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. 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.

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

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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

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    • 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

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