One of the Apple Watch's most important features is the ability to keep you connected to your notifications without needing to have your iPhone in your hand or even in your pocket all of the time. I often miss important text messages because my iPhone is too far away from me to hear my alerts.

But with Apple Watch, all of your notifications are at your fingertips, as if someone is next to you, tapping you on the wrist whenever you get an alert. We've got a tutorial for you today that will explain how to set up and manage notifications so that you get the alerts you want and aren't distracted by the ones you don't want.

Notification Indicator Apple Watch

Set Up Notifications

Notifications on Apple Watch are actually mirrored from your iPhone by default, so any app you have notifications enabled for on your iPhone will also appear on your Apple Watch. To make sure you don't miss any notifications, you can turn on a Notification Indicator that will display a red dot on your watch face if you have unread notifications.

  1. Enable compatible apps on your iPhone via Notification Center that you want to receive alerts for. It is likely these apps are already enabled on your iPhone, but it is a good idea to check on them.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Tap the My Watch tab.
  4. Select Notifications from the menu list.
  5. Toggle Notification Indicator to the On position.
  6. You can also set your notifications to private so that it requires you to tap the screen in order to see it.


Calendar Notification Customization Apple Watch

Customize Notifications

Some Apple apps, like Calendar, Mail, and Messages are customizable with a few additional features. Be sure that the notification you wish to customize is already enabled on your iPhone first.

  1. Open the Apple Watch App on your iPhone
  2. Tap Notifications
  3. Select the app you wish to customize
  4. Change "Mirror my iPhone" to "Custom" to see your options, like sound, haptics, and repeat options.

Third-party apps do not have customization options, offering only a toggle to turn on or off the mirroring of notifications from your iPhone for a given app.

View and Respond to Live Notifications

Viewing a notification is as simple as raising your arm. To respond to it, scroll to the bottom of the notification and tap the button to perform the action.

You can also dismiss a notification by swiping down on it or scrolling to the bottom of it and tapping Dismiss.

Unread Notification Apple Watch

View and Respond to Unread Notifications

When you receive a notification on Apple Watch that you do not view right away, as long as you have the Notification Indicator turned on you will see a red dot at the top of your watch face, so you can access the notifications at any time.

  1. Navigate to the watch face, and then swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Rotate the Digital Crown or swipe up and down to scroll through unread notifications.
  3. Tap a notification to respond to it.
  4. Clear a notification by swiping to the left on it and then pressing clear. Use a hard "Force Press" on a notification to bring up an option to clear all notifications.

Silence Notifications

If you are in a meeting, going to the movies, or would like to otherwise be undisturbed for a short period of time, you can do so two ways.

Silent Mode Apple WatchSilent Mode

  1. Navigate to the watch face, and then swipe up.
  2. Swipe to the Settings glance.
  3. Tap Silent Mode
  4. You will still feel a tap when a notification arrives.

Do Not Disturb Apple WatchDo Not Disturb

  1. Navigate to the watch face, and then swipe up.
  2. Swipe to the Settings glance.
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  4. Both sound and vibrations will be turned off.

By managing and customizing your Apple Watch notifications, you will be able to ensure that you stay connected to the things you want while avoiding distractions from unnecessary alerts. Plus, for those times when you just need to disconnect, you can silence your notifications temporarily.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

jclo Avatar
78 months ago
Here I am.

Just pointing out that this is yet another pointless article, mocking MR's regular readers while pandering to empty clicks from search engines, and once again posted under the name "Lory Gil". I would really like to hear from Lory on this matter, if she is a real person, or at least from a MR mod.

I think it's a mistake to assume that every MacRumors reader is at the same skill level. That an Apple Watch feature is obvious to you is not an indication that it's obvious to everyone, and honestly, the Apple Watch has a lot of complicated options and interactions to figure out. We feel that it's useful to meet the needs of users who might require a bit of help learning about all of the features on their devices (and this goes for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad too).

Even when Apple Watch features are obvious, there are often hidden little features that you might not find on your own, which also makes these posts useful for those who are already familiar with their devices.

There are a lot of people who come to MacRumors for help for a wide range of reasons, and while we realize that some of these how to posts are not useful for regular readers who are technically minded and very familiar with Apple products, people do find value in them.

We wish every post on the site would appeal to every reader, but that's just not the case. That's why we provide many different types of content aimed to meet different tastes and content preferences. That said, we appreciate the feedback -- we're always listening to what you guys have to say and we do take it into account when making content decisions.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MR-LIZARD Avatar
78 months ago
Here I am.

Just pointing out that this is yet another pointless article, mocking MR's regular readers while pandering to empty clicks from search engines...

It's hardly mocking; if it's something that is of no interest then it's easy enough to ignore or not get involved in. As a website I'm sure MR wants to grow its visitor numbers and repeat visitors; if it can convert an inexperienced Apple user into a regular visitor by providing them with information that's useful to them then why not? These inexperienced users will then hopefully become the experienced users of the future.

TBH I don't find the guides necessary for myself, the Apple Watch is simple to use, but I can see the benefit for others. However, it's easy to assume you know everything about something but sometimes these sort of guides have a little extra bit that of information that somehow passed you by so even for experienced users they can be useful.

I think as the Apple Watch is also quite scarce at the moment there will be a lot of people waiting on their Watch who will happily devour every bit of information about it and live vicariously through these guides until they can get their watch.

Other people may be sitting on the fence about a purchase What can the Watch do for me? How am I going to use one? These guides may assist in making that decision (whether as a sale or in the reader deciding it's not for them).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DavidTheExpert Avatar
78 months ago
I need DavidTheExpert's review of Lory's latest opus.
Here I am.

Just pointing out that this is yet another pointless article, mocking MR's regular readers while pandering to empty clicks from search engines, and once again posted under the name "Lory Gil". I would really like to hear from Lory on this matter, if she is a real person, or at least from a MR mod.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peoplesyak Avatar
78 months ago
I need DavidTheExpert's review of Lory's latest opus.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lk400 Avatar
78 months ago
Here I am.

Just pointing out that this is yet another pointless article, mocking MR's regular readers while pandering to empty clicks from search engines, and once again posted under the name "Lory Gil". I would really like to hear from Lory on this matter, if she is a real person, or at least from a MR mod.

10/10, would read again.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DavidTheExpert Avatar
78 months ago
My wife is finding these articles quite useful. She is learning about her watch bit by bit over time.

Really? She couldn't have figured out how to turn on calendar notifications by going to the Watch app and clicking on the big Calendar button on her own?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...