Use Theater Mode to help you sleep with your Apple Watch

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Theater Mode finally makes its way to Apple Watch in watchOS 3.2 beta 1.
Theater Mode finally makes its way to Apple Watch in watchOS 3.2.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The new Theater Mode in watchOS 3.2 can do more than keep you from annoying others when you’re at the movies. If you track your sleep with your Apple Watch, Theater Mode can help you get some extra shut-eye.

It’s quick and easy to turn on Theater Mode. The setting toggles your watch into silent mode and also stops the screen from lighting up when you raise your wrist.

That’s great cinema etiquette, but it also will keep your Apple Watch from shattering the darkness in your bedroom if you happen to move your arm as you sleep.

Turn on Apple Watch Theater Mode

Enable theatre mode
Quickly enable Theater Mode from Apple Watch Control Center.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

How to enable Theater Mode

Once you’ve updated to watchOS 3.2, it’s totally simple to turn on Theater Mode.

  • From your Apple Watch face, swipe up from the bottom to bring up Control Center.
  • Tap the new icon for Theater Mode (it’s the one with two masks). The icon will turn from gray to orange, and the Silent Mode icon will turn from gray to red.
  • Swipe down to shut Control Center.

On your watch face, you will now see the Theater Mode icon in the top middle position (as per the screenshot above). Once enabled, you will need to tap your watch face to show the time.

How to disable Theater Mode

  • Swipe up on your watch face to bring up Control Center.
  • Tap the orange Theater Mode icon. It will change from orange to gray. The Silent Mode icon will automatically turn gray as well.)
  • Swipe down to shut Control Center. The tiny Theater Mode icon will disappear from your watch face.

Note: Theater Mode won’t affect the haptic feedback provided by Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine. If you want to dial down the ferociousness of those attention-getting wrist taps, you can tweak your taptic feedback settings.

Got other uses for Theater Mode?

I hope this quick tip keeps all you Apple Watch sleep trackers from getting an unwelcome blast of light in the middle of the night. Please let me know if you find any other other alternative uses for Apple Watch Theater Mode in watchOS 3.2.

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  • Grits n Gravy

    I wish it also disabled buzzing. Even though sounds are muted and the screen won’t turn on by raising my arm, it’ll still go off if I get some type of notification. Have to also turn on Do Not Disturb

  • Daniel Davis

    I use it while I drive. My left arm at 11 on my steering wheel; burns neccesary battery life with it always lighting up as my arm is outstretched to the wheel. I’ve already noticed the better battery life difference in just 2 days on my 1st Gen Apple Watch. 8-)

  • Zach Mayfield

    That requires me to have battery life when I got to bed…