Apple Watch showing Control Center with silent mode toggles enabled
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

By default, your Apple Watch vibrates and makes a small sound when you get a notification. But what if you don’t want that? You have a few options, depending on your situation, to silence the wearable.

Silent Mode

Silent Mode is quite straightforward and operates on the same lines as the iPhone. When you turn on Silent Mode, your Apple Watch will no longer make a sound when you get a notification, but you’ll still feel the subtle vibration from the Taptic Engine.

With the feature enabled, it’s your choice if you want to turn your wrist to see the notification. The slight vibration will be enough to alert you to a notification or call.

You can enable Silent Mode from the Control Center. When you’re viewing your watch face, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Control Center.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center

Here, tap on the “Silent Mode” (bell-shaped) icon to enable the feature.

You can also disable vibration alerts from the Settings menu. Access this by pressing the Digital Crown while viewing the watch face and selecting “Settings” from the app grid or list. Next, go to the “Sounds & Haptics” section. Here, disable the “Haptic Alerts” feature.

Tap on Haptic Alerts to disable the feature

Cover to Mute

If you want to silence your Apple Watch for just one instance, all you have to do is put your hand over the wearable’s display. This will put the Apple Watch’s screen to sleep and stop the sound or vibration.

If you’re receiving a call, press the Digital Crown to silence the notification.

Press the Digital Crown on Apple Watch

Theater Mode

If you’re in a place where you don’t want your Apple Watch to light up when you get a notification or when you accidentally lift up your wrist, turn on Theater Mode. Your watch will still vibrate, but it won’t ping or light up. You can tap on the screen to wake up the display.

Swipe up from the watch face to reveal the Control Center. From here, tap on the “Tragedy/Comedy” icon to enable Theater Mode (or Cinema Mode).

Do Not Disturb

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature is also available on the Apple Watch. By default, the feature is linked between the two devices.

Swipe up from the watch face to access the Control Center and then tap on the Cresent Moon icon. You can now choose to turn on the Do Not Disturb mode indefinitely or you can choose from one of the suggested options.

The “On for 1 Hour” option turns on the Do Not Disturb feature for an hour. The “On until I Leave” option will turn off Do Not Disturb mode when you leave the current area.

The “On until Tomorrow Morning” will leave Do Not Disturb mode on until the next morning. Alarms will still sound while the feature is active.

To disable Do Not Disturb mode, go back to the Control Center and tap on the Cresent Moon icon again.

If you don’t want the Do Not Disturb feature to be linked between your Apple Watch and your iPhone, you can disable the “Mirror iPhone” feature from the Watch app.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to the “My Watch” section. Here, select the “General” option.

Tap on General from My Watch section

Now, choose “Do Not Disturb” from the list.

Tap on Do Not Disturb from General section

From this section, tap on the toggle next to the “Mirror iPhone” to disable the feature. Now you can configure Do Not Disturb settings individually on each device.

Tap on toggle next to Mirror iPhone

If you’ve just updated to watchOS 6, take a look at the new App Store. You can now download and update apps directly on your Apple Watch.

RELATED: The Difference Between Silent, Do Not Disturb, and Theater Mode on your Apple Watch (and When to Use Each)

Profile Photo for Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
Read Full Bio »