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Apple Watch not Vibrating? Here’s How to Fix it

by | Feb 7, 2024

If your Apple Watch doesn’t vibrate when you receive texts, calls, alarms, or other notifications, you could end up missing important stuff. Many people have reported this problem, and I can assure you, it can be really annoying. That’s why I’m here to help! In this article, I’ll share some simple solutions to fix the issue of your Apple Watch not vibrating.

Apple Watch not Vibrating? Here’s How to Fix it

1. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone

Before trying any complicated fixes for your Apple Watch not vibrating, it’s a good idea to start with the basics – just restart both your watch and iPhone.

By doing this, you can often resolve any software issues that might be causing problems with the vibration or haptics on your Apple Watch.

Just make sure that your watch has enough battery charge before you proceed, because a low battery level could prevent the restart from working properly.

2. Make sure Haptic Alerts are turned on

The vibration function on your Apple Watch is called Haptic Alerts. If Haptic Alerts are not enabled, your watch won’t vibrate when you receive notifications.

Make sure Haptic Alerts are turned on

To check this, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch once to go to the home screen.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Find and tap on “Sounds and Haptics.”
  4. Scroll down and make sure the toggle switch for Haptic Alerts is turned on.
  5. If you want stronger vibrations, you can also select the “Prominent” option.
  6. Optionally, you can turn on “Crown Haptics” to make your watch vibrate when you use the Digital Crown, and “System Haptics” to enable vibrations for system controls and actions.
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By enabling these features, you should be able to get your Apple Watch vibrating again.

3. Disable Wrist Detection on your Apple Watch

Even though Wrist Detection is a handy feature for the Apple Watch, sometimes it can cause problems by blocking the sensors and preventing vibrations.

This doesn’t happen often, but it could be a possible reason why your Apple Watch isn’t vibrating when you receive alerts. To check if this is the case, you can turn off Wrist Detection temporarily.

Disable Wrist Detection on your Apple Watch

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select “Passcode” from the menu.
  3. Scroll down and toggle off Wrist Detection.
  4. Confirm by selecting “Turn Off.”

It’s important to note that disabling Wrist Detection might also disable certain health monitoring features on your Apple Watch, such as fall detection or automatic workout tracking.

For this reason, it’s recommended to only disable Wrist Detection temporarily and enable it again once the vibration issue is resolved.

4. Check if your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone

It’s important to double-check and make sure that your Apple Watch is properly paired and connected to your iPhone.

You can do this by going to the Bluetooth settings on both devices. Just open the Bluetooth menu and look for the name of your Apple Watch. If everything is as it should be, then you can move on to the next steps for fixing the issue.

5. Update your Apple Watch software

If your Apple Watch isn’t vibrating due to a software issue from the manufacturer, it’s a good idea to update the software.

Updating the watchOS software can often fix any small software bugs that may be causing problems. To update the software, follow these steps:

Update your Apple Watch software
  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Scroll down and select “Software Update.”
  4. If an update is available, tap on “Install.”
  5. Follow the prompts and wait for the installation to complete.
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Updating your Apple Watch software might resolve the vibration issue you’re experiencing.

6. Check vibration settings for each app

If your Apple Watch vibrates for some apps but not others, it’s possible that you have misconfigured the vibration settings for those specific apps.

For example, if you’re not getting haptic alerts for the Phone app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and select the app you’re having trouble with, like Phone.
  3. You’ll see two options: “Mirror my iPhone” or “Custom.”
  4. If you choose “Mirror my iPhone,” the settings for the app will be the same as on your iPhone.
  5. If you choose “Custom,” you can create your own customized settings for that app on your Apple Watch.

Now, let’s look at the detailed steps for both options to help you adjust the vibration settings according to your preference.

Option 1: Mirror my iPhone

If “Mirror my iPhone” is already selected in the Watch app, you don’t need to change it. However, you should make sure that the vibration settings are correctly set on your iPhone. Follow these steps:

 Mirror my iPhone
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and select the app causing the issue, such as Phone.
  3. Choose “Notifications.”
  4. Tap on “Sounds” and make sure the “Haptics” option is set to “Default.”

By enabling the “Default” setting, you ensure that your Apple Watch vibrates in the same way as your iPhone when you receive notifications.

Option 2: Custom

If you want to set vibration settings differently for Apple Watch apps, choose the “Custom” option. For each app, you’ll be prompted to adjust various Haptics settings. In this case, we’re focusing on the Phone app.

Make sure all the features under the “ALERTS” and “RINGTONES” sections are enabled. After making the necessary adjustments, perform a quick restart, and your Apple Watch should vibrate for alerts as desired.

By following these steps, we have explored several solutions to fix the issue of your Apple Watch not vibrating. If none of these solutions work for you, there are a few advanced fixes you can try.

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7. Disable Do Not Disturb or any Focus mode

If your Apple Watch isn’t vibrating when you receive alerts, it’s possible that Do Not Disturb or a Focus mode is turned on. To check and turn it off, follow these steps:

Disable Do Not Disturb or any Focus mode
  1. Press the Side Button on your Apple Watch to open the Control Center.
  2. Look for the crescent moon icon, which represents Do Not Disturb or any other Focus mode.
  3. Tap on the crescent moon icon to disable Do Not Disturb or any active Focus mode.

While you’re checking these settings, make sure to also turn off Silent Mode if it’s enabled. This ensures that your Apple Watch can vibrate for notifications. Also read How to Turn Off Theater Mode on Apple Watch.

8. Remove and reconnect your Apple Watch

If you’ve tried everything else and the problem still persists, the last solution is to unpair your Apple Watch and then pair it again. This process can fix any software bugs or setup issues that might be causing the problem.

Keep in mind that unpairing your watch will reset all settings and install the latest software update, which could potentially fix the vibration issue. Before you proceed with this step, make sure to back up your Apple Watch data, as it will erase everything from the watch.


In conclusion, if you’re experiencing the problem of your Apple Watch not vibrating, don’t worry! There are several solutions you can try to fix it. Just follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to resolving the issue.

Have you encountered this problem with your Apple Watch before? Did the solutions mentioned here help you? We’d love to hear about your experiences and any additional tips you may have. Please feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Together, we can help each other make the most of our Apple Watch devices.

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