How to Control Your Apple Watch With Gestures

How to Control Your Apple Watch With Gestures

In this article, we’ll walk you through the different methods to control your apple watch With gestures and make your life easier. If you’re an Apple Watch user, you might have experienced the struggle of navigating through the tiny screen with just your fingers. Fortunately, Apple Watch offers various gesture controls that allow you to interact with your watch without touching it.

Control Your Apple Watch With Gestures
Control Your Apple Watch With Gestures

Understanding Apple Watch Gestures

Before we delve into the specifics of controlling your Apple Watch with gestures, it’s important to understand the different types of gestures available on the watch.

Types of Gestures

  • Tap: A single tap on the screen can activate various features on your watch, such as opening an app or dismissing a notification.
  • Press: Pressing down on the screen with force can activate different functions, such as activating Siri or launching the app switcher.
  • Swipe: Swiping your finger in different directions on the screen can navigate through different apps, menus, and options.
  • Scroll: You can use your finger to scroll through long lists, messages, or web pages.
  • Pinch: You can zoom in and out of pictures, maps, and other content using a pinch gesture.

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Enabling Wrist Gestures

In addition to screen gestures, Apple Watch also allows you to use wrist gestures to interact with your watch. By default, wrist gestures are disabled on Apple Watch, so you need to enable them in the Settings app.

To enable wrist gestures:

  • Open the Settings app on your watch.
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on Wake Screen.
  • Turn on the option for “Wake Screen on Wrist Raise.”

With this option turned on, you can raise your wrist to activate the watch screen and perform different gestures.

How to Control Your Apple Watch With Gestures

Now that you know the different types of gestures available on your Apple Watch and have enabled wrist gestures, let’s explore how to control your watch with gestures.

Wake Up Your Watch

To wake up your watch, simply raise your wrist or tap the screen. This gesture will activate the screen and show the watch face.

Navigate the Home Screen

To navigate the home screen, swipe left or right with your finger. This gesture will take you to different app icons or watch faces.

Open an App

To open an app, tap on its icon on the home screen. You can also open an app using Siri by pressing and holding the Digital Crown.

Switch Between Apps

To switch between apps, press the Digital Crown once to go back to the previous app or twice to open the app switcher. You can then swipe left or right to select the app you want to open.

Access Control Center

To access Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. From here, you can enable Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth, adjust brightness, or activate different modes such as Do Not Disturb or Theater Mode.

Reply to Messages

To reply to a message, swipe left on the notification and tap on the Reply button. You can then use Siri, dictation, or preset messages to reply.

Take a Screenshot

To take a screenshot of your watch screen, press the Digital Crown and the side button simultaneously.

Control Media Playback

To control media playback, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center. From here, you can play, pause, or skip tracks on your Apple Watch.

End a Phone Call

To end a phone call, press the side button.

Use Apple Pay

To use Apple Pay, double-click the side button.

Activate Siri

To activate Siri, press and hold the Digital Crown. You can then use voice commands to ask Siri to perform different tasks, such as setting reminders, sending messages, or making phone calls.

Control Your Watch With Wrist Gestures

With wrist gestures enabled, you can use various wrist movements to control your watch without touching it. Here are some examples of wrist gestures:

  • Raise to wake: Raise your wrist to wake up the screen.
  • Cover to mute: Cover the screen with your palm to mute incoming calls and notifications.
  • Scroll: Scroll through lists, messages, or web pages by flicking your wrist up or down.
  • Notification dismiss: Dismiss notifications by flicking your wrist away from you.

Customize Gestures

Apple Watch also allows you to customize some of the gesture controls to suit your preferences. For example, you can change the orientation of the Digital Crown or adjust the sensitivity of wrist gestures.

To customize gestures:

  • Open the Settings app on your watch.
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on Accessibility.
  • Select the gesture you want to customize and adjust the settings as needed.

Practice Makes Perfect

Using gestures to control your Apple Watch might take some time to get used to. However, with practice, you’ll soon find it easier and more convenient than using your fingers.


In conclusion, gesture controls are a handy feature on Apple Watch that can make your life easier and more efficient. By using different types of gestures, you can navigate your watch screen, launch apps, control media playback, and even interact with Siri without touching your watch. Remember to enable wrist gestures, customize settings as needed, and practice using gestures to become a pro at controlling your Apple Watch.

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  1. Can I use gestures to control third-party apps on Apple Watch?

Yes, many third-party apps support gesture controls on Apple Watch. However, the specific gestures might vary depending on the app.

  1. Can I turn off gesture controls on my Apple Watch?

No, gesture controls are an essential part of interacting with the Apple Watch, and you cannot turn them off completely. However, you can adjust some of the settings or customize gestures to suit your preferences.

  1. Do I need to enable wrist gestures on my Apple Watch?

While wrist gestures are not mandatory, they can significantly improve the usability and convenience of your Apple Watch. We recommend enabling wrist gestures in the Settings app.

  1. Can I use gestures to control my Apple Watch if I have a physical disability?

Yes, Apple Watch offers various accessibility features that allow users with physical disabilities to control their watch with gestures or voice commands.

  1. Can I use gestures to control my Apple Watch if I’m wearing gloves?

Yes, many gesture controls on Apple Watch can work even if you’re wearing gloves, as long as the gloves are not too thick or bulky. However, some specific gestures might not work correctly with gloves on.