How to wake your Apple Watch

By , Apr 27, 2015

Apple Watch Sleep Wake 2

The hardware contained within the Apple Watch makes it possible for it to know when you’ve raised your wrist and when you’ve lowered your wrist. This, in turn, allows the Apple Watch to intelligently wake and go to sleep depending on your wrist orientation.

To wake your Apple Watch, just raise your wrist or tap on the display. When you lower your wrist, Apple Watch will detect it and automatically go to sleep. But it goes a littler deeper than that. Here are four ways to wake your Apple Watch, and three ways to put your Apple Watch to sleep.

How to wake your Apple Watch

  • Raise your wrist
  • Press the Digital Crown
  • Press the side button
  • Tap the screen

How to put your Apple Watch to Sleep

  • Lower you wrist
  • Cover the screen with your palm
  • Wait for it to time out

You can also choose what you Apple Watch awakens to. By default, it will wake up to the watch face, but if you prefer, you can make it return to where you were before the watch went to sleep.

From your iPhone

Open the Apple Watch app → General → Activate on Wrist Raise and select the Resume Previous Activity option.

From your Apple Watch

Setting → General → Activate on Wrist Raise → (ensure Wrist Raise is enabled) → and select the Last Used App option.

For more Apple Watch tips, be sure to have a look at our full Apple Watch Guide.

Tell us, what do you like to see when you raise your wrist? The watch face, or the last app that you used? Sound off in the comment section with your opinions.

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  • SMH

    Who is this directed at? Pretty sure everyone that has this watch already knows and everyone that doesn’t, doesn’t care.

    • Tyler Smith

      i don’t have a watch and i find this interesting.

      • Your Mother

        Samsung thought so as well, that’s why its been on their watch for the past 2 years.

      • Tyler Smith

        okay? i don’t see the point in saying that “samsung got it first” crap.. it means nothing to just about anyone who is thinking about buying an apple watch. of course smartwatches are going to have the same features because thats how technology works. someone comes up with something and then everyone says hey thats a good idea. lets implement that and something else. sooo sorry that apple is behind by two years. and actually samsung didn’t create the software. google or some other company did. just saying

    • Hussain Alsanona

      Buddy say goods or don’t bother us. It’s interesting tidbits.

  • Tyler Smith

    Can you turn off the tap the screen option while the watch is asleep? i feel like that would increase the watches battery life as it wouldn’t be waiting for a tap at all times and this would stop from accidental taps.

  • Your Mother

    raise your wrist to awake. now where have I seen this feature before??

    • Lance Baker

      Seems like a pretty obvious feature for a smart watch. So not sure if it was copied from Samsung as you seem to think.

  • kokeropie

    I wonder what would happen if raise/lower wrist to wake/sleep apple watch function while driving and wearing the watch on the right hand. I mean when you change gear then place your hand back to steering wheel. I don’t have the watch yet, so I’m curious.

  • Paul Butt

    The problem is with me sometimes is I have to wake the watch uo manually or turn the setting off and on occasionally being a wheelchair user. But its no big deal really as long as it alerts me off notifications I can do this. But I wonder if in the accessibliity settings people with ,not very mobile hands can do this to the watch ? mind thinking about it there’s always the setting that leaves the screen on permanent. 😉