How to enable notifications on your Apple Watch

As long as your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, whatever is sent to your iPhone will be relayed to your Apple Watch. Which notifications get relayed, however, are up to you.

Curious where your notifications will show and when? Apple keeps things pretty simple:

  • If your iPhone is unlocked, you'll get notifications on your iPhone — not your Apple Watch.
  • If your iPhone is locked or asleep, you'll get notifications on your Apple Watch (unless it's locked).

How to set up your notifications on Apple Watch

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Notifications.
  3. Toggle the Notifications Indicator to on to see an orange dot at the top of your Apple Watch face when you have unread notifications.
  4. Toggle Notification Privacy to require a tap to see detailed notifications.
  5. Tap a built-in or App Store app to set individual notifications for each.

Note: In order for an App Store app to have notifications available for Apple Watch, they have to first be enabled on your iPhone. You can't mirror or forward notifications that are disabled, after all!

Enabling notifications on Apple Watch

App Store apps and some Apple apps merely let you choose between mirroring your iPhone notification settings or disabling notifications for that app altogether. A few Apple apps, however, give you a third option — custom. Choose it, and more options become available for you.

Apple Watch