Apple Watch Notifications Messages

Notifications are a big part of the Apple Watch experience, so it’s important for you to configure them to your liking. Notification alerts appear on your Apple Watch when you’re wearing it and it’s unlocked.

If you’re using your iPhone, then notifications on Apple Watch will be suppressed, since you will see them on your iPhone anyway. If your iPhone is locked, then notifications are forwarded to your Apple Watch.

In this post, we’ll show you how to configure both stock apps and third party apps to send notifications to your Apple Watch.

How to enable the stock app notifications

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone

Step 2: Tap the My Watch tab

Step 3: Tap Notifications

Step 4: You will see nine sections for the stock apps that feature notifications on Apple Watch

Step 5: Tap an app, for example, Calendar

Step 6: Select Mirror my iPhone to mirror the Calendar app’s notification configuration from the paired iPhone or tap Custom to create your own custom alert setup on Apple Watch

Keep in mind, that some apps, like Activity, feature a whole host of different customization settings. Just keep in mind that if you see a “Mirror my iPhone” option, the same notification settings that you have set up on the paired iPhone will be used on the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Notifications Settings

How to enable third-party app notifications

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone

Step 2: Tap the My Watch tab

Step 3: Tap Notifications

Step 4: Scroll down until you see the Mirror iPhone Alerts From heading

Step 5: Enable the switches for the apps that you wish to receive alerts from

Note that since third-party app notifications are only mirrored, there are no independent notification settings you can have on the Apple Watch apart from the notification settings established in Settings → Notifications on the paired iPhone. For example, if you have notifications completely off for the Gmail app on the iPhone, then no notifications will be received on Apple Watch.

Another thing to consider is that if you don’t have notifications mirrored from your iPhone, then instead of forwarding alerts to your Apple Watch when your iPhone is locked, they will simply show up on your iPhone.

How do you like receiving notifications on your Apple Watch? Has it caused you to look at your iPhone a lot less?

For more details on the Apple Watch and more Apple Watch tips, be sure to check out our full guide.

  • David Pomerleau

    Can y’all do an article about advanced notification stuff? Trying to figure out if I can clear something from Watch and it’ll still be waiting on iPhone. I feel like at some point I waited a while after getting notification and when I force pressed from notification pull down and cleared all, I still had the notification on lock screen. This could be useful. I also find that texts will slip by me sometimes: when I look at text app on iPhone I have blue dots next to texts that I didn’t even see. This is probably user error and I just dismissed notification from Watch but I would think that would clear it. Anyway, still some confusion about clearing stuff and handling notifications.