How to Turn off Power Reserve on Apple Watch

Plus, how to turn low power on to save battery life

If your Apple Watch battery is running low and you want to squeeze every last ounce of life out of it, you need to know how to use Apple Watch Power Reserve mode. Once you've turned it on, though, it's not so easy to know how to turn off the low power mode.

The instructions in this article apply to all Apple Watch models running watchOS 3 and higher.

Photo of a runner with an Apple Watch
LeoPatrizi / iStock Unreleased /Getty Images

What Is Apple Watch Power Reserve Mode?

Power Reserve is an Apple Watch feature that lets you conserve battery life for as long as possible by disabling most of the Watch's features. You should only use it when your battery is low and you won't be able to recharge soon, but still want to know the time.

Power Reserve saves battery life by temporarily doing the following:

  • Stopping all communication between the Apple Watch and the iPhone it's paired with.
  • Disabling the Watch face you've chosen and any features normally available there.
  • Disabling access to all Apple Watch apps.
  • Only showing the time.

Since it removes most of the Watch's features, you should only use Power Reserve when you really need it — but in those times it comes in handy.

Is Power Reserve the Same Thing as Low Power Mode?

Basically, yes. When you need to conserve battery life on an iPhone by reducing its functionality, you turn on Low Power Mode. To do the same thing on the Apple Watch, you turn on Power Reserve. They're essentially the same, but just have different names.

How to Turn on Apple Watch Power Reserve Mode

If your Apple Watch battery is almost drained, extend it as long as possible by turning on Power Reserve mode using these steps.

When your Apple Watch battery life hits 10%, your Watch will notify you and ask if you want to use Power Reserve mode. When your Watch battery is almost drained, the your Watch will automatically go into Power Reserve.

  1. Tap the battery indicator on your Apple Watch face.

    If the face you're using doesn't include a battery indicator, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Apple Watch Control Center, then tap the battery percentage.

  2. Drag the Power Reserve slider from left to right.

  3. This screen explains what features are disabled with Power Reserve on. If you've changed your mind, tap Cancel. To continue, tap Proceed.

    Battery indicator, Power Reserve button, Proceed button on Apple Watch
  4. When you only see the time and a red lightning bolt icon on your Apple Watch face, you're in Power Reserve mode.

    Red power reserve lightning bold on Apple Watch

    When your Apple Watch is in Power Reserve mode, you can check the time by pressing the side button.

How to Turn off Apple Watch Power Reserve Mode

Ready to exit Power Reserve mode and return to normal Apple Watch operations? The only way to exit Power Reserve mode is to restart your Apple Watch.

If your battery was very low when you entered Power Reserve mode, you may need to charge the battery before you can restart and exit Power Reserve.