Apple admits Apple Watch bug is draining batteries — promises a fix is coming

Apple Watch Series 9
(Image credit: Future)

If you’ve noticed that your Apple Watch’s battery has been draining a little faster than it should after updating to watchOS 10.1, you’re not alone. Apple has confirmed that there is a bug affecting battery life on multiple Apple Watch models, but there is a fix on the way.

This news comes from an internal memo that was shared with Apple Authorized Service providers over the weekend (via MacRumors). Apparently a fix is in the works and will be distributed as part of a future software update. Unfortunately we don’t have any additional details on when it might arrive or how widespread the problem might be. 

Various complaints about the battery drain have appeared on the MacRumors forum, Apple Support Community, Reddit and Twitter/X  in recent weeks. Affected devices include the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, though watches as old as the Apple Watch 4 also appear to be affected. 

The common story between them all is that the battery is running out far, far faster than it should be. Often dropping from 100% to completely dead in the space of a few hours.

This isn’t the first time watchOS 10 has caused issues with the battery recently. Last month Apple confirmed that users could suffer “increased power consumption” if there was the wrong combination of beta software.

It seemed to affect users that had either an iPhone or Apple Watch running on beta software. Essentially if you had a device running the watchOS 10.1 beta or iOS 17.1 beta paired with the opposite device running the public software, you were at risk of much poorer battery life. 

MacRumors notes that iOS 17.1 release notes claim to have fixed an issue relating to increased power consumption — specifically for a watchOS 10.1 device paired with iOS 17. Unfortunately the problem hasn’t actually been fixed.

Here’s hoping that the problem can be solved in the upcoming watchOS 10.1.1 update, otherwise people may have to wait for watchOS 10.2 which isn’t due to arrive until next month.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.