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How to navigate your Apple Watch with hand gestures using AssistiveTouch

If you’ve got what it takes, the path to hand gesturing your way around your gadget is easy. On your iPhone, go to the Watch app, then tap Accessibility, enter the AssistiveTouch menu, and turn on the toggle switch next to AssistiveTouch. Once you do that, go to the Hand Gestures menu to set up an Activation gesture—this is the signal you’ll give your Apple Watch to activate AssistiveTouch. You can choose between Double pinching, Double clenching, or None. Choose that last option if you want the feature to stay on, otherwise pick a gesture if you are, say, watching your favorite sports team struggle through the season and you don’t want your watch to jump to life every time you clench your fists.

Your Apple Watch’s AssistiveTouch feature will respond to four gestures: pinching, double-pinching, clenching, and double-clenching. If you’re not sure how to perform these gestures, Apple Tips (the app with the yellow icon with a light bulb) can teach you to perfect them. To access it, just tap the Learn more link at the top of this menu.

By default, pinching will let you go forward or select the next item on a menu; double-pinching will take you back or select the previous item on a menu; clenching will equal tapping, and double-clenching will take you all the way back to the Action Menu, which lets you navigate the watch more easily. You can learn these gestures and their actions, but if they don’t suit you, you can customize what pinching and clenching actually do. For this personalized control, tap on each gesture and select an option from the list. You’ll see navigation features and the ability to set up quick access to the notification center, the dock, or even summon Siri.

If you get bored of this feature, you can quickly turn it off directly from your Apple Watch. Just go to the AssistiveTouch menu and turn off the toggle switch at the top.

AssistiveTouch can come in real handy when you’ve got a coffee in each hand and need to easily activate Apple Pay. And that, friend, is quite a flex.

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