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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 .

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


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