Is watchOS 9.6 draining your Apple Watch battery? You’re not alone

Numerous reports on social media by Apple Watch owners reveal a concerning battery drain issue following the installation of the watchOS 9.6 update. Released in July, watchOS 9.6 aimed to address a host of bugs and security vulnerabilities in various components, including the Apple Neural Engine, Find My, Kernel, libxpc, and WebKit.

watchOS 9.6

Apple Watch users grapple with severe battery drain following new watchOS 9.6 update

Prior to the update, Apple Watch users could typically rely on their smartwatches to power through a day or a day and a half on a single charge. However, the once-reliable battery performance has taken a nosedive, with reports indicating that the device struggles to survive even a day on a full charge. The concern of users has grown because Apple’s support channels haven’t been able to identify the main issue, even after doing hardware checks.

On August 7, a Reddit user shared an image that shows how quickly their Apple Watch battery has been depleting on watchOS 9.6:


An Apple Watch Ultra owner shared that sleep tracking consumes approximately 12% of the battery on average. However, with watchOS 9.6, they discovered the battery level had dropped to 59%, even without sleep tracking.

Ultra here on 9.6. I charged my watch up to 100% before bed last night. Normally I burn about 12% sleep tracking, but left it on the night stand last night. Woke up to 59%. I don’t really track battery stats too closely because of the ultra’s battery life, but that’s crazy.

One Apple Watch SE user chimed in, revealing the issue extends across the entire Apple Watch lineup.

Same, SE1, battery was very good before update, lasting amost two full days with Low power mode enabled, now just above 1 day.

In their quest for a solution, users have undertaken common troubleshooting steps such as restarting, unpairing, repairing, and even factory resetting their watches. One user even had to delete all third-party apps from their Apple Watch:

I had the same issue with my series 6. I deleted all the 3rd party apps from my watch, and my battery life was back to normal by the next day.

This seems to happen about every third update. I can’t tell you which app was the culprit.

  • Learn how to restart your Apple Watch here and how to reset your Apple Watch here.

To address battery drain issues, some users are considering upgrading to the watchOS 10 public beta as a potential solution.

Upgrade your iPhone to 17 and watch to 10 and you can also upgrade AirPods. It’s quite stable at this point. In one month it’s all official out anyways

This upcoming update shows promise as a potential fix, providing hope for those facing battery drain problems.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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