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If you have issues with your Apple Watch, restarting it and the paired iPhone can help. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can use Power Reserve to temporarily limit your watch’s features.
1. Tap on the watch face
If something seems to be wrong with your Apple Watch, the first thing to try is a restart. You can force a restart by pressing and holding the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time. This will clear some glitches and conserve battery power.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can try a force shutdown. You’ll need to press and hold the side button for a bit longer, but it should work in most cases. If the watch doesn’t restart or powers off after doing this, you may need to restore the latest watchOS version. To do so, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone, tap My Watch at the top of the screen, then tap General > Software Update.
Your Apple Watch is designed to keep up with you, but that can sometimes be a little too much. To help you manage notifications and avoid distractions, you can turn on Do not disturb. This feature disables all app notifications and enables you to dismiss incoming calls and messages. You can also set a custom notification sound and use the Watch app on your iPhone to rearrange Quick Settings so you have the features you use most within reach.
You can also check your glances, which are scannable summaries of information you use frequently. To see a glance, swipe up on the watch face, then swipe left or right to view other glances. To delete a glance, firmly press the display or use the Digital Crown to navigate to Glances, then select and tap Delete.
You’ll also find an option to show only notifications from your favorite apps. This is a great way to focus on important information without having to constantly check your watch for notifications. You can even choose to not show any notifications at all, but this isn’t ideal if you use your watch for work or health monitoring.
Finally, you can use the Watch app on your iPhone to change your alarm and reminder preferences. You can also adjust your device’s sleep and fitness features, and change the default language for Siri. The Watch app also includes the ability to create custom shortcuts, which can be used to quickly launch an app or perform a specific task.
2. Press and hold the side button
If you’ve used an iPhone for a while, you’re familiar with the way the side button works. You can use it to answer a phone call, activate Siri, or turn off the device. The side button hasn’t changed much in the past few generations of Apple devices, but on the iPhone X and later, it’s a little different. If you press and hold the side button, it will turn off the phone instead of launching Siri as it did on older phones.
You’ll need to press and hold the side button for a few seconds until you see the power off slider appear on the screen. If you don’t see this option, it’s likely because your phone is in Power Reserve mode. This mode limits how long your phone can be used and prevents some features, including the ability to respond to a ringing or vibrating alarm or the raise-to-wake feature.
If your watch isn’t turning on, it could be experiencing a software glitch that requires a force restart. Try holding the Digital Crown and the side button simultaneously for ten seconds. After the Apple logo appears, your watch should be back to normal. If your watch is experiencing a problem that cannot be fixed through the usual means, you can put it into Power Reserve mode to prevent it from running out of power while you’re on a trip or at a busy event.
The latest Apple Watch models are designed to last 18 hours between charges, but several factors can affect battery life. One way to extend the time between charging is to reduce the number of notifications that you receive. Notifications can be viewed and managed in the Settings app on your iPhone. You can select what notifications you want to receive and control how alerts sound for each app. For example, you can set notifications to mute for an hour or longer, mute for today, add to summary, or turn off time sensitive.
If you’re not receiving enough notifications, the Apple Watch can automatically stop showing them in the Notification Center. You can also manage notification pop-ups on a per-app basis using the Watch app on your iPhone. If you still don’t want to receive any notifications, you can disable them completely by adjusting the Notifications Indicator in the settings menu.
3. Slide the Power Off slider to the right
You can use the Power Off slider on the watch face to turn off your Apple Watch. You can also use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to turn off your watch. You can also turn off notifications on your watch. To do this, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and select Notifications. You can then toggle off notifications from apps or specific complications.
You can also rearrange Quick Settings to make certain things easier to access. For example, you can set a default option for the flashlight or airplane mode so that you can quickly activate those features when needed. You can also move the Focus (moon) icon to be at the top of the list, making it quicker to toggle do not disturb or other features you want easy access to.
If you haven’t done so already, check that your watch is running the latest version of watchOS. This helps ensure you’re getting the best battery performance and a safe experience.
To force a restart, hold the Digital Crown and side button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen. You should only do this if your device is unresponsive to normal restart methods or you suspect it may be having a problem.
In the case of an emergency, you can use Siri to call 911 or activate the SOS feature. However, the user guide notes that this could potentially cause confusion for emergency services when you’re at a theme park or ski slope and the system mistakenly believes you’ve experienced a serious crash.
You can turn off this feature to prevent it from accidentally triggering. You can also disable it for a period of time to avoid the potential for misinterpreting alarms or other notifications that you might receive on your Apple Watch.
You can also disable the green light that flashes when Heart Rate monitoring is underway. This will keep you from being disturbed while you’re trying to sleep or when your workout is underway. You can do this from your iPhone or in the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone.
4. Release the side button
The side button on an iPhone is not only used to turn the phone off, but it also functions as a quick way to snap a screenshot of whatever is on your screen. To use the feature, press and hold both the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time. The screenshot will be saved to your Photos app on your iPhone. You will need to have ‘Enabling Screenshots’ toggled on for the feature to work. You can enable or disable the feature by going to Settings > General > Screenshots.
The Apple Watch has a Power Reserve mode that is similar to the low-power mode on an iPhone. When the mode is active, your Apple Watch shuts down most functionality (except the time display) and turns the screen dark. You can exit Power Reserve mode by pressing the side button.
In addition to shutting down your Apple Watch, the side button can also be pressed to show your Medical ID and make an SOS call. It can also be used to answer a phone call or dump the call to voicemail after four rings. It can also be pressed to disable Siri when a message is received, and it can be tapped to quickly delete a message from your inbox.
Lastly, the side button can be used to force-restart your Apple Watch when it’s frozen or unresponsive. This can help fix problems that the normal restart process is unable to resolve. The process can take up to 30 seconds, so it’s important to remain patient while performing the reset.
If you’re not able to turn off your Apple Watch with the methods above, it may be due to a problem with the device or its software. If the issue persists, it’s best to contact Apple support.
Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a contributing writer for Insider who loves a good glazed donut. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel, technology and food. She is based in New York City.
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