Does Apple Watch Drain iPhone Battery?


iPhone battery drain is more noticeable in the latest iOS 14 and Watch OS 7. The watch is pulling everything out of your iPhone to make use of the iPhone’s memory, processing power, and data connections, especially during the first two to three months of pairing it to your Apple Watch.

Not all connections between the Apple Watch and the iPhone will drain the iPhone battery. Although the issue was reported with the iOS 14 and WatchOS 7 software updates, unstable cellular connections may also be the problem. Sometimes, a fix involves backing up your data to iCloud before initiating a factory reset on your Apple devices.

Note that this is only for those with an Apple Watch and an iPhone. This article contains various fixes to the battery drain problem. But if your iPhone is draining for another reason other than pairing with the Apple Watch, that is a separate problem. It is best that you seek guidance from Apple.

Related: Does Smartwatch Drain Phone Battery?

Why is my iPhone battery draining fast when paired with the Apple Watch?

Using the Apple Watch a lot more makes it feel like you are not manually using your iPhone. But controlling music, for example, using the Apple Watch, can have a significant impact on the iPhone’s battery. But often, it can be due to design flaws with the Apple Watch. I will tell you the dos and don’ts to remember any time you notice an unusual battery drain to your iPhone.

First, here are some of the reasons why your Apple Watch is draining your iPhone battery;

  • Bluetooth and remote control: Although the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) used by the Apple Watch to communicate with your iPhone does not consume a lot of power, active data exchange via Bluetooth may have an impact on your smartphone’s battery. You can also adjust some of your iPhone settings using your Apple Watch. For example, accessing your iPhone’s camera. That could really drain your iPhone battery.  
  • Sending data through cellular connections: Sending messages or making calls through WiFi and cellular network also has an impact on your iPhone battery. This is particularly true when you are in a place with poor cellular signals. The constant searching and switching between WiFi and cellular to send and receive messages or stream data, has a massive impact on your iPhone battery life. 
  • Software update: Following the iOS 14 and Watch OS 7 updates for iPhone and Apple Watch, respectively, I experienced enormous battery drain on my iPhone 8. The drain is particularly more significant when you pair the Apple Watch to the iPhone. However, Apple gave out some guidelines to rectify the problem. I will tell you how to rectify the software update issue in the next section.
  • Mapping your workout data: During the first few months of pairing your Apple Watch to the Iphone, you may notice significant battery drain. During the first two or three months, a lot of power goes into constructing your trail. It includes mapping your daily routine into satellite images. After that, the iPhone may stabilize and return to normal battery consumption since the processor works less on these demanding tasks.
  • Third-party apps: Most third-party apps rely on cellular data to function effectively. They run in the background even if the Apple Watch is idle. For example, workout apps for running and exercising like Runkeeper and Strava are constantly monitoring your progress and updating your metrics on the iPhone. That’s why you may notice significant battery drain in your iPhone when exercising than during any other time of the day.

Recommended: Best Apple Watch For Running And Music

How to fix the iPhone battery drain issue for Apple Watch users

If your iPhone’s battery is draining due to the connection with the Apple Watch, there are some steps you can take to correct the issue. 

Here are some of the measures to take:

Update your devices to the latest compatible software versions

It might seem obvious, but a software update does wonders to most issues we experience with our devices. In this case, you should not just update the iPhone but also the Apple Watch. Start with the iPhone. Update the Apple Watch software using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Use it to check for the latest compatible software update, tap Download and Install.

Afterward, there should be a noticeable difference in iPhone battery drain when you use it with your Apple Watch.

Backup and reset your watch and iPhone

Another alternative to reducing battery consumption in the iPhone is to initiate a factory reset. First, unpair your iPhone from the Apple Watch. Since several apps will be erased and background processes stopped, your iPhone should consume less power. 

But because you can lose most of your health and fitness data that you shared from your Apple Watch, ensure to backup all your data to iCloud. After that, pair the Apple Watch to iPhone as a new watch. Unfortunately, you will lose your route maps, watch faces, and environmental sound levels.

Use the Apple Watch more

Using the Apple Watch more than you use the iPhone should reduce the rate at which your iPhone’s battery loses power. Note that increased screen time is the leading cause of battery drain because of prolonged light and projection of several pixels per second. 

Therefore, spending more time on the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone should save the battery significantly. Or, you can just dim your iPhone screen.

Turn off background app refresh

Background app refresh is essential for fetching updates, notifications, and running ads. Turning off background app refresh on your iPhone and Apple Watch is another effective way to fix the battery drain issue. You can also turn off notifications that are not useful to you.

Use Wi-Fi or airplane mode

WiFi is far more power-efficient than cellular networks in terms of battery consumption. However, if you are not using Wi-Fi, I would advise to turn it off. That is because your iPhone and Apple Watch spend more power alternating between weak and strong signals. Similarly, switching to airplane mode when experiencing unstable network signals is also recommended.

Disable Bluetooth

We saw that active data transmission through Bluetooth can drain your iPhone battery when paired with the Apple Watch. For instance, if you are accessing your iPhone music through the Apple Watch via Bluetooth for long hours, the battery percentage will decline more than usual. 

Although the Bluetooth drain is less compared to the drain you’d experience from a faulty software upgrade, disabling Bluetooth when not in use can save you some battery power.What about if it is the Apple Watch battery that drains fast? Read more about why smartwatch batteries drain fast to get the best performance out of your Apple Watch.

Summary

You are not crazy, your iPhone battery is dying faster. Apparently, the Apple Watch is the culprit. If your iPhone’s battery drain problem is not a result of the Apple Watch, consult with Apple.

In the earlier days of pairing the Apple Watch to the iPhone, a lot of power goes into mapping your trail. However, the major reason Apple Watch drains the iPhone battery is because of glitches in software updates, and because you can remotely control your iPhone using the watch. Sometimes it might be a software update problem in the Apple Watch, the iPhone, or both.

Jaspreet Singh

I'm the co-owner of Wearable Hacks. I love to write about smartwatches. On this website, I share everything That 'I learned. For more information Go to About Page

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