Use the Always On feature with your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 can display the time and other glanceable information, even when your wrist is down.

Always On is turned on by default on Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6. In this mode, the time is always visible, along with your watch face or the most recent active app.

To preserve battery life, the display dims when your wrist is down, or by a quick gesture of covering the display with your hand. A wrist raise or tap on the screen brings everything back to full brightness and makes the watch screen active so you can interact with your watch.

How information appears

While your wrist is down, the time and complications on the watch face update once a minute, and information appears as follows:

  • Time complications, such as Stopwatch and Timer, round their displayed information to the minute.
  • Complications that show live data, such as Compass and Noise, are not active.
  • Other complications, such as Calendar, Weather, and third-party apps, refresh once per minute or as needed.

The Workout app stays visible while you're exercising, so you can easily see your workout information.

Notifications don't appear on the watch face when your wrist is down.

How to interact with your watch

When your display is dimmed, it ignores most swipes to prevent accidental input. Even with your wrist down, you can still tap a complication to open its app, swipe down from the top of the screen to see notifications, or swipe up from the bottom to use Control Center.

You can also raise your wrist, press the Digital Crown, or press the side button to bring your watch to full brightness.

Manage Always On settings

Always On has settings that let you turn the feature off, which can increase battery life. You can also hide sensitive complications.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. To do this, press the Digital Crown to see the Home screen, then tap the Settings icon .
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap Always On to turn the feature on or off. You can also select Hide Sensitive Complications if you want information such as calendar events, messages, and heart rate to remain hidden when your wrist is down.

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