How to Control Your Apple Watch with Your iPhone

With the right combination of Apple Watch, iPhone, and software, you can control your wearable device with your phone. Apple added the Watch Mirroring feature under the accessibility umbrella, but it’s a trick anyone can use.

How to Enable Apple Watch Mirroring

To use Apple Watch Mirroring, you will need an Apple Watch Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, or Ultra running watchOS 9. Unfortunately, this feature does not work on the second generation Apple Watch SE. You’ll also need an iPhone running iOS 16.

To use this feature, make sure your Apple Watch is turned on, unlocked, and connected to your iPhone. Make sure Airplane mode is turned off and both devices are in close proximity.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Apple Watch Mirroring. Browse iPhone Access Preferences

Enable the “Watch Mirroring” option and an overlay will appear.

Apple Watch mirroring toggle

Wait a few minutes to connect to your watch. You will be able to see your Apple Watch display on your iPhone.

Interact with your watch as you would if you were holding it in front of you, including pressing the digital crown and side buttons. Apple Watch face in mirror mode

This feature uses AirPlay to stream your watch’s display to your iPhone. Everything feels as if you are in direct control of the watch (you will feel the haptics when you turn the digital crown).

Add a mirroring shortcut to the control panel

You can also enable Apple Watch Mirroring easily from the Control Center. To get started, go to Settings > Control Panel. Next to ‘Access Shortcuts’, tap the plus sign (+).

Access shortcuts should now be listed under Included Rules. Add a new shortcut to the control panel

Now go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcuts and tap on “Apple Watch Mirroring” to turn it on.

Add Apple Watch Mirroring to your access shortcuts list

You’ll find the shortcut under the “Accessibility Shortcuts” option when you scroll down from the top right corner of your screen. Enable Apple Watch Mirroring from Control Center

You can also triple-click the side button of your iPhone to activate these shortcuts.

Why bother with watch mirroring?

Watch Mirroring is an accessibility feature designed to help people who have difficulty controlling their Apple Watch directly. This feature is useful for people with physical and motor disabilities or anyone who finds it easier or more convenient to interact with their watch using the iPhone screen. For example, with Watch Mirroring, you can start a workout, set an alarm, or take heart rate readings on your watch without interacting with it. Although Siri works for most of them, it can be inaccurate. But it is not always possible or convenient to speak out loud.

Apple Watch Workout View in Mirror Mode

The display is also useful if you want to coordinate the clock for a long time without holding your hands in awkward positions. It also works well for taking screenshots of your watch screen.

Other Apple Watch features
Mirroring is just one of the many features of the Apple Watch. Discover more hidden Apple Watch tips and tricks and learn how to extend the battery life of your device.

If you just got your Apple Watch, we’ve got some startup tips to get you started.

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