps from which you want to get alerts.
  • Turn off notifications for the apps from which you don’t want to get alerts.

That’s all there is to it.

3. Turn Off Background App Refresh

To get instant notifications on your iPhone, then straight to your Apple Watch via push notifications, the Background App Refresh feature must be active.

By itself, the Background App Refresh is indeed a good built-in, as you won’t have to open an app to check notifications.

The problem is that the feature takes up much of the battery life. In fact, the more apps you have installed on your iPhone the more likely the battery will drain faster.

You can save battery by turning off Background App Refresh for the apps that you don’t use all the time.

To do this:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Go to General.
  • Tap Background App Refresh.
  • Tap the Off optionto deactivate Background App Refresh for all apps.
  • Or, choose apps you want to keep from refreshing in the background and toggle to deactivate the background refresh option.

And that’s it.

Final Thoughts

I’m not in support that the Apple Watch drains iPhone battery. And I would like to keep it that way until I notice something out of the ordinary with my current setup.

Of course, a smartwatch from Apple, whatever the series, will use some iPhone battery. It might use a lot of power during the initial set up, but then revert to normal power consumption when you hit the ground running.

Really, your concern should be the Apple Watch battery. And I have a post that explains why Apple Watch battery drains and what you can do to fix it.

I hope this helps.

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Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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