The top of the Apple Watch has a variety of icons known as status icons or status symbols. watchOS displays over 20 different status icons and symbols in different colors that convey different information to the user. However, since the Apple Watch has tiny screens, the status icons are not entirely descriptive.If your Apple Watch is pairing and connecting to your iPhone, you will often see a red dot on your Apple Watch face. We’ll explain what the red dot means and how to turn it off on Apple Watch.
How Notifications Work on Apple Watch
By default, notifications for SMS or text messages, activity reminders, and more are sent to Apple Watch if your iPhone is locked or in sleep mode. Your Apple Watch should vibrate when you receive these notifications. When you lift your wrist, a snippet of notifications appears on the Apple Watch face. Clicking on a notification opens an application window where you can read the full content of the notification.
The red dot on Apple Watch is a simple reminder or status icon to indicate unread messages or notifications that you can check at your convenience. More precisely, a red dot appears on the watch face when a new entry appears in the Apple Watch Notification Center, and it stays on until you see a notification.
Swipe down from the top of the watch face and swipe up again to open the Action Center. To open Action Center from other screens or apps, touch and hold the top of the screen, and then swipe down from Action Center.
Note. You can’t access Notification Center from the Apple Watch home screen. Press the Digital Crown or launch the app to open it.
Deleting all notifications will also remove the red dot from the watch face. Swipe down from the top of the Apple Watch face, scroll to the top of the Action Center, and tap Clear All.
To delete notifications individually, open Action Center, swipe the notification (or grouped notifications) to the left, and tap the x icon.
The red icon will reappear on your Apple Watch when you receive a new notification. You can turn off the red dot on the watch face even if you have unread notifications.
Why Should You Disable the Red Dot on Apple Watch?
If the red dot on your Apple Watch often forces you to check notifications while driving or doing important things, hiding the dot on the watch face can help keep you focused.
In addition, some Apple Watch users confuse the red dot with other red status icons that occupy the same position on the watch face. Disabling the red dot can clear up this confusion.
Hide or Remove Red Dot on Apple Watch
There are three ways to customize the behavior of the red dot on Apple Watch. You can make changes directly on Apple Watch or from the Watch app on iPhone. Disabling app notifications will also hide red dots from the app.
The steps below apply to all Apple Watch models or series.
Remove the red dot from the Apple Watch settings menu
Unlock your Apple Watch, tap the digital crown to open the home screen, and follow these steps.
- Tap the gear icon to launch the Settings app.
- Select “Notifications”.
- Disable notification indicator.
Remove Apple Watch Red Dot from your iPhone
You can get rid of the notification light in the Watch app (on your iPhone) remotely, but your Apple Watch needs to be paired and connected to your iPhone.
Open the Clock app, go to the My Watch tab, select Notifications, and turn off the notification light.
Disable red dot for specific applications
If you don’t want your Apple Watch to display a red dot notification for a specific app, you’ll have to turn off system-wide notifications and alerts for that app.
Let’s say you have apps A, B, and C installed on your Apple Watch and you only want the red dot indicator to appear for apps A and B. You can follow these steps to turn off system-wide notifications for app C.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select Notifications from the My Watch tab.
- Select the application or action for which you want to turn off notification.
- Select Notifications Off.
To turn off notifications for apps that reflect your iPhone’s notifications, select Custom for more notification options and select Notifications Disabled.
Note. While all versions of watchOS display a red dot when you have unread notifications in the Notification Center, only Apple Watch running watchOS 7 (or later) has the option to turn off the red dot status icon.
If you can’t turn off the notification light in your device’s settings menu, update your Apple Watch and try again.
On Apple Watch, go to Settings> General> Software Update> Download and Install.
To update Apple Watch from iPhone, launch the Watch app, go to My Watch> General> Software Update> Download and Install.
Remember to connect your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi and place it in the charger before installing the watchOS update. If you are installing the update from your iPhone, place your Apple Watch in the charger and make sure it’s next to your iPhone.
That’s About It
The red dot is the only status icon that Apple Watch users can turn off. It is not currently possible to disable other status indicators. If you have a notification light turned on but no red dot, it’s because your Apple Watch isn’t receiving notifications. Read this guide to fix Apple Watch notifications to fix the crash.