How to Turn Off GPS on Apple Watch

On release in 2014, the Apple Watch polarized opinion. Some praised its design and functionality while others called it an overpriced smartwatch. Regardless of your stance when it comes to the ongoing “war” between Apple and Android users, the watch does stand out.

It has a plethora of useful functionalities for a wide variety of users, especially when paired properly with your iPhone. However, its sleek design belies a few underlying issues. One of the flaws of the 5 series watch is its battery life. The main culprit being the GPS, which understandably requires quite a bit of juice. If you’d like to disable it and learn how to extend your watch’s battery life, read on!

G.P.S. Makes Me S.A.D.

Those pesky location services are already enough of an annoyance, always draining that already low battery life. You just want to listen to some music on your way home without your phone dying on you! Sure, you can turn them on when you want directions or to check the weather, but otherwise, they should stay turned off.

Luckily, turning services off only requires a few taps of your fingers. Simply do the following:

  1. Since the newest series watch is always on, check out your watch face, and tap the Digital Crown to search all your apps.
  2. Go into your Settings menu, then tap on General, and then finally Location Services.
  3. Simply tap the switch to turn them off, or on when needed.

And voila! As uncomplicated as you’d imagine it to be. Alternatively, and some people prefer this option, you can just turn off the GPS for your Workout app, if you’re using it.

To do so, go to your iPhone’s settings menu.

Then, just like above, enter your Privacy and then Location Services menu. There, if the app is installed, locate the Apple Watch Workout and set it to “Never”.

Keep in mind that when it’s turned off, the Watch won’t be able to use GPS data or record a map for your route if you’ve decided to track your outdoor activities via the app.

While this will certainly help with your battery life in the long run, there’s always a few more things you can do. If you’d like to check out some tips on the subject, read through the list below.

turn off GPS on Apple Watch

Battery Tips

Turn Off Animations

While they do make the watch look like it came out of a sci-fi movie, those seamless transitions come at a cost. If you’re not too worried about the interface being a bit more rigid, then don’t be afraid to turn off the melding animation and transparency effects.

You can locate the settings for both in the Accessibility section on the Watch app.

Turn Off HRM

By setting the heart rate monitor to not monitor you, you’re going to save some precious battery life as well. Especially if you’re not using the watch for fitness-related activities too often.

Just like above, head to the Watch app on your iPhone and then the Motion & Fitness menu and turn it off there.

Apple Watch How to Turn off GPS

Power Saving Mode for Workouts

On the other hand, if you’re using the watch for workouts, then you can simply turn on the power saving mode for the HRM. It will automatically disable it during running or walking exercises.

Head over to the General section and turn it on there.

Turn Off Siri

While she may be helpful, Siri’s constant expectancy of you saying those two words to summon her like a genie will leave a mark on your battery. It might be best to just communicate with her via your phone.

To turn off Siri, simply switch her off in the General section.

Turn Off Sound

It’s a good way to keep you notified of any messages on your phone, for instance, but not so good when it comes to prolonging your battery life. If you prefer not to have sound cues, just turn off the sound notifications completely by tapping on the bell icon in the notification tray.

Turn Off Haptic Feedback

If you’re not a fan of sound notifications, then you may be using haptic feedback – essentially a small vibration that lets you know something is up, kind of like when you turn on silent mode for your phone. This, however, does drain the battery too, so if you’re not too keen on keeping up, just turn it off.

Go into the Settings menu, and then Sounds & Haptics. There you can adjust the strength as well as turn them off completely.

Reduce the Colors

Some of the watch faces available to users do tend to drain the battery life more than usual, due to their vibrancy and use of color. If you’re not terribly bothered by having a monochrome or darker watch face, then consider swapping to one of those when you want to prolong the battery’s life.

After all, it’s more efficient for the AMOLED display, and will buy some extra time when you’re in an emergency or just want to keep the watch alive a bit longer.

Apple Watch

Battery: 1%

And that’s about it for our battery life tips! These pointers should keep you going for a bit longer when using your watch, in some cases buying you only minutes, but when minutes are what you need, then every little helps.

Have you ever had any problems turning off the GPS on your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments section below.

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