Skip to main content

6 tips to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band has been advertised of having 48 hours battery life, but that can vary significantly depending on your settings, usage, and other factors. On the days we track workouts or runs, and sleep, we find the Band to last until about lunchtime the next day. Want to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band? Here are some tips that can help you out. These tips include turning off some features when you aren't using them and other settings that can save battery.

1. Turn off GPS when tracking a run

When you track a run, the Microsoft Band asks if you want to turn on GPS. Leave this off if you don't care about seeing a map of your run. GPS uses a lot of battery power, so leaving this off can extend your battery life. You'll still be able to see your stats for duration, distance, pace, calories burned, max heart rate and average heart rate. Keep in mind thatGPS can only be turned on during a run. The rest of the time, it is off.

2. Turn on Airplane Mode or turn off Bluetooth

While your phone is connected to the Internet and connected to your Microsoft Band via Bluetooth, data is synchronized about every thirty minutes. You can turn off Bluetooth when you don't want your Band to sync automatically. Airplane mode and Bluetooth options are in the Settings tile. When Airplane Mode is on, an airplane icon displays on the Me Tile.

3. Lower the screen brightness

You can change the brightness of your Microsoft Band screen. Go to Settings -> Brightness. It's on medium by default. I change this to automatic, but you can change this to low if you want to extend the battery life of your Microsoft Band.

4. Choose a lower vibration level

Your Microsoft Band vibrates when you receive notifications. You can change vibration power to extend the battery life of your Microsoft Band. By default, it's on Medium. You can change this to Low. Go to Settings and select the tool icon. Swipe to the right until you see Haptic Alert Level.

5. Turn on Do Not Disturb

If you think you're going to be too busy to care about notifications, and then turn on Do Not Disturb. Calls, messages, and other data are still downloaded to your Band, but you won't get the vibration to notify you when they arrive.

6. Turn off Daily Heart Rate

This tip defeats part of the reason of wearing the Microsoft Band, but you can turn off continual monitoring of your heart rate. This feature is used to help calculate the calories you burn during the day. When the Microsoft Band is just being worn under regular conditions, users can expect ten-minute intervals for heart rate data collection. We have more details if you want to know how often the Microsoft Band checks your heart rate. Your heart rate will still be monitored during Workouts, Runs, or Sleep. You can turn off Daily Heart Rate by going to Settings, tapping the Tool icon, and then switching off the heart icon.

What are you willing to give up?

These 6 tips will extend the battery life of your Microsoft Band, but you'll lose out on some features. Will you be following some of these tips or are you happy with the battery life on the Microsoft Band? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

