Apple watch sporadically reports texts and alarms from phone

I have an iPhone 12 (IOS16.7.1) and an Apple Watch (version 5, software up to date). Sometimes my watch will flash that I’ve got an incoming text or that my calendar has an event that has an alarm attached, but mostly it just sits there and says nothing. The phone is always on my person as is the watch. Sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn’t.

Anybody have an idea?



I don’t fully understand the issue. Are you saying that sometimes you get a notification of something on your watch that does not appear on you iPhone or something else.

Also you say your watch is up to date, which would mean watchOS 10.0.1, but you are only running iOS 16.7.1 on your iPhone which would need to be running iOS 17.0.3 to be fully up to date. I don’t believe it’s possible to install watchOS 10 until you bring your iPhone to iOS 17, so my guess is that your watch is not up to date, but rather on watchOS 9 something.

It’s always difficult to diagnose issues when you aren’t running the most recent OS versions, where your issue might already be fixed in the newest OS. If you called AppleCare, they would just tell you to update.

Al - Thanks for the reply. My watch and phone are on auto update. So as soon as Apple gets around to it I get the updates. The phone went to 17 last night. The watch is going to 10 tonight.

The problem (which has been going on for quite a while) is that most events that happen on the phone are NOT reported on the watch. Some are. Most are not. No rhyme or reason.

Just wondering if anyone else has been experiencing this.



I believe that in order for the watch to post a notification, it must have a watch version of the app, you must allow it to be installed on your watch and if there is a separate settings for that app you may need to enable notifications. Apple does not provide the capability of echoing all iPhone notifications on your watch. It’s up to the individual app to do that for you.

I would need to do some experimenting myself to see if I can get iPhone notifications I’m not getting to appear on my watch to be certain of all of this.

There have been times in the past when I feel I’ve missed feeling haptic notifications on the watch, but they are always in Notification Center when I look.

Of course if my iPhone is active the watch will not get the haptic notification, nor when I’m in some focus modes, but generally when notifications should be vibrating on my wrist, lately things have been rock-solid for me. Definitely fine with watchOS 10.x so far. (I also very, very rarely have sound turned on.)

I’ve got versions of the apps (calendar, messages) installed on the watch. It’s not that they NEVER report. They RARELY report


Doug -

Today I had my wife text me a test msg. It came through fine on the watch. 30 minutes later while I was out shopping my wife and daughter initiated a 3-way text (with me included). I didn’t receive any notification on the watch. I DID receive NEWS updates on the watch.

Go figure.


Have you tried turning on sound and see if that makes a difference? Maybe the haptics just aren’t happening.

I’d also suggest (if you haven’t already) trying watch app / sound & haptics and turning on “prominent”. And maybe see if changing watch app / accessibility / Taptic time speed to a faster speed to see if that changes anything.

Doug -

Thanks for all the good advice.

It’s not that the haptics aren’t happening. They just only happen occasionally. And yes, Prominent is on. I’ve boosted the Haptic sped. Let’s see if that does anything.

Must be me. My watch is mocking me…


That’s what I’m suggesting trying to rule out by turning the sound on - to see whether the haptics just aren’t going off when they’re supposed to. This I always thought was my issue in the past when I was convinced I was missing notifications, particularly from messages. This, to me, wouldn’t indicate hardware failure, but a software problem.

Honestly I wish the prominent haptics were even more prominent.

Or just a moment when you were moving or doing something such that you didn’t notice the wrist taps—I see that happen a lot. I agree that haptics could be more prominent.