How to increase notification privacy on Apple Watch

Update March 2017: Added new images for iOS 10 and watchOS 3, as well as introductions for each section.

By default, the Apple Watch will show short look notifications — the originating app and a snippet of context like sender name or alert type — but if you keep your arm raised, they'll auto-expand into long look notifications — the contents of a message or email. If you want the convenience of simply being able to raise your arm and read your notifications, this isn't for you. If you'd rather be in control of when and how you see more detailed notifications, however, you can tell your Apple Watch to wait for you to tap the screen before it expands. All you have to do is adjust your settings.

How to enable notification privacy on Apple Watch

Making your watch notifications more private is easy. It just involves heading to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on iPhone.
  2. Tap on Notifications.
  3. Flip the Notification Privacy switch to the 'on' position.

Launch Apple Watch app, tap Notifications, flip switch on

How to view private notifications on Apple Watch

So the notifications are now private, but how do you look at them now? While it's not as simple as a flick of the wrist any more, it's not much more difficult.

  1. Tap the short look notification.
  2. Choose Reply or Dismiss if available, or tap on the notification's content to be taken to that watch app.

Tap notification, replay, dismiss, or tap the message


Have any questions about notification privacy on your Apple Watch? Ask away in the comments below.

Apple Watch