What Is the Red Dot on My Apple Watch and How Do I Make It Go Away?

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What Is the Red Dot on My Apple Watch and How Do I Make It Go Away?

There are few things more annoying than Apple’s red dots. They randomly pop up and linger until we acknowledge them. If you’re wondering what the red dot on an Apple Watch is, we’ll tell you all about it.

Best of all, we’ll also tell you how to get rid of it! Read the following sections to learn about the red dot on an Apple Watch and how to harness its power so you can better enjoy it.

What Is the Red Dot on My Apple Watch?

Red Dot Apple Watch
The red dot on an Apple Watch indicates notifications and alerts.


It seems like every time we turn around, there’s a red dot at the top of our Apple Watch screen. The red dot indicates new messages or notifications, and you’ll see the red dot at the top of the screen whenever someone sends you a text message or you get a social media notification.

You’ll also see the notification indicator if other applications have notifications. For example, if you have a weather app installed on your Apple Watch, the red dot will appear every time you receive an alert. So, the red dot is nothing more than an indicator that you have a message to check or a notification to view.

This helpful little icon never lets us miss a message. Unfortunately, it also never allows us to forget a message. There are plenty of great things to say about Apple, and the fact that you’ll never miss a notification is one of them. Unless, of course, you aren’t a fan of red dots.

If you’re team, “I don’t like the red dot,” we’ll teach you a few tricks to get rid of it in the following sections. Learning to harness its power for the greater good may do wonders for your productivity and mental health.

How to Get Rid of the Red Dot on Apple Watch

There is more than one way to get rid of the red dot on an Apple Watch. You can temporarily remove it, or you can even disable it for some apps entirely. The following sections will teach you how to manage the red dot and make it work for you.

Getting Rid of the Red Dot Temporarily

Okay, let’s solve the most pressing issue: getting rid of the red dot right now. Use this method to check the notification and clear it.

Step 1: Swipe Down from the Top of the Watch

Red Dot Apple Watch
Use your finger to pull down from the top of the screen.


When the red dot appears on your Apple Watch, swipe down from the top to view your notifications.

Step 2: Tap Clear All

Red Dot Apple Watch
The Clear All button will eliminate the red dot at the top of the screen.


Scroll to the bottom of the list and select Clear All. All your notifications will disappear along with the red dot.

How to Disable the Red Dot on an iPhone

Now, maybe you don’t want to deal with the red dot at all. Fortunately, you can turn off the alert indicator in two steps. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Tap Notifications on the Apple Watch

Red Dot Apple Watch
You can change the notification settings for your Apple Watch on your iPhone.


Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then, tap Notifications just below the center of the screen.

Note: If you don’t know where the Apple Watch app is, swipe all the way to the right and type Watch into the search bar at the top.

Step 2: Tap Notifications Indicator

Red Dot Apple Watch
The Notifications Indicator switch can turn off the red dot on an Apple Watch.


Now, tap the toggle switch to the right of Notifications Indicator. Turn the toggle switch grey to turn off the red dot. After doing this, you won’t see the indicator at the top of your Apple Watch until you enable it again.

Taking Control of the Red Dot

Not everyone wants to disable the notifications indicator entirely. Fortunately, you can tweak the settings and customize them here. The following sections will review the many ways you can take control of the dot.

Airplane Mode

Perhaps you don’t want to turn off the red dot on your Apple Watch for very long. Fortunately, there’s a quick way to ensure it doesn’t return for a while. You can put your Apple Watch in Airplane mode by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the airplane icon.

After clearing the existing notifications, the red dot won’t reappear until you disable Airplane mode again. The only drawback to this method is that you won’t receive any notifications and you won’t be able to listen to music or use Apple Pay. However, it is worth it if you’re really annoyed by that indicator.

Disable App Notifications

We all have one or two apps that we just don’t want sending us alerts. These apps are often annoying but necessary. Fortunately, you can turn off the notifications on particular applications and still receive the ones you like. For example, if the only notifications you want on your watch are messages and phone calls, you can disable all the other ones.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select Notifications. Then, scroll through the apps and disable any notifications by tapping the toggle switches to the right. The switches turn grey when the notifications are disabled.

Change Mirror Alerts

One of the more exciting features you have for your Apple Watch is the ability to mirror your iPhone’s notifications. For example, if you turn off the notifications on Facebook Messenger on your iPhone, you won’t receive them on your Apple Watch either.

However, Mirror Alerts also have the opposite effect. Any notifications enabled on your iPhone will also come through on your Apple Watch. You can disable Mirror Alerts by going to the Notification settings in the Watch App. Then, turn off the alerts on your Watch, and the red dot won’t appear for those apps.

Wrapping Up

Little red dots on screens are annoying. They indicate a notification or task that must be completed, and sometimes, we really just want some peace and quiet. If you aren’t a fan of that little red dot on your Apple Watch, you can make some changes and get rid of it, or you can clear the notification and live with a few moments of dot-free bliss.

Ultimately, the red dot can be helpful because it lets you know you have a notification. Moreover, you can change how it appears to make it work even better for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the airplane icon mean on my Apple Watch?

If you see the airplane symbol at the top of your Apple Watch, it means the device is in Airplane Mode. Essentially, you won’t receive any communications, and your watch won’t connect to the network while this mode is enabled. You can swipe down on the screen and tap the airplane icon to turn off Airplane Mode.

Can I reply to a text on my Apple Watch?

Yes! Swipe down on the screen and tap the message. Then, tap Reply. Use the scribble pad to type your message, check it for errors, and send it.

Do all notifications initiate the red dot?

The answer to this question depends on your settings. All notifications can initiate the red dot. However, your settings may affect whether it appears or not. For example, a red dot will appear if you get a Facebook notification unless you turn it off.

Will my Apple Watch receive notifcations if I'm not connected to Wi-Fi?

Yes. However, it depends on the model and whether your phone is nearby or connected to cellular service. An Apple Watch that isn’t connected to Wi-Fi and is too far away from your iPhone won’t receive notifications if it isn’t connected to the cell network.

Why can't I get rid of the red dot?

Sometimes, you can’t swipe down from the top of the screen, or the red dot won’t disappear even after you clear the notifications. This is a common error, and it’s easily fixed by restarting the watch. Hold the side button until the power slider appears. Then, slide the switch to turn off your watch. After it powers down, hold the side button again until you see the Apple icon. Your watch will come back to life, and you can clear the notifications.

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