12 easy ways to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications⏱️ 3 min read

How to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications

The Apple Watch packs many innovative features, making it an incredible wearable device. Out of all its amazing abilities, my absolute favorite is its ability to connect to an iPhone. Yet, it can be frustrating when your trusty wrist companion goes quiet, and you end up missing out on important notifications. In this simple guide I’ll walk you through the simple steps to fix Apple Watch not receiving notifications.

1. Make sure the Apple Watch and iPhone are connected

Connect your watch and iPhone to fix the issue of your Apple Watch not receiving notifications. You can follow the methods described below depending on your watchOS to access the Control Center.

  • watchOS 10 or later: Press the Side button.
  • watchOS 9 or earlier: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

If you can see a green iPhone icon in the top-left corner, that means your devices are successfully connected. On the other hand, if you come across a different symbol, such as a red iPhone icon, a red cross icon, or a Wi-Fi icon, you should connect both devices by turning on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

2. Turn off Do Not Disturb to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications

Do Not Disturb modes on your Apple Watch might be the reason why you’re not receiving notifications. You can try the following steps to see if the Focus mode is turned on.

  1. Wake up your Apple Watch by pressing Digital Crown.
  2. Press the Side button to access the Control Center.
    On watchOS 9 or earlier, scroll up from the bottom of the screen to do the same.
  3. Ensure that the crescent moon icon is grayed.
  4. If it’s still purple, tap the icon to turn off Do Not Disturb.

This should resolve your problem if the issue were caused by the Do Not Disturb mode. However, if the problem persists, head to the next solution.

3. Make sure your Apple Watch is unlocked

Apple Watches have a built-in security feature that stops notifications from appearing when the watch is locked, which can be another potential reason behind your grievance. Simply look for a lock icon at the top of your watch face on your Apple Watch. If you find one there, it means that your watch is locked.

Unlocking the watch is simple. You can enter your passcode on the watch or use the unlock feature on your iPhone, depending on your settings. Once you unlock your Apple Watch, you will start receiving notifications again. This allows you to stay connected and informed throughout your day.

Only while your iPhone is locked or in sleep mode will your Apple Watch get alerts. However, if you’re actively using your iPhone, any alerts will appear on the phone instead of the watch.

4. Turn off the cover to mute

This feature lets you silence incoming notifications when you cover your watch’s display. For instance, when you put your hand over the watch’s face. Notifications will still appear on your device but won’t make any sounds or vibrations while the display is covered when this option is enabled.

To turn off this feature, follow these steps: Open the Watch app on your iPhone → Go to the My Watch tab → Choose Sounds & Haptics → Toggle off the switch next to Cover to Mute.

5. Disable Wrist Detection to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications

Wrist Detection is a feature on your Apple Watch that helps it save battery power by only waking up when you lift your wrist. However, this can sometimes prevent you from receiving notifications.

Your Apple Watch will stay awake all the time, eliminating the possibility of you missing any important notifications if you turn off Wrist Detection. To accomplish the task, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. On your Apple Watch, launch the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Passcode.
  3. Toggle off the button next to Wrist Detection.

6. Double-check that notifications are enabled

Double-checking whether your Apple Watch’s notifications are enabled is a good idea when your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone but not receiving notifications. You can easily do this by following the steps below.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Head to the My Watch tab → Select General.
  3. Navigate to Focus → Toggle off the button next to Mirror my iPhone.

Review the individual app settings listed below and ensure the toggle switches are enabled for the specific apps you want to receive notifications. Check the instructions beneath to do so.

  1. Head to the Watch app.
  2. Ensure to be on the My Watch tab → Tap Notifications.
  3. Now, tap any app you want to change notification settings → Choose Allow Notifications from the list.

If you opt for Custom settings for apps like Messages, make sure Allow Notifications is selected. Additionally, ensure that the switches next to Sound and Haptic are turned on as well.

Furthermore, you can also scroll down to the Mirror iPhone Alerts section and make sure the toggle button is green next to the app you want to receive notifications from. By verifying these settings, you can ensure that your Apple Watch is appropriately set up to receive all the information you need, enhancing your overall user experience.

