GadgetsSmartwatchesApple Watch

Why Is My Apple Watch Not Sending Text Messages?

Apple Watch

An Apple Watch is a helpful gadget. You can use it as a pedometer, make calls, send and receive messages, and more. But when you send messages on your Apple Watch but get a red exclamation point, it means your message is not sent successfully. This leaves many people wondering why is my Apple Watch not sending text messages?  

Quick Answer

Generally, several errors can cause messages sent from an Apple Watch to fail. The most common is when your Apple Watch is on Airplane Mode, the connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone is unstable, or iMessage is not activated on your iPhone.  

If you get a “not delivered”, “failed to send”, or “sending…” notification every time you try to send text messages from your Apple Watch, then you should troubleshoot your Apple Watch. This article will cover some troubleshooting tips you can use to get to the bottom of it. 

What To Do When an Apple Watch Is Not Sending Text Messages

There are many reasons why your Apple Watch is not successfully sending text messages. Below are five tips you can try to fix the issue. 

Method #1: Check the Control Center 

If you turn on the Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode on your Apple Watch face, you wouldn’t be able to send text messages from it. You must first turn off this setting on your Apple Watch from the Control Center before you can send text messages again. 

Here’s how to turn off Do Not Disturb on your Apple Watch.

  1. From the watch face, swipe up, or from another screen, tap and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up. 
  2. Tap the Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode icon on your Apple Watch to turn it off. 
Keep in Mind

You cannot open the Control Center on your Apple Watch from the home screen.

Method #2: Check Your Connection 

In other, for your Apple Watch to send iMessage, it needs to be connected to your iPhone’s cellular or Wi-Fi. And if you use a cellular model of the Apple Watch, you can use it to send and receive SMS/MMS irrespective of whether or not your iPhone is close by, although it must be powered on and connected to the internet. 

Here’s how to check the connection between your Apple Watch and your iPhone.

  • Check if the Wi-Fi or cellular signal you connect your Apple Watch and iPhone to is strong
  • Ensure your iPhone is on.
  • Try connecting to a different network on your Apple Watch and iPhone

Method #3: iMessage Is Not Activated  

If you don’t activate iMessage on your iPhone, you wouldn’t be able to use your Apple Watch to send or receive text messages. So, check your iPhone to ensure iMessage is activated; if not, activate it.  

Here’s how to activate iMessage on your iPhone. 

  1. Open the Settings app from the home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Scroll and tap “Messages”.
  3. In the “Messages” menu, toggle the switch under the “iMessage” option to on.
  4. Also, tap “Send & Receive” and ensure you connect your iPhone and Apple Watch to the same Apple ID.
Quick Tip

If your Apple Watch and iPhone are not connected to the same Apple ID, sign out and follow this step to sign in with the same Apple ID

Method #4: Unpair or Restart Your Apple Watch and iPhone 

You should unpair or restart your Apple Watch and iPhone if the problem persists. When you reboot your devices, you should be able to repair them, and it should fix the issue. 

Here’s how to restart your Apple Watch.

  1. Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch until the power slider pops up.
  2. Drag the power slider to the right to turn off the Apple Watch.
  3. Press and hold the side button again until the watch restarts.

Here’s how to unpair your Apple Watch.

  1. Place your iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other, and then open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to “My Watch” and tap the information (i) symbol.
  3. Select “Unpair Watch” from the option and confirm with your Apple ID, although it is not required for some users 
  4. When unpair is successful, wait for the pairing screen to appear on your iPhone, tap “Continue”, and select pair new watch.

Method #5: Check for Updates 

Updating the firmware on your Apple Watch may help fix the issue of text messages not sending. You can also update your iPhone’s firmware if there is an update. 

Here’s how to update your Apple Watch firmware.

  1. Ensure you charge your Apple Watch to at least 50%, then connect it to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and tap “General”.
  3. In the “General” menu, tap “Software Update”.
  4. Tap “Install” if a software update is available and follow the on-screen instructions.
Another Option

You can also use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to update the firmware of your Apple Watch. To do this, open the Watch App > “My Watch”> “General”> “Software Update” to download the updates.


One of the tips above should fix the issue on your Apple Watch. After you’ve tried any of the troubleshooting tips shared above, ensure you test it by sending an iMessage from your Apple Watch. But if the problem persists, it may be due to a hardware problem on your Apple Watch or iPhone.

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