Apple WatchSmart Watches

Why is My Apple Watch Vibrating but not Showing Notifications? (Answered!)

The Apple Watch has a wide variety of features, many of which are enhanced or otherwise enabled thanks to connectivity with other Apple devices. The Apple Watch can connect to the iPad and iPhone, among other things, and it can also receive notifications that your other mobile devices would receive. These notifications can be indicated by multiple things, including a vibration. But why might your Apple Watch vibrate when there is not actually a notification to be found?

If your Apple Watch is vibrating for no apparent reason, you might need to restart both your Apple Watch and iPhone. The Apple Watch may be sending false indicators, or there may be a notification to display on the Apple Watch, but the Apple Watch is failing to display it.

But why are notifications not displayed on the Apple Watch properly? Are there any other causes or fixes to address this issue? And how do you reset your Apple Watch to fix this?

Why is My Apple Watch Vibrating but not Showing Notifications?

Your Apple Watch needs to be restarted

This is a pretty simple and painless method to fix your Apple Watch sending you vibration signals but not showing the notification. You can easily restart your Apple Watch just by pressing and holding the side button until a slider appears on the Apple Watch face. Drag the power off slider to the right. To turn it back on, just hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on screen. Give it some time to see if the vibration is still occurring without notifications being displayed.

If your Apple Watch is having trouble restarting, you can try forcing a restart by holding both the side button and the Digital Crown (the dial on the side of the Apple Watch) for 10 seconds until the Apple Watch turns off. This can be useful if your Apple Watch is frozen or otherwise nonfunctional. Once it’s powered off, you can power it back on just by holding the side button again.

Your Apple Watch needs to have the Notifications turned off, then on again

If your notifications are not being displayed properly, turning them off and then back on can sometimes help. To do this, you should open your iPhone, and select the Apple Watch app. This helps make the process a lot more wieldy. Here, select the Notifications option, and then disable Notification Indicator. This should cause the notifications to stop appearing on your Apple Watch. Give it some time, just to see if the vibrations keep happening. If they don’t, this likely means that the vibration was corresponding with notifications. Once you’ve verified this, turn the notifications back on to see if they display properly.

Your Apple Watch is vibrating for no particular reason

If you check on other devices, you may see that you did not, in fact, get any notification. Notifications are often shared between Apple devices, so you can easily tell whether it is the case that there are notifications to be seen. If the Apple Watch is vibrating and you are not receiving any notifications, a common reason for this to occur is because of a glitch or bug. It may also be that an accessory is causing your Apple Watch to vibrate, either intentionally or unintentionally.

To try to address the problem of accessories potentially causing your Apple Watch to vibrate, the best solution would be to check accessories that are currently connected to the device. First, the best way to tell whether an accessory is the problem is to disable Bluetooth or enable Airplane mode. To do this, start from the Watch face screen and then press the Digital Crown. This brings up the Apps screen, from which you will tap the Settings icon using the Apple Watch’s touchscreen. You can either select Bluetooth and disable it, or select Airplane Mode and enable it.

If preventing Bluetooth accessories from working on your Apple Watch seems to have stopped the vibrations, you should next enable Bluetooth or disable Airplane mode and then check the list of Bluetooth accessories currently connected. Tap the Info icon next to the accessory you want to disconnect. Try disconnecting only one accessory at first, preferably the least “valuable” of the accessories, and then continue using the Apple Watch like normal. Keep using it to see if it continues to vibrate for no particular reason. If it doesn’t, it is probably fixed. If it does, keep disconnecting devices until you find the offending device. Once discovered, you can then try reconnecting the devices that were not causing the problem.

Your Apple Watch needs to be reset to factory settings

This is not an ideal method, and it is not one that should be used unless as a last resort. However, it may be the only way to actually get it working, so it’s worth giving a try if all else fails. Do note that you will lose everything you have downloaded to the Apple Watch, as well as any settings and login information.

To perform a factory reset of your Apple Watch, you should first unpair the Apple Watch from your iPhone or iPad. Keep the Apple Watch close to the device when you do this, and open the Apple Watch App on the device. Go to the My Watch tab in the app, and then tap All Watches. Tap the Info icon next to the watch you want to unpair, and then tap Unpair Apple Watch.

Once unpaired, press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to open the Apps menu, and then open Settings. Select General, and then select Reset. Tap Erase All Content and Settings, and then enter the passcode associated with the Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch has a cellular plan, you will be given two options: Erase All and Erase All & Keep Plan. The former option is only ideal in the event that you want it to be a completely clean reset, such as if you are trying to sell it.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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