Apple Watch Not Vibrating for Texts? How to Fix The Problem

Find out why Apple Watch isn't notifying you about texts

If your Apple Watch isn't notifying you when you receive a text message, you may miss out on important notifications. While the problem can be intensely frustrating, it doesn't have to be a permanent issue. Whether it's a matter of a communication issue with your iPhone or something as straightforward as an incorrect setting, there are ways of fixing the problem. Here's how to fix it when your Apple Watch isn't vibrating for texts anymore. 

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

One of the most useful features of owning an Apple Watch is the fact it sends notifications including text/SMS messages to your wrist. If the function isn't working, it can feel like you have half the watch you had before. Here's a look at reasons why your Apple Watch might not be notifying you when you get a text.

  • The connection has dropped. Your iPhone and Apple Watch use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to communicate with each other. If the connection drops or falters, you won't receive texts correctly.
  • Airplane Mode is active. If Airplane Mode is activated on your iPhone, the Wi-Fi connection is dropped which means the two devices can't connect and share information.
  • Do Not Disturb is switched on. If Do Not Disturb is turned on, your Apple Watch won't vibrate when you receive text messages or other notifications. 
  • Your software is outdated. If you haven't updated your Apple Watch or iPhone in a while, the connection may fail. Keep both devices updated to the latest software for the best compatibility. 
  • You have notifications switched off. It's possible to switch off notifications to your Apple Watch which means the device will no longer notify you when you get a text. 
  • Cover to Mute is switched on. Cover to Mute silences incoming alerts or notifications meaning your Apple Watch won't vibrate when you receive a message.

How Do I Make My Apple Watch Vibrate For Text Notifications?

If you've figured out your Apple Watch isn't vibrating for text notifications, there are simple ways you can fix the problem. Here are some methods to try in order of what works most effectively.

  1. Check your connection. Check your Apple Watch and iPhone are correctly connected and working properly. If needed, resync your Apple Watch to correct the issue.

  2. Check you're wearing your Apple Watch correctly. Your Apple Watch only receives notifications when you're wearing it. 

  3. Check you're wearing it carefully on your wrist so the sensor detects you correctly. Switch off Wrist Detection to confirm this by going to the Apple Watch App > Passcode > Wrist Detection.

  4. Switch off Airplane Mode. If your iPhone is in Airplane Mode, it can't communicate via Wi-Fi, which means it's unable to communicate effectively with your Apple Watch. Switch the mode off to restore the connection.

  5. Switch off Do Not Disturb Mode. When Do Not Disturb mode is switched on, you won't receive notifications until you switch it back off. Check the Apple Watch's Control Center to confirm both this and Airplane Mode are switched off.

  6. Disable Cover to Mute. Check that Cover to Mute isn't switched on by going to your Apple Watch app > My Watch > Sounds & Haptics > Cover to Mute.

  7. Check mirrored notifications are switched on. Go to Apple Watch app > My Watch > Notifications > Phone > Mirror my iPhone to check mirrored notifications are switched on. 

  8. Restart your devices. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone. This fixes many common connection issues.

  9. Update your software. Update both your Apple Watch and iPhone to the latest software to fix any bugs which may occur between the two devices. 

  10. Reset your iPhone network settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings to reset your iPhone network settings, and then restart the phone. Sometimes, this can fix many connection issues. 

FAQ
  • Why doesn't my phone vibrate when I have my Apple Watch on?

    If your iPhone is locked, notifications and vibrations come through only on your unlocked Apple Watch; you can only receive alerts from one or the other. If your iPhone is unlocked, your phone might be on silent mode with vibration disabled. To make your iPhone vibrate, go to Settings > Sound & Haptics > Vibrate on Silent.

  • Why is my Apple Watch not vibrating when I get a call?

    You could have Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode enabled. Swipe up or touch and hold the bottom of the display to look for a highlighted moon or airplane icon in the Apple Watch Control Center. Also, check that haptics are on; go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics on your watch and Phone > Ringtone > Haptic on the Apple Watch app for iPhone.

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