How to Use Theater Mode in Apple Watch

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 27 Mar 2017


The Apple Watch is different things to different people. It works as a timepiece, as a workout tracker, and for controlling music and podcast apps. But sometimes you just want the Apple Watch to stop lighting up every 3 seconds. To me, this happens a lot either when I’m driving (manual gear shift FTW), when I’m playing card games or when I’m watching a movie. Thankfully Apple has released a feature in watchOS 3.2 just to take care of this – called Theater Mode.

Note: Your Apple Watch needs to be running watchOS 3.2 to use this feature. Open the Watch app on the iPhone, go to General -> Software Update to update to the latest watchOS software.

What is Theater Mode

Theater Mode puts your Apple Watch is silent mode and disables the Wake Screen on Wrist Raise feature. What this means is that the Apple Watch screen won’t light up every time you move your hand around rigorously. You won’t get sound notifications as well. You’ll still get notifications for which you’ll get haptic feedback but the screen won’t light up.

Just tap on the screen and it will come on, and you’ll be able to view the notification.

How to Use Theater Mode

Theater Mode lives in Control Center. Swipe up from the watch face and you’ll see a new icon that shows two greek theater masks. Tap on it and you’ll get a new screen. Here you’ll see an explanation of what Theater Mode does.

Tap on the Theater Mode button to engage it.


In the Control Center you’ll now see that the icon has a yellow background. Even on the watch face you’ll see a yellow mask icon at the top to denote that Theater Mode is turned on. Tap the side button or the crown to wake up the screen.

To disable Theater Mode go back to the Control Center and tap the Theater Mode icon.

Apple Watch Is Worth A Second Glance

If you already have the Apple Watch you really should upgrade to watchOS 3 and start using apps that support watchOS 3 and the new feature like the Dock. The apps are now actually snappy enough to be useful.

If you don’t have an Apple Watch, this is a good time to get started. The Series 2 model has a dual-core processor, a great battery life and is water resistant. If you’re trying to lose weight or live a healthier life, Apple Watch can work as a helpful health tracker, along with a useful timepiece.

Do you own an Apple Watch? How do you use it? Share with us in the comments below.