How to Turn Off Downtime on Apple Watch

Under the pretext of providing a good user experience, changing a few settings on one of your Apple devices changes it on the other, too. This is one of the perks of the Apple ecosystem. However, it might not be favorable every time. In one such case, we observed that enabling Downtime on the iPhone automatically enabled Downtime on the Apple Watch as well. So, here’s how to turn off Downtime on the Apple Watch.

Turn Off Downtime on Apple Watch

The major reason we purchased an Apple Watch is to reduce the screen time on our iPhone and use the essentials on the Apple Watch. Therefore, we went ahead and turned on Downtime on our iPhone. However, it was automatically enabled on the Apple Watch, too.

If you relate to our problem, here’s how to fix it. But first, let us understand what Downtime is on the Apple Watch and iPhone.

What Is Downtime on the iPhone and Apple Watch

Downtime is a screen time restriction for your Apple devices, disabling all applications when enabled. Additionally, you can also set a Downtime schedule – for example, during the hours you sleep and it will be enabled automatically for the set timings.

Downtime on Apple Watch

However, Downtime is shared across all devices – meaning if you enable it on your iPhone, it enables it on your Apple Watch as well. If you’re reading this article, it is clear that you don’t want that to happen. So, here’s how you can turn it off.

How to Turn Off Downtime on Apple Watch

Here are three ways to disable Downtime on the Apple Watch. Let’s begin with the most effective method to fix the problem.

1. Turn Off Sync Across All Devices

As we mentioned earlier, you’d want Downtime enabled on your iPhone, not your Apple Watch. Here’s how to turn off the ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle and prevent the Downtime setting from enabling on your Apple Watch.

However, disabling this toggle will disable any Screen Time setting from syncing to your Apple Watch or any other device with the same Apple ID.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.

Step 3: Scroll down and turn off the toggle for ‘Share Across Devices’.

Share Across Devices

2. Disable Downtime on Your iPhone Screen Time Settings

Additionally, you can also turn off Downtime entirely on your iPhone, and it will reflect the same on your Apple Watch by all means – even if the ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle is turned on. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.

Step 3: Tap on Downtime.

Tap on Donwtime

Step 4: Tap on ‘Turn Off Downtime’ or ‘Ignore Downtime Until Schedule’ if you have enabled a Downtime schedule.

Step 5: Turn off the toggle for Schedule so that Downtime does not automatically start again.

Further, you can customize the Downtime schedule on your iPhone and modify the time interval. The changes will also be applied to your Apple Watch.

Turn Off Schedule Downtime

3. Ask the Family Group Organizer to Change Downtime Settings

If your Screen Time settings are being controlled by a parent or another family member – you can ask them to modify the Downtime settings for your devices. They can disable Downtime, and you can use your Apple devices without a problem.

However, if you are facing issues and cannot turn off Downtime on your Apple Watch, here are some effective methods.

What to Do if Apple Watch Downtime Won’t Turn Off

If you are facing a glitch preventing you from disabling Apple Watch Downtime and turning off the ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle does not work, here are a few alternatives you can consider.

1. Wait a Few Minutes Before Disabling ‘Share Across Devices’

It takes a minute or two, or even more, for the changes to take place on your Apple Watch. If Downtime is still enabled on your Apple Watch, wait for some time after you disable the ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle.

2. Ensure the Apple Watch Is Paired With the iPhone

You must ensure your Apple Watch is paired to your iPhone via Bluetooth. This is necessary for any changes that must be made to your Apple Watch via iPhone.

Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap on Bluetooth, and ensure Bluetooth is turned on.

Additionally, ensure you see that your Apple Watch is connected in the Bluetooth menu in the Settings app on your iPhone.

Apple Watch Connected

3. Lock and Unlock Your iPhone

Perhaps, your iPhone needs a refresh to apply the changes you made. Try locking your iPhone and unlocking it. It worked in our case to disable Downtime on the Apple Watch.

4. Restart Apple Watch

Restarting your Apple Watch is a way to refresh the bridge to your iPhone. Doing so might help you fix the issue.

Step 1: Press the Digital Crown once to open the home screen and go to Settings.

Step 2: Tap on General.

Step 3: Tap on Shut Down. This turns off your Apple Watch.

Step 4: Press and hold the side button to power on your Apple Watch.

Shut Down Apple Watch

Step 5: Press and hold the side button to turn on your Apple Watch.

5. Disable Screen Time Entirely and Enable Share Across Devices

If none of the above methods work, you can disable screen time entirely on your iPhone. This will also remove the changes made by Screen Time settings on your Apple Watch and disable Downtime.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Turn off App & Website Activity’.

Step 4: Turn on the toggle for ‘Share Across Devices’ if not already.

Turn off Screen Time 1

6. Unpair the Apple Watch From iPhone

As a last resort, you can unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone and pair it again. Make sure that you have disabled Downtime on your iPhone this time around or disabled the toggle for ‘Share Across Devices’.

Step 1: Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on All Watches in the top left corner.

Step 3: Tap on the ‘i’ button next to the watch.

Step 4: Tap on ‘Unpair Apple Watch’.

Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions once you unpair your Apple Watch to pair it back again.

So, that is how you disable Downtime on your Apple Watch. If you have further questions, look at the FAQ section below.

FAQs on Apple Watch Downtime

1. Can I change the Downtime settings on my Apple Watch?

No. You can only change the Downtime settings for your Apple Watch through your iPhone.

2. Can I set a separate Downtime schedule for my Apple Watch?

No. Apple Watch follows the Downtime settings you have applied on your iPhone.

3. How do I stop Downtime from automatically turning on on my iPhone?

You can turn off the Downtime schedule on your iPhone.

Get Rid of Downtime on Apple Watch

If you want to enable Downtime on your iPhone but want to use the apps on your Apple Watch, we hope this article helps. However, modifying these above settings was needlessly complicated, and it isn’t expected from Apple, which usually strives for a hassle-free user experience. So, we hope there are changes to these settings soon!

Last updated on 27 September, 2023

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