How To Set Or Enable Double Tap On Apple Watch?

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Do you want to get the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch? Are you wondering, how to set Double Tap on your Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2? If you want to use the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch, then you have clicked on the right article. In this article, I will show you how to enable and use the Double Tap feature on the Apple Watches that run on at least watchOS 10.1. I will also show you an alternative way to use Double Tap on your Apple Watch 6, 7, or 8. So without wasting any time, let’s begin.

Quick Navigation

Quick Takeaway
To enable Double Tap on your Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, go to Settings and open Gestures. Now select Double Tap and turn on the toggle button. For Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, SE, SE 2, and Ultra 1, you can use the Hand Gestures as an alternative for the Double Tap feature. To enable Hand Gestures, go to Settings, open Accessibility, and select AssistiveTouch. Now turn on the toggle button, scroll down to select Hand Gestures, and tap on the toggle button to enable it.

How To Enable Double Tap On Apple Watch?

The Double Tap feature is a new addition to the already feature-rich Apple Watch. This feature is introduced with WatchOS 10.1 and is currently available for Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The Double Tap feature allows the user to operate the watch with just one hand. It lets the user to select or perform the primary action for a bunch of different apps and notifications. You can use the Double Tap feature to answer and end phone calls, play/pause music, snooze the alarm, open notifications, and much more. The Double Tap feature on the Apple Watch is so power-efficient that it can be enabled all day long with negligible battery consumption.

Before you start to use the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch, first you have to enable it. Although this feature is activated by default, you can still follow the below-mentioned steps to turn on or off the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch.

Note: The steps to turn on or off the Double Tap feature on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are the same.

1. Go to watch Settings on your Apple Watch and open Gestures.

What Is Double Tap On Apple Watch

2. Now tap on the Double Tap option at the very top and turn on the toggle button.

How To Turn On Double Tap On Apple Watch

And just like that, you can easily activate or deactivate the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2.

How To Use It?

The Double Tap feature is activated all day, whenever your watch screen is turned on. So you just have to pinch your thumb and index finger together twice to initiate the primary action on the watch screen. Here are some of the things that you can do with the help of the Double Tap feature.

1. Hands Free Calling

With the Double Tap feature turned on, you can receive an incoming call or end an ongoing call with just 2 taps of your fingers. It will be convenient for people who are busy with their hands to pick up and end calls. Now, you won’t have to stop what you are doing to pick up important calls.

2. View & Reply To Messages

You can also open the messages you receive and reply to them using this feature. After opening the message using the Double Tap, the Dictation will automatically be turned on. You can just say what you want to send as a reply and the Apple Watch will turn your voice into a written text message and send it.

3. Open Smart Stack

By using Double Tap on the watch face of your Apple Watch, you can access Smart Stack. You can also use the Double Tap to scroll through the Smart Stack to access different information like the calendar, Events, Weather, and Activity Stats.

4. Play & Pause Music

You can use the Double Tap feature to play or pause the music. It can be really convenient when you are enjoying music during work and someone comes up to you and you have to pause the music to engage in a conversation. You can also set the Double Tap settings through the Watch app to skip the songs using the Double Tap feature.

5. Snooze An Alarm

If you are a heavy sleeper like me, you would know how annoying morning alarms can be. And to open your eyes to see the bright screen of your Apple Watch just to snooze it would be the last thing on anyone’s to-do list. But now with the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch, you can Snooze the alarm with just two taps of your fingers, without seeing the bright screen of your Apple Watch first thing in the morning.

6. Pause & Resume Stopwatch

After completing the jogging, running, or finishing your workout, your hands might be sweaty. You wouldn’t want to touch the watch screen with your sweaty fingertips and smudge the shiny display. Don’t worry, now you can keep your Apple Watch’s display clean and tidy by using the Double Tap feature to pause or resume the Stopwatch.

So these are some of the many things that are made really convenient to access or perform using the Double Tap feature on the new Apple Watches that are running on Watch OS 10.1.

How To Fix If It’s Not Working?

Multiple things can cause the Double tap feature to not work on your Apple Watch. There are some modes and settings that can lead to the Double Tap feature not working on your Apple Watch. So below I’ve mentioned all the things that you should keep in mind to fix the Double Tap on the Apple Watch not working issue.

