How to Control Your Apple Watch with Your iPhone

Apple Watch is on an iPhone

With the right combination of Apple Watch, iPhone, and software, you can control your wearable from your smartphone. Apple added the Watch Mirroring feature under the accessibility umbrella, but it’s a neat trick that anyone can put to good use.

How to enable Apple Watch mirroring

To use Apple Watch Mirroring, you need an Apple Watch Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, or Ultra with watchOS 9. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work on the second-generation Apple Watch SE. You also need an iPhone with iOS 16.

To use the feature, make sure your Apple Watch is turned on, unlocked, and connected to your iPhone. Make sure Airplane mode is off and both devices are within range.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Apple Watch Mirroring.

Browse iPhone accessibility preferences

Turn on the “Watch Mirroring” option and an overlay should appear.

Apple Watch mirroring toggle

Wait a few minutes and it will connect to your watch. You should now be able to see your Apple Watch display on your iPhone.

Interact with your watch as if you were holding it in front of you, including tapping the Digital Crown and side buttons.

Apple Watch face in mirror mode

This feature uses AirPlay to stream your watch’s display to your iPhone. Everything behaves as if you’re controlling the watch directly (you’ll even feel a tactile sensation when you scroll the Digital Crown).

Add a mirror shortcut to Control Center

You can also quickly trigger Apple Watch mirroring from Control Center. First, go to Settings > Control Center. Next to Accessibility Shortcuts, tap the plus sign (+).

Accessibility shortcuts should now be listed under Included Controls.

Add a new shortcut to Control Center

Now go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and tap on “Apple Watch Mirroring” to turn it on.

Add Apple Watch Mirroring to your Accessibility Shortcuts list

You will now see the shortcut under the Accessibility Shortcuts option if you swipe down from the top right corner of your screen.

Trigger Apple Watch mirroring from Control Center

You can also triple click the side button on your iPhone to activate these shortcuts.

Why bother with clock mirroring?

Watch Mirroring is an accessibility feature designed to help those who find it difficult to control their Apple Watch directly. This feature is useful for people with physical and motor disabilities, or anyone who finds it easier or more convenient to interact with their watch through an iPhone display.

For example, you can use Watch Mirroring to start a workout, set up alarms, or take a heart rate reading from your watch without interacting with it directly. While Siri works for most of these, it can be imprecise. And it’s not always possible or ideal to speak out loud.

Training view of the Apple Watch in mirroring mode

Mirroring is also worthwhile if you want to interact with watch functions for long periods of time without keeping your wrist in an awkward position. It is also good for taking screenshots of your watch screen.

More neat Apple Watch tricks

Mirroring is just one of the Apple Watch’s many features. Check out more hidden Apple Watch tips and tricks and learn how to extend your wearable’s battery life.

If you just got your Apple Watch, we even have some beginner tips to get you up to speed.

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