So you just paired your new Apple Watch to your iPhone, but since then, you’ve been missing calls and texts because your phone wasn’t giving the tones you’re familiar with. Here’s why that’s happening.
The default setting of an iPhone connected to an Apple Watch makes it so that it won’t emit sounds when notifications come. This is a feature of the connection that makes the watch give off notifications. The settings can be adjusted to change which device makes the sounds, but only one can do so.
When your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected, you’re going to want to make sure that the notification setup will still work for you so that you don’t miss anything important. Here’s how to do that.
How to Change my Notification Settings
The simplest thing to do is to adjust all of your notifications at the same time, either by making all of the notifications come only from your phone or by making the watch “mirror” your phone so that it has the same notification settings as your phone. In the latter case, you can choose to keep phone notifications off or have it so that the phone notifies you when it’s in use.
When you’re using your phone, the notifications should show up at the top of your screen when they come, and then your watch won’t bother with the notification, but what about when you’re not using your phone? Here’s how to manage how notifications work when your phone screen is dark.
Managing Notification Devices
If all you want to do is to make the notifications only come from your phone so that you don’t have to learn a whole new set of tones, then you can adjust the notification settings in the Watch app. From the app, select “Messages.” On that screen, you should see an option to turn “Notifications Off.”
If you select that option, then your watch will stop receiving notifications, and your phone should return to giving you your notifications as it had done before.
This is a good option if you want to make it easy to quickly tell what kind of notification you’re getting when it comes. If all of your app, text, and phone call notifications come from your phone, then when you get notifications on your watch, you’ll know for sure that it originated there, like a fitness goal or alarm that your watch was keeping track of.
Another option is to allow all notifications to go straight to your watch. You can get to this option in basically the same way: open the Watch app, select “Messages,” and then choose “Allow Notifications.” There should be at least one more option on the page: “Send to Notification Center.”
Whichever you choose between these two, it will send you to another page, where you can choose between more options for your notifications. If you want the setup process to be done quickly, you can choose to leave it on the default, which is “Automatically.”
With the “Automatically” setting enabled, the computer will decide which notifications to show you based on how you’ve responded to notifications in the past. Using the data of which notifications you respond to the most, it will give you notifications for the ones it thinks you want the most. It’s almost as if it’s designed to make you look at it as much as possible.
If you choose “By App,” then you’ll have to spend a bit more time on the process, but you’ll be able to choose exactly which notifications your phone sends to your watch.
If you want to get all the same notification settings on your watch as you get on your phone, you can “mirror” the settings onto your watch.
To do that, open the Watch app, and go to the “My Watch” tab. From there, tap “Notifications,” and then you can choose any app from the list to see its options, then tap “Mirror my iPhone.”
That will make that app’s notification settings the same for your watch as they are on your phone. It won’t carry over the special tones, though, so if that tone is the thing you want to be consistent, you might as well turn off that specific notification to your watch and keep it on your phone.
The process may take a while if you want to do it for several apps.
Why is My Apple Watch Not Receiving Notifications?
We’ve already covered why your phone isn’t making noise when your watch gets notifications, but what about when neither of them is? What about when your watch doesn’t even give you a haptic tap when something happens that it should be notifying you about?
Do Not Disturb Mode
One this you might want to check is whether you’ve left one of the devices on either Focus or Do Not Disturb mode. If one of them is in this mode, your watch may not send you any audible or tangible signals when notifications come in.
If your phone is in Do Not Disturb mode, and the watch is set to mirror that behavior, you won’t get any notifications from your watch when that mode is active. If you want to receive notifications on your watch when your phone is on Do Not Disturb, then you can disconnect the mirror pretty easily.
From the Watch app, select “General.” Then tap “Do Not Disturb,” and then turn off the “Mirror iPhone” option. That should disconnect the way your watch mirrors your phone’s Do Not Disturb mode, allowing you to receive notifications through your watch when your phone is on Do Not Disturb.
Another reason your watch isn’t receiving notifications could be that your watch and phone have been disconnected. Check to see if they’re still paired. If they are, try unpairing them and then pairing them back again. If that doesn’t work, then it’s some other issue.
Finally, your watch might be locked. If it’s locked, it won’t show notifications. If you want to access notifications, you’ll need to unlock the watch.