How to Use Watch Faces on Apple Watch

Make your Apple Watch its best version yet.

Apple Watch Faces Guide

Watch faces are the heart and soul of smartwatches like the Apple Watch. Not only do they show the time, but you can use them to view other important information like battery percentage and upcoming events, or even use them to open apps. If you own an Apple Watch, learn how to use watch faces in this guide.

How to Add New Watch Faces

Apple offers a wide variety of watch faces that you can easily install on your watch either from the watch itself or from your iPhone.

Install Watch Faces Using Apple Watch

  1. Touch and hold (force touch) the current watch face until you see the “Edit” button below it.
  2. Swipe left multiple times until you reach the “New” screen and tap on the “+” button.
Apple Watch Watch Face Install
  1. Scroll down to see the available watch faces.
Apple Watch Face Add
  1. Tap the “Add” button on the watch face you want to use to add it to your collection. You will be taken to the customization screen where you can customize the watch face using the instructions in the “How to Customize Watch Faces” section below. If you like the default look of the watch face, press the Digital Crown twice to apply the watch face.
Apple Watch Face Customization Screen

Install Watch Faces From iPhone

To view the entire collection of watch faces, you should use the Apple Watch app.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the “Face Gallery” tab at the bottom. Scroll down to see the various watch face categories. You can also swipe left on a section to see the watch faces in that section.
Apple Watch Face Gallery
  1. Tap on a watch face that you want to install. You will be taken to the watch face customization screen. Scroll down and customize the available parameters like color, dial color, dial style, and complications. Once the final look is ready, tap on the “Add” button to install the watch face.
Apple Watch Face Gallery Iphone Add
  1. The watch face will show up on your watch within a few seconds.

How to View and Switch Between Available Watch Faces

Once you add or install a new watch face, you can easily view and switch between the available watch faces in three ways.

Cycle Through Watch Faces

This method is the easiest and fastest way to switch between the installed clock faces. Simply swipe right or swipe left to cycle through the watch faces. Stop on the watch face that you want to use.

Edit Watch Face

Touch and hold the current watch face until the “Edit” button appears at the bottom. Now, swipe right or left to see the installed watch faces. Tap on the watch face that you want to set as the default face for your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Face Change

Change Watch Face From iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and look for the installed watch faces under the “My Faces” section.
  2. Swipe left on the watch faces to see all of them.
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces
  1. Tap on the preferred watch face. The preview screen will open where you can customize the watch face. Scroll down and tap on “Set as current Watch Face.”
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Add To Watch

How to Reorder Watch Faces

The watch faces show up in the order in which they were installed. If you want to switch between two faces quickly, you can keep them side by side by reordering the watch faces.

Reorder Watch Faces Using Apple Watch

  1. Touch and hold the current watch face until you see the “Edit” button.
Apple Watch Face View
  1. Swipe left or right to reach the watch face whose position you want to change.
  2. Touch and hold the watch face again until two more watch faces appear on the screen. Drag the watch face and place it between the watch faces you like.
Apple Watch Face Reorder

Reorder Watch Faces From iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  2. Tap on “Edit” next to “My Faces.”
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Edit
  1. Touch and hold the three-bar icon next to the watch face that you want to reorder and drag it to the desired position.
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Reorder
  1. Tap on “Done” at the top to confirm the changes.

How to Delete Watch Faces

Like most other functions covered here, deleting watch faces can be done from your Apple Watch as well as your iPhone.

Remove Watch Faces Using Apple Watch

  1. Touch and hold the current watch face.
  2. Once you see the “Edit” button, swipe right or left to find the watch face you want to delete.
  3. Swipe up on the highlighted watch face and press the “Remove” button.
Apple Watch Face Delete
  1. The selected watch face will be deleted. You can reinstall it as shown in the “How to Add Watch Faces” section above.

