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How to stop Apple Watch iPhone mirroring so as not to interfere with Airplane Mode

You've probably noticed that when you put your iPhone into airplane mode, your Apple Watch follows suit.

This also works the other way around. This also applies to the "Do not disturb" function. While this is a convenient and time-saving feature, it may not be appropriate in every case.

You may not need or want both devices in Do Not Disturb mode. You may want your Apple Watch notifications to be turned off, but the iPhone ringtone to be on, or vice versa.

Likewise, you might prefer to manually only enable airplane mode on both devices before a flight. (In any case, you have to deactivate it manually after a flight. But more on that later.)

Here's how to turn it off and make some additional considerations.

How to turn off iPhone mirroring for Apple Watch

There's no setting to turn off iPhone-Apple Watch mirroring directly on your wearable. Hence, you will need your iPhone to disable the feature.

Steps to turn off mirroring

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down until you see General. Tap on it.
  • Tap on Airplane mode.
  • In the next menu, tap Switch mirror next to iPhone to disable it.
  • Go back to General.
  • Tap on Do not disturb.
  • Tap again Switch next to mirror iPhone.

If you ever want to turn iPhone to Apple Watch mirroring back on, just follow the steps above and hit the toggle buttons so they are green.

Further considerations

As you can see, turning off iPhone-Apple Watch mirroring is pretty easy. But there are a few more things to keep in mind.

Do not interfere with training

Even if you turn off Do Not Disturb Mirroring, there is another switch in the Watch app that may be of interest.

It's Do Not Disturb Workout and is located under "Clock" -> "General" -> "Do Not Disturb".

Basically, the function automatically switches your Apple Watch and iPhone to “Do not disturb” mode when you take part in a training session.

Just one more feature to consider.

Airplane mode whimsical

If iPhone mirroring is turned on, it will be enabled on both devices when Do Not Disturb is turned on. If you disable it on either device, it will then be disabled on both devices.

Note that this is not the case in airplane mode.

When you turn on airplane mode, it will be activated on both devices. However, disabling airplane mode cannot be mirrored between your two devices.

In other words, to turn off airplane mode, you have to turn it off manually on both devices.

This is mainly because turning on airplane mode will disable a device's radios. This means that no device can receive a signal to deactivate the function.

This is expected behavior and is not an error. However, you should be aware when you are traveling so that you can reactivate the features accordingly.

Time zone and airplane mode issue

In general, Apple Watch devices get their time information from the iPhone they are connected to.

Obviously, if there is a problem with this time zone information, it may be a problem.

There is a common bug in iOS 11 related to iPhones and time zones. The instances of errors vary, but essentially, there can be serious problems when traveling - like missed flights or alarms due to an inaccurate time.

Putting the iPhone in airplane mode seems to trigger this time zone problem. Presumably this inaccurate time data is transferred to an Apple Watch.

Of course, you can't really avoid putting your devices on airplane mode. However, keep this in mind when traveling.

We don't have a confirmed fix yet, but you can try putting your Apple Watch on Airplane Mode in front of your iPhone (if mirroring is off).

Otherwise, make sure the times on both devices are correct when you reach your destination.