An Apple Watch charging in Nightstand Mode on a Moshi charging stand
An Apple Watch charging in Nightstand Mode on a Moshi charging stand

What is nightstand mode and how should you use it?

By Trent

Apple Watch Nightstand Mode is a neat little trick which first appeared in Watch OS 2.0 and—as the name suggests—turns your Apple Watch into a bedside clock while charging. If you're like most people, you probably already set your Apple Watch on your bedside on your bedside table overnight while charging, so making use of Nightstand Mode is basically like getting a free additional gadget from a device you're already using. 

Turn on

The first thing you need to do is make sure that Nightstand Mode is enabled. To do this, open the Watch app on your iPhone and find the General settings option. Once inside, scroll down to find the Nightstand Mode option slider and make sure it's in the on position.

A screenshot of the location of Nightstand Mode in the iPhone settings menu

Ensure that Nightstand Mode is turned on in the settings menu of your Apple Watch app.

Charge up

Nightstand Mode will only work while your Apple Watch is charging. As soon as the watch detects charging, the watch will enter Nightstand Mode and the time will be displayed along with the date and details of any upcoming alarms. Remove the watch from the charger and it will return automatically to watch mode. Nightstand Mode will still work if the watch is charging face up on a desk or table, but the screen will be more difficult to see, especially from a sleeping position.

Stand tall

Although it's possible to achieve the required angle using the standard charger included with your watch, this can be a bit tricky (not to mention unstable), so we recommend using a charger specifically designed to hold your watch at an upright angle (such as Moshi's new Flekto). The magnetic array within the charger is strong enough to hold your watch upright in either landscape or portrait mode, so there's no need to worry about it becoming detached during the night and failing to charge.

An Apple Watch charging in Nightstand Mode on a Moshi Flekto folding charging stand

A charging stand like Moshi's Flekto will hold your watch at the perfect angle for Nightstand mode.

Take control

When in Nightstand Mode, the display will show the current time in a large font, as well as the date and details of any upcoming alarms. The screen will turn off after around 1 minute of inactivity, but all that's required to turn it back on again is a tap on the screen or even the watch body. If there's an alarm set, the screen will slowly turn on and brighten as the alarm time approaches. You can turn the alarm off by pressing the side button, or snooze the alarm for 9 minutes by pressing the digital crown.

Make use

While your bedside table at home is where you'll probably make the most use of Nightstand Mode, there are a number of other situations where you may find it useful. When travelling, your Apple Watch can double as your bedside clock for hotel rooms which don't provide one, or so you can turn off those hotel clock radios which illuminate the room throughout the night. If you're one of those people who likes to charge your watch at work during the day, when you’ve forgotten to charge overnight, or in the evening while you watch TV, Nightstand Mode keeps the time (and your Watch) on display during the several hours it takes for a full charge.

A dedicated Apple Watch charging stand is the best way to take advantage of Nightstand mode, holding your Watch stable in the optimal position while charging. Moshi's Flekto compact folding Apple Watch charger is guaranteed to work with all Apple Watch models and features an aluminum hinge and arm for added durability.

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