88 Comments
  • How about 6 ways to buy it! Okay if you own one, terrible if you live outside the U.S. and only have seen one on the web. C'mon MS pull your finger out.
  • My wife out of the blue brought up that she was looking at getting a fitness band. She showed me a couple that were in the$130 price range then I took her to the Microsoft site and showed her the Microsoft band and a couple of the videos. She was instantly "wow, I want that". Sorry hun. Sold out. Nobody knows if Microsoft will make any more. Instant WTF look.
  • If you put your name down at the Store, wait time is usually < 7 days. They'll email or call you when it's there with no money down or any payment info required.
  • I can attest to exactly this. That's how I got mine. I put my name on the list, less than a week later they had one for me.
  • I put my name on a list at my local MS store (Christiana Mall, Delaware) on a Friday, and I got a call the next day to come and pick it up.
  • Hey Daniel, do you have any info about when will it be available online again??? I have the same issue, I'm from Chile so my only option is to but it online :(
  • too bad you just can't phone into the actual stores though as stopping by to "leave a name" is really inconvenent with holiday traffic being brutal at these malls
  • I was able to call in a request to the store to get on the list, but you have to go and buy in person. Waited about 7 days.
  • I was able to put in an order over the phone after some negotiating. My closest MS store is an hour drive. I'm not sure if that played into them making an exception or not.
  • Come on! You are buying a fitness band. Jog down to the store. Consider yourself lucky to have one near you.
  • I got in 4 days after walking into a physical store to preorder. Got my yesterday.
  • They definitely need to make more. And available to more countries.
  • My store got more in stock last week. So, they are making more. I put my name on the list about 3 days after it launched and got it about 10 days later.
  • It's damn near impossible to get even if you live in the US. I'd really be interested in seeing the numbers sold. I wonder if it is selling a ton or the numbers available are extremely limited.
  • They already said that the numbers are limited. However, the demand seems to be real and we'll see if they can crank the production up.
  • Hopefully they realise the demand and release it worldwide sooner than later.
  • Between Victoria Secret pushing their yoga pants sale (god bless them), the food guilt from Thanksgiving and impending holiday buying season, Microsoft needs to make this item more easily available.
  • Thanks for tip will try!once I buy a band Of course.....
  • Excellent tips
  • How about "don't use Watch Mode?" That usually adds 8-12 hours of battery life for me.
  • Was going to mention that, but it's already off by default.
  • That was my first thought, too. I loved having watch mode on... Until I found my battery life was just over a day. Recharging daily wasn't something I wanted to do with the band, so I had to turn it off again.
  • 7th tip. Turn the band of completely. This should seriously extend your battery life.
  • Yup. That too.
  • Seriously I find posts like this funny. Don't use your device the best way and you get great battery life, use ask the bells and whistles dead. ... But of course your mileage will vary.
  • Well, not everyone realizes that GPS is a serious battery drain, or that you can dim the display to low, or even lower the vibration alerts. The Band has quite a few settings in it, which can be overwhelming for a new owner.
  • True, but I'm not one to drive a BMW like the EPA suggests either. I just want better batteries! :'(
  • Outside the GPS, I don't see a need to turn anything off. 2 days battery life is plenty. There are many opportunities to plug in and it fully charges in 1.5 hours. I plug it in when I shower and laying in bed watching TV. No need to monitor my heart rate and steps when I'm watching TV.
  • What a wise guy.
  • I really am enjoying my Band, but yes, the battery life takes a little getting used to after wearing a Fitbit Force for almost a year...
  • My thoughts exactly...I used to wear my FitBit 24/7 so taking it off for showers and daily charging took some getting used to but it does soooooo much more than my FitBit that I could care less!...Awesome device Microsoft!
  • I could see where this would be an adjustment. The Band is my first fitness device, so I don't even notice it. I take it off in the morning to charge while I'm getting ready for work, and I haven't had it get down to even 50% battery yet. Granted, I probably miss a few steps/calories, but it's negligible for my purposes.
  • You forgot turn off watch mode.
  • Watch Mode is off by default.
  • I wouldn't give up anything!
  • This!!!
  • I am thinking about removing the calendar tile. When a calendar event comes up, it stays on the screen and other messages do not pop up with notifications unless you dismiss the calendar event first. I can go for over an hour without realizing I am not getting text because a calendar reminder came up earlier and didnt get dismissed.
  • Ridiculous article. GPS and HR are just the features I paid for.
  • So use them. We are not telling you personally to disable them. Let me ask you this: if it's so ridiculous to turns those things off, why did Microsoft give you the option to do so? Also, GPS is not needed for runs indoors so it's a great tip to not enable that feature in that scenerio.
  • That is the key differentiation from competing bands and the first selling point I look to, however that doesn't make it any less valid that it is saving you battery life. That said no one mentions how many days this measures actually get you when you take them to save battery life. Do you get an extra day or two of use?
  • I would think that the most important of all these is the clock mode. And it's left out. Everything else is disabling stuff that the band is supposed to do. The watch is an extra and not nearly as important as the sensors working.
  • Which might be the reason it is already off by default? I might be reaching here though*.   *This reply was intended to see if anyone needs to check their sarcasm detector calibration.
  • I just don't worry about battery life because it's already great without disabling features
  • I run with my Band almost daily. I also ran the Savannah Marathon a couple of weeks ago with my Band. I run with GPS ON but I turn off the display after starting the run. The display will turn on automatically and vibrate every mile showing my average pace for that mile and then it will show all the normal stats for a few seconds before turning off again. Turning off the display while running significantly extends the battery life. I realize turning off the display may defeat the purpose for some other types of exercises but for me it's easy to turn on the display if I want to check any of my current stats while running.
  • That is an awesome tip! Thanks!
  • Do you just press the "power" button to turn the display off?  Not tried that in a run to see if the run continues in the background...
  • Yep...just press the Power Button after you start the run on the Band...Then just press the power button at the end of your run and then stop the run on the Band like normal...works perfectly.
