How long do Apple watches last?

How Long Do Apple Watches Last? Understanding Their Lifespan

In the age of wearable tech, the Apple Watch stands out as a game-changer. Since its debut, it’s not just been about telling time but tracking fitness, managing notifications, and even ensuring safety.

Yet, as with all prized possessions, a pressing question lingers: “How Long Do Apple Watches Last?”

Whether you’re a proud owner or considering a purchase, this article sheds light on the lifespan of this iconic device, the elements that shape its durability, and savvy ways to extend its run.

Dive in to make every tick count!

How Long Do Apple Watches Last?

Apple Watches typically last about 3 to 5 years.

This timeframe is based on the average lifecycle of consumer electronics. As technology advances, hardware components in devices like the Apple Watch are optimized for performance and efficiency for a few years.

However, after this period, advancements in software and new features often demand more from the hardware, leading to potential slowdowns. Additionally, like all rechargeable batteries, the one in the Apple Watch has a limited number of charge cycles before its capacity starts to degrade.

Given the daily use of the device, this usually aligns with the 3 to 5-year mark. Thus, while the watch might still function after this period, its performance and battery life may not be as optimal as when it was new.

Furthermore, Apple provides insights into the expected lifespan of their watchOS devices. For the purposes of their product life cycle assessment, the years of use for watchOS devices are modeled to be three years.

This is based on the usage patterns of first owners. It’s important to note that many Apple products, including the Apple Watch, often last longer and are frequently passed along, resold, or returned to Apple by the first owner for others to use.

This suggests that while Apple models a three-year usage for their watchOS devices, the actual lifespan of the device, in terms of functionality and performance, can extend beyond this period, aligning with the 3 to 5-year range mentioned earlier.

Related: How Long Do Fitbits Last? Understanding Fitbits Lifespan

Apple Watch Models Through the Years

Apple Watch ModelRelease DateSuccessor’s Debut DateDuration as Primary Choice
OriginalApril 24, 2015September 16, 20161 year, 4 months, 23 days
Series 1 & 2September 16, 2016September 22, 20171 year, 6 days
Series 3September 22, 2017September 21, 201811 months, 30 days
Series 4September 21, 2018September 20, 201911 months, 30 days
Series 5September 20, 2019September 18, 202011 months, 29 days
Series 6September 18, 2020September 24, 20211 year, 6 days
Series 7September 24, 2021TBDTBD


The regular introduction of new Apple Watch models every year might lead to some questions, especially when juxtaposed with the 3 to 5-year lifespan mentioned earlier. It’s important to note that the frequency of new model releases doesn’t necessarily equate to the expected lifespan of each device.

While a new model might be released annually, it doesn’t imply that the previous model becomes obsolete in the same timeframe. Many Apple Watch users report that their devices remain functional for several years, often aligning with the 3 to 5-year lifespan.

The table above indicates the duration each model remained the primary choice before a successor was introduced. For those curious about the Apple Watch’s lifespan, it’s worth noting that even as newer models are released, older versions can continue to be functional and relevant for a considerable period post their initial release.

Real-Life Insights: What Redditors Said About Apple Watch Lifespan

Gleaning insights from everyday users often provides a clearer picture of a product’s real-world lifespan. A discussion from 2021 on Reddit’s r/AppleWatch community offers valuable perspectives on the longevity of Apple Watches.

