How to watch videos on your Apple Watch, as long as the video is sent through the Messages app


Apple Watch

  • You can watch video on an Apple Watch, as long as it’s embedded in a text message.
  • You can’t watch YouTube or other streaming video on your Apple Watch. 
  • When you get a video via the Messages app, you can tap to play and pause, and control the volume with the Digital Crown. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Despite all the capabilities of an Apple Watch, it’s not very good at playing video. 

There’s no YouTube app for the watch, for example, and for the most part, you can’t watch videos on your wrist. 

But there is one significant exception — you can play videos embedded in SMS and iMessages.

Here’s how to do it.  

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $429 at Best Buy)

How to watch videos on an Apple Watch

1. To watch a video on your Apple Watch, it must be a video file that’s embedded in a text message (SMS or iMessage). It can’t be a link (like a YouTube URL), and it can only be sent via a message. You can receive a message from someone else or you can send a video in a text message to yourself from your iPhone. 

2. When you receive the message, tap the video thumbnail. The video should start to play.

video 1

3. Tap the screen to pause the video. Tap again to resume playback. 

video 2

4. You can adjust the volume with the Digital Crown.

5. When you’re finished, tap “Done.”

You can return to the message in your Messages app to watch the video again later. 

Unfortunately, you can’t play video from a link on your Apple Watch. If you try, you’ll generally get a message that says your browser does not currently recognize the video file. 

video 3

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to sync photos to an Apple Watch from your iPhone, to display on the Photos watch face

  • ‘Why won’t my Apple Watch turn on?’: How to fix an Apple Watch that won’t turn on or respond

  • ‘What is the Apple Watch Studio?’: How to order a custom Apple Watch with Apple’s new design studio

  • How to play music from Spotify on your Apple Watch, through the Watch app

SEE ALSO: The Apple Watch Series 5 is available now from Best Buy, Apple, and more for $399 and up

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