Apple Watch

Watches are things that people like to put on their wrist and forget about. The Apple Watch is no different, except for the added functionality it offers. That’s great when it works, but if your watch isn’t vibrating when it’s supposed to, here’s how to fix it.

The Apple Watch is without a doubt the most popular smart watch on the market, and with the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple has upped the ante considerably. The problem is, as watches become ever smarter, they invariably start to suffer from the same kinds of software bugs that can befall any other computer. The Apple Watch has seen bugs of its own, and missing notifications because the watch isn’t vibrating is a pretty big one.

If you find yourself missing alarms, or even normal run-of-the-mill notifications from apps, that’s no good. Here are a couple of fixes that might help–hopefully, you’ve missed your last wake-up call.

Power Up Your Vibrations

The Apple Watch has always offered two different levels of vibration. There is the standard option, and a more vigorous Prominent Haptics one. We much prefer the more noticeable version, so we suggest trying that out first.

To start, open Settings on your Apple Watch and scroll down until you reach the bottom. Tap “Sounds & Haptics.”

Tap Sounds and Haptics


Next, beneath Haptic Strength, turn on the “Prominent Haptic” toggle.

Tap Prominent Haptic

The difference between the two is pretty noticeable, we think you’ll agree. If you just keep failing to notice the standard vibrations, this should fix your problem.

Restart Your Apple Watch

No matter how small and svelte it is, the Apple Watch is still a computer. That means that unfortunately, even today, it might benefit from a restart every now and again. If you find yourself in a situation where your watch is simply refusing to vibrate, a restart is a good troubleshooting step to try.

To restart your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button until you see the Power Off slider appear on-screen.

Swipe Power Off

To complete the process, slide the “Power Off” slider all the way to the left.


Once your Apple Watch has turned off, turn it back on by pressing and holding the side button until the Apple logo appears. Whatever problem that caused your watch not to vibrate for alarms should hopefully be fixed.

Consult Apple

If neither of these steps solves your problem, it may be time to reach out to Apple either via your local Apple Store, or the many other support channels available via the Apple Support app.

The Best Apple Watches of 2022

Best Apple Watch Overall
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (41mm)
Best Apple Watch Overall
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (45mm)
Best Budget Apple Watch
Apple Watch SE (40mm)
Best Budget Apple Watch
Apple Watch SE (44mm)
Best Apple Watch with Cellular
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS + Cellular (41mm)
Best Apple Watch with Cellular
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS + Cellular (45mm)
Best Apple Watch for Durability
Apple Watch Series 7 Titanium
Best Starter Apple Watch Band
Solo Loop Band for Apple Watch
Profile Photo for Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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