How to Use the Apple Watch Control Center

Take advantage of your wearable's timesaving shortcuts

The Apple Watch Control Center offers a quick way to view battery life, turn on Do Not Disturb, enable Airplane Mode, ping a paired iPhone, and more. Here's a look at how to use your Apple Watch Control Center shortcuts to save time and customize your wearable experience.

The Control Center options you'll see may differ depending on your watchOS version.

Apple Watch Control Center options

How to Open the WatchOS Control Center

Your Apple Watch Control Center is available only from your Apple Watch main screen, which is the screen with the clock that appears when you first click the watch's Digital Crown or flick your wrist to look at the watch.

To open the Control Center, swipe up from bottom to top on your Apple Watch's main screen. You'll see your Apple Watch Control center. Scroll down to see more options.

Apple Watch control center

Check Your Watch's Status via the Control Center

The Apple Watch Control Center gives you insight into how your wearable is working, which is helpful if you're troubleshooting a problem.

To check your Apple Watch's status quickly, look at the top-left corner of the Control Center screen. You'll see a green phone if your Watch is successfully paired with your iPhone. You'll see a red phone with a line through it if you've lost your connection. You'll see a blue arrow at the top-right corner of the screen if an app or complication recently used location services. If you're using Wi-Fi instead of your iPhone, the blue Wi-Fi image will appear here.

Apple Watch Control Center icons

Use the Control Center's Shortcut Buttons

The Control Panel offers shortcuts to give you quick access to Apple Watch features. Some features, such as the flashlight, are available only through the Control Panel, while others are shortcuts to other apps or settings.

  1. Tap the cellular icon to toggle cellular access on or off. Tap Done when you're finished.

    Tap the cellular icon to toggle off cellular service for your Apple Watch
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi icon to turn Wi-Fi on or off.

    Tap the Wi-Fi icon to turn Wi-Fi on or off.

    Wi-Fi lets your Apple Watch communicate with your iPhone at a longer distance, but it can quickly drain power.

  3. Tap the Ping icon to ping your iPhone, which is helpful when you've misplaced the device.

    Hold your finger down on this button to cause your iPhone to flash, making it even easier to locate.

  4. The Battery button shows you how much battery power your Watch currently has. To conserve battery life, tap the percentage and then tap Power Reserve. This disables smart features and turns the Apple Watch into an ordinary digital watch.

    Tap Ping to ping your iPhone, and tap the battery percentage to activate Power Reserve
  5. Tap the Mute icon (bell) so you won't receive any notifications.

    Tap the Mute icon (bell) so you won't hear any notifications.
  6. Tap the Do Not Disturb icon (moon) to activate Do Not Disturb mode. Choose to turn this feature on or off, or specify an amount of time to remain undisturbed.

    Tap the Do Not Disturb icon (moon) to activate Do Not Disturb mode. Choose to turn this feature on or off, or specify an amount of time to remain undisturbed.
  7. Tap the Walkie Talkie icon to set your walkie-talkie availability on or off.

    Tap the Walkie Talkie to set your walkie-talkie availability on or off.

    Set up Walkie-Talkie mode using the Walkie Talkie app, which lets you choose which contacts can talk to you via the walkie-talkie feature.

  8. Tap the Water Lock icon (a drop of water) to place the Watch into Water Lock mode when you're swimming. To turn off Water Lock mode, turn the Digital Crown until any water is ejected.

    Tap the Water Lock icon (a drop of water) to place the Watch into Water Lock mode when you're swimming.
  9. Tap Flashlight to activate the flashlight feature. Tap the display while the flashlight is on to change the light from grayish to bright white. Swipe right to left to access a blinking light or red light.

    Tap Flashlight to activate the flashlight feature.
  10. Tap Airplane Mode to switch off your cellular connection and shut down Wi-Fi.

    Tap Airplane Mode to switch off your cellular connection and shut down Wi-Fi.
  11. Tap Theater Mode to send your Apple Watch into silent mode, keeping the screen dark until you tap the display.

    Tap Theater Mode to send your Apple Watch into silent mode, keeping the screen dark until you tap the display.
  12. Tap the AirPlay icon (circles with a triangle) to control AirPlay's sound output.

    Tap the AirPlay icon (circles with a triangle) to control AirPlay's sound output.

    While you can't send video using AirPlay on your Apple Watch, you can control where your music goes.

  13. Tap Edit to rearrange the Control Panel shortcuts to access frequently used buttons more easily. To move a button, tap Edit, and then hold your finger on the button until it's highlighted. Drag the button to its new location with your finger. Tap Done when you're finished.

    Edit your Control Panel icons
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