How to Enable or Disable Theater Mode on Your Apple Watch: A Step-by-Step Guide

Enabling or disabling Theater Mode on an Apple Watch is a quick and simple task. Just swipe up from the bottom of your watch face to access the Control Center, tap on the two masks icon, and voila! You’ve turned Theater Mode on or off. After you’ve done this, your watch will either silent alerts and keep the screen dark or return to its normal settings, depending on what you’ve chosen.

When Theater Mode is enabled, your Apple Watch will stay silent and the screen will remain dark until you tap it. This way, you won’t disturb others around you in a theater or a dark room.


Have you ever been in a movie theater, enjoying the latest blockbuster, when suddenly the person next to you lights up the entire room with their smartwatch? It’s distracting, isn’t it? Or maybe you’re the culprit, and your Apple Watch keeps lighting up every time you move your wrist, drawing glares from fellow movie-goers. Either way, Apple has a solution for this modern-day problem: Theater Mode.

It’s the perfect feature for any situation where you need to keep your watch from lighting up or making noise. Whether you’re in a movie, a play, or just need to keep things on the down-low, Theater Mode is a godsend. It’s also incredibly easy to enable or disable – a feature that Apple Watch users of all ages and tech levels can appreciate. So let’s dive into how you can master this nifty little feature and ensure your Apple Watch is seen and not heard (or not seen and not heard, as the case may be) when the situation calls for it.

How to Enable or Disable Theater Mode on an Apple Watch

Before we get into the steps, remember that enabling Theater Mode ensures your watch doesn’t light up or make a sound, which can be useful in various situations, not just while you’re at the theater. Disabling Theater Mode will return your Apple Watch to its usual settings.

Step 1: Wake up your Apple Watch

Wake up your Apple Watch by tapping on the screen or pressing the Digital Crown.

Waking your Apple Watch is the first step because you need to access the watch’s features. Make sure you can see the watch face before you proceed.

Step 2: Open Control Center

Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to open the Control Center.

The Control Center is where you can access various settings quickly. It’s like a shortcut hub for your Apple Watch.

Step 3: Find the Theater Mode button

Look for the button that looks like two drama masks.

This button is the symbol for Theater Mode. It’s distinctive and should stand out from the other icons in the Control Center.

Step 4: Tap to enable or disable Theater Mode

Tap the masks icon once to enable Theater Mode. Tap again to disable it.

When you tap the icon, you’ll see it turn orange, indicating that Theater Mode is activated. Tapping it again will turn the icon back to its original color, letting you know that Theater Mode is off.


Reduces DistractionsTheater Mode is great for minimizing disruptions in dark environments.
Saves Battery LifeBy keeping the screen dark, Theater Mode can help extend your watch’s battery life.
Easy to ToggleWith just a few taps, you can easily switch Theater Mode on or off as needed.


Missed NotificationsYou might miss important alerts since Theater Mode silences them.
InconvenienceIf you forget to turn it off, you may be inconvenienced by having to wake your watch to tell the time.
Limited UseTheater Mode is primarily useful in specific situations, so it’s not a feature you’ll use all the time.

Additional Information

While Theater Mode is a fantastic feature for those specific “please silence your devices” moments, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, when Theater Mode is enabled, your Apple Watch won’t wake when you raise your wrist. This means you’ll need to tap the screen or press a button to see the time, which could be a little annoying if you’re used to just glancing at your watch. Secondly, even though your watch won’t light up or make noise, you’ll still receive notifications.

They’ll just be delivered silently, which means you can check them later without disturbing those around you. And if you’re worried about missing something urgent, don’t fret. Calls and alerts that come in while your watch is in Theater Mode will still register as notifications, ready for you to peruse when the time is right. Remember, Theater Mode is just one of the many ways your Apple Watch helps you stay courteous and connected without missing a beat.


  1. Wake up your Apple Watch
  2. Swipe up to open Control Center
  3. Tap the masks icon to enable/disable Theater Mode

Frequently Asked Questions

Will alarms still work with Theater Mode on?

Yes, any alarms you’ve set will still go off even when Theater Mode is enabled.

Can I still receive calls in Theater Mode?

Your Apple Watch will not light up or vibrate, but you will still receive notifications for calls.

Does Theater Mode affect tracking my activity?

Not at all! Your Apple Watch will continue to track your activity as normal.

How do I know if Theater Mode is on?

The Theater Mode icon (two masks) will turn orange when it’s enabled.

Will enabling Theater Mode affect my watch’s performance?

No, Theater Mode only affects the display and sound settings, not the performance.


Theater Mode on your Apple Watch is a nifty feature that ensures you stay courteous in the theater or any dark environment. It’s all about minimizing distractions—for both you and those around you—while still maintaining some of the core functionalities of your smartwatch. Whether you’re a regular at the movies, a theater enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates a little discretion, mastering the ins and outs of Theater Mode is sure to enhance your Apple Watch experience.

Remember, it’s not about missing out; it’s about being present in the moment and still connected when necessary. So go ahead, give it a try! And who knows, the next time you’re in a dark room with a no-phone policy, you might just have the most well-behaved watch in the room.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy