Easily Answer Calls on Apple Watch with Gestures (watchOS 9)

Enable this Apple Watch Assistive Touch setting to answer calls with a simple hand gesture.

Apple Watch Assistive Touch is an accessibility option designed for those with mobility limitations or those who only have the use of one hand. That said, this nifty setting is an awesome shortcut for anyone, as it allows you to quickly answer or decline calls on your Apple Watch without having to touch your display. Sound convenient? We'll show you how to enable Assistive Touch and answer calls on your Apple Watch using these simple gestures!

What to Know: 

  • On your iPhone, open the Watch app, tap Accessibility, select AssistiveTouch, and tap the AssistiveTouch toggle to enable the feature. 
  • Once Assistive Touch is enabled, pinch twice to answer or end calls on your Apple Watch. To decline an incoming call, pinch once then clench your fist.

Enable Apple Watch Assistive Touch to Answer Calls with Gestures

Before we get into how to answer calls with the Apple Watch Assistive Touch feature, we have to first turn it on. The simplest way to do this is through the Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap Accessibility.

    Tap Accessibility.
  2. Scroll down and tap AssistiveTouch.

    Scroll down and tap AssistiveTouch.
  3. Tap the AssistiveTouch toggle to turn the feature on.

    Tap the toggle to turn the feature on.

Now that Assistive Touch is enabled, we'll show you how to answer calls on your Apple Watch using these quick-and-easy gestures. To learn more about your Apple Watch features and useful shortcuts, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter. 

How to Answer Calls on Apple Watch Using Gestures

The Apple Watch Assistive Touch feature has default gestures assigned for answering, ending, and declining calls, which we'll cover in more detail below. However, if you don't like the default gestures, you can easily customize your Apple Watch Assistive Touch settings to select a movement that's more convenient for you. Now, here's how to answer and decline calls on your Apple Watch using gestures:

  1. When receiving a phone call, pinch twice to answer. A notification on your Apple Watch will also let you know how to answer the phone.

    When receiving a phone call, simply pinch twice to answer.
  2. To end a call you've started, pinch twice to hang up.

    While on a call, pinch twice again to hang up.
  3. To decline an incoming call, use a single pinch gesture to move your selection from the answer call button to the decline call button. The red decline button will have a gray outline.

    To decline an incoming call, use a single pinch gesture to move your selection from the answer call button to the decline call button.
  4. Clench your first once to confirm your selection, which will decline the call.

    Clench your first once to confirm your selection, which will decline the call.

With AssistiveTouch enabled, you can avoid having to punch buttons on the tiny screen, and can instead control your Apple Watch with hand gestures, allowing for quick and easy navigation. Also, if you often use your Apple Watch to track your daily step count, you might want to learn how to enable this hidden setting so you can see steps on your Apple Watch face

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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a passionate writer and Apple enthusiast. When he’s not drafting iPhone Life articles, he prefers to spend his free time gaming with friends, watching anime with his wife, or playing with his three cats.