8 Hidden Apple Watch Features

Apple Watch has a ton of interesting features you might not know about

A man checking his heart rhythm with Apple Watch

 Apple

The Apple Watch has standout features, including the ability to make and receive phone calls, get directions, and monitor your movement. Beyond these basic abilities, Apple packed other small but interesting features in the watch that are worth looking at. Here are a few hidden Apple Watch features that make the wearable even more powerful.

Information in this article applies to Apple Watches with watchOS 6. However, the instructions are similar for earlier versions of the software.

Take Screenshots

Want to show someone what an app looks like on your Apple Watch? Take a screenshot on the watch by pressing the digital crown and side button on the watch at the same time. The watch makes a shutter sound, and the screen flashes to indicate the screenshot was taken.

Screenshot images are saved to the Photos folder inside the iPhone Photos app. You can access them later or tap the Share button to text the screenshot to a friend.

Before you can take a screenshot on the Apple Watch, you must enable the feature in the Watch app on your iPhone. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Watch app on the iPhone Home screen.

  2. Scroll down and tap General.

  3. Scroll down to Enable Screenshots and move the toggle switch to the On/green position.

    General screen in Apple Watch app on iPhone

Silence Your Watch by Covering It Up

If you get a call during a meeting or movie and don't want to be disturbed (or disturb others), place your hand over the display for three seconds to mute the sound.

As with taking screenshots, you must enable this feature first on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

  2. Scroll down and tap Sounds & Haptics.

  3. Scroll down and move the Cover to Mute toggle switch to the On/green position.

    Sounds & Haptics preferences screen in Watch app on iPhone

Find Your iPhone With Your Apple Watch

If you misplaced your iPhone, use your Apple Watch to track it down. This feature requires you to be in Bluetooth range of your phone, so it won't do any good if you left your phone in a restaurant. However, it can pinpoint where your iPhone is in your living room if it's under the sofa.

  1. Swipe up on your Apple Watch display to show the control panel screen.

  2. Tap the iPhone icon to have your phone make a dinging noise.

  3. Press the phone icon several times as you listen for the sound the iPhone makes. The watch displays "Pinging iPhone" while the iPhone plays a sound.

    Ping iPhone option on Apple Watch

Return to the Last App

If you need to return to the last app you were using, you don't have to go through the Apple Watch menu to get there. Double-press the digital crown to instantly launch the last app you used. This can be a lifesaver when you need to do something like pull up your plane ticket while you're in the boarding line.

Change the Default Text Messages

You're not stuck with the default text messages that came on the Apple Watch. To customize the built-in messages with your flair, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and select Messages > Default Replies.

From there, you'll see the replies that are currently loaded onto your iPhone and can swap out the ones you don't like with something new. If you send the same messages to friends, this is the place to put them so that you have easy access to them later on.

Default Replies to Messages in the Watch app on iPhone

Clear All Notifications at Once

Tired of clearing notifications on your Watch one at a time? You can clear all the notifications you have on the device at once.

  1. Pull down on the Apple Watch face to open the Notifications screen.

  2. Press and hold the Notifications screen.

  3. Tap the Clear All button to confirm the deletion.

    Notification screen on Apple Watch

Talk to Siri

You don't have to use a button to launch Siri. The digital assistant responds to you if you say, "Hey Siri!" while the Watch face is activated. This feature can be fantastic when you have both hands occupied while cooking or cleaning and don't want to get your watch dirty.

Share Your Location via Messages

Sharing your location is simple on the Apple Watch through the Messages app. If you're texting with someone on the Watch, press and hold the screen to get a Send Location button. Tap that button to instantly send the person you’re chatting with a pin with your current coordinates. That makes it easy for the person to navigate to your exact location, be it a restaurant or a patch of grass at an outdoor concert.

Message on the Apple Watch

The map you send includes the nearest street address and can be opened in Google Maps for detailed information.