Green Light On Apple Watches: What It Is & How To Turn It Off

If you’ve been wondering what the green light which is located under the case of your Apple Watch is, then you’re not alone as many have been wondering what it does including me when I first got my Apple Watch.

The green light under your Apple Watch is used to measure your heart rate and it is only switched on when there is an app using the heart rate sensor to continuously monitor your heart rate in the background.

All Apple Watch models come with optical sensors and these sensors are used to measure your heart rate. The led lights emitted by these sensors are used to illuminate your skin so an accurate heart rate reading can be obtained and nothing more.

Newer Apple Watch models like the Apple Watch Series 4,5,6 & 7 now ship with Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors attached to the digital crown and unlike the optical sensors which use green led lights to get your heart rate reading, the ECG sensor is just an electrode that measures your heart rate by making contact with your skin.

Another use of the green light under your Apple Watch is that it flashes continuously if you’re trying to find your watch at night from your phone. It doesn’t work all the time in helping you find your watch but it could be helpful in some cases.

How To Turn Off The Green Light On An Apple Watch?

Like I mentioned earlier, your Apple Watch uses the green lights you see under your watch case to measure your heart rate when you have it on. The only way to turn it off is by turning off heart rate monitoring completely.

To turn off the green light on an Apple Watch, follow the instructions below.

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap on “My Watch” which is located at the bottom of the screen
  • Then, click on “Privacy
  • Flip the switch to turn off “Heart Rate
  • Done.

After this, the green light should be turned off and if it is still turned on, then you will need to restart your watch because there might be an application using the heart rate monitor in the background.

Is The Green Light On The Apple Watch Bad For You?

The short answer to this is NO, the green lights under your Apple Watch have very low power and won’t burn your skin or cause any harm at all. They’re also programmed to turn off automatically when you’re not using the watch to measure your heart rate actively.

Led lights are also safer in theory since they have low ionizing power and don’t emit any ultraviolet rays like popular light bulbs and fluorescent lamps which emit these kinds of rays.

It’s also very rare to see people having skin irritation from the led lights emitted by smartwatches when tracking your heart rate.

If you experiencing skin irritation from the green light from your Apple Watch, then you may need to reduce the rate at which you put your watch on and also see a doctor as you may be having a medical condition known as porphyria.

Lastly, these led lights can be completely turned off if you don’t want them for heart rate tracking. Newer apple watch models now ship with an inbuilt ECG sensor/electrode on the digital crown which can track your heart rate better than the older optical sensors which are still included.

Why Is The Green Light On My Apple Watch Always On?

If the green light on your Apple Watch is always on all the time, that is because there is an app using the optical heart rate sensor to measure your heart rate.

To turn it off completely, please follow the guide above or restart your watch.

To restart your watch, press and hold the side button until you see the “Power Off” slider, then drag the slider to turn off the watch. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo to switch the watch back on and the green light should have been completely switched off by now.

Wrapping Up

If you were searching for a way to turn off the green light on your Apple Watch completely before you landed on this page, I hope this little guide helps you solve that problem and also educates you on why and how an Apple Watch uses those led lights.


John Rayes

John is a computer science graduate, programmer and wearable tech enthusiast. I love to write about gadgets, smartwatches and fitness trackers. I also use an Apple Watch ;-)View Author posts