Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications? Try these fixes

Apple Watch may fail to get notifications due to Watch’s OS internal bugs or misconfigurations of different settings. These settings may include cover-to-mute or wrist detection features. Usually, the Apple Watch may not show any notifications at all but in some cases, the issue only occurs with a particular type of notification like Gmail or iMessage. This issue is reported to occur on almost all models of the Apple Watch. 

Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications

Apple Watch might fail to show notifications due to many factors but the following can be easily marked as the main reasons:

  • Do Not Disturb Mode on the iPhone or Apple Watch: If the Apple Watch or iPhone is in its Do not Disturb mode, then the watch will not show notifications as the Watch or iPhone will be trying not to disturb you with notifications.
  • Cover to Mute Feature of the Apple Watch: An Apple Watch may not show notifications if its cover to mute feature is “thinking” that the watch is covered (due to an OS bug) and thus mutes the notifications.
  • Apple Watch’s Wrist Detection: If the Apple Watch is failing to detect the wrist (due to a tattoo or hairs on your wrist), then the Watch may not show the notifications as in wrist detection mode the watch only shows notifications when on your wrist.
  • Corrupt or Outdated OS of the Apple Watch: Apple Watch’s corrupt or outdated OS may not let it fetch notifications from the paired iPhone and thus cause the issue at hand.

Enable and Disable Airplane Mode on the Apple Watch/iPhone

The Apple Watch might fail to show notifications due to a temporary communication error between the Apple Watch and paired iPhone. In this context, enabling and disabling the airplane mode on the iPhone and Apple Watch may solve the problem as the communication between the devices will be re-established. Keep in mind the Apple Watch will not show notifications if the paired iPhone is unlocked or in use and the Watch will only show notifications if the paired iPhone is locked.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch Settings and open Airplane Mode.
    Open Airplane Mode in the Apple Watch Settings
  2. Now enable Airplane Mode by toggling its switch to the ON position and head to iPhone.
    Enable Airplane Mode on the Apple Watch
  3. Then launch the iPhone Settings and enable the Airplane Mode.
    Enable Airplane Mode on the iPhone
  4. Now wait for a minute and then disable the iPhone’s Airplane Mode.
  5. Then disable the Apple Watch’s Airplane Mode and check if its notifications have started to work.
  6. If that fails, check if disabling Bluetooth on the iPhone resolves the issue.

Restart the Apple Watch and Paired iPhone

A temporary communication glitch between the Apple Watch and iPhone may not let notifications be shown on the Apple Watch. Here, restarting or force restarting the Apple Watch and paired iPhone may solve the problem.

  1. Press and hold the side button of the Apple Watch till the power menu is shown.
  2. Now tap on Power Off and then power on the Apple Watch to check if its notification issue is resolved.
    Power Off Apple Watch
  3. If the issue persists, press and hold both buttons (digital crown and side buttons) of the Apple Watch till the Watch restarts (the Apple logo will be shown on the Watch’s screen).
    Force Restart the Apple Watch
  4. Upon restart, check if the Watch’s notification issue is cleared.
  5. If not, turn off Wi-Fi on the iPhone and restart the iPhone to check if the problem is solved.
  6. If that did not work, power off the iPhone, wait for 1 minute, and then power on the iPhone to check if the Apple Watch’s notifications issue is cleared.
  7. If the problem is still there, firstly power off the Apple Watch and then power off the iPhone.
  8. Now, wait for a minute and power on the iPhone.
  9. Once the iPhone is fully powered on, power on the Apple Watch to check if the Watch’s notifications have started to show.

Enable Notifications for the Apple Watch 

You may fail to receive notifications on the Apple Watch if the Watch’s notifications are disabled and enabling the Apple Watch notifications may solve the problem. Before proceeding, make sure the notifications on the iPhone are enabled and the sound alert with vibration for notifications is also enabled.