7. Connect iPhone to network for third-party app notifications

Third-party apps such as Spotify, WhatsApp, and others will only notify your Apple Watch when your iPhone is connected to the internet. Additionally, if you have any issues utilizing Wi-Fi or cellular data to connect your device to the internet, you may refer to our post.

8. Update apps and devices to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications

If you are running an outdated version of WatchOS, iOS, or the problematic app, notifications on your Apple Watch may stop functioning. To fix the problem, you must update the impacted devices and apps.

  • Update WatchOS: Launch Settings → Select General → Tap Software Update → Choose Download and Install. Additionally, you can also update watchOS from your iPhone.
  • Update the iOS: Navigate to Settings → Locate and choose General → Pick Software Update → Tap Download and Install if you find a pending update. The latest iOS comes with some new features and bug fixes.
  • Update the app: Even though the built-in apps on your watch automatically update when you update the watchOS, if you’re using some third-party apps, follow these steps to update them manually: launch App Store → Scroll down to the bottom and select Account → Choose Updates → Tap Update next to the app’s name.

9. Reset Sync Data to fix Contacts and Calendars issues

Resetting the sync data is a helpful troubleshooting step if your Apple Watch isn’t receiving notifications from the Calendar or Contacts apps. This action effectively removes any corrupted or out-of-date sync data, enabling your device to connect to a new network and sync the most recent data.

It’s important to understand that clearing the sync data on your iPhone only restarts the synchronization process and does not remove your actual contacts or calendar events. The steps listed below make this simple repair simple to complete.

  1. Launch the Watch app.
  2. Head to My Watch tab → Tap General.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and choose Reset → Select Reset Sync Data.

A gentle tap on this feature will reset your synced data without any further interaction.

10. Force restart and hard reset your Apple Watch

Giving your Apple Watch a fresh start can be a handy solution when you’re facing the problem of not receiving notifications. Restarting your Apple Watch effectively performs a system reboot, eradicating any potential flaws or hiccups that could be the root of the problem. Additionally, if you’re looking to take things a notch higher, you can perform a hard reset on your Apple Watch, which will restore it to its original state.

11. Unpair and repair Apple Watch

If you want to refresh your Apple Watch and iPhone connections, you can start by separating the two devices. Just follow the below-mentioned steps.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap All Watches located.
  3. Choose the (i) icon next to your specific watch.
  4. Scroll down and select Unpair Apple Watch.

Congratulations! You have successfully disconnected your Apple Watch from your iPhone. Now, you can easily connect with them again by bringing them close to each other.

12. Contact Apple Support to fix Apple Watch not getting notifications

Whether it’s an issue with your Watch settings, connectivity, or compatibility with your iPhone, Apple Support can assist you in resolving the problem effectively. Contacting Apple Support is a simple yet excellent solution to troubleshoot and fix the problem of the Apple Watch not showing notifications. Apple professionals guide customers through a number of stages to meet their needs with the appropriate solutions.


Q. Will resetting network settings on my Apple Watch delete all my data?

Resetting the network settings on your Apple Watch won’t erase any of your personal data. Nevertheless, it will restore the network settings to their original defaults, requiring you to reconfigure them.

Q. Are there any known bugs or issues with Apple Watch notifications?

Similar to any other product, your Apple Watch may sometimes experience glitches, such as not receiving notifications. However, Apple is proactive in addressing these problems and promptly releases software updates containing the necessary fixes.

Quit missing texts now!

As mentioned above, those are some of the most effective solutions to fix the problem of Apple Watch not getting notifications. Additionally, some users have had luck getting notifications after they turned off the Low Power Mode feature on their Apple Watch and iPhone.

I hope my assistance has helped you resolve the issue and that your Apple Watch receives notifications without problems.

Nutan Sharma
Content Writer at The Writing Paradigm | + posts

Nutan is a computer science graduate and a fervent enthusiast who likes to explore and talk about tech, business, finance, and startups.

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