What to know
- You can turn off a few settings in watchOS 10 if you are feeling overwhelmed by the changes being made on your Apple Watch.
- To avoid draining your watch’s battery, we recommend turning off Auto-Launch for Audio apps, Time in Daylight, and removing unwanted widgets from Smart Stack.
- For better privacy, you need to make sure that your live location isn’t being actively shared with someone by accident and that you turn off Mail app signatures to avoid showing “Sent from Apple Watch“.
- Follow the guides with screenshots below to get detailed instructions.
- Learn: 2 Ways to Switch Watch Faces in watchOS 10
8 watchOS 10 settings to change on your Apple Watch
watchOS 10 has a handful of new features, many of which may enhance your experience with the Apple Watch. However, there are some features or settings that you may want to disable or modify if you wish to make the most of your watch without causing inconvenience.
By the way, you may also want to check our page on iOS 17 settings to turn off where we have highlighted some of the new features and changes in iOS 17 that you can safely disable to maintain a consistent user experience, even with the latest update.
1. Turn off Live Speech
watchOS 10 introduces a new feature called Live Speech giving users the ability to turn their written text into spoken audio during phone calls and FaceTime calls. The feature also comes with a Personal Voice option that can help people who may face the risk of losing their voice over time due to certain medical conditions.
If Live Speech is somehow enabled on your Apple Watch but you don’t plan on using it, you can disable it by going to Settings > Accessibility > Live Speech and turning off the Live Speech toggle on your watch.
2. Disable the “Sent from Apple Watch” signature
Emails you send using the Messages app on the watch are, by default, signed with a signature that reads “Sent from Apple Watch”. In watchOS 10, you can now configure this signature and replace it with something else to avoid others knowing which device you sent a message from. You can do this on your iPhone by going to Watch app > Mail > Signature and replacing the existing signature with a different text (like your name or initials).
3. Turn off Ping My Watch to avoid accidental alerts
Apple Watch already had a ping iPhone option from the Control Center that helps you locate an iPhone from your surroundings. In iOS 17, you can now ping your watch to make it ring so that you can locate your wearable. While this isn’t a watchOS 10 feature, you may want to remove the Ping My Watch option from your iPhone’s Control Center to avoid causing your watch to ring accidentally. To remove the Ping My Watch option, go to Settings > Control Center and tap on the minus (-) icon adjacent to Ping My Watch on your iPhone.
Related: How to Close Apps in watchOS 10
4. Turn off the Walking Radius
Apple has introduced a new feature for the Maps app in watchOS – Walking Radius. What this option does is display a circle that encompasses the area you can walk within a few minutes. You can view the area you can cover in 60 minutes and use the Digital Crown to reduce the walking time further which will in turn decrease the walking radius on the screen. The feature would be helpful for people who often go on hiking trips or prefer walking around for commuting.
You can disable this feature if you don’t fancy using it inside the Maps app. On your Apple Watch, go to Maps > Search icon > Settings > Walking Radius and turn off the Enable toggle.
5. Remove unwanted widgets from Smart Stack
Like Today View on the iPhone, the Apple Watch gets a dedicated widgets screen that Apple calls Smart Stack. It’s accessible with a simple swipe-up gesture, shifting the Control Center’s accessibility from previous watchOS versions to the Side button. Although widgets can be configured to show a preferred set of information at a glance, some users wouldn’t want to accidentally open an app via widgets since the Smart Stack is just a swipe away from opening. Moreover, adding a bunch of widgets to the Smart Screen may slow down the watch itself or run you out of charge.
You can thus remove unwanted widgets from the Smart Stack by swiping up on your watch face, long-pressing on the Smart Stack, and tapping the minus (-) icon on widgets you don’t want to see. Once you remove all the unnecessary widgets, you can tap on Done at the top right corner of your watch to save changes.
6. Turn off live location sharing inside Messages
watchOS 10 now lets you share live location with others via the Messages app and when you do, the recipients will be able to locate you on Maps in real time from within the conversation. Location sharing can be enabled for an hour, until the day ends, or indefinitely; so unless the last option was used, you will retain the privacy of your location after a certain time. If you shared your location with others accidentally or for an indefinite time, you can turn off the live location sharing from within the Messages app.
To turn off live location sharing, go to Messages > find a conversation where you shared location > shared location > Stop Sharing.
7. Disable Auto-Launch Audio Apps
In earlier versions of watchOS, the Apple Watch showed indicator icons for system settings like Theatre Mode, Low Power Mode, Disconnected, etc. In watchOS 10, Apple has expanded the indicator icons to include other apps that may be running in the background on your Apple Watch, or even on your iPhone.
One instance of this you may have faced yourself can be the Now Playing or Spotify icon appearing at the top of your watch face when music is instead being played on the iPhone. This is happening because watchOS can launch audio apps automatically on the Watch when it detects that something is being played on other connected devices like an iPhone.
You can avoid seeing the Now Playing or Music app indicators on your Watch by going to Settings > General > Auto-Launch and turning off the Auto-Launch Audio Apps toggle at the top.
8. Turn off Time in Daylight (optional)
Like Screen Distance on iOS 17, Apple also has a vision health-centered feature for the Apple Watch. In watchOS 10, you get a new Time in Daylight feature that tracks the time you spend outside during daylight hours which can impact your mood, sleep, and stress levels. The feature is even more beneficial for children who require at least 80-120 minutes a day outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia.
Time in Daylight is measured on your Apple Watch using the built-in ambient light sensor. If you don’t want to use or want to avoid draining your watch’s battery, you can disable it by going to your iPhone > Watch app > Privacy and turning off the Time in Daylight toggle.
That’s all you need to know about the changes we recommend you should make after updating your Apple Watch to watchOS 10.