Read and reply to messages

Read incoming text messages right on Apple Watch, then dictate a reply, choose a prepared response, or switch to iPhone to type a response.

WARNING: For important information about avoiding distractions that could lead to dangerous situations, see Important safety information.

Read a message. You’ll feel a notification tap or hear an alert sound when a message arrives—just raise Apple Watch to read it. Turn the Digital Crown to scroll.

Open a conversation in the Messages app. Tap the Messages icon Messages icon in the notification.

See a photo in the message. Tap the photo to view it, double-tap it to fill the screen, and drag it to pan. When you’re finished, swipe left from the edge of the photo screen to return to the conversation. If you want to save the photo, open the message in the Messages app on iPhone, and save it there.

Listen to an audio clip in a message. Tap the clip to listen. The clip is deleted after two minutes to save space—if you want to keep it, tap Keep below the clip. The audio will remain for 30 days, and you can set it to remain longer on iPhone: go to Settings > Messages, scroll to Audio Messages, tap Expire, then tap a value.

View a video in a message. In the Messages app Messages icon, tap a video in a message to start playing the video full-screen. Tap once to display the playback controls. Double-tap to zoom out and turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume. Swipe or tap the Back button to return to the conversation. To save the video, open the message in the Messages app on iPhone, and save it there.

Jump to the top of a long message. In the Messages app Messages icon, tap the top of the display.

Reply to a message. If the message just arrived, tap its notification, turn the Digital Crown to scroll to the bottom of the message, then tap Reply. If it arrived a while ago, swipe down on the watch face to see the message notification, tap it, then scroll to the bottom and tap the Reply button. To mark the message as read, tap Dismiss or swipe the message. Press the Digital Crown to dismiss the notification without marking the message as read.

Tap a message to reply to it.

Decide how to be notified. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone, tap My Watch, then tap Messages. Tap Custom to set options for how you want to be notified when you receive a message.

Messages screen in Apple Watch app on iPhone. You can customize your alerts and choose to show them, turn on sound, turn on haptic, and filter the alerts you want to see.