Apple Watch Nightstand Mode Not Working in watchOS 4 and iOS 11

Did you know that you don’t have to wear your Apple Watch to tell time and date? Glad you learned something new today. With the help of Nightstand mode, you can place your Apple Watch on its side when charging, and the screen will show a clock, an alarm (if you have one), and the current date. This allows you to use your Apple Watch as a smart alarm clock.

Turning on Nightstand mode

You don’t need to trigger or enable Nightstand mode as a separate feature. All you have to do place your watch on its side and plug it into the charger. Nightstand mode will automatically turn on.

To know if your Apple Watch has gone into Nightstand mode, just press the side button and it will display the date and time. Also, an alarm if you have one set.

No Nightstand mode in watchOS 4 or iOS 11?

This is a new issue that we recently discovered. After upgrading to iOS 11 and watchOS 4, the Nightstand mode screen is no longer visible, even when the right protocol is followed.

The only thing that still works is the charger. My Apple Watch continues to get charging power while nightstand mode is nowhere to be found. If this is happening to your device, try the following tips.

Watch Orientation

Like the iPhone and iPad, your Apple Watch also has its own orientation feature. This means, if you place it on an opposite side, it will not work.

  1. The first thing you should do is open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Go to General > Watch Orientation
  3. Pick and choose between Left Wrist and Right Wrist

And try again to see if Nightstand mode is working.

Enable Nightstand mode

I did mention earlier that you do not need to turn on Nightstand mode from the Settings app. This is true for me and some people since it was already enabled for us. The same option might not be applied to your watch. If so, you can manually turn on Nightstand mode for your Apple Watch.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Go to My Watch > General
  3. Check that Nightstand Mode is enabled

Once you switch the Nightstand Mode toggle from Off to On, see if it works now.

Force Restart

If you already checked the watch’s orientation and Nightstand mode option in the Settings app and it’s still not working, you should force restart your Apple Watch.

You can do so by pressing and holding the side button and Crown button for 10 seconds. Don’t let go until you see the Apple logo.

Nightstand mode is known to stopped working or doesn’t work at all in watchOS 4 and iOS 11. However, you can also apply the same methods if this feature doesn’t respond on your older Apple Watch generation or operating system (ex: watchOS 3 and iOS 10).

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    • Try turning it so the crown is facing up. Worked for me after I restarted and was still having same issue. However it should work in either direction. Apples really like any other major corporation; they care only about their bottom line. Not the quality of the product or the customers.

  1. My problem with Nightstand with watchOS 4 and a Series 2 model is that the angle required to activate NS mode seems to have changed. If I tilt the watch briefly to 90 degrees while it’s attached to its charger, NS mode comes on, and I can then rest it back on its stand to about 45 degrees. Apple seems to have only tested with their official stand, which holds the watch closer to 90 degrees than most 3rd party stands. Same behavior with my spouse’s Series 2.

    • You are right! I couldn’t figure out why the charge indicator would sometimes come on just as I was taking the watch OFF the stand. And that’s because it was briefly at 90 degrees. I just tried your suggestion of tilting the whole stand and it works. I sure hope apple fixes this. I love my 3rd party stand!

  2. I had the same problem with my watch after updating it. Tried the fixes in the article but none of them worked. However, tilting the stand so the watch face is vertical does activate the nightstand mode and it seems to remain enabled after the watchstand is placed back in the normal orientation.

  3. Typical Apple if it’s not broke….. break it… same with mag safe and other so called innovations. They are their own worst enemy.

  4. I have same issue using 3rd party stand. Instead of tilting the watch every night I am thinking of tilting the stand until Apple fix it.

  5. I’ve tried everything including tilting it at 0 and 90 degrees, nothing works.
    Apple watch 5 running 6.0.8 iphone 11 pro running 13.6


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