How to silence Apple Watch with a simple gesture

Apple Watch Phone call notification image 001

When you’re in a meeting or at the movies and a phone call comes in or a loud alert starts dinging, nothing compares to the social awkwardness after realizing you’ve forgotten to silence your watch. Surely you don’t wanna being labeled as that guy, no?

While you can mute the alerts on the watch with a couple taps, by the time you fumble through the menus you’ll have already embarrassed yourself.

Thankfully, there’s a better way: the Apple Watch includes a nifty little feature for silencing incoming phone calls and other audible alerts with a super quick gesture.

How to quickly silence Apple Watch with your palm

Step 1: Make sure that the Cover to Mute option is enabled in the companion Watch app on your iPhone under My Watch → Sounds & Haptics.

Cover to Mute Apple Watch

Step 2: The next time a loud ringer goes off at the most inopportune time (or you receive an incoming call on your wrist, or hear a noisy notification buzzing), simply shut your Watch up by covering the whole screen with your palm for three seconds, like this.

Silence Apple Watch with gesture

Step 3: You should feel a tap on your wrist: that’s your Apple Watch subtly letting you know that you’ve now silenced rings and alerts. To turn rings and alerts back on, tap the bell icon in the Settings glance available by swiping from the bottom on your watch face.

In a typical Apple fashion, covering the device with your palm to mute rings and alerts won’t silence alarms or timers, so you don’t miss anything of importance. As a quick reminder, alarms and timers set up on the watch differ from those enabled on an iPhone or other iOS devices.

This handy shortcut does the same thing as enabling Mute in Settings → Sounds & Haptics on the watch or the companion app on your iPhone.

To learn more about adjusting or muting sounds on your Apple wearable device, you’ll wholeheartedly recommended to check out this tutorial by my colleague Jeff.

How’s this different from Airplane and Do Not Disturb mode?

That’s a great question, actually.

When you cover to mute the watch, you’ll still receive haptic feedback when an alert comes in. Do Not Disturb mode silences both sound and haptic feedback so you won’t hear or feel a thing when those alerts hit.

As for Airplane mode, it shuts down Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios. As a result, notifications won’t be relayed from your iPhone and you will lose some functionality because Airplane mode prevents the watch from keeping the connection with its paired iPhone alive.

RELATED: iDownloadBlog’s Apple Watch Guide.

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