Wake The Watch Screen

If you have enabled the Always On Display feature on your Apple Watch, then you might notice that the watch screen brightens when the watch screen is awake. The Double Tap feature doesn’t work when the screen is idle. So wake the watch screen before using the Double Tap feature.

Wake The Apple Watch Screen

Unlock The Watch

If the Apple Watch is locked, then you won’t be able to activate the Double Tap gesture. The Double Tap gesture will only function when the watch’s screen is turned on or is awake. So make sure to unlock your Apple Watch before using the Double Tap gesture.

Unlock The Watch

Disable These Modes

Some modes restrict the background activity of your Apple Watch. And since the Double Tap feature is running in the background continuously, these modes can hamper its functioning. The Low Power Mode, Sleep Mode, Theater Mode (Cinema Mode), and the Water Lock are four such modes on the Apple Watch. So make sure to disable all these four modes to use the Double Tap feature.

Double Tap On Apple Watch Not Working

Family Setup Watch

The Family Setup restricts some of the watch functions as it depends on the paired iPhone to work. So if your watch is setup under the Family Setup then you won’t be able to use the Double Tap feature on it. So, make sure to set up your Apple Watch with your iPhone.

Wrist Detection

Since the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch depends upon the measurement from your wrist to identify the tap of your fingertips, disabling Wrist Detection might hamper its functionality. To turn on Wrist Detection, go to Settings, tap on Passcode, scroll down, and turn on the Wrist Detection toggle button.

Turn On Wrist Detection On Apple Watch

However, during the testing, I was able to use the Double Tap gesture without any trouble even while the Wrist Detection was disabled. But since Apple claims that the Double Tap feature requires Wrist Detection to be enabled, I thought it was worth mentioning.

So these are some of the things that you should keep in mind if the Double Tap feature on your Apple Watch is not working.

How To Enable & Use Hand Gestures On Apple Watch?

Since the Double Tap feature is introduced and only available for Series 9 and Ultra 2, you won’t be able to get it on the Apple Watches released before Series 9. However, there is an alternative way to use the Double Tap gesture on your Apple Watches which are running on the latest watchOS 10, which includes the Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, SE, SE2, and Ultra 1.

The Hand Gestures on the Apple Watch features, although not identical, but similar functionality as that of the Double Tap gesture. You can enable Hand Gestures on your Apple Watch and use them to navigate or perform actions on your Apple Watch.

Note: You can also activate & use the Hand Gestures on your Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. However, doing so will require you to disable the Double Tap feature.

Before you start to use Hand Gestures, first you will have to enable them. Follow the below-mentioned steps to activate hand gestures on your Apple Watch.

1. First, go to the Settings on your Apple Watch and open Accessibility.

Open Accessibility

2. Now scroll down, select AssistiveTouch, and turn on the Assistive Touch toggle button.

Turn On Assistive Touch On Apple Watch

3. Then, scroll down, tap Hand Gestures, and turn on the toggle button.

Turn On Hand Gestures On Apple Watch

You get four types of gestures, Tap, Double Tap, Clench, and Double Clench. The default functions for them are mentioned below, but you can also customize them to perform the function or action of your choice. To customize them, tap on the Gesture and proceed to select the action you want the Gesture to perform.Customize Hand Gestures

  • Tap – Forwards
  • Double Tap – Backwards
  • Clench – Tap
  • Double Clench – Action Menu/Activate Hand Gestures

You can use these Hand Gestures to pick up & end calls, open notifications and navigate the Apple Watch. The only downside is, that, unlike the Double Tap feature that stays active all day, you will have to activate Hand Gestures by performing the Activation Gesture before using it. Other than this, it is a similar feature to the Double Tap that allows you to perform actions by using only the hand in which you are wearing the Apple Watch.

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Wrapping Up

The Double Tap feature is introduced with the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, which runs on the watchOS 10.1. This feature allows the user to perform the primary action in numerous situations and functions, which is not only useful but also very efficient. Since the Double Tap feature was not available for Apple Watches before the Series 9, I’ve mentioned an alternative for them. You can use Hand Gestures on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later and the SE 1 and later models. The Hand Gesture feature allows the user to perform similar although not identical tasks, as those of the Double Tap feature.

I’ve mentioned the detailed process to enable and use both the Double Tap and the Hand Gesture features. By following the above-mentioned steps, you will be able to easily use both of these features on your Apple Watch.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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