The display on the Apple Watch tends to turn on and off too often. This is distracting especially in darker environments.

This rapid turn on -then- turn off of the display that occurs when

  • "talking with one's hands"
  • general household chores (emptying the dishwasher)
  • moving around in a theatre (eating/drinking)

This is distracting to the listener or the speaker (wearer of the watch).

Yes, I can immediately dim the watch by covering it, but any accelerometer motion will reactivate the display.

Preferred experience

Ideally I would like to cover the watch and have it go dark for either a custom time period, or until the screen is tapped.

Documentation or control over the actions that cause the display to light would be beneficial

3 Answers 3


I think Apple's new Theater mode is what you are looking for. It's now available as of WatchOS 3.2.

  • 1
    This feature, and this watchOS version, hasn't been released yet and Apple could remove it before the general release.
    – fsb
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:14
  • I just got the Beta... this should do the trick, especially when out on a date (don't want to get OKCupid pop ups while on a date) Feb 2, 2017 at 17:13

There is no great solution to this but what you can do is disable the "Wake Screen on Wrist Raise". This way you will have to tap the screen to light it up. You can find the option under General > Wake Screen in the Apple Watch app.


Yes. Theater mode is the perfect option for it.

It silences your Apple Watch's screen, leaving the display off unless you intentionally tap the screen or press one of the watch's buttons.

Theater Mode: On will display at the top of the screen in Control Center. On your watch face, you'll also see a theater mask in the top center of the screen to indicate that you currently have Theater Mode activated.

For more info refer this link.


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