apple watch do not disturb

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Silencing the Apple Watch is pretty simple and necessary in certain situations. You probably don’t want your watch sounding off in a dark, quiet theater or at night when you’re trying to sleep. You may want to disable notifications if you need to concentrate at work or while studying. Thankfully, there’s more than one way to silence an Apple Watch. We detail several settings, controls, and toggles that suit any situation.


To quickly silence an Apple Watch, swipe up from the Apple Watch’s face to open the control center and tap on the bell icon to enable Silent Mode.

How to silence an Apple Watch

As we mentioned, there are several ways to silence or mute an Apple Watch. We’ll cover all the methods and advantages of each in more detail below.

How to activate Silent Mode on the Apple Watch

The first method is Silent Mode. This will disable audio alerts on your Apple Watch, but won’t affect haptic feedback alerts. When the Apple Watch is charging while Silent Mode is activated, you’ll still receive alarm and timer beeps, too. Your screen will also switch on if you raise your wrist. It’s best to activate Silent Mode if you still want to receive notifications but don’t want to disturb others.

To activate Silent Mode:

  1. Touch and hold the bottom of the watch face, then swipe up to open the control center.
  2. Scroll down to find the Sound (bell) icon.
  3. Tap on it to enable Silent Mode.

How to activate Do Not Disturb on the Apple Watch

Unlike Silent Mode, Do Not Disturb takes silencing the Apple Watch a little further. The setting disables all notifications, but will only sound alarms. Do Not Disturb also disables the display from switching on when a notification is received. For best results, use Do Not Disturb at night or while taking a nap.

To activate Do Not Disturb:

  1. Touch and hold the bottom of the watch face, then swipe up to open the control center.
  2. Scroll down to find the Do Not Disturb (crescent moon) icon.
  3. Tap on it to enable Do Not Disturb.
    • You can also set Do Not Disturb to switch off after a predetermined period.

How to activate Theater Mode on the Apple Watch

Theater Mode disables audio notifications and the raise to wake gesture but keeps haptic notifications on. It’s perfect to use in, well, a theater, or other quiet environments.

To activate Theater Mode:

  1. From your Apple Watch’s clock face touch and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up to open the control center.
  2. Scroll down to find the Theater Mode (two masks of comedy/tragedy) icon.
  3. Tap on it to enable Theater Mode.

How to disable haptic feedback on the Apple Watch

Of course, you might not want your Apple Watch to vibrate after every notification either. Thankfully, there’s a quick way to disable the Apple Watch’s haptic feedback, too. This would also have the added benefit of conserving some much needed battery.

To disable haptic feedback:

  1. Head to the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Toggle off Haptic Alerts. You can also toggle off Crown Haptics and System Haptics if you want to completely disable vibrations on the Apple Watch.
  4. Notably, you can also adjust the strength of the haptic feedback on this page. Select Prominent for stronger vibrations. Select Default for less noticeable vibration alerts.

You can also control these settings directly from your iPhone. Head to the Watch app > My Watch > Settings > Sounds & Haptics.

How to control your Apple Watch’s volume

Finally, if you don’t wish to completely silence your Apple Watch, you can simply turn down its volume to a more acceptable level.

To access the Apple Watch’s volume controls:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Head to Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Adjust the volume using the Alert Volume slider or digital crown.

See also: Common Apple Watch problems and solutions


Q: If I mute my iPhone does it mute my Apple Watch?
A: No. If you set your iPhone to silent it will not silence your Apple Watch.

Q: If I set my iPhone to Do Not Disturb, will it do the same on my Apple Watch?
A: Yes, but you have to enable the mirroring toggle. To do this, open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to My Watch > General > Do Not Disturb > toggle on Mirror iPhone.

Q: What is the difference between Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb on the Apple Watch?
A: Silent Mode turns off sound alerts but keeps haptic alerts active. Do Not Disturb disables all alerts, sound and haptic, except for alarms.

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