How to Fix It When an Apple Watch Is Not Getting Texts

Receive messages on your wrist again

What to Know

  • Turn off Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode > ensure Watch and iPhone connection.
  • If connections are not stable, try re-pairing or re-syncing Watch. 
  • If Watch doesn't vibrate when receiving texts, check notification settings > reboot Watch > check app settings.

This article explains what to do when your Apple Watch isn't receiving text messages or displaying notifications. Here's how to fix it:

Why Am I Not Getting Notified When I Get a Text?

There are many different reasons you're not receiving notifications when a text arrives on your Apple Watch. Try these troubleshooting tips to get to the bottom of it.

  1. Check if Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode is on. If either is, you won't receive messages or other notifications (by intention).

  2. Check your connection. Check that your iPhone and Apple Watch connection is stable and working. If it has dropped, you won't be able to receive messages.

  3. Repair your devices. If the connection between Apple Watch and iPhone won't work, try repairing or resyncing your Apple Watch.

Why Isn't My Apple Watch Vibrating When I Get a Text? 

If your Apple Watch is receiving text messages but not vibrating when the message arrives, you can miss spotting something important. Here's a look at how to fix the vibrate function.

  1. Check that your Apple Watch notification settings are set up correctly. If so, you should receive haptic feedback as well as your message. 

  2. Try rebooting your Apple Watch. Sometimes a minor technical glitch can cause the problem.

  3. Check to see if every app doesn't vibrate or just one. If it's just one or two apps, check their settings to reactivate vibration.

How Do I Get My Text Messages to Show Up on My Apple Watch?

If you've tried the above fixes and your Apple Watch still won't display text messages, here are some more ideas for fixing the problem.

  1. Try sending/receiving a message from your iPhone. If your iPhone doesn't receive messages either, the problem may lie with that rather than your Apple Watch.

  2. Check you're signed in. Check on the Apple Watch app that you're signed in to your Apple ID. Also, check you're signed in to the correct account.

  3. Update your devices. Update your Apple Watch and iPhone. Sometimes, this can fix temporary issues.

  4. Check your notification settings. Check that your Apple Watch and iPhone are set up to share notifications. 

  5. Check you're wearing your Apple Watch correctly. The Apple Watch only displays notifications when you're wearing it on your wrist. 

  6. Turn off wrist detection. If you're wearing your Apple Watch but it doesn't detect you are, switch off wrist detection to circumvent the sensor.

  7. Switch off Cover to Mute. Like the Apple Watch's Do Not Disturb mode, Cover to Mute silences notifications, including text messages. Switch the setting off by opening the Watch app, going to My Watch > Sounds & Haptics, and toggling Cover to Mute off.

  8. Contact Apple Support. If all these fixes have failed to work, your Apple Watch may need to be repaired by Apple. Contact them to arrange the repair. 

  • Why are only some of my texts coming to my Apple Watch?

    Double-check your iPhone iMessage settings from Settings > Messages. Ensure the toggle next to iMessage is active (green) and that you've signed in to the same Apple ID your Apple Watch is using from Send & Receive.

  • Why is my Apple Watch not showing contact names with texts?

    Open the Contacts app on your iPhone and check that you have the name field completed for all contacts. If that's not the issue, restart your watch. Try a device resync by selecting General > Reset > Reset Sync Data.

  • How am I getting texts on my Apple Watch when my iPhone isn't near?

    Your Apple Watch can function without your phone, and one way it does that is by connecting to Wi-Fi when your iPhone isn't nearby. If you purchased a cellular-capable model, it can function as a stand-alone device. Open Control Center to see if it's connected to Wi-Fi (indicated by a blue Wi-Fi symbol) or cellular (green cellular icon).

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