One of the major new features arriving with Apple Watch Series 5 is the Always-On display. It’s turned by default and may be valuable in a variety of scenarios. However, there are still reasons why you may want to disable or customize it. Read on for some tips on using the Apple Watch Series 5 Always-On display and also how to turn it off.

Using the Apple Watch Series 5 Always-On display

Apple Watch Series 5 is the first version to include an Always-On display, a feature many users have been asking for. There are some great advantages that come with the Always-On display. For example, it allows you to discreetly check the time and more without having to tap your Apple Watch screen or turn/raise your wrist to activate it.

Another great use case for the feature is exercise, as the Always-On display means it’s seamless to get an update on your workout progress in the moment without having to touch your watch or raise your wrist. As for everyday use, it will also be easier to the time and other info when your hands are full and you can’t otherwise easily activate the display.

Here’s how Apple describes how the feature works:

Always On is turned on by default on Apple Watch Series 5. In this mode, the time is always visible, along with your watch face or the most recent active app. To preserve battery life, the display dims when your wrist is down or by a quick gesture of covering the display with your hand. A wrist raise or tap on the screen brings everything back at full brightness.

More specifically, any apps other than your watch face or the Workout app are blurred out when your wrist isn’t raised.

You’ll likely find the feature helpful in a lot of ways. However, there are scenarios where you may want to turn off the Always-On display, like saving every bit of battery life you can, or making sure what’s on your Apple Watch screen like calendar events or messages on a watch face complication can’t be seen by others.

Notably, notifications don’t show on the dimmed Apple Watch any time it registers your wrist as being down.

How to turn off the Always-On display on Apple Watch

  1. On your Apple Watch, open Settings
  2. Swipe down or use the Digital Crown to scroll to Display & Brightness
  3. Tap Always-On to toggle the feature off
  4. Apple also notes you can choose to “Hide Sensitive Complications if you want information such as calendar events, messages, and heart rate to remain hidden when your wrist is down.”

Another tip for Apple Watch Series 5 users, as pointed out by 9to5Mac‘s Zac Hall:

The new Apple Watch has an Always-On display that shows your watch face and the Workout app even when your wrist isn’t raised, but all other apps are blurred out with a digital clock in the corner. That includes the Now Playing screen even if audio is playing from your iPhone, preventing your watch face from showing at a glance.

Read more about how to turn off the default auto-launch audio apps feature.

Here are some more details on how information is updated when using the Always-On display:

While your wrist is down, the time and complications on the watch face update once a minute, and information appears as follows:

  • Time complications, such as Stopwatch and Timer, round their displayed information to the minute.
  • Complications that show live data, such as Compass and Noise, are not active.
  • Other complications, such as Calendar, Weather, and third-party apps, refresh once per minute or as needed.

The Workout app stays visible while you’re exercising, so you can easily see your workout information.

For more on getting the most out of your Apple Watch and other Apple devices, check out our how-to guide as well as the following articles:

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