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Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications? Try These 5 Fixes


As a companion timepiece to your iPhone, the Apple Watch lets you stay up to date with alerts you never want to miss. Sadly, it can be frustrating if there’s no sound or vibration coming from the watch. But why is the Apple Watch not getting notifications in the first place?

Your Apple Watch is not getting notifications because Bluetooth is off, the companion app doesn’t have the permission to send alerts to the watch, or DND is active. It’s also possible that the watch isn’t synchronizing with iPhone or you accidentally turned airplane mode on.

To be abundantly clear, an Apple Watch not receiving notification isn’t an indication of a damaged component. Therefore, you should fix the issue with this. 

In this guide, we look into why there’s no sound or vibration coming from your Apple Watch, as well as what to do to fix the problem.

Why Are Notifications Not Working On My Apple Watch?

The following table is a summary explaining why there’s no notifications on your Apple Watch, as well as what I recommend you do to fix the problem:

 Probable CausePossible Solution
1.The Bluetooth connection on your Apple Watch is off.Go to your Apple Watch settings screen and enable Bluetooth.
2.The Bluetooth connection on your iPhone is off.Access your iPhone’s settings, go to Bluetooth and toggle to enable.
3.The app doesn’t have the permission to send message notifications to your Apple Watch. Use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to allow notification for each app from which you’d like to get an alert.
4.Alerts stopped working because you activated DND.Swipe up the screen, and then tap on the crescent icon to turn off the DND mode.
5.Your Apple Watch and iPhone are not connected. You should connect the Apple Watch to your iPhone again if the two lost connection.
6.Airplane Mode is active on your iPhone or Apple Watch – or both.Disable Airplane Mode on your Apple Watch and iPhone.

6 Ways to Fix Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications

If you have your Apple Watch connected to your iPhone but you’re not receiving notifications, here’s what you can do to fix the issue:

1. Turn on Bluetooth Connection on Your Apple Watch


You probably turned off Bluetooth on your Apple Watch because you want to save on battery. And doing so will see you using the watch perhaps for longer than 18 hours.

However, Apple Watch relies on the Bluetooth technology to show notifications from your iPhone.

So if you’ve noticed that you’re not getting alerts anymore, first check whether Bluetooth connection is active on your Apple Watch.

  • Press the Digital Crown button to open the apps library.
  • Tap the gear icon to open the Settings page.
  • Scroll down on the page and tap on Bluetooth.
  • Toggle the button to turn Bluetooth on.

And that’s it.

2. Activate Bluetooth On Your iPhone

You won’t get notifications on your Apple Watch if Bluetooth on your iPhone is off.

Remember, your iPhone and Apple Watch need an active Bluetooth connection to communicate, and this technology must be active for as long as you want the two devices to communicate.

To check the Bluetooth connection status between your iPhone and Apple Watch:

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap on the Bluetooth option.
  • If the toggle button is off, tap it turn Bluetooth on.

If Bluetooth is active on both devices but you’re still not getting any alerts, turn off Bluetooth on both devices and then turn it back on again.

3. Grant Apps Permission to Send Notifications to Apple Watch

It’s highly likely that your Apple Watch isn’t getting alert from apps because you haven’t enabled push notification in the Apple Watch app.

To fix this:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Look for the Notifications options and tap it.
  • Toggle on the apps from which you like to receive notifications and allow those that aren’t as relevant to you.

4. Disable Do Not Disturb Function

If you’ve connected your Apple Watch to your iPhone but it’s not receiving notification, it could be that the Do Not Disturb feature is currently active.

Here’s the deal:

The Do Not Disturb feature puts your Apple Watch in silence mode, allowing you to concentrate on your work with zero distraction. Unfortunately, an active DND locks you out of staying up to date even with the most important notifications.

Wake the Apple Watch screen to check whether there’s a small crescent moon-like graphic on the watch face. If you see this, it means DND function is active, and you must deactivate it if you want to get notifications. 

  • Swipe up on the screen to open the Control Center.
  • Tap the “Do Not Disturb” option to remove the small crescent moon from the Apple Watch face.

5. Unpair and Reconnect Your Apple Watch to Your iPhone

Your Apple Watch won’t notify you about text messages and activity data if you haven’t connected it to your iPhone.

If you’d connected the two devices but somehow lost the connection, it could because the two devices were not in range for quite some time.  

  • Swipe up on your Apple Watch to access the Control Center. 
  • Check if there’s a green “X”icon, a green Wi-Fi icon, or a green iPhone icon at the top of the Apple Watch.

If you see a red “X” icon, a red iPhone icon, or a red Wi-Fi icon, it means that the Apple Watch and iPhone are not connected.

Simply reconnect the two devices to start receiving alerts.  

6. Deactivate Airplane Mode to Receive Notifications

You might have enabled airplane mode on your Apple Watch or iPhone unknowingly – or intentionally but then forgot to disable it.

Simply deactivate the airplane mode on both devices, ensure the Bluetooth connection is active, and keep the watch and the phone in range.

7. Update WatchOS Software to the Latest Version

It’s possible that your Apple Watch misses text messages and activities alert because the watchOS software is outdated.

From time to time, Apple developers make new updates to watchOS to fix bugs, upgrade security, and enhance user experience for its smartwatches.

So if you’re watch was receiving notifications and then stopped, check if there are watchOS updates and upgrade to the latest version.

To do this:

  • Charge your Apple Watch to at least 50% and unplug it from the charger.
  • Open the Settings app on the watch and tap on General.
  • Select Software Update, and then download and install the latest version of watchOS.

8. Factory Reset Your Apple Watch

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting options that I’ve suggested so far but still can’t get your Apple Watch to show notification, do a factory reset.

To do this:

  • Press the Digital Crown button to open the apps library.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Go to General Option
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap the Reset option.
  • Tap Erase All Content and Settings
  • Confirm that you want to factory reset your Apple Watch. 

Keep in mind that resetting your Apple Watch clears all data. So you should consider this option only as a last resort.

How to Customize Notifications on Apple Watch

The thing I love about my refurbished Apple Watch Series 6 is the ability to customize notifications in four different ways.

Ideally, you can:

  • Allow Notifications: You’ll get all your iPhone notifications if you activate this alert option.
  • Send to Notification Center: Your Apple Watch will direct all the alerts to the Notification Center, but you won’t get sound or vibration alert for this.
  • Set Notifications Off: You will not receive any notification on your Apple Watch if you select this option.
  • Allow Group Notifications: Choose this option if you want to select apps from which you would like to get alerts.

Related Reading

Closing Thoughts

If you don’t want to miss Apple Watch notifications, you must customize watch properly to receive alerts.

To check if you’ve fully customized the device for this:

  • Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap My Watch and choose Notifications.
  • Select apps and customize depending on the alerts you would like to receive. 

You can choose to mirror your smartphone if you would like to use the same notification settings on your Apple Watch and iPhone.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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