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This hidden trick lets you control your Apple Watch without even touching it

Published Nov 11th, 2021 8:03PM EST
Apple Watch hand gestures
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple will let users control the Apple Watch without having to physically touch it.

Making technology more accessible has become a big topic of conversation as of late. Apple has added several accessibility options on their smart devices, and the Apple Watch is no exception to the rule. If you haven’t discovered it already, you can actually use the Apple Watch’s AssistiveTouch feature to control your watch using gestures.

Apple Watch hand gestures let you control your watch without touching it

Image source: Fitlink/Amazon

AssistiveTouch is a great feature that Apple added on the Watch Series 7, Series 6, and Apple Watch SE. You’ll need to latest version of WatchOS 8 to use it, as well as iOS 15 downloaded and installed on your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, though, you can start using hand gestures to control your watch.

The Apple Watch users hand clenches and pinches to control the different functions on your watch. You can even navigate the menus entirely without having to touch your Apple Watch’s screen. The feature has been around for a while, but a lot of people have discovered it through TikTok videos from users like @Ellyawesometech.

By default, pinching will move you forward or select the next option in a menu list. You can then double pinch to go back or select the previous option in a list. Clenching is a replacement for tapping on your watch, and double clenching your hand will take you back to the Action Menu, which makes navigating easier. It might take a moment to get used to using these gestures, but you can customize them in the Watch application if you don’t like the default settings.

How to activate AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch

Image source: ZUQUEE/Amazon

Activating Assistivetouch on the Apple Watch is really easy. You’ll need to grab your iPhone, then open the Watch app. This app is used to manage everything about your Apple Watch, so you’re probably already well acquainted with it. Once in the Watch app, tap the Accessibility option and then select AssistiveTouch to navigate to the next menu. From here, tap the feature to turn it on, and then go to Hand Gestures to set things up.

You can turn AssistiveTouch just as easily if you get tired of using it. The nice thing about this feature, though, is that you’ll need to do a specific gesture to even activate it. This means you won’t have to worry about accidentally using gestures and doing things on your watch when you don’t want to.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.