How to Set up and Use Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

Use your watch as an alarm clock

Your Apple Watch isn't just a great daytime tool; it's also super useful at night. That's thanks to Nightstand mode. Here's what you need to know when it comes to setting up and using the Apple Watch nightstand clock mode. 

What Is the Apple Watch Nightstand Mode?

The Apple Watch Nightstand mode turns your Apple Watch into a bedside clock. The moment you connect your Apple Watch to a charger, it goes into Nightstand mode, solely highlighting the time, date, and any alarms you have set. It then goes to sleep waiting for you to tap it whenever you need to see what time it is. 

While charging, your Apple Watch will always stay in Nightstand mode unless you press the Digital Crown or side button. For all watches before the Apple Watch Series 5, the display will be off until you touch the watch (banging your nightstand also wakes up the display).

How to Set up Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

By default, the Apple Watch Nightstand mode should be enabled. Sometimes though, for whatever reason, it has been switched off. Here's how to enable it. 

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.

  2. Scroll down and select General.

  3. Scroll down to Bedside Mode and toggle it on so that the button is green.

    Later versions of watchOS call this option "Nightstand Mode."

    The General heading and Bedside Mode option

How to Set the Alarm on Apple Watch

In a matter of a few simple steps you can easily set an alarm on your Apple Watch turning it into a nightstand alarm clock. Here's what you need to know.

  1. Open the Alarms app on your Apple Watch.

  2. Select Add Alarm.

  3. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the time for the alarm.

    If your clock is set to 12-hour, remember to choose AM or PM when setting the time.

  4. Select Set once complete. 

    Adding an alarm on the Apple Watch

    The screen of your Apple Watch slowly gets brighter the nearer it gets to the alarm time.

  5. To set it to repeat on the same day every week, tap on the set alarm, and you can edit how often it goes off via the Repeat button. 

    Repeat options for an Apple Watch alarm

How to Set the Apple Watch Alarm Using Your iPhone

If you'd prefer to set your Apple Watch alarm via your iPhone, the steps are just as simple. Here's how to set an alarm and push it through to your Apple Watch.

  1. Open the Clock app on your iPhone.

  2. Set an alarm by toggling the green switch.

    Alternatively, you can create a new alarm by tapping the plus sign.

  3. Open the Watch app. 

  4. Scroll down to Clock and toggle Push Alerts From iPhone so that it's green.

    Turning on Apple Watch alarms from an iPhone

Tips and Tricks for Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

  • If you want to switch the alarm off from Nightstand mode, press the side button.
  • If you want to snooze the alarm, press the Digital Crown to snooze it for 9 minutes.
  • When the alarm is playing, the numbers on the screen turn yellow to indicate visually that it's time to get up.