How to Use Walkie-Talkie on an Apple Watch

May 31, 2023 • Zachary Amos


The Walkie-Talkie app is one of the handiest features on an Apple Watch, allowing you to talk to people instantly with the push of a button. It’s useful for grocery shopping with your partner, asking the kids to come down for dinner or sending messages to any of your contacts around the world. Here’s how to use Walkie-Talkie on your Apple Watch. 

Locating the App

The Walkie-Talkie app comes pre-installed on every Apple Watch since the watchOS 5.3 update came out. You’ll also need an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 13 or later. 

Walkie-Talkie requires FaceTime to be installed on your iPhone, so if you can’t find the Walkie-Talkie app, you may have deleted FaceTime. To reinstall it:

  1. Go to the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Search for FaceTime.
  3. Tap the download button.
  4. Open your iPhone’s Settings menu.
  5. Then, tap FaceTime. 
  6. If FaceTime is turned off, turn it back on. 

Next, you need to open the FaceTime app and make a call to test that it’s working. Finally, restart both your Apple Watch and iPhone. 

Turning the App on and Off

You can toggle the app on or off depending on when you’re available to talk:

  1. First, access the Walkie-Talkie app. 
  2. Toggle the slider on or off. 

If the slider is green, Walkie-Talkie is on and friends can call you. If the slider is set to the “off” position and someone tries to call you, you’ll get a notification asking if you want to talk. 

Another way to turn the app on or off is by selecting the Walkie-Talkie button in the control center of your Apple Watch. 

Managing Notifications

Turning on Silent Mode in the control center means you’ll still be able to hear a chime and your friend’s voice when using Walkie-Talkie. The Do Not Disturb function mirrors the settings on your iPhone, allowing you to manage your alert settings. Theater Mode automatically makes you unavailable to talk in Walkie-Talkie. 

Adding a Friend on Walkie-Talkie

The Walkie-Talkie app only works between Apple Watch users, so make sure the person you want to contact has an Apple Watch. Then:

  1. From the home screen, press the digital crown button on the side of your watch.
  2. Open Walkie-Talkie from the menu.
  3. Make sure Walkie-Talkie is activated by tapping the slider bar. If you turn it off, nobody will be able to contact you via the app. The green slider indicates you’re available to talk.
  4. Scroll down to the Add Friends button. On older models, you might only see a plus sign.
  5. Tap the plus sign or Add Friends button. 
  6. Scroll through your contact list and find someone you want to add. Since there is no distance limit, you can choose any person who has an Apple Watch no matter how far away they live.
  7. Wait for your friend to accept your invitation. Until then, their contact card will be gray and will appear under the Friends You Invited section of the app. Once they accept it, their contact card will turn yellow. 

Accepting an Invitation on Walkie-Talkie

When you receive an invitation from a friend to start using Walkie-Talkie, tap Always Allow. The notification will appear in the Walkie-Talkie app, but if you don’t see it, it will also be located in the Notification Center.

Contacting a Friend

Ready to use the app? Follow these steps:

  1. Access the Walkie-Talkie app on your watch.
  2. Say something while holding down the talk button.
  3. If the screen says “Connecting,” then wait for Walkie-Talkie to find a connection.
  4. Once it connects, your friend should be able to instantly hear your message and talk with you.

Your friend should get a notification when you want to talk as long as their Apple Watch has Walkie-Talkie enabled. The app normally works on a cellular connection. If you can’t get a cell signal, it also works on Wi-fi-only models as long as your iPhone is within range. 

Adjusting the Volume

To turn the sound up or down, physically turn the digital crown on the side of your watch. 

Removing a Friend From the App

To remove a friend from your Walkie-Talkie contacts:

  1. First, open up the Walkie-Talkie app on your watch.
  2. Scroll down to find the friend you want to remove. 
  3. Swipe left on their name.
  4. Tap the delete button.

Alternatively, you can remove a contact from the Walkie-Talkie app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  2. Tap Walkie-Talkie.
  3. Select Edit.
  4. Tap the minus button.
  5. Finally, tap Remove. 


If you’re having a hard time sending and receiving invitations to talk:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on FaceTime. 
  3. Ensure that you’re signed in with your Apple ID. 
  4. Make sure your email address is selected in the You Can Be Reached By Facetime At section. 
  5. Restart your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until the sliders appear, then tapping the power icon and dragging the Power Off slider to the right. 
  6. Restart your iPhone. 
  7. Try sending the invitation again. 
  8. Next, open Walkie-Talkie on your Apple Watch. 
  9. Swipe left on the contact you’re trying to reach.
  10. Tap the delete button. 
  11. Then, tap the plus button and select the same contact.

If you’re still having trouble sending and receiving invitations, reach out to Apple Support. 

Uses for the Walkie-Talkie App

Here are some ideas for how to use Walkie-Talkie on your Apple Watch:

  • Taking road trips: On a road trip where you’re driving multiple cars, use Walkie-Talkie to decide where everyone wants to stop for lunch.
  • Teaching: Teachers can use Walkie-Talkie to quickly communicate with staff in other classrooms. 
  • Construction: Contractors repairing a roof can easily talk to people on the ground, asking them for supplies or assistance without climbing down a ladder. 
  • Other job site duties: Zookeepers, maintenance workers and plumbers can use the app to talk to other staff members while carrying supplies in both hands. 

Making the Most of Your Apple Watch

Walkie-Talkie makes it easy to send quick soundbites to your contacts without having to stay on the phone or type out a text message. Although its use cases are somewhat limited, this convenient app still has many practical applications in specific scenarios like shopping or communicating with coworkers,