How to Turn on AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch: Hand Gesture Controls [VIDEO]

Image: Apple Support on YouTube

Earlier this week, Apple published a new video tutorial on its Apple Support YouTube channel, explaining how you can use AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch to navigate and control the device without actually having to touch the screen or press any buttons.

“With AssistiveTouch, you can use your Apple Watch by performing hand gestures instead of touching the screen,” says Apple in the video.

The feature only works on the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 or later, with watchOS 8 or later.

To enable AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch, you need to:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on Accessibility, and then tap on AssistiveTouch.
  3. Tap on the toggle next to the AssistiveTouch touch option to turn it on, then tap on OK to confirm. You can aslo tap on Try It Out to see a visual introduction.

You can also enable AssistiveTouch for your Apple Watch from your iPhone, provided you’re running iOS 15 or later. To do so, simply:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app.
  2. Locate and tap on Accessibility.
  3. Locate and tap on Assistive Touch.
  4. Tap on the toggle next to the AssistiveTouch touch option to turn it on.

The Hand Gestures for AssistiveTouch can be configured to do different things in the AssistiveTouch menu on the Apple Watch or the AssistiveTouch section of the Apple Watch app for iOS. Here are all of the available gestures and what they do by default:

  • Pinch (Tap your pointer finger to your thumb): Moves forward one item on your screen.
  • Double pinch (Tap your pointer finger to your thumb twice in quick succession): Moves back one item on your screen.
  • Clench (Close your hand into a fist): Taps the selected item onscreen.
  • Double clench (Close your hand into a fist twice in quick succession): Brings up the action menu, which lets you select a number of more complex tasks like scrolling, pressing the Digital Crown, and more.

With AssistiveTouch enabled, you’ll see a blue ring flash around the screen of your Apple Watch when you wake it up to indicate that the feature is engaged. You can double clench your fist to activate it, and you’ll get some haptic feedback from the Watch once it’s been activated.

Check out the full video tutorial above to learn more about each of the available hand gestures and how to use them.