watchOS 9.4 could boost or degrade your 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 battery life

Battery performance of your 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 may improve or degrade as a result of a recalibration process present in the watchOS 9.4 software update.

Apple Watch Series 7 rating on its side on a white table alongside its packaging
How’s your Series 6 battery health? | Image: David Švihovec / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Apple has confirmed that watchOS 9.4 recalibrates the battery on the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 for the first time.
  • Why care? Your Apple Watch battery life may improve (likely) or decrease (possible, but unlikely) due to the recalibration process.
  • What to do? Install the update to find out for yourself.

watchOS 9.4 recalibrates Apple Watch Series 6 battery

The recalibration kicks off automatically after installing the update. Only the 44mm version of the Apple Watch Series 6 will see its battery recalibrated by watchOS 9.4.

An updated support document on the Apple website explains that recalibrating the maximum capacity and peak performance capability enables the operating system to estimate the battery charge levels more accurately going forward.

The process may take a few weeks to complete. So, if your 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 has exhibited battery-related issues, the watchOS 9.4 update might fix it.

As for older Apple Watch models, the watchOS 9.0 update previously provided the recalibration process for the Series 4 and Series 5 models.

“Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 will recalibrate and then estimate maximum battery capacity more accurately after updating to watchOS 9.0,” according to the support document spotted by MacRumors. “Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) will perform this recalibration after updating to watchOS 9.4,” it reads.

This isn’t the first time Apple’s software has recalibrated device batteries. iOS 15.4, for example, included a battery recalibration feature for the iPhone 11 family. Read: What to do if your Mac shows the wrong battery level