If you can’t send or receive messages on your Apple Watch

If you see an alert or red exclamation mark, or you can’t receive messages, find out what to do.

If you see a red exclamation mark

If you see a red exclamation mark  or “not delivered” next to a message, tap the alert to try sending the message again. If the message still won’t send, try following the steps below. 


If you can't send or receive messages

After each step, try to send or receive a message on your Apple Watch again.

Check Control Centre

If you can see the Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode icons on your watch face, you’ll need to turn the settings off in Control Centre.

To open Control Centre, press the side button (for watchOS 9 or earlier, touch and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up). Tap the highlighted Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode icons to turn off the settings.

Apple Watch with Do Not Disturb turned on and another with Airplane Mode turned on

Check your connection

Make sure your Apple Watch can connect to your iPhone, mobile data or Wi-Fi. To send and receive SMS/MMS from cellular models of Apple Watch, your paired iPhone must be powered on and connected to Wi-Fi or cellular, but your iPhone doesn’t need to be nearby.

Even if your iPhone isn’t connected or powered on, you can send and receive iMessages on your Apple Watch when your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.

Learn how your Apple Watch makes connections and get help if your devices disconnect.

Apple Watch connected to iPhone 


Try sending a message from your iPhone

If your iPhone can’t send or receive messages, try to fix messages on your iPhone


Make sure that you signed in

On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then tap General > Apple ID. 

Signed in with j.appleseed@icloud.com 


Check your iMessage settings

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages and make sure that iMessage is turned on.

Then tap Send & Receive and make sure that you're using the same Apple ID that your Apple Watch is using. 

If you haven’t signed in, sign in to iMessage with your Apple ID

iPhone Settings app showing various settings for Messages 

Sign out of iMessage

Tap Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Tap your Apple ID, then tap Sign Out. 

Then tap Settings > Messages. Turn iMessage off, then turn it back on

iMessage settings on iPhone. 

Sign in to iMessage again

Tap Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > Use your Apple ID for iMessage, then sign in.


Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone

Check for updates

Contact us

Before you contact us, unpair your Apple Watch, then pair it again. If you still can't send or receive messages, contact Apple Support.

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