How to Text on the Apple Watch

Use your Apple Watch to send and receive messages

Using your Apple Watch for texting is easy and straightforward, whether you're sending a new message or replying to a message you already received. There's no need to use your iPhone. Here's a look at how to text on your Apple Watch.

To text on your Apple Watch, the wearable or its paired iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Apple Watch Messages interface
Lifewire / Rob LeFebvre

How to Send a Message on Your Apple Watch With Siri

Apple's voice assistant makes texting on your Apple watch easy and convenient. Here's how it works.

  1. Activate Siri on your Apple Watch by holding down the Digital Crown until you see the listening indicator.

    Alternatively, raise your wrist and start speaking. If you have watchOS 5 or later, you don't have to say "Hey Siri."

  2. Say "Text [contact name]."

  3. Siri will ask what you want to say. Respond with your message to your contact.

  4. Siri will respond with, "OK, I'll send this." You'll see your message written in a blue Message bubble on your Apple Watch screen. Your contact will receive the message unless you tap Don't Send

    Use Siri to send a text with your voice on the Apple Watch

Texting Directly on Your Apple Watch

If you don't want to use Siri (maybe you're in a small office and don't want everyone to hear what you're saying), start a message directly from your Apple Watch. 

  1. From your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown and then tap Messages. You'll see a list of previous conversations.

  2. To start a new message, use Force Touch (hard press the screen), and then tap New Message.

    Start a new message on the Apple Watch

    If you're using watchOS 7, you'll see New Message at the top of the screen. watchOS 7 doesn't support Force Touch.

  3. Tap Add Contact to choose who to send the message to, and then choose your contact.

    Choose the text message recipient on your Apple Watch

    Say your contact's name, tap the contact icon to choose from a list of your contacts, or tap the phone dial icon to tap in a phone number. Or, scroll down using the Digital Crown to choose a frequently used contact. 

  4. Tap Create Message. Tap the microphone to dictate your message or tap the Scribble icon to use Apple's handwriting recognition system.

    Alternatively, tap the heart icon to send a heart pulse, or tap the smiley face to send an emoji.

  5. When you're satisfied with your message, tap Send.

    Send your message with your Apple Watch

Responding to Apple Watch Messages

When you get a text on your Apple Watch, tap the notification to see your message. There are several ways to respond to your message.

  1. Tap the microphone to dictate a response. Speak your message and then tap Send.

    Use the microphone to reply to a message on the Apple Watch
  2. Tap the Scribble icon to "write" your message, one letter at a time, and then select Send.

    Use Skribble to write your message on the Apple Watch

    Another option is to reply with a premade "handwritten" word, like "hello," "congratulations," or "happy birthday." Tap the Emoji icon, then tap More Stickers, and scroll to the bottom. Tap the message you want to send.

  3. Tap the Emoji icon to send an emoji as your response.

    Tap Emoji to send an emoji response on your Apple Watch

    Tap the heart icon to send a heart pulse.

  4. Use the Digital Crown to scroll down and choose from a list of Smart Reply options to reply to your text.

    Use the Apple Watch Automated response options
  5. For a quick reply, double-tap the message and choose a Tapback icon. Select a heart, thumbs up or down, Ha Ha, exclamation point, or question mark. 

    Canned messages and TapBack options on Apple Watch

Create Custom Responses for Apple Watch Texts

You can also customize the list of smart replies with messages that might be specific to you. 

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone, then tap Messages > Default Replies.

    Apple Watch app with Messages and Default Replies highlighted
  2. To edit the smart replies already in the list, tap the Edit icon at the top right.

    Tap the red circle with the dash to delete a reply.

  3. Change any reply by typing over it, and then tap Done.

    Edit Apple Watch smart replies
  4. To create a new reply, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap Add reply. Type in whatever message you wish, and it will be available from the Apple Watch the next time you respond to a message. 

    Create your own Smart Reply
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