If you’re not getting any new notifications on your Apple Watch, follow these troubleshooting steps before you contact Apple.
A core part of the Apple Watch experience is interacting with notifications on your wrist. However, sometimes, these notifications can suddenly stop filtering through.
Frequently missing important texts, emails, or other notifications on your Apple Watch is annoying and could cause major issues if you miss critical communication.
To help you with this, we’ve listed some potential solutions to get notifications on your Apple Watch back to normal.
The information in this article apply to the following Apple Watch models:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch SE (2020)
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch SE (2022)
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Ultra
How Notifications Work on Apple Watch
Before we start troubleshooting, it’s good to understand how notifications work onan Apple Watch:
- You will only see alerts for new notifications on your Apple Watch when it’s both unlocked and on your wrist.
- If you’re actively using your iPhone, you won’t receive any notification alerts on your Apple Watch.
You can find these notes at the top of the Notifications menu in the Watch app on your iPhone. It’s very likely one of these factors may be the reason why you’re not getting notifications on your Apple Watch.
How to Fix Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications
1. Check if Do Not Disturb is switched on
If Do Not Disturb is active on your Apple Watch, you won’t receive notifications. Instead, your notifications go to your iPhone. To check if the mode is on:
- Check if the crescent moon icon is present on your watch face.
- If it is, swipe up on the watch face and tap the Do Not Disturb button. It’s also a crescent moon icon.
2. Turn off Cover to Mute
Similar to the Apple Watch’s Do Not Disturb mode, Cover to Mute silences notifications.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- Go to My Watch.
- Tap **Sounds & Haptics **.
- Turn off Cover to Mute.
3. Turn off AirPlane mode
Airplane Mode turns off your device’s connection to all wireless networks, including cellular and Wi-Fi. It also turns off Bluetooth, GPS, and other related services. That means that your Apple Watch won’t be able to receive notifications while Airplane Mode is enabled.
To turn Airplane Mode off on your iPhone:
- Open Control Center.
- Tap the airplane icon so it’s not lit up.
To turn off airplane mode on your Apple Watch.
- Lift your wrist or tap the digital crown to wake your Apple Watch’s screen.
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch the Control Center.
- Tap the Airplane Mode icon, which looks like a small airplane, to disable airplane mode. When enabled, the airplane mode box will appear yellow. When airplane mode is off, it will be grey.
4. Try to Reconnect your iPhone and Apple Watch
When your devices disconnect, your notifications go to your iPhone instead of your Apple Watch. To check your connection, follow the steps below:
- Swipe up on the watch face to bring up Control Center.
- If your Watch and iPhone are disconnected, you might see the red iPhone icon , or the Wi-Fi icon.
To reconnect your Apple Watch to your iPhone, simply restart your iPhone and Apple Watch. They should reconnect once switched on.
Here’s how to restart your Apple Watch:
- If your Apple Watch is charging, take it off the charger. The watch will not turn off when connected to a charger.
- Press and hold the side button until you see a round power button in the upper-right corner of the display.
- Tap the power button.
- Drag the Power Off slider.
- After your watch turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.
To restart an iPhone 10 or later, hold either volume button and the power button simultaneously and, once the option appears, slide to power off. Hold the power button for a few seconds to power the device back on–which will be evident once the Apple logo appears. If the device is an iPhone 6, 7, 8 or SE, hold the side button until the power off slider appears and power off the phone, and hold that same button for at least five seconds until the Apple logo appears to power the iPhone back on.
Another option for restarting an iPhone is through the settings. Navigate to the device’s settings, select General, press the Shut Down button and slide to power off the device. To power on the device, hold the power button for a few seconds or until the Apple logo appears.
5. Check and Modify Your Notification Settings
If your Apple Watch doesn’t show notifications for a particular app, check that the app’s notification settings are correctly configured.
- Head to the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap Notifications.
- Scroll down to an app that isn’t sending notifications, and tap it.
- Select Show Alerts, and the app should now send notifications to your wrist.
6. Make sure you’re wearing your Apple Watch correctly
You’ll only receive notifications if your Apple Watch is on your wrist.
Apple says that the sensors in Apple Watch only work correctly when positioned against your skin at the top of your wrist. If you have small wrists, you need to find a way to tighten the strap to make it fit correctly.
7. Turn off Wrist Detection
If you’re wearing your Apple Watch but it doesn’t detect it, switch off wrist detection to circumvent the sensor.
- Go to Settings on your Apple Watch.
- Tap Passcode.
- Tap Wrist Detection to turn it Off.
8. Update your Apple Watch and iPhone
There’s a chance that a software bug has messed up your Apple Watch’s notifications. When you have system issues like this, it’s always smart to download and install the latest software update for your device.
To update your iPhone:
- Go to Settings.
- Select General.
- Tap Software Update
- If there’s an update available, tap Download and Install and walk through the process to update your device.
Just like iPhones, Apple Watches receive periodic software updates that include everything from bug fixes to new features.
Here’s how to update your Apple Watch:
Before anything, make sure both your iPhone and Watch are connected to WiFi.
- Place your Apple Watch on its charger and let it sit there until any updates are complete.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone, and navigate to the My Watch tab.
- Tap General.
- Tap **Software Update **– if there’s an available update, you’ll see a red number next to Software Update.
- Tap Download and Install if there’s an update available. You may be asked for your iPhone or Apple Watch passcode here — enter it.
Note: If no updates are available, you’ll see the text Your software is up to date, , meaning no further action is required – the Watch is already running the latest software.
9. Update Your Apps
Sometimes, the problem is not with your Apple Watch but the apps themselves. If you’re not receiving notifications for only a particular app, it may be a bug that can be fixed with an update.
- Press the Digital Crown to see your apps and then tap the App Store icon.
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap Account.
- Tap Updates.
- Tap Update next to an app to update only that app, or tap Update All.
10. Contact Apple Support
If none of the tips mentioned above has worked in fixing the Apple Watch not getting notifications problem, it’s time to contact Apple for tech support.
Get Timely Notifications on Your Apple Watch
Notifications are working on your Apple Watch once again and you aren’t missing important messages and alerts. Next time notifications are not working on your Apple Watch, you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem! Feel free to leave any other comments or questions you have in the comments section below.