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

Receive messages on your wrist again

Receiving texts on your Apple Watch is convenient. However, occasionally you may not receive text messages on your Apple Watch, or the watch may stop notifying you when a text is received. This article explains the causes behind an Apple Watch not getting texts and shares fixes to solve the issue.

Causes for Apple Watch Not Getting Texts

There are several reasons you may not receive texts on your Apple Watch or not receive notifications that you've gotten a message. Focus settings or Airplane Mode may prevent the watch from receiving messages, or your devices may have lost their connection.

Additionally, you may not have notifications properly set up, you may not be wearing your watch correctly, or you may not be signed in to your Apple ID on the watch.

Whatever the cause, straightforward fixes will often solve the problem and get your texts back on your Apple Watch.

How to Fix an Apple Watch Not Receiving Texts

If your Apple Watch isn't receiving any texts, try these solutions.

  1. Turn off Do Not Disturb on the watch. The Apple Watch supports Focus Mode and allows you to enable Do Not Disturb (you'll see a purple moon icon on your watch face if it's on). You won't receive texts if it's on. Press the Digital Crown and tap Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb. Tap the Do Not Disturb setup, scroll down, and tap Delete.

  2. Turn off Airplane Mode on the Apple Watch. Like Do Not Disturb, Airplane Mode on an Apple Watch will stop your watch from receiving texts. Swipe up from the watch face and tap the Airplane icon to turn it off.

  3. Pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again. If your iPhone and Apple Watch have lost their connection, you won't receive texts on your watch.

    Before trying to re-pair, check your iPhone-Apple Watch connection.

  4. Re-sync your Apple Watch. Your Apple Watch should automatically re-sync with your iPhone if the two devices are nearby. If not, manually resync your watch.

  5. Check to see if your iPhone is texting normally. If your iPhone text messages aren't sending or you're not receiving messages, there may be an iPhone or connectivity issue; your Apple Watch may not be the problem.

  6. Ensure you're signed in to your Apple ID. When you set up your Apple Watch, you were prompted to enter your Apple ID. To see if there's an Apple ID problem, open the Watch app and tap General > Apple ID. Ensure you're signed in to the correct account.

  7. Update your Apple Watch and update your iPhone iOS. Updating your devices can often fix temporary issues and glitches.

  8. Contact Apple Support. If these fixes have failed to work, your Apple Watch may need to be repaired by Apple. Contact Apple to arrange the repair or make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. 

How to Fix an Apple Watch Not Notifying About Texts

If your Apple Watch receives text messages but doesn't vibrate when the message arrives, you may miss important information. Here are some fixes for when Apple Watch notifications aren't working.

  1. Check your Apple Watch notification settings. You may not have set up your Apple Watch and iPhone to share notifications. Or, you may have limited your Apple Watch notifications. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap Notifications. Tap the Messages app and ensure Mirror my iPhone is selected.  

  2. Check that you're wearing the Apple Watch correctly. Wearing the watch too loosely or with an improper fit can cause you not to receive notifications.  

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

  4. Check other app settings. Check to see if vibration notifications aren't working for every app or just your Messages app. If you're not receiving any vibrations to alert you of notifications, there's a problem with your Notification settings.

  5. Disable Cover to Mute. If Cover to Mute is on, you may be blocking notifications if you rest your palm on the display. Open the Watch App and tap My Watch > Sounds & Haptics and ensure Cover to Mute is off.

  6. Restart the Apple Watch. Try restarting your Apple Watch. Sometimes a minor technical glitch can cause the problem.

  7. Contact Apple Support. If all these fixes have failed to work, your Apple Watch may need to be repaired by Apple. Contact Apple to arrange the repair or make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. 

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

    Double-check your iPhone iMessage settings from Settings > Messages. Ensure the iMessage toggle 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.

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