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and steer to the My Watch tab.
  2. Now tap on Notifications and make sure the notifications of the problematic app are enabled. If notifications are already enabled, make sure the sound alert for notifications is enabled.
    Enable Notifications of an App on the Apple Watch
  3. Then restart the Apple Watch and check if it is operating fine.

If the above did not work and the issue is occurring with calendar events only, check if enabling calendar notifications on the iPhone clears out the error.

Enable Haptic Notifications for the Apple Watch

If Haptic Notifications are enabled for the Apple Watch, then, on receiving a notification, the Watch taps on your wrist but if this setting is disabled, then that may cause the notification issue at hand. In this scenario, enabling Haptic Notification for the Apple Watch may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of the Apple Watch and open Sound & Haptics.
    Enable Haptic Alerts on the Apple Watch
  2. Now enable Haptic Alerts and to add extra emphasis, tap on Prominent.
  3. Then restart the Apple Watch and upon restart, check if its notifications issue is resolved.

Disable the Do Not Disturb Mode of the iPhone and Apple Watch

If the Apple Watch or paired iPhone are in their Do Not disturb mode (recently, re-labeled as Focus), then that may not let the Apple Watch show notifications as the devices are trying to not bother you with notifications. Here, disabling the Do Not Disturb Mode on the Apple Watch or iPhone may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of the Apple Watch and open Focus.
    Open Focus in the Apple Watch Settings
  2. Now tap on the Focus Schedule (like Do Not Disturb) and disable it.
    Disable Do Not Disturb on the Apple Watch
  3. Then restart the Apple Watch and upon restart, check if the notifications have started to appear on the Apple Watch.

Enable Show on Lock Screen for the iPhone

If the iPhone notifications are not shown on the iPhone’s lock screen, then the iPhone may fail to pass those notifications to the Apple Watch and thus cause the issue at hand. Here, setting the iPhone notifications to show on the lock screen may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and open Notifications.
    Enable Show Notifications on the Lock Screen of the iPhone
  2. Now enable Show on Lock Screen by toggling its switch to the ON position and then check if the Apple Watch issue is resolved.
  3. If not, check if setting the lock screen notifications to Always solves the problem.

Disable Cover to Mute Feature for the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch’s cover to mute feature is used to mute the Watch’s notifications by covering the watch but this feature may cause the issue at hand if the Watch “thinks” (due to a glitch or bug) that it is covered and there is no need to show the notifications. Here, disabling the Cover to Mute feature of the Apple Watch may solve the problem.

Disable Cover to Mute in the Watch App

  1. Launch the iPhone’s Watch app and head to the My Watch tab.
  2. Now open Sound & Haptics and disable Cover to Mute by toggling its switch to the off position.
    Disable Cover to Mute in the Apple Watch Settings
  3. Afterward, check if the Apple Watch’s notifications are working fine.

Disable Cover to Mute in the Apple Watch’s Settings

  1. Launch the Apple Watch Settings and open Sound & Haptics.
  2. Now disable Cover to Mute by toggling its switch to the off position and afterward, check if the issue of the notifications is resolved.
    Disable Cover to Mute the Apple Watch Through the iPhone’s Watch App

Update the Phone’s iOS to the Latest Builds

If the iOS of the iPhone is outdated, then its incompatibility with the Apple Watch may cause the issue of the notification at hand as the iPhone may fail to push the notifications to the Apple Watch. Here, updating the phone’s iOS to the latest builds may solve the problem. Before moving on, make sure to back up the iPhone.

  1. Firstly, charge the iPhone to the full and connect it to a Wi-Fi network (you may have the data connection but the data connection can be spotty even if the size of the download is not gigantic).
  2. Then launch the iPhone’s Settings and now on the resulting screen, open General.
    Open General Settings of iPhone
  3. Now select Software Update and if there is an iOS update available, download and install the update.
    Update Software of iPhone
  4. Once the update is installed, restart the iPhone and Apple Watch.
  5. Upon restart, check if the Apple Watch is showing notifications.

