How to choose which notifications are sent to Apple Watch

In this post, we’ll show you how to configure both stock apps and third-party apps to send or not send notifications to your Apple Watch.

New text notification on Apple Watch

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.

How to enable or disable app notifications on Apple Watch

  1. Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone.
  2. Make sure you’re in the My Watch tab and tap Notifications.
Notifications in My Watch section of iOS Watch app

Next, here’s how to customize the notifications for stock and third-party apps.

For stock Apple apps

Stock Apple Watch apps in Notifications settings of Watch app

At the top, you will see all the stock Apple apps. Tap one and choose your desired option. Note that the notification options differ based on the app. But in most cases, you will see:

  • Allow Notifications: This permits that particular app’s notifications to show on your Apple Watch.
  • Send to Notification Center: Choosing this will allow new notifications but collect them silently in the Notification Center. You won’t get alerted by the app’s notifications if you choose to send it to the Notification Center.
  • Notifications Off: This turns off notifications for the app.
  • Mirror my iPhone: Choosing this means the same notification settings that you have set up on the paired iPhone will be used on the Apple Watch. For instance, if you get a new text message notification, it will show up on your Apple Watch when your iPhone is locked or asleep.
  • Custom: You can choose not to mirror your iPhone notifications and configure custom settings instead.

For third-party apps

Third party apps in Notifications settings of Watch app

After you get past the 20+ stock Apple watchOS apps, you get to third-party apps. The list here includes most applications you have installed on your iPhone. You can choose to receive their notifications on your Apple Watch by enabling the switch next to the app name. And if you turn off the switch, that app’s new alerts will not be sent to your watch.

If you get a lot of alerts on your wrist, you can turn off the app notifications for unnecessary apps here and keep it enabled only for important text, phone, and email apps.

Note further 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 iOS 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 the 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?

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