iOS 16 hidden feature lets you control your Apple Watch from your iPhone

Apple Watch Series 8 shown on wrist
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

By using Apple Watch Mirroring on iPhone, you can control your Apple Watch from your iOS device's home screen. It's one of Apple's many iOS 16 hidden features and one of our favorites of this major iOS update.

So what exactly does Apple Watch Mirroring do, and why? Essentially, Apple Watch Mirroring casts your Apple Watch's display to your iPhone screen using AirPlay. Thanks to your iPhone's touch screen functionality, you can fully interact with your Apple Watch's screen, too, while also having the use of the side button and digital crown. Anything you can do on your Apple Watch, you can now do on your iPhone's screen. 

The purpose of this is to make it easier for users who have difficulty with the Apple Watch's smaller display. With this feature, the Watch screen is blown up to much larger than its physical size on the larger iPhone screen, making it easier to see, navigate and use. Accessibility features like these regularly put the iPhone and Apple Watch among the best phones and best smartwatches out there. 

If you'd like to learn how to turn on Apple Watch Mirroring on iPhone, simply read on.

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How to enable Apple Watch Mirroring on iPhone

  • Go to Settings, then Accessibility
  • Tap Apple Watch Mirroring
  • Toggle Apple Watch Mirroring on
  • Wait for the devices to connect
  • Control your Apple Watch from your iPhone screen

Read on to see detailed instructions for each step.

1. Open the Settings app, then tap Accessibility.

(Image credit: Future)

2. Scroll down and tap Apple Watch Mirroring.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Toggle on Apple Watch Mirroring and wait for the devices to connect.

(Image credit: Future)

4. Once your Apple Watch face appears on screen, interact with it how you would with the actual watch.

A screenshot showing the steps required to enable Apple Watch Mirroring on iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

For example, tap the side button to open your app tray, tap the digital crown to open your app library, or tap a home screen app to open it.

(Image credit: Future)

From your App Library, tap on an app to open it and notice how it is mirrored precisely on your Apple watch as you do so.

(Image credit: Future)

And that's all there is to it. You can now mirror your Apple Watch screen on your iPhone. 

If you'd like to read about more iPhone hints and tips, why not check out how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone, how to enable iOS Live Captions, how to save battery life on iPhone and how to copy and paste edits on iOS Photos. For more Apple Watch tutorials, read how to change your Apple Watch view and how to update an Apple Watch.

Peter Wolinski
Editor, How To & Cameras

Peter is Editor of the How To and Camera sections at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.