Update the Watch’s OS to the Latest Build

The Apple Watch may also fail to show notifications if its OS is outdated as the Watch’s incompatibility with the iPhone may not let it fetch notifications from the iPhone. Here, updating the Watch’s OS to the latest build may clear the Notifications issue. Before moving on, make sure the iPhone’s OS is updated to the latest build.

  1. Firstly, make sure the Apple Watch is fully charged and connected to the Internet.
  2. Now open the Apple Watch’s Settings and select General.
    Open General Settings of the Apple Watch
  3. Now press Software Update and if an OS update is available, download and install the update.
    Tap on Software Update in the General Settings of the Apple Watch
  4. Once updated, restart the Apple Watch and paired iPhone.
  5. Upon restart, check if the Apple Watch’s notification issue is resolved.

Enable Mirror My iPhone Notifications for the Apple Watch

The Mirror My iPhone setting for the Apple Watch is used to mirror the iPhone’s notifications or behaviors to the Apple Watch and if the said setting is disabled for the Apple Watch, it may result in the issue at hand. Here, enabling Mirror My iPhone for the Apple Watch may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and go to Notifications.
  2. Now make sure the Mirror My iPhone for the problematic apps is enabled and afterward, check if the Watch notifications have started to appear.
    Enable Mirror My iPhone for the Apple Watch Notifications
  3. If that fails, launch the Watch app on the iPhone and open Notifications.
  4. Now tap on the problematic app (like Mail) and select Custom.
  5. Then enable Show Alerts and make sure the alerts are enabled in the required alert type for all the mail accounts.
  6. Now restart the Apple Watch and upon restart, check if the Apple Watch is receiving notifications.
  7. If that did not work, check if setting the app’s notifications in the Watch app to Repeat Alert resolves the issue.
  8. If the issue persists, check setting up a tone for Text Tone in Sounds and Haptics Settings of the Watch clear out the error.
    Set a Tone for the Text Tone of the Apple Watch

If the issue is still there and is occurring with a particular mail account, make sure all the email accounts in Watch App>> Mail is signed in, and then check if the Notifications issue is resolved.

Disable the Wrist Detection Feature of the Apple Watch

If the Apple Watch’s wrist detection is enabled, then the Apple Watch will only show notifications when on your wrist but if the Watch’s sensors fail to detect the wrist (due to a tattoo or hairs on the wrist), then that may cause the issue at hand. Here, disabling the wrist detection may clear the issue of the notifications. Keep in mind that disabling wrist detection may break some others Apple Watch operations like Apple Pay.

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and tap on Passcode.
  2. Now disable Wrist Detection by toggling its switch to the off position and afterward, confirm to disable the Wrist Detection. 
    Disable Wrist Detection of the Apple Watch
  3. Then restart the devices (iPhone and Apple Watch) and upon restart, check if the Watch’s notifications are working fine.
  4. If that did not work, check if enabling the Raise to Wake Watch setting resolves the issue.

If the issue persists and the issue is occurring with a particular app (like Telegram), then check if resetting all notifications for the app resolves the issue. If not, check if reinstalling that particular app clears the notifications problem.

Edit Passcode Settings of the Apple Watch

Apple Watch may only show notifications if it is unlocked and for this reason, many of the users do not set up a passcode on their Apple Watches but there can be devices (like a corporate device) where the Watch is passcode-protected and these devices may not show notifications when locked. Here, editing the passcode settings of the Apple Watch may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and head to the My Watch tab.
  2. Now select Passcode and enable the following:
    Passcode
    
    Turn Wrist Detection
    
    Unlock With iPhone
    Open Passcode in the Apple Watch Settings
  3. Then a user may manually unlock the Apple Watch or unlock his iPhone to receive notifications on the Apple Watch. Keep in mind once the Apple Watch is unlocked through the iPhone, it will stay unlocked till on the user’s wrist, even if the screen is off.
    Enable Unlock With iPhone in the Passcode Settings of the Apple Watch

