Text Message Notifications Not Working On iPhone When Paired With Apple Watch

This article explains why you are not getting notifications (text messages notifications etc) on your iPhone when it is paired with your Apple Watch.

Do you notice that sometimes your iPhone does not chime when you get a new text?

Apple Watch text notifications

Here is how text notifications work when your iPhone pairs to an Apple Watch:

  • Your text message notifications will appear on your watch or on your iPhone, but not on both of them. This mainly depends on if your phone is locked or not, and Apple chose to do so; this is by design (= intentional):
    • If your iPhone is unlocked, your iPhone will receive them, not your watch.
    • If your iPhone is locked, your notifications will go to your Apple Watch, not your iPhone. If this is the case, your phone will remain silent, no sound, no ringing, no vibrating. This is of course if you are wearing the watch. (see also: how to reset the Apple Watch passcode)
  • And furthermore, as of now, there is no option to get a sound alert on both your Apple Watch and your iPhone simultaneously.

If your watch notifications are not working as expected, see this article to troubleshoot.

While the current configuration design does not let you to receive notifications on both your Apple Watch and your iPhone at the same time. there is a little trick you may try if you really want to get notifications on your iPhone when you are wearing your watch. Turn on Airplane Mode on your watch by opening Contol Center (touch and hold the bottom of your screen).

Of course, as you can guess, there are some disadvantages if you follow this tip. Turning Airplane Mode on will disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular connections. But you will not lose certain activity tracking options (steps, heart activity, etc) on your Watch. You should decide how much disabling these features will impact your experience with the watch.

To sum up, you will not receive notifications on your phone and on your watch.

If you are unhappy about this feature and If you want to tell Apple your thoughts, leave feedback.

See also: How To Fix Calendar Sync Problems On Your Apple Watch

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

Thank you for choosing to leave a comment.

Please note the following:

  • All comments are moderated.
  • Your email will NOT be published nor shared.
  • All SPAM comments will be deleted.
  • Please see our comment policy page for more info.

26 thoughts on “Text Message Notifications Not Working On iPhone When Paired With Apple Watch”

  1. Please update software to allow simultaneous notifications on your watch and iPhone as a matter of choice not only if your phone is unlocked, rather at all times or as individually set up.
    Thank you

    Reply
  2. A simple way to get around this issue is to turn off wrist detection on your watch. That way you receive notifications on both devices

    Reply
  3. I totally agree. I want alerts on both Apple Watch and iPhone. I do not understand at all why Apple thought it was a good idea to only allow one or the other

    Ditto above, September 2021 and the problem is still intact…….. Please fix apple.

    Reply
  4. Come on Apple. I am aware that most mistakes by developers are classed as ‘Features’ but this is either arrogance or at best an oversight. Give us the chance to have either or both providing sound notifications of incoming text messages. I am missing so many messages that at best it is costing me money and at worst it is plain dangerous. This needs to be sorted.

    Reply
  5. I am a flight nurse. I definitely need audible notifications on iPhone even if I have my watch on. Please fix this issue.

    Reply
  6. Very bad decision on Apple’s part. As a cardiac nurse, emergency response time is critical. I need audible alerts on both devices. My watch battery was dead and my phone sitting right next to me did not give an audible alert. If I don’t want notifications on a specific device I will turn them off. FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!! Apple engineers don’t have to respond to emergencies obviously.

    Reply
  7. This is a major problem. I noticed it most recently while volunteering at a Covid Vaccination clinic. We were very busy, often outside or in a gym, I simply could not hear my watch beep. Unfortunately, the best solution is to leave the Apple watch at home, so that I can hear alerts on my iPhone. Fix it Apple.

    Reply
  8. I totally agree this change has been disruptive. I have missed many texts because of only being able to hear on one device. Please give us back to ability to get text notification sounds on our phones while wearing the Apple Watch.

    Not to mention the countless time I wasted trying to figure out what settings I may have changed accidently. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Similar to others. Missed text messages and/or notifications as my watch will only “ding” while I’m on the phone (if that, many times not even a ding).
    I should at least get an audible tone through the speaker while I’m talking so I at least hear that I have received a text.
    The “ding” should also be replaced by what I have set in my preferences on my iPhone, so I know who has sent me a message without looking while on the phone.

    Reply
  10. I end up missing important texts or class because I don’t hear my phone. Please make having both phone and watch send alerts an option! It seems like plenty of people want that feature and those that don’t can leave it the way it is.

    Reply
  11. I am disappointed in this not being available as well. I have different sounds for different texts and I watch just plays the stupid little ding. I miss a lot of text messages.

    Reply
    • Totally agree.I would like the ability to decide where the audio goes when receiving a text. To include both at the same time.

      Reply
    • I totally agree. I want alerts on both Apple Watch and iPhone. I do not understand at all why Apple thought it was a good idea to only allow one or the other

      Reply
      • I totally agree with you. I recently just purchased a iwatch in Feb 2022 and now my phone won’t alert me to messages. I’m very disappointed by this feature. I might return my iwatch as the Fitbit is much better and you get alerts on both

        Reply
  12. I have the same problem but with a MacBook Pro. If my iphone is near it I don’t get any text or call sounds. I keep missing messages all the time as I am at home more. It’s so frustrating! It needs fixing now.

    Reply
  13. I would like to get text notifications on my new 12Mini phone while wearing my Apple Watch. I’m a piano player and sometimes don’t notice a wrist buzz while playing. I am missing some texts because of this. Please fix!

    Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Please fix this Apple. I am missing important work related emails, because I don’t detect the notification on my watch due to some manual activity, and I cannot hear my phone alerting me to an email.

    Reply
  15. I am shocked that such a simple feature is taking this long for apple to implement. The phone is already deciding where to send the notifications due to lock or unlocked status of the phone and watch. Why not add a simple option to do send it to both.

    Reply
  16. Apple needs to fix issue with IPhone & watch notification sounds . I want to receive sound notifications in my IPhone unless I decide to use mute option .

    Reply
  17. I want my iPhone to get sounds for iMessages and calls not my watch and my watch to vibrate only and no sounds on watch
    how can I get this to work Because right now I get no sounds on iphone

    Reply
  18. I agree, would like to get the notification on my phone & my watch! The sound on my watch is very quiet! Something Apple should change!

    Reply
  19. Very disappointed that I cannot receive text alerts on my iPhone whilst wearing my iwatch! Part of the problem is that the sound alert and vibrate alert on the iwatch sre not loud and strong enough! Just bought myself a new iPhone as I was having GPS and Bluetooth issues with my old IPhone 6. Didn’t have this message alert though but now. I am. Very very disappointed. This needs to be fixed in the next software upgrade.

    Reply
  20. I do not like the fact that I don’t get text notification sounds on my phone while I am wearing my Apple Watch. Please let this be an option maybe in an upcoming upgrade to the operating system?? I want my notification sounds to work on my iPhone no matter what. Thank you.

    Reply

Leave a Comment