Apple Watch not lighting up even after movement
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Apple Watch’s Theater mode (Cinema mode) stops the screen from lighting up every time you move your arm. What if you could enable this automatically at any given time? Here’s how to automatically stop Apple Watch from lighting up.

If you don’t like your Apple Watch lighting up when you’re at work or when you’re winding down in bed before you go to sleep, you can enable Theater mode automatically.

RELATED: How to Turn Off Your Apple Watch's Screen with Theater Mode

Enabling Theater mode can be done manually from the Control Center on your Apple Watch. Swipe up from your watch’s home screen to reveal the Control Center.

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

Then, tap the “Theater” icon (the “Tragedy/Comedy” icon) to enable the mode.

Tap on Theater mask icon to enable Theater mode

Using the Shortcuts app, you can save yourself a couple of taps every day (and the work of remembering to turn the Theater mode on and off). Create an automation that automatically enables or disables the Theater mode at a given time. This feature is available for Apple Watch running watchOS 7 and higher. On the iPhone side, you’ll need to be using iOS 14 and higher.

RELATED: What Are iPhone Shortcuts and How Do I Use Them?

Open the “Shortcuts” app on your iPhone and go to the “Automation” tab.

Go to the Automation tab in Shortcuts

Here, tap the “+” button in the top-right corner.

Tap Plus button from Automation tab

Choose the “Create Personal Automation” option.

Tap Create Personal Automation

Select the “Time of Day” option.

Tap Time of Day

Set the time you want to enable Theater mode. If you want the automation to run on a daily basis, choose the “Daily” option. Then, tap the “Next” button in the top-right corner of the screen.

Select Time and Choose the Done Button

It’s now time to build the shortcut. Tap the “Add Action” button.

Tap Add Action

Search for and add the “Set Theater Mode” or “Set Cinema Mode” action. The feature is named differently in different regions.

Choose Set Cinema Mode or Set Theatre Mode

By default, the “On” option is selected.

Tap on On Button

If you’re building the automation for disabling Theater mode, tap the “On” button and choose the “Off” option from the pop-up message.

Tap Off to Disable Theatre Mode

Now, tap the “Next” button.

Tap Next To Save Shortcut

To make this automation truly automatic, tap the toggle next to “Ask Before Running” to disable the requirement.

Tap Toggle Next To Ask Before Running

Select the “Don’t Ask” button from the pop-up message.

Tap Don't Ask

Now, tap the “Done” button in the top-right corner to save the automation.

Tap Done button to Save Automation

You can repeat this process to create another automation for disabling Theater mode. Make sure to choose the “Off” option from the “Set Theater Mode” action.

When the shortcut is triggered, you’ll get a notification about it.

Shortcuts notification for triggered shortcut


Triggering automation at a specific time of the day is just the tip of the iceberg. You can trigger shortcuts depending on your location, battery percentage, and more. Learn about it in our guide to Shortcuts automations.

RELATED: How to Create Automations on an iPhone or iPad

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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