Apple How To

Peek at your Apple Watch screen by slowly rotating the Digital Crown

Take a quick peek at your Apple Watch Series 2 display at a lower brightness, without using the Raise to Wake feature.


The Apple Watch has improved in a number of ways since it was launched almost two years ago. We’ve seen huge performance improvements, important usability updates, and the new Series 2 with built-in GPS, and water resistance. It has gone from being an unnecessary luxury to a pretty reasonable “want” now, especially for fitness freaks.

Among various others, a interesting new feature is the ability to take a peek at your Apple Watch display. You can activate display peeking by slowly rotating the Digital Crown. This will slowly increase display brightness so you can take a look at the screen without waking it up fully at a higher brightness.

Displaying peeking with the Digital Crown is different from using the Raise to Wake feature. In Raise to Wake, the Apple Watch’s display uses a higher brightness setting that can be annoying in low-light environments. Plus, Raise to Wake also has a bit of a delay that’s annoying. Display peeking with Digital Crown is more in your control, and responds immediately to your input.

Demo video

You can see how it works by checking out the video below:

Pretty nice, no?

We discovered this thanks to reddit user quitethewaysaway.

Apple Watch Series 2 only

Based on the comments thread, it appears this is an Apple Watch Series 2-only feature. Other redditors have tried the same on their Series 1 and original Apple Watch, but it wasn’t working. This appears to be an odd omission. As I understand it, it doesn’t require any special hardware that is exclusive to the latest Apple Watch.

Apple has not marketed this feature openly. It wasn’t shared in the announcement keynote, nor is it seen in any advertisement. Heck, the documentation for it is hidden on a support page on Apple’s website, which you can see here.

So, what do you think? I think it’s a nice feature, and it would’ve been great if older Apple Watch Series 0 & 1 could have, too.