Remove Watch Faces Using iPhone

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  2. Tap on the “Edit” button next to “My Faces.”
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Edit
  1. Tap on the “-” icon next to the watch face that you want to delete and press the “Remove” button.
Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Remove

4. Tap on “Done” to save the changes.

Apple Watch Iphone My Faces Done

Alternatively, you may tap on the watch face under the “My Faces” section and press the “Remove watch face” button on the next screen.

How to Customize Watch Faces

You can customize the clock face either when you install a new one or anytime later. We have already shown how to access the customization screen while installing a watch face.

Let’s check how to customize a watch face after installing it.

  1. Touch and hold the current watch face.
  2. Tap on the “Edit” button at the bottom to open the customization screen.
Apple Watch Face Edit
  1. Depending on the watch face, you will see several customization screens like Color, Style, Symbols, and Complications. Swipe left to view them one by one and stop at the option that you want to edit.
  2. Scroll the Digital crown to cycle through the available variations for that particular customization.
  3. While most of the customization screens are self-explanatory, consider complications as tiny widgets or app shortcuts that show important information on the watch face like battery percentage, weather, world clock, and activity. If you don’t want to use a complication, tap on its icon and select “Off.”
Apple Watch Face Edit Color

Alternatively, open the Apple Watch app and tap on the watch face that you want to edit under the “My Faces” section. Then, customize it on the next screen.

Apple Watch Face Iphone Edit

How to Use a Photo as the Apple Watch Background

There are multiple ways to set a photo as the watch face on your Apple Watch. You can either set a single photo or select multiple photos. To switch between multiple photos, either raise your wrist or tap on the watch face repeatedly.

Using Photos or Portraits Watch Face

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the “Face Gallery” tab at the bottom. Scroll down and tap on the “Photos” or “Portraits” watch face. The latter allows you to select only portrait-type photos.
Apple Watch Face Photos
  1. On the Photos watch face customization screen, scroll down to the “Content” section to select photos from different options:
  • Album: tap on Albums to select an album containing the pictures in the Apple Photos app.
  • Favorites: use this to select the Favorites folder.
  • Photos: tap on Photos and choose up to 24 photos that should show up on your watch.
  • Dynamic: select this mode to show photos from recent memories.
Apple Watch Face Photos Add Picture

Similarly, on the Portraits watch face customization screen, tap on “Choose Photos” to select up to 24 portrait photos.

Apple Watch Face Portrait Picture
  1. With the photos selected, tap on the “Add” button under the watch face name.
Apple Watch Face Photos Add

From the Photos App on iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Find the photo that you want to set as the background on your Apple Watch.
  3. Tap on the “Share” icon at the bottom to open the Share sheet. Select “Create Watch Face” from the context menu.
Apple Watch Face Iphone Photo Share
  1. You can set the picture as a regular photo or convert it into a Kaleidoscope photo. Tap on the desired mode to customize its style and complications on the next screen.
Apple Watch Face Iphone Photo Add
  1. Tap on “Add” to wrap up.

How to Share Watch Face

You can share watch faces from the Apple Watch itself or from iPhone.

Share Installed Clock Face From Apple Watch

  1. Touch and hold the watch face on your Apple Watch.
  2. Swipe left or right to open the watch face that you want to share, then tap on the “Share” icon at the bottom.
Apple Watch Face Share
  1. Choose the app from which you want to share the watch face. Then, select the contact with whom you want to share the watch face and hit the “Send” button.
Apple Watch Face Share Send

Share Clock Face From iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  2. To share an installed watch face, tap on the watch face under the “My Faces” section and hit the “Share” icon on the next screen.
Apple Watch Face Share Iphone
  1. If you want to share a watch face that you haven’t installed yet, tap on the “Face Gallery” tab at the bottom and open the watch face that you want to share. Tap on the “Share” icon.
Apple Watch Face Share Iphone Not Installed
  1. When the Share sheet opens, select the app where you want to share and choose a contact.
Apple Watch Face Share Iphone Send

How to Announce