In the era of digital Watches, especially smartwatches, the screen lighting up in the middle of the night, or at a movie theater can become very fatiguing and annoying. Luckily, with Apple Watch, there’s a feature called Theater Mode that disables the raise to wake feature on the Apple Watch, preventing accidental screen awakenings.

Follow along as we guide you through how to use Theater Mode on your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch: How to use Theater Mode

  1. On your Apple Watch, make sure you’re on the Watch face. Swipe up from the bottom to bring up Control Center.
  2. Once there, tap on the Theater Mode icon (looks like a vintage theater icon, with the two faces).
  3. After you enable it, raising your wrist will no longer wake the display (you’ll also see the Theater Mode icon at the top of your Watch face).You’ll now be required to tap the screen or tap any of the buttons to wake the display.

On Series 2 or later, spinning the Digital Crown (regardless if Theater Mode is enabled or not), will slowly wake up the screen as you turn the crown, starting with a very dimmed state.

To disable Theater Mode, simply tap the screen, pull up Control Center, and tap the Theater Mode icon again to turn it off. In situations such as sleep tracking, there’s currently no way to schedule Theater Mode at all, but hopefully that’ll come in a future watchOS update.

Otherwise, your Apple Watch functions as normal. You’ll still receive notifications and you can still use apps as long as you wake the screen manually. Note that enabling Theater Mode will also enable Mute, if your Apple Watch isn’t already muted.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:


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