Read and reply to messages with your Apple Watch

Apple Watch gives you a gentle tap to let you know when you have a new message. Just raise your wrist to read it and reply.

Read a message

To open Messages, press the Digital Crown to see all your apps, then tap Messages icon. You can also open Messages from the Dock.

If you get a notification about a message, raise your wrist to see it or swipe down on the watch face.

Reply to a message

To reply, scroll to the end of a message, then choose an option. With the latest versions of watchOS and iOS, you can send a preset reply, use Scribble, record a response, and more. 

preset replies

To use preset replies, scroll down to the end of the message, then tap a reply. You can also create your own replies in the Apple Watch app.

animated emoji with sunglasses

To send an emoji or an animated emoji, tap emoji icon, swipe left or right, then turn the Digital Crown to see more options. Tap to send.


handwritten hello

To send a handwritten message or sticker, tap emoji icon, swipe right to your recent handwritten messages and stickers, then tap one. To use something different, use Messages on your iPhone. 

Dictated message on Apple Watch

To record a message, tap Microphone icon, say something, then tap Send or Done. If you want to send the message as text instead of audio, change your settings in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. 


Scribbled hello

Tap Scribble to write letters or words on the display and let your Apple Watch turn them into text. Learn about Scribble

Send Location screen

To show where you are on a map, firmly press the display while you're viewing a conversation, then tap Send Location.

Heart sketch

To reply with a Digital Touch, tap Digital Touch button, then you can send a sketch, tap, your heartbeat, and more.

Tapback options on watch

To use a Tapback, double-tap a message, then tap to choose a Tapback, like thumbs-up or a heart. 

Send a new message

You can ask Siri to create a message for you. For example, say "Hey Siri, tell Johnny I’ll be there in 20 minutes." Then lower your wrist to send. You can also use these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to open the Home screen, then tap Messages app.
  2. Firmly press the display, then tap New Message. 
  3. Tap Add Contact. You can tap a contact in the list that appears, tap add contact icon to see more contacts, or tap microphone icon to search for someone or dictate a phone number.
  4. Create your message. 

Create a new preset reply

To customize a reply, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab, and go to Messages > Default Replies. Then tap a default reply to change it. To remove a default reply or change the order, tap Edit. 

Default Replies screen

Delete a conversation

Swipe left on the conversation, then tap Trash.

Messages screen

Get help if you can't send or receive messages

After each step, try to send or receive a message again:

  1. See if you can send and receive messages on your iPhone
  2. Make sure that your Apple Watch can connect to your iPhone or Wi-Fi
  3. For Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), your Apple Watch switches between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular,  always choosing the most power-efficient connection. To send and receive SMS or MMS, your paired iPhone must be powered on and connected to Wi-Fi or cellular, but it doesn't need to be nearby. When your Apple Watch is away from the paired iPhone and connected to a cellular network, you can check the signal strength in Control Center.
  4. Make sure that you signed in with your Apple ID on your iPhone and Apple Watch. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then tap General > Apple ID.
  5. When you send an SMS/MMS message, your Apple Watch and iPhone must be connected. To check the connection between your devices, open the Settings Glance on your Apple Watch and tap  . If connected, your iPhone will make a "ping" sound. 
  6. Make sure that your notifications are set up and that your other devices aren't getting your Messages
  7. To receive iMessages, make sure that you've signed in to iMessage with your Apple ID on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Messages, then turn on iMessage. To confirm that you’re signed in with your Apple ID, tap Send & Receive.
  8. If you see Moon icon on your watch, turn off Do Not Disturb.
  9. See if you have the correct phone number for the contact that you're sending messages to. If you're using iMessage, see if you're sending the message to a phone number or Apple ID that's set up for iMessage. On an iPhone, tap Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
  10. Sign out of iMessage on your iPhone. If you're signed in with your Apple ID, tap it, then tap Sign Out. 
  11. Turn iMessage off on your iPhone, then turn it back on again.
  12. Sign back in to iMessage on your iPhone. 
  13. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone.
  14. Unpair your Apple Watch, then pair it again.
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