How To Fix an Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications

Apple Watches send alerts direct to your wrist. Needless to say, an issue with the notifications defeats the device’s purpose and can set back your productivity.

How To Fix an Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications

Luckily, this problem is usually nothing serious, and you can fix it with some basic tweaks. Here are a few things you can try to restore your Apple Watch notifications.

Apple Watch Isn’t Getting Notifications

When your iPhone is unlocked, your notifications will, by default, appear on your iPhone. However, if the device is locked, they’ll be redirected to your Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch isn’t getting notifications even when your iPhone is locked, it’s typically due to one of the following reasons:

  • Your Apple Watch and iPhone have disconnected
  • Do Not Disturb, Power Reserve, or Airplane Mode is on
  • Wrist detection isn’t working
  • Notifications are hidden or disabled

Tackle these issues in the following ways.

Check Your Network Connection

Before moving further, check that your iPhone is connected to the internet and that Airplane Mode is off. You can see all these settings in your Control Panel if you swipe down on your screen. If there aren’t any network issues to speak of, move on to the next step.

Restart Your Devices

Like any other piece of tech, your Apple Watch can also be affected by bugs and other temporary issues. Sometimes, all it needs is a fresh start. Your best bet is rebooting both your iPhone and your Apple Watch to see if that solves your notification woes.

Reconnect Your Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch might not receive notifications because it has disconnected from your iPhone. Check if this is the case by doing the following:

  1. Open the Control Center on your Apple Watch by swiping up.
  2. A small, green iPhone icon at the top indicates that the devices are connected.

If you see a red “x” or a red iPhone icon instead, you’ll need to reconnect the devices.

  1. Make sure the devices are near each other.
  2. Turn on your iPhone’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
  3. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone.

Once rebooted, check if the devices have established a connection and whether notifications work now.

Unpair Your Devices

If your Apple Watch couldn’t reconnect to your iPhone, you may need to unpair the devices and pair them again. Unpair your Apple Watch by following the steps below:

  1. Place your devices close to each other.
  2. Open your Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Tap “All Watches” at the top of the screen.
  4. Find the Apple Watch you want to unpair and tap the “i” icon next to it.
  5. Select the “Unpair Apple Watch” option.

You’ll need to enter your Apple ID to unpair your watch. To pair the devices again, turn on your Apple Watch and simply follow the instructions on the screen. Once paired, check again whether your watch is receiving notifications.

Turn Off Do Not Disturb

Focus Modes, like Do Not Disturb, prevent notifications from bothering you when you need some silence. Check whether you turned on this feature on your Apple Watch:

  1. Swipe up on your watch face to open the Control Center.
  2. Look for a moon icon. If the button is blue, Do Not Disturb is on. Turn it off.

Similarly, check if your iPhone’s Focus Mode is on:

  1. Unlock your iPhone and swipe down.
  2. Find the moon button and turn it off as needed.

If Focus Mode was enabled on either device, your notifications will now work.

Disable Power Reserve

If the battery of your Apple Watch is low, the device may be conserving energy by blocking notifications. Turn off this feature by disabling Power Reserve mode:

  1. Open the settings on your Apple Watch and scroll down to find “Battery.”
  2. Find the “Battery Reserve” button and turn it off.

Check if this resolved the issue.

Turn Off Wrist Detection

Your Apple Watch uses Wrist Detection sensors and only sends you notifications when you’re wearing it. This works well for the most part, but not for everyone. If none of the previous solutions worked, turn off Wrist Detection to see if this is what’s causing your issue.

  1. Open your Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll down to the “My Watch” section and tap “Passcode.”
  3. Toggle “Wrist Detection” off.

Switch On the Notification Indicator

If your watch is receiving notifications but doesn’t alert you of them with the red dot at the top of the screen, your Notifications Indicator is turned off. Turn on this feature to see when you have a new alert.

  1. Find the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go into “Notifications.”
  3. Look for the “Notifications Indicator” option. Turn it on.

You can also do this on your Apple Watch:

  1. Open your Settings and tap “Notifications.”
  2. Toggle “Notifications Indicator” on.

Update Your Devices

Outdated software can also interfere with your notifications. Ensure that both of your devices are running on the latest version. Check for any software updates on your Apple Watch like so:

  1. Go to Settings and tap “General.”
  2. Tap the “Software Update” option.

If there’s any update available, download and install it to your Apple Watch.

Similarly, check for software updates on your iPhone:

  1. Open your Settings app and tap “General.”
  2. Find “Software Update.”

Available updates will appear on the next screen.

Stay on Top of Your Notifications

Inconsistent notifications aren’t only annoying, but they can cause serious misunderstandings. Be sure to set up your Apple Watch notifications correctly, and you’ll never miss an important message again.

Have you ever experienced problems with notifications on your Apple Watch? Which of these fixes got them working again? Let us know in the comments section below.

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