How to fix an Apple Watch Walkie Talkie timing out and not sending long messages

Have you noticed issues with your Apple Watch Walkie Talkie timing out and not sending messages longer than five seconds? You’re not alone. Many other Apple Watch users have also experienced this issue with this feature. 

They press the yellow Touch & Hold to Talk circle and start speaking, then within about 5 seconds it automatically cuts off making Walkie Talkie basically useless!

Luckily we’ve found a workaround to resolve this issue. Keep reading to learn more about Apple Watch’s Walkie Talkie feature.

Suggested reading: 

What is the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app? 

apple watch app screen
The Walkie Talkie Apple Watch app is a yellow and black icon.

The Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app is essentially exactly what it sounds like. It is a walkie-talkie for your watch! You can communicate in real-time with other Apple Watch users.

To use, just open the app and press and hold the button to talk and release that same button to listen. Walkie-Talkie works on Apple Watch only and works via FaceTime audio and the watch’s Wi-Fi, cellular, or Bluetooth connection to its paired iPhone.

Some users swear by it, others are not as impressed. But either way, it is a cool feature to have access to! 

How to use Apple Watch Walkie Talkie Apple Watch walkie Talkie feature

If you have FaceTime on your iPhone, then the Walkie Talkie app should already be installed on your Apple Watch. Facetime is required since Walkie Talkie uses facetime audio to communicate with others.

To try Walkie Talkie out, open the app, add some of your friends that have Apple Watches–this feature only works with the Apple Watch, it does not work on iPhones.

Once your friends accept your requests, tap on the friend you want to talk to.

Press and hold down the talk button, and say whatever you want to say!

Some people find that they need to wiggle their fingertips on that button when talking to maintain the connection. Talk button on Walkie Talkie on Apple Watch

If you get an alert that says Connecting, just give your Apple Watch a minute to connect, then proceed.

When you’re done, let go of the button. And voila, instant communication! As long as your friends have their Apple Watch and Walkie Talkie settings on, they receive your message in real-time.

One of the frustrations many people have with Walkie Talkie is that you need to press and hold the button continuously while talking and not let go until you finish.

The good news is that there is a way to change this behavior in your watch’s accessibility settings so you only need to tap once to start talking and tap the button again just once when you finish talking. See our section on fixing timing out issues to learn how.

Can’t find the Walkie Talkie app on your watch?

You might have deleted it. Open the App Store app on your watch and search for Walkie Talkie. Apple Watch install Walkie talkie app onto watch

If you don’t see it as the first option, scroll down and then tap the cloud icon to download and install the app onto your watch.

Learn more about Walkie Talkie in this Apple Support document.

Fix Apple Watch Walkie Talkie timing out by using a single tap to talk

tap to talk walkie talkie

If your Walkie Talkie app is timing out and you can’t send a long message, there’s an easy workaround for it. All you have to do is turn on Tap to Talk.

You can update this setting on your watch or use the Watch app on your paired iPhone.

  • On the phone, open the Apple Watch app and make sure you are in the My Watch tab.
  • On the Watch, open the Settings app.
    1. Scroll down to Accessibility and open it.
    2. In the Accessibility settings, scroll down until you see Walkie-Talkie.
    3. Under the Walkie-Talkie header, you should see the Tap to Talk button. Tap to Talk accessibility setting on Apple Watch
  1. Toggle the switch to turn this setting on.

This setting is really useful, you won’t have to hold the button down while talking into the app at all. Just tap it once to start speaking and tap it again to stop.

Or try this alternative to prevent Walkie Talkie from timing out

Another option is to press and hold the Talk button and then wiggle or move your finger around that button for as long as you talk to maintain an active connection and prevent it from timing out.

Final Thoughts

Apple Watch Walkie Talkie is definitely an underrated Apple Watch feature. It is a great way to communicate quickly! 

But there are a lot of issues and bugs with this feature. If you are still having issues with the Walkie Talkie app, give your iPhone and Apple Watch a restart and see if that works. 

Do you like the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app? Let us know!


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