How to hide sensitive notifications on Apple Watch

Apple Watch’s always-on display is a convenient feature, but sometimes, you don’t want your notifications easily read by prying eyes.

apple watch hide notifications feature
The always-on display of the Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Ultra, is a great feature: you can lift it to your face to light up the screen and see your stats. But when a message or update is incoming, the screen also illuminates to display it. This might be well and good for most updates, but sometimes, you don’t want others nearby to be able to peek over and read your private messages, sensitive calendar appointments, or other details. There is a way to classify and hide certain notifications, so they don’t appear in full, or even at all, on Apple Watch.

How to hide sensitive notifications on Apple Watch using iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select My Watch from the bottom menu.
  3. Select Notifications.
  4. Turn the Notifications Indicator off by tapping the slider on the left. When this is off, you’ll instead see a red dot at the top of the watch face when there’s an unread message, and you can swipe down to view it.
  5. Turn Show Summary When Locked off by tapping the slider on the left. This will display only a short summary of notifications, like the app icon, name, and a short headline, but you need to tap to see more.
  6. Turn Tap to Show Full Notification on by tapping the slider on the right. When this is activated, the full details of a notification will be hidden until you select it to read more.
  7. Select Show Notifications on Wrist Down and turn this feature off by tapping the slider on the left or leave it on but toggle on or off for each individual app that appears in the dropdown list.
  8. From the Main notifications page, you can also scroll down through the list of apps that appear on the Watch and select the one for which you want to adjust settings, one by one.
  9. Mirror my iPhone will be preselected for most, if not all. Select Custom instead.
  10. From there, you can change the way notifications from this particular app appear. You can allow them, turn them off, or have them sent to the Notification Center. With e-mail, you can also choose for which accounts you want to adjust the settings if you have multiple. You can also set certain senders as VIPs, which means their messages will always be shown on the Watch, regardless of which setting you choose.
  11. Depending on the app, some apps will allow you to select only specific notifications that will be shown. With Calendar, for example, you can select to only see notifications from Upcoming Events, Invitations, Invitee Responses, and/or Shared Calendar Changes.

How to hide sensitive notifications on Apple Watch from the Watch

  1. Select the Settings icon on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Turn Notifications Indicator off if you don’t want to receive any Notifications by tapping the slider on the left. If you do this, you’ll see a red dot at the top of the watch face when there are unread notifications, and you can swipe down at any time to read them.
  4. You can also turn off Show Summary When Locked by tapping the slider on the left, which will prevent a summary of the notification on the Watch screen when it’s locked. This usually includes the app icon from which the notification comes, the name, and a brief headline of what it is, like an e-mail or news story alert.
  5. Tap the slider on the right to turn off Tap to Show Full Notification. This will prevent the full details of a notification from appearing until you tap to view. You will, however, still see a short summary.
  6. Select Show Notifications on Wrist Down and tap the slider on the left to turn this off if you don’t want notifications to be visible on the Watch until you’re actively looking at it. You can also leave it on but then run through your list of apps to select only the ones you want to show up.

Both these methods make it easy to customize exactly how notifications appear from all the apps you have loaded on the device that appears on the Apple Watch in either grid or list view. You might be fine if news alerts and calendar changes pop up on the Watch, for example, but would rather the text of your private messages and e-mails remain under wraps so prying eyes can’t glance over and see something personal or even confidential.

Go through the various notification settings for the Apple Watch, one of the best smartwatches, using either the Watch itself or your iPhone if you want a bigger screen. Turn the features on and off for different apps to get the Watch and its notifications personalized to your liking and needs.

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