How to quickly silence an incoming call on Apple Watch

We've all had times when we received a call at an inopportune time — or forgot to silence our iPhone in a crowded space. The Apple Watch can make these situations slightly less embarrassing by letting you silence all your devices with one quick gesture. That means no fumbling around for your iPhone in a purse or pocket to hit the ignore button anymore. Here's how to do it!

How to quickly mute an incoming call on Apple Watch

To mute an incoming call on Apple Watch, simply place your hand over the screen so your palm comes in contact with and covers the entire front. The call will instantly be silenced on both your Apple Watch and your iPhone.

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This Watch gesture does essentially the same thing as hitting the Power button on your iPhone — which means that if you need to slip out and answer your call, you still can: The ringer will just be muted until you can get somewhere appropriate to pick up your phone.

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • You even had to put a video with it in case the reader was just that stupid. lol Next up, how to press the button on the side. It's hard to say who's putting out the worst articles at iMore. Is there some kind of competition going on?
  • Just because they don't have any value for you, that doesn't mean they don't for other people. Especially when my inbox is filled with people who are confused and don't find Apple's help documentation suitable. We write for all audiences, not just those who are technically inclined. If an article doesn't interest you, don't click on it and move on to the next one. Problem solved.
  • Personally, I thought the video was very useful. I'd read that this was a feature, but assumed it was to silence the watch -- it wasn't until I saw the short video that I realized it silenced my iPhone as well. Nice :-) One question though -- does it immediately send the call to voicemail, or just silence the ringer? I don't always want the caller to know they've been screened and usually press the volume-down button on my phone to silence the ringer but let it run its course before going to voicemail.
  • my apple watch has a temporary silencing feature that is set to expire sometime in june.
  • Thank you, Allyson, good information. I do have a question: Have you ever experienced this technique not working?
  • That gesture is useful for more than just silencing the ring. It can be used to always turn off the watch display and reset the watch back to the face no matter where you are. If you are done using the watch, put your palm over the watch face to make sure you start back at the watch face when you use the watch in the future.