Edit Notifications Settings Related to iMessages 

In many cases, the issue of the notifications only occurred with the Messages and in that case, editing the notifications settings related to messages may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and open Messages.
  2. Now select Send & Receive and make sure receiving messages from the iCloud account is enabled.
    Enable Send & Receive of Messages for the iCloud Account
  3. Then check if the Apple Watch’s notifications are working fine.
  4. If not, check if signing out of other message-related devices like a MacBook (except the iPhone and Apple Watch) solves the problem.
  5. If the issue persists, check if enabling to send and receive messages (Settings>> Messages>> Text Message Forwarding) from the MacBook resolves the issue.
    Set MacBook Pro for Text Message Forwarding in the iPhone
  6. If that did not work, check if enabling and disabling all the options in Settings>> Messages>> Send & Receive solves the problem.
  7. If the issue continues, check if enabling Notifications, Banner Alerts, and Sound in iPhone Settings>> Notifications>> Messages clears the error.
  8. If that did not resolve the issue, disable iMessage and FaceTime.
  9. Then wait for 5 minutes and enable back both features (i.e., iMessage and FaceTime) to check if the message notifications are appearing on the Apple Watch.

Reset Network Settings of the iPhone to the Defaults

If the Network settings of the iPhone are corrupt or not compatible with the Apple Watch, then that may lead to the Apple Watch notifications issue at hand. Here, resetting the Network Settings of the iPhone to the defaults may clear the Apple Watch issue under discussion.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and open General.
  2. Now tap on Reset and press Reset Network Settings.
    Tap on Reset Network Settings on iPhone
  3. Then confirm to reset the settings and afterward, check if the notifications have started to appear on the Apple Watch.
    Tap on Reset Network Settings on iPhone

If the issue persists, check if installing the OEM app resolves the issue e.g., if the issue is occurring with Apple Mail when accessing Google Mail, then check if installing the Inbox app by Google solves the problem.

Re-Pair the Apple Watch and iPhone

An error in the communication modules of the Apple Watch and iPhone may cause the issue of the notifications at hand as the watch is not able to receive the notifications from the paired iPhone. In this case, unpairing and re-pairing the Apple Watch with the iPhone may clear the issue of the notifications. Before moving on, make sure to bring the Apple Watch close to the phone and back up the watch’s data.

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and steer to the My Watch tab.
  2. Now tap on the watch (near the top of the phone’s screen) and press the Info (i in a circle)
    Tap on the Info Icon on Your Apple Watch
  3. Then press the Unpair Apple Watch button. You may have to select to keep or remove the cellular plan.
    Tap on Unpair Apple Watch
  4. Afterward, Confirm to unpair the Apple Watch. If asked to, make sure to enter the Apple credentials.
  5. Then restart the Apple Watch and iPhone.
  6. Upon restart, re-pair the iPhone with the Apple Watch (without recovering from the backup and as a new Apple Watch) and check if the notifications are working fine on the Apple Watch. If so, then the user may re-pair the devices by using the backup.

Reset the Apple Watch to the Factory Defaults

The Apple Watch may fail to show notifications if the Watch’s OS is corrupt as, due to the corrupt OS, the Watch fails to load its notifications modules. In this case, resetting the Apple Watch to the factory defaults may solve the problem. Before proceeding, make sure the Apple Watch is fully charged.

  1. Unpair the Apple Watch from the iPhone (as discussed earlier).
  2. Then launch the Apple Watch’s Settings and open General.
  3. Now select Reset and tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
    Erase All Content and Settings of the Apple Watch
  4. Then confirm to reset the Apple Watch and wait till the process completes.
  5. Now, re-pair the Apple Watch with the iPhone, and afterward, check if the notifications issue of the Apple Watch is cleared.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications? Try these fixes

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested