There is a lot of interaction that occurs between the apps you use on your iPhone and your Apple Watch. Some of this interaction is welcome, and provides some additional functionality of convenience. But some of these settings, such as how the Apple Watch will automatically bring up a “Now Playing” screen when you are using an audio app on your iPhone, may not be something that you want.
Luckily Apple realized that this was a feature that everyone may not like, so it’s possible for you to turn off the setting that causes audio apps to launch automatically on the watch when you play them on your iPhone. Our tutorial below will show you where to find this setting so that the only way audio apps launch on the watch is when you manually choose to launch them.
If you have been wondering about the water icon on your Apple Watch, then this guide can show you how to enable or disable it, plus explain a bit about what it means.
How to Disable Auto-Launch for Apple Watch Audio Apps
The steps in this article were performed on an iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.2. The watch being affected in these steps is an Apple Watch 2 using the WatchOS 4.2.3 operating system. Note that this option is not available on watches using lower than WatchOS 4, and that your iPhone will need to be updated to iOS 11 for you to install that version of the watch’s operating system.
Step 1: Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Select the My Watch tab at the bottom-left of the screen.
Step 3: Choose the General option.
Step 4: Scroll down and touch the Wake Screen option.
Step 5: Tap the button to the right of Auto-launch Audio Apps to turn it off. You will know that it is disabled when there is no green shading around the button. I have stopped audio apps from launching automatically in the image below.
Did you know that it’s possible to turn off all of the sound on your Apple Watch? Find out about putting the Apple Watch in silent mode if you would prefer not to hear any sounds coming from the device.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.