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Manage alerts and notifications on your Apple Watch



A man with an Apple Watch on an airplane.
Sergei Stemprok / Shutterstock.com

The Apple Watch brings notifications to your wrist. Finally, you can receive important notifications without looking at your phone, as well as receive unimportant notifications. Here̵

7;s how to manage your watch’s alerts.

While you can configure some of these settings on your Apple Watch, it’s a bit tricky. It’s best to use the Watch app on your iPhone. That’s what we’ll demonstrate in this guide.

Install only the apps you want

Everything starts with the apps you have installed. If your watch starts to get cluttered or you get notifications from apps that you haven’t opened in months, then you should uninstall them and get rid of the cause of the problem.

To remove an app from your watch without removing it from your iPhone, open the ‘Watch’ app and scroll down until you see a list of apps ‘Installed on Apple Watch’.

Select the app you want to remove and turn off Show on Apple Watch. And just like that it will be gone.

list of apps installed on Apple Watchtoggle to delete the highlighted Apple Watch app

If you want to delete an app from both your iPhone and watch, you just need to delete it on your phone.

Disable notification mirroring for unimportant things

There are some notifications you might not mind getting on your iPhone, but you definitely don’t need to see them right on your wrist. Even if you don’t have the app installed on your watch, the notifications can still be mirrored.

In the Watch app, go to ‘Notifications’ and scroll down to ‘Mirror iPhone notifications from’. Here you will see a list of all the apps you have installed on your iPhone. Turn off anything you don’t want to send notifications to your watch.

notifications option highlighted Apple Watch appturn off notifications

Unfortunately, the notification controls on an Apple Watch aren’t as detailed as you’d like. provide those controls. The notifications that appear on your iPhone will appear on your watch.

Customize how each notification is displayed

For the notifications that you do want to receive on your wrist, you can adjust how and where they appear.

In the Watch app, go to ‘Notifications’. Just below ‘Notification privacy’ you will see a list of all the apps you can configure.

notifications option highlighted Apple Watch appapps with notifications to configure

Apple’s built-in apps have a few more options. But for most things, you can choose to “Mirror My iPhone” and have notifications appear as they do on your iPhone, or choose “Custom”.

notification options for Apple Watchnotification options for Apple Watch

If you select “Custom”, you have the option of “Allow notifications”, “Send to notification center” or “Disable notifications”.

Allow notifications means that your watch will show the notification the next time you look at it. You can turn “Sound” on or off.

“Send to Notification Center” means that notifications are visible in the notification center, but not otherwise on your wrist. Again, you can turn “Sound” on or off.

Finally, “Notifications Off” turns off all notifications for that app.

Set the alert volume and haptic strength

sounds & haptics option Apple Watchsetting sounds and haptic options Apple Watch

If you’ve followed it, you should now only receive notifications from the apps you want to receive them from. The next step is to set how loudly your watch beeps (but only when you want to!) And how loudly it vibrates.

In the Watch app, go to ‘Sounds & Haptics’. Use the “Alert Volume” slider to set the loudness of the alerts. Under ‘Haptics’ you can select how hard your watch vibrates with each notification. I would recommend ‘Prominent’.

Use the different modes as needed

While setting some good default settings will cover you in most situations, you should also familiarize yourself with all the different modes available. Mostly:

turn silent mode on and off on apple watch

To enable either mode, swipe up on your watch and tap the bell icon for Silent and the moon icon for Do Not Disturb. Between the two, you can guarantee that your watch will only alert you when you want.

RELATED: What do all modes do on my Apple Watch?




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