What Is “Watch Only” Mode on a Galaxy Watch? (and How to Use It)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Battery life and notifications are two of the features you care about most about your Samsung Galaxy Watch. Did you know that there is a “View Only” mode that can improve both of these areas?

What is View Only mode?

Samsung Galaxy Watches have two battery saving modes. The mode you may have used before is called “Power Saving” and it will ask if you want to activate this mode when the battery is getting low.

Power Saving mode extends battery life by disabling wake-up gestures, always-on display, and Wi-Fi. It also limits processor speed, background data usage and background position, and decreases screen brightness and screen timeout. The watch is still mostly functional, it is only limited.

As the name suggests, Watch Only mode turns your Galaxy smartwatch into a Galaxy dumbwatch. It literally just shows the time, and you have to press the home button to see it. Nothing else is accessible or running in the background. A reboot is required to exit View Only mode.

There are two main benefits to using View Only mode. First, it extends battery life significantly. We’re talking close to a month of battery life when using the watch-only mode. That’s pretty awesome. It’s also a highly effective distraction-free mode. You can enjoy the benefits of a watch without all the frills for a while.

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How to enable watch only mode on a Galaxy Watch

First, swipe down from the top of the watch screen to reveal quick settings. Select the gear icon to open Settings.

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Swipe down and tap the Settings cog.

Scroll down a bit and select “Battery” settings.

Choose "Battery."

At the top of the screen you will see the Energy Saver toggle. Scroll down further and tap View Only.

Beat "just watch."

The next screen explains that you must press the home button to view the time and hold the button or charge the watch to exit watch-only mode. Tap “Turn on”.

Beat "Turn on."

You see a very simple watch face with white text on a black background. Watch face in clock only mode cannot be customized.

Watch only mode.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

This is a neat little feature to know about if you’re trying to max out the battery life or need to cut out all the distractions of a smartwatch. If you want to achieve the same effect on a smartphone, you’ll have to do a little more work to eliminate distractions.

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