What Are Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch?

By John Adebimitan

If you own an Apple iWatch, then you should know the watch alerts you with a vibration when there’s a new notification. This feature is called Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch.

Would you like to set up Haptic Alerts? Is the notification vibration on your Apple Watch very weak? You can increase it significantly with a few taps to make it easier to know when you have a new message. I’ll walk you through various processes and troubleshooting tips to help you navigate Apple iWatch’s notification system. But first, what are Haptic alerts on Apple iWatch?

What Are Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch? – Everything You Need to Know

Haptic alerts are vibrations felt when you receive new notifications on your Apple iWatch. These vibrations alert you of a new message and are tactile. Haptic notifications are handy if you expect important messages or set an alarm you don’t want to miss. By using the “Haptic Strength,” you can change the strength of vibration either by increasing or decreasing it.

You can usually sense the alerts on your wrist. However, you can also turn ON the haptic alert on your Apple iWatch in “Settings.”

However, if your Apple Watch fails to vibrate or ring out when a notification comes in, or snooze when an alarm is set, ensure your Haptic Alert is switched ON and your Sound is not on low mode.

There is a button on the right of your Apple Watch known as the Digital Crown. Rotating the Digital Crown on the iWatch causes a vibration known as Crown Haptic Alerts. You can’t use the digital crown to select a tab. Instead, it has a manual operational method through a physical motion like rotating the crown. You get vibrations from the crown when an alarm snoozes or a message beeps and on calls.

Haptic alerts: A kind of haptic feedback

Haptic alerts are a form of feedback from haptic technology used in communicating to digital device users. If you use Apple products like the iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watches, you should be familiar with Haptic feedback.

Haptics connects users and the screen icons by providing tactile feedback to your touches or when you long-press your screen. Haptics touch is seen in most digital wearable devices. Some haptic alerts include timers and alarms, shortcut menus, clicking notifications on locked screens, iMessages, and map functions.

How to Enable and Disable Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch

To enable or disable the haptic alerts on your Apple Watch, follow the steps below:

  1. On your Apple Watch, go to Control Panel by touching and holding the bottom of the watch’s face
  2. Next, swipe up to get to the Control Center.
  3. Tap on Settings.
  4. Pull down the screen, look for Sound & Haptics, and tap on it.
  5. Turn on the toggle button to enable the Haptic alert in your watch.

You can also adjust the strength of the feedback on the same page.

  • Choose “Prominent” if you want stronger vibrations.
  • Choose “Default” if you want less noticeable vibrations.

If you want to make these changes directly from your iPhone. Do the following:

  1. Go to the Apple Watch app
  2. Tap on My Watch
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Go to Sounds & Haptic

What Happens If System Haptics Is Turned OFF?

When system haptics is turned OFF, you won’t hear or feel any incoming vibrations on your wrist for incoming calls, message alerts, or alarms you set on your phone.

You can turn OFF system haptics on your watch by going to Control Panel >> Settings >> Sound & Haptics >> Turn System Haptics OFF or ON.

The last option is a toggle button that lets you turn ON or OFF the System haptics. This can be useful if you are in a meeting or somewhere quiet and don’t want any interruption.

How to Silence/Mute Apple Watch

Apple offers you three modes for silencing or muting your watch. In general, you can set all three modes by swiping up on the home screen of your Apple Watch. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find three icons in the watch’s control center.

1.    Do Not Disturb

If you select this mode, the watch will also activate this mode on your smartphone since it’s paired with your iPhone. So if contacts from your favorites list call you, you will hear both a short acoustic signal and a vibration.

For this, you have to select the moon icon.

What Are Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch?

Source: Solve Your Tech

2.    Mute

The silent mode will activate if you click on the bell icon in the control center. Both the acoustic and the vibration alarm are turned OFF. However, the screen keeps flashing for notifications, motion, and calls.

3.    Theater mode

What Are Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch?

You will activate this mode by tapping on the icon with the two masks. This will also prevent your watch from displaying when you raise your arm. Instead, the screen remains dark and silent mode will be turned ON.

How to strike a middle ground

You can dim your display’s lighting if you’re looking for a middle ground for your Apple Watch between the second and third modes. This way, you can still see calls and notifications visually, but others will not be affected.


If a notification comes on when you don’t want, you can turn it OFF quickly and without much fiddling. All you have to do is cover the display with your palm when a message arrives. The watch notices this and turns OFF the screen.

How to Make Apple Watch Vibrate Only

I disable Sound and enable Haptic to make my Apple Watch only vibrate when there’s an incoming call. It’s simple to do!

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to My Watch, which you can find at the bottom
  2. Go down, look for, and tap Phone. From here, you’ll need to change the settings following the instructions.
  3. Tap Custom
  4. Then turn OFF Sound and turn ON Haptic
  5. Also, turn ON Haptic and turn OFF Sound in Calls to make the watch vibrate only when you receive a call
What Are Haptic Alerts on Apple iWatch?

Source: Mac Reports

  1. Now, go to the previous screen by tapping on Back.
  2. Tap on Messages.
  3. Select Custom and confirm that Sound is disabled and Haptic enabled.

Why Won’t My Apple Watch Vibrate When I Get a Text Message?

Your Apple Watch will not vibrate if you have Do Not Disturb turned ON. Also, if the Watch app or iPhone is outdated, you may not receive Haptic vibrations. If these are not the problem, one option would be to unpair and re-pair your watch with your iPhone again.

A backup is created from which the watch can be set up again; if the problem persists, repeat the process and set up the watch as a new device. Finally, try uninstalling any recently installed apps and see if it resolves the issue.

Read also: What Is the Killer Control Center in Windows 10, 11?

Things to Do if Your Apple Watch Haptics Is Not Working

Sometimes your Apple watch haptics notifications might stop functioning or function abnormally due to bugs or certain software issues. Here are a few things you can do if your Apple watch haptics stop working:

a. Turn OFF the Do Not Disturb mode

It is easy to mistakenly turn ON Do Not Disturb mode on your Apple watch. This is because it is found in the control center, where you can also find the haptics functions on your watch. Follow the steps to turn OFF DND mode:

  1. Swipe from the bottom of your watch to open the Control Center
  2. Search for the DND icon with the crescent moon shape
  3. If it’s ON, tap the icon to turn it OFF.

b. Check for a software update

One way you can quickly get your Apple watch to work is to update the software to fix any issue you might be having.

  1. To do this, connect your Apple watch to a WiFi network and a charger that is also connected to a power source
  2. On your iPhone menu, search and open the Watch mobile app
  3. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom of the app
  4. Tap on General
  5. Finally, select Software update.
  6. Follow the instructions to download and install the update if available.

c. Restart your Apple Watch

Another pretty easy way to solve this problem is to restart your Apple Watch:

  1. Ensure your Apple Watch is unlocked
  2. Press and hold the side button till you can see the Power OFF Slider
  3. Swipe the Slider from left to right to Power off your watch
  4. Press and hold on to the side button again until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

d. Adjust the Haptic strength

The haptic strength can change, especially when you update the software. If this is the case, then follow the steps to change it:

  1. First, go to Settings on your Apple watch.
  2. Scroll down Settings and tap on Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Tap the icon on the right of the Slider to turn it up
  4. Continue until the Slider turns green completely.

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