  • Never noticed that! Awesome, thank you!
  • Good tip man!
  • One thing I noticed that helps battery life is turning the display off while running. By default the screen is active the whole time. If you turn the display off it will still light up to show you the mile splits, and you can always push the on button if you want to take a quick look at other things.
  • Alternate perspective: doesn't the band have a li-ion battery, which is best not discharged completely [at least not all the time]? And aren't regular patterns better for remembering things? So, in order not to run out of battery at an inopportune time, why not make a point of charging it at a certain point each day (say, after you get up, before you leave the house)? That should be better for battery life, since the battery wasn't completely depleted, you can build a habit around it, and you shouldn't run out of power.
  • This is what I do. Plug it in while i'm showering and getting dressed. Plenty of power to last until the next morning and probably almost another full day if needed. All without disabling anything. Not that disabling things is bad per se, I just would rather use the device to the fullest extent of it's abilities.
  • Can i turn off step counting ? Being in a wheel chair its probably useless.
  • Lol
  • Well if you still have use of your arm, it can be "faked" reading steps. I realized that just by shaking the band increased the count, so... O_o
  • That is why turning it off would be helpful for the battery. I use it mostly for sleep tracking and notification.
  • Are you in a motorized wheelchair? If not, I would think that the movement of your hand while propelling yourself would register as steps. The distance wouldn't be accurate, but you would still be able to have a log to compare against if you wanted to increase physical activity.
  • Its a manual wheel chair indeed,
  • Maybe this is something they can enable in a future update? Great suggestion!
  • The documentation that came with the Band talks about reducing the haptic feedback intensity if you get a lot of notifications. Reducing the volume of notifications (vibrating alerts) seems like it could help a lot--I turned off a few notification sources I don't care about so I'm not constantly being "buzzed," and the experience is more pleasant for me. The VIP list for email alerts could be useful for this too.
  • Leave everything on on mine... Seems like it'd get close to the two days they claim but I've never tried because it charges so fast I charge it every evening for an hour or so. Btw anyone have any info on the level of waterproofness of these things? They say they are not but I took an entire shower with mine on by mistake and not so much as a glitch... Scared to.repeat it though.
  • In other news, are those AT-M50s? I have a pair and love them.
  • Was going to say the same XD They are incredible!
  • Yes, love em for monitoring audio.
  • I had many open back earphones before (Grados mostly) and it took me a while to get used to my M50s but they have grown on me. They're not very sympathetic to badly mastered music :D.
  • Of course.. It's like to say: Don't use the band, thus the battery is extended.. Thanks a lot, it's not a solution
  • Not really. It's more like saying turn off the lights when you're not in the room to save electricity, not "don't ever go in the room".
  • Personally, I'm very happy with the band's battery performance...I just charge it when I'm off to a meeting at work for an hour...good for the next day or 2.  Really, I love the sleep monitoring...that alone has me keeping it.
  • Mine takes almost 3 days of use, I'm ok with that. All I wanted is to Microsoft add more features ASAP, like music controls, specific notifications for whatsapp (record voice messages) and others apps, etc.
  • Ath-M50...nice
  • Band is not what i need.. I want a perfect smart watch.. Like moto 360....
  • Lol. Desperate reply. You loose.
  • I already don't use the GPS because I only run indoors at the moment since its like 20-30F degrees in Boston, constantly :(. Might try tip number 5 though and perhaps turn off email notifications. I never get anything great anyway.
  • basically don't use the thing lol.
  • 7. Use 'Sleep' mode... while tracking sleep, notifications and update polling are disabled, so it uses less power while you are sleeping than it does in other modes.
  • Turn off watch mode. I've done that and had good success saving battery life
  • So Mark uses Audio Technicas, pretty good choice!! (y) Are they M50X??
  • I keep on everything except GPS.  I use it to track weight lifting (45 min - 1hr).  I also get a ton of alerts throughout the day and keep the watch mode on usually.  With this much use, I can get about 2 days give or take some hours.  If I turn off watch mode, it seems to be more like 2.5 days.  Using GPS on a run gaurantees I'll be charging it within the day.  That's fine.  I only use that mode twice a week.
  • Uhm, besides monitoring for the sake of monitoring, what do people actually get from this sleep monitoring? Does checking data the next day make you feel more energetic and well rested? Does it give you great hints like "snore less" and tips like "you may want to avoid violent nightmares during nighttime"? Wth people?
    Or is it like a modern version of horoscope: If the machine decides you did not get enough rest, you'd feel tired as well?
  • If the VIP feature for limiting emails sent to the Band worked, that would help. I get all my spam even though it's supposed to filter using my VIP list
  • I'm not giving up anything! I usually get all night tracking two nights in a row then charge while I have a shower and breakfast and it seems to be keeping up well with that cycle... If I use it alot during a day on top of usual use I will put it on charge before bed for around ½ hour... No big deal...
  • Great tips + 1 in the replies. Nice.
  • I turned off Bluetooth as the constant sync was draining both my phone and band. Not a huge problem but a bit annoying as I have to remember to turn it back on to connect to my car. Hopefully either an app or firmware update will resolve this, maybe an option to only manually sync. Seems to connect much more frequently than every 30 minutes.
  • I don't use GPS on runs as the mapping in Japan is useless. However, everything else is on. The first day I adjusted the brightness, notifications, etc. The Band website has most these ideas to improve the battery life. Before mine arrived I put all the tips from there into my OneNote and it is available on my phone. Once set, I don't really need it, but it is there.
  • None, I will just recharge!!
  • 6 tips ? Lol i thought we re talking about a rudy huyn app
  • I am hoping for an update that fixes some of those battery issues. I don't like limited functionality so I charge before shower and during a movie.
    Hopefully an update will be soon.
  • I have found no way to communicate this request.  I hope that it will be sent to MS Engineers as a request. Many of us NEED to have a way to monitor our blood pressure.  Please consider that alternative health focused wearables have determined a way to calculate a blood pressure from their wearable sensors. Please add this request to those you are considering for future options in the current or next generation MS Band. Thank you for your consideration.