  • Series Longevity: Back in 2021, some users mentioned they were still using the Series 0, which had been released six years prior in 2015. This indicated that with proper care, the watch had the potential to last well beyond the typical lifespan of many electronic devices.
  • Comparison with Fitbits: A Redditor highlighted having gone through three Fitbits in five years and wondered if Apple Watches fared better in terms of longevity. The general consensus seemed to lean towards Apple Watches outlasting Fitbits, with some Fitbits barely surpassing their warranty period.
  • Protective Measures: A user from that time recommended protective cases for those prone to knocking their watches. They cited brands like Spigen Thin Fit or Ultra Hybrid as good choices and noted that steel watches appeared more resistant to scratches than their aluminum counterparts.
  • Series 4 Longevity: A participant shared their experience of using the Series 4 Apple Watch for three years, from its release up to 2021. They also pointed out Apple’s battery service, which essentially provides a watch replacement, thus offering a fresh battery.
  • Upgrades and Trade-ins: Some Redditors had upgraded their watches not due to functionality issues but to access the features of the newer models. For instance, one transitioned from Series 4 to Series 7, even though their Series 4 was still performing well in 2021.
  • General Lifespan: A prevalent sentiment in the 2021 discussion was that the Apple Watch could easily last between 4-5 years. Some even speculated that the then-recent Series 7 might have an even longer lifespan. Another user advised against the Series 3, suggesting it might be nearing its performance peak.
  • Condition and Care: A crucial takeaway was the significant influence of care on the Apple Watch’s longevity. While the device could endure when maintained, issues like a cracked screen could curtail its lifespan.

In summary, while the technical lifespan of the Apple Watch might hover around 3 to 5 years, the 2021 Reddit discussion suggested that with attentive care and occasional services or upgrades, users could potentially extend their watch’s effective life.

Factors Influencing Apple Watch Lifespan

When it comes to the lifespan of an Apple Watch, several factors come into play. While the device is designed to be robust and durable, its longevity can be influenced by both external and internal elements.

Let’s delve into some of the primary factors that can impact how long your Apple Watch serves you effectively:

  1. Usage Patterns: Just like any other device, the more intensively you use your Apple Watch, the quicker it might wear out. Regularly using it for high-performance tasks, such as tracking long workouts or using GPS-intensive apps, can put more strain on the battery and hardware.
  2. Physical Care: Accidents happen. However, frequent drops, exposure to extreme temperatures, or submerging the watch in water beyond its resistance rating can lead to faster wear and tear. Using protective cases and screen protectors can help mitigate potential damage.
  3. Battery Health: The Apple Watch, like all devices with rechargeable batteries, has a battery that degrades over time. After a certain number of charge cycles, the battery’s capacity diminishes, leading to reduced performance and shorter times between charges.
  4. Software Updates: Keeping your watchOS updated ensures optimal performance. However, as newer updates are designed for the latest hardware, older Apple Watch models might experience slowdowns or reduced functionality with the latest software.
  5. External Factors: Environmental conditions, such as exposure to direct sunlight for prolonged periods or using the watch in areas with high levels of dust or sand, can impact its lifespan.
  6. Internal Storage: Over time, as apps and data accumulate, the watch’s storage can get filled, potentially slowing down its performance. Regularly clearing out unused apps and data can help maintain its speed.
  7. Hardware Limitations: As technology evolves, newer apps and features demand more from the hardware. While older Apple Watch models might still function, they may not support the latest apps or features, making them feel outdated.

How to Prolong Your Apple Watch’s Lifespan

While every device has an eventual end-of-life, there are steps you can take to extend the longevity of your Apple Watch:

  • Regular Software Updates: Ensure your watchOS is always updated. Apple frequently releases updates that fix bugs, improve performance, and enhance battery life. However, be cautious with very old models, as the latest software might not always be optimized for them.
  • Mind the Battery: Avoid letting your Apple Watch’s battery drain completely. It’s best to charge it when it drops to around 10%. Additionally, consider using the watch’s battery-saving mode during times when you don’t need all its features.
  • Physical Protection: Consider using protective cases or screen protectors, especially if you’re involved in activities that might expose the watch to potential harm. This can prevent scratches, dings, and other physical damages.
  • Avoid Extreme Conditions: While the Apple Watch is designed to withstand everyday conditions, it’s best to avoid extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Also, even if it’s water-resistant, refrain from exposing it to high-pressure water jets or steam.
  • Clean Regularly: Sweat, dirt, and other residues can accumulate, especially after workouts. Gently clean your Apple Watch with a soft, damp cloth to keep it in pristine condition.
  • Manage Storage: Periodically review the apps and data on your Apple Watch. Remove apps you no longer use and clear cache or data that might be slowing it down.
  • Limit Intensive Tasks: Continuously using features like GPS or heart rate monitoring can strain the battery. Use these features judiciously and turn them off when not needed.
  • Handle with Care: It might sound obvious, but simply being mindful when wearing or storing your Apple Watch can make a significant difference. Avoid placing it in cluttered areas where it might get scratched or bumped.

Tips to Increase Apple Watch Battery Life

If you find yourself frequently reaching for the charger before the day is done, these tips can help you get the most out of your Apple Watch’s battery life:

  1. Adjust Screen Brightness: Dimming the screen brightness can have a significant impact on battery life. Navigate to Settings > Display & Brightness to adjust.
  2. Reduce Screen Wake Time: By default, the screen stays awake for 15 seconds when activated. You can reduce this to 10 seconds in the Display & Brightness settings.
  3. Turn Off Raise to Wake: This feature wakes the screen every time you raise your wrist. While convenient, it can drain the battery. Disable it in Settings > Display & Brightness.
  4. Use Greyscale Mode: Colors consume more power. Switching to greyscale can save battery. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters.
  5. Limit Notifications: Frequent notifications can be a significant battery drain. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone and manage which apps can send notifications to your watch.
  6. Disable Background App Refresh: Some apps update content in the background, consuming battery. Manage these in the Watch app on your iPhone under General > Background App Refresh.
  7. Optimize Workout Settings: The heart rate monitor and GPS can drain the battery during workouts. For less intensive workouts, consider turning off the heart rate monitor. For indoor workouts, disable GPS.
  8. Manage Complications: Some watch face complications, especially those that frequently update, can use more power. Consider using static complications or fewer complications on your watch face.
  9. Turn On Power Reserve Mode: If you’re running low and need to stretch the battery life for a bit longer, swipe up on the watch face and tap the battery percentage. Then drag the Power Reserve slider.
  10. Limit Haptic Feedback: The tactile feedback can be battery-intensive. Reduce its intensity or frequency in Settings > Sounds & Haptics.
  11. Disable Always-On Display (For Supported Models): While the always-on feature is handy, turning it off can save battery. Find this option in Settings > Display & Brightness.
  12. Close Unused Apps: Just like on a phone, apps running in the background can consume power. Double-click the side button and swipe left on apps to close them.

By implementing these tips, you can optimize your Apple Watch’s battery life, ensuring it stays powered for all your daily activities and then some.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s address some of the common questions related to the lifespan of Apple Watch.

How many years does an Apple Watch last?

Typically, an Apple Watch lasts about 3 to 5 years, depending on usage and care.

Can Apple Watch last for 5 years?

Yes, with proper care and moderate usage, an Apple Watch can last for 5 years or even longer.

How many days should an Apple Watch last?

On a full charge, most Apple Watch models can last up to 18 to 24 hours, depending on usage.

How long can Apple Watch 7 last?

The Apple Watch Series 7, like its predecessors, is designed to last up to 18 hours on a full charge, although actual battery life can vary based on usage patterns.

Why doesn’t the Apple Watch last forever?

Like all electronic devices, the Apple Watch has components that wear out over time, such as the battery, and technological advancements can make older models feel outdated.

How often should I charge my Apple Watch?

It’s recommended to charge your Apple Watch every night, ensuring it’s ready for a full day of use the next morning.


Understanding “How Long Do Apple Watches Last” can help you make informed decisions about purchasing and caring for your device.

With proper care and usage, you can maximize its lifespan and enjoy its features for years to come. Remember, it’s not just about the gadget’s life but how you make the most of it during its lifetime.

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