Apple Watch Power Reserve

To save power when your Apple Watch battery is low, Apple has implemented a featured into Watch OS called Power Reserve mode. This mode allows you to extend the life of the Apple Watch battery by sacrificing general device functionality.

How do you enable Power Reserve mode? How do you exit Power Reserve mode? These questions and more are answered in this latest entry into our Apple Watch guide.

What Power Reserve mode does

Power Reserve mode shuts down all Apple Watch functionality except the ability to keep and display time. All apps, glances, and other general watch functionality are no longer available once Power Reserve mode is enabled.

The only thing that you can do while in Power Reserve mode is take screenshots and tell the time. But you’ll need to press the side button in order to tell the time, because while in Power Reserve mode, wrist detection no longer works.

The result is a sharp decrease in power usage, but an extension of your Apple Watch battery. Power Reserve mode can help you maintain basic watch functionality for a longer period of time when your watch battery is low.

How to enable Power Reserve mode

There are a couple of ways to enable Power Reserve mode on Apple Watch. You can swipe up from the bottom of the watch face screen, swipe to the Power glance, tap Power Reserve, followed by Proceed. Or you can simply press and hold the side button until you see the power down menu. From there, swipe on the Power Reserve slider to enable Power Reserve mode.

Power Reserve Power Off

How to disengage Power Reserve mode

To disable Power Reserve mode and return to normal power mode on your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo. This will cause your Apple Watch to restart into normal mode. Keep in mind that this will only work if you have enough battery life in order to boot the Apple Watch back into normal mode.

Power Reserve prompts

Your Apple Watch will prompt you to enter Power Reserve mode when your battery reaches 10% remaining life. You can choose to enter Power Reserve mode via a button on this prompt, or you can choose to ignore the prompt and continue using your watch in normal mode.

Enter Power Reserve Apple Watch Low Power

The whole point of Power Reserve mode is to stretch out the remaining battery life you have left on your Apple Watch. You’ll need to weigh the pluses and minuses of doing so.

On one hand, Power Reserve mode will allow you to continue using your watch in its most basic form—for telling time, but on the other hand, your smartwatch is turned into the dumbest of dumb watches. In fact, while in Power Reserve Mode, there are probably things that so-called normal watches can do that the Apple Watch will not be able to do. Ultimately, you’re going to need to make a decision on the matter.

Have you used Power Reserve mode yet on your Apple Watch? Would you consider doing so if prompted by Watch OS? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.

  • Noohar

    Or one can just not use this option as it only allows telling of time; nothing else.Your iPhone can be used as timekeeper lol

  • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

    This is the option I’ll most use when Im at work. Strangely enough, reviews havent mentioned how these devices affect you at work, whether productivity takes a plunge or if its just the same as responding to notifications on the phone. I need a ‘do not disturb’ mode at work and this mode is what fits the bill. I wish they enabled glances though, because it would just be stupid to wake the watch just to tell the time.

    • spiceman

      There is also a ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on the watch. Different that the Power Reserve mode.

  • Ulaa

    When I first activated this feature 15 minutes ago, it scared the daylights out of me. In fact, I’m only here because I needed to find out how to disable the reserve setting. I can see the usefulness of it when you’re stuck far from a charger and you would rather conserve battery life than use the smart part of the watch, but mostly it renders the thing all but useless.

    • Brittney Alexandra

      I’m with you! Ughhh I hate that I can’t turn it back on until I charge it, even though I still apparently had 10percent of my battery life left. Side note: I lovvvve my Apple Watch! Have a wonderful day everyone!

      • Ulaa

        Well, I’ve had it for a year now, and I have to say, I still love it. The face has proved remarkably resistant to my every attempt to shatter it. I loved finding out I typically walk a 5k around my house. But I’ve discovered I have to be practically on top of my phone for Bluetooth to connect the watch for an incoming call. And the battery life is appallingly short. All in all though, I’d buy another one.

  • I’m using this mode today because when I got to work my watch was at 8% and there’s no way I’d make it home. Lesson learned – have extra charger at work and be sure your phone is really charging at night.

    • Brittney Alexandra

      You really shouldn’t charge it overnight. This will over time kill your battery’s ability to be recharged, or its lifetime if you will. Only charge it until it gets to 100 percent then take it off as soon as you can, that way you don’t have to have the battery replaced too soon. This is true for laptops, phones, etc. it will eventually become one of those that will have to be charged several times throughout the day. Have a nice day!

  • Travis_ ean

    When I could transfer all my Bing Perform purchases, use Swype, do have more modification than easy background improvements, and transfer audio and photos without having to use propitiatory software, then I MIGHT contemplate switching to iPhone

    • Susie

      I know this post is 4 months old but I’ve been using Swype on my iPhone a whole lot longer than that. As for transferring without iTunes… it’s called CopyTrans.