The News App on an Apple Watch showing a news story

Smartwatches are handy tools for accessing information on your wrist. You can receive email alerts, social media updates, and news briefs without taking out your phone. This guide shows you how to customize the News app on your Apple Watch.

To start, push the Digital Crown or tap the screen to wake your Apple Watch. Press the Digital Crown again to view the installed apps.

Apple Watch Digital Crown
Kevin Parrish

The News app is designated by three red stripes against a white background. It supposedly creates a serif-style “N.”

Apple Watch News App Icon

Apple’s News app offers articles in two categories: Top Stories and Trending Stories. Each category provides five articles. Swipe your finger horizontally to cycle through each news item. Once you cycle through the Top Stories of the day, you’ll receive five additional articles under the Trending Stories banner for the remainder of the day.

Apple Watch Top Stories Tending News

Use the Digital Crown to scroll vertically through each article. At the bottom you’ll see two buttons:  “Save for Later” and “Next.” Tap the “Save for Later” button to read the article on your iPhone.

Unfortunately, you can’t customize the News app directly on your Apple Watch. Instead, changes must be made on your iPhone or iPad synced with your Apple ID.

Add Channels and Topics to Apple News

Open the News app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

the News App icon on an iPhone

On the iPhone, tap on the “Following” icon displayed in the bottom-right corner.

The Following Tab in the News app on an iPhone

On the iPad, tap the sidebar button if the News app sidebar isn’t already open.

The Sidebar button on an iPad

Tap on the Search bar and enter a possible channel, topic, or story label. In this example, we entered “horror.” The resulting options include Top Results, stories, channels, and topics. Tap the “+” symbol next to the channel, topic, or top result you want to be added to your news feed.

Tap the plus button to Add a Channel

Unfollow Channels and Topics on Apple News

Open the News app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

the News App icon on an iPhone

On the iPhone, tap on the “Following” icon displayed in the bottom-right corner.

The Following Tab in the News app on an iPhone

Hold a finger on the channel or topic you want to be removed and then slowly swipe left.  A red “Unfollow” message appears in its place as your finger moves left.

Slide to Unfollow a channel or topic in the News app

Alternatively, you can tap on the channel or topic you want to unfollow. On the following screen, tap on the circled three-dot icon located in the top-right corner.

Tap the three buttons to Unfollow Manually in the News app

An overlay appears at the bottom. Tap the “Unfollow Channel” or “Unfollow Topic” option, depending on the source.

Unfollow Channel Overlay

On the iPad, simply tap the sidebar button if the News app sidebar isn’t already open. Hold a finger down on the channel or topic you want to remove. A pop-up menu appears with an “Unfollow Topic” or “Unfollow Channel” option.

Unfollowing a Channel in the News app on an iPad

Block Channels and Topics on Apple News

Open the News app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

the News App icon on an iPhone

On the iPhone, tap on the “Following” icon displayed in the bottom-right corner.

The Following Tab in the News app on an iPhone

Tap on the channel or topic you want to remove from your feed. On the following screen, tap on the circled three-dot icon in the top-right corner.

Tap the three buttons to Unfollow Manually in the News app

An overlay appears at the bottom. Tap the “Block Channel” or “Block Topic” option, depending on the source.

Block Channel Overlay

On the iPad, tap the sidebar button if the News app sidebar isn’t already open. Hold a finger down on the channel or topic you want to remove. A pop-up menu appears with a “Block Topic” or “Block Channel” option.

Blocking a Channel in the News app on an iPad

Block or Unfollow Channels and Topics from Articles in Apple News

Open the News app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

the News App icon on an iPhone

Open an article related to the channel or topic you want to unfollow or block. Tap the “Share” button in the top-right corner. It shows an up arrow inside a box.

The Share button in a News app article

On the pop-up overlay, swipe up with a finger to scroll down to the bottom. Tap on the “Block Channel” or “Unfollow Channel” option.

 Block or Unfollow Channel from an article

Restrict Stories in Today in Apple News

These instructions disable Top Stories and Trending Stories. In its place, you’ll see articles only from the channels you follow pushed to your Apple Watch.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. It shows a gear icon set against a silver background.

The Settings App icon on an iPhone

Scroll down and locate the “News” entry. You’ll find it toward the top and grouped with Mail, Messages, FaceTime, and Safari settings. Tap the “News” entry.

Select News App in Settings

On the following screen, tap the toggle shown next to “Restrict Stories in Today.”

Tap the toggle to Restrict Stories in Today

Kevin Parrish Kevin Parrish
Kevin Parrish has been writing online since the mid-1990s. For a decade, he wrote reviews, previews, news, and more covering PC and console gaming. In 2008, he began covering hardware and devices after Tom's Hardware closed its dedicated gaming website. He's published news, reviews, how-to guides, and op-ed pieces on websites like Digital Trends, Android Authority, Tom's Hardware, Tom's Guide, and Maximum PC.
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