Skip to Content
10 Apple Watch tricks you'll use all the time
© Prykhodov | Dreamstime.com
Smartphones & gadgets

10 Apple Watch tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner

Are you making the most of your Apple Watch? The truth is your smartwatch is capable of so much more than people know. For example, the Apple Watch has life-saving features. Tap or click here to learn how to enable them.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other helpful features that you should be using all of the time.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of Apple Watch tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner. Keep reading to find your new favorite tool.

1. Mute notifications by covering the screen

To shut down the display, cover the screen with your hand. This tip is simple, but it can be super helpful when you have your hands full doing the dishes, working out, you name it.

RELATED: 2 new fitness features to get in shape with your Apple Watch

2. Raise To Speak

Enabling Siri’s Raise To Speak setting makes consulting our favorite virtual assistant more convenient. With this setting turned on, all you’ll need to do is lift your wrist to your face to ask her anything, no tapping required.

How to turn the Raise To Speak feature off or on:

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  • Tap Siri.
  • Turn Raise To Speak off or on.

How to use Raise To Speak:

  • Raise your wrist to wake your Apple Watch.
  • Hold your watch near your mouth.
  • Say what you need. 

3. Use “Lumos!” to turn the flashlight on

This one is likely the most charming on this list, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. You can illuminate your Apple Watch’s flashlight using the classic spell, “Lumos.” You can then extinguish it with an apt “Nox.” If your inner nerd isn’t tickled, you genuinely have no soul.

4. Unlock your iPhone, even with a mask

One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many of our favorite face recognition-dependent features are rendered null and void if you happen to be wearing a mask. Luckily, Apple has a solution if you own an Apple Watch and an iPhone.

You will need an iPhone that uses Face ID (iPhone X or later) and has iOS 14.5 or later and an Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later. Your iPhone also needs to be paired with your Apple Watch with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.

Here’s how to set up Unlock with Apple Watch:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap Face ID & Passcode, then type your passcode.
  • Scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch, then turn on the feature next to your watch’s name. If your watch doesn’t have wrist detection enabled, you’re asked to turn it on.

How to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

  • Make sure that you’re wearing a mask, sunglasses, or ski goggles and that your Apple Watch is on your wrist and unlocked.
  • Wake your iPhone by raising it or tapping its screen.
  • Glance at your iPhone to unlock it. Then you can swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to begin using it.

5. Take a Screenshot with ease

To take screenshots on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to ensure that the setting is enabled. Open Settings and tap General, followed by Screenshots. Flip the switch, and you’re good to go.

To take a screenshot, press the Digital Crown and the side button simultaneously.

6. Unlock a nearby Mac

On your Mac, navigate into your Security & Privacy settings. You should see an option labeled Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac. Check the box, and you’ll be able to unlock your computer without even touching the keyboard. As long as your unlocked Apple Watch is nearby, you’re in.

7. Use it like a Walkie-Talkie

Walkie-Talkie is a feature that hails back to Series 1. Tap into this classic app and select a contact to get started. Once they accept, you’ll be able to chatter in real-time, holding the talk button like a real Walkie-Talkie.

8. Respond to a notification when it arrives

Notifications on your Apple Watch are a great time-saving feature. Here’s how to respond to a notification when you get one.

  • If you hear or feel a notification, raise your wrist to view it.
  • Turn the Digital Crown to scroll to the bottom of the notification, then tap a button there. You can also tap the app icon in the notification to open the corresponding app.
  • To clear a notification, swipe down on it. Or scroll to the bottom of the notification, then tap Dismiss.

9. Set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

With Apple Pay enabled, you’ll be able to tap and go at any pay terminal using only your Apple Watch. Here’s how to add a card to Apple Watch:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap My Watch, then tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  • If you have cards on your other Apple devices or cards you recently removed, tap Add next to a card you want to add, then enter the card’s CVV.
  • For any other card, tap Add Card, then follow the onscreen instructions.

Note: Your card issuer may require additional steps to verify your identity.

Here’s how to choose your default card:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap My Watch, tap Wallet & Apple Pay, tap Default Card, then select the card.

How to pay with Apple Watch:

  • Double-click the side button.
  • Your default card opens automatically. Scroll down to choose another card.
  • Hold the display of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader until you feel a gentle tap and hear a beep.

10. Find a lost iPhone

Lastly, what may be the most helpful trick on this list. To find your iPhone using only an Apple Watch, swipe up on its face. Tap the iPhone button and your device should make a sound exactly where you left it. In between the couch cushions, again?

At the end of the day, functionality is a matter of need and preference. The tips and tricks for Apple Watches listed above will help you get the most out of your device.

You may also like: Worried about stalkers and thieves using AirTags? Apple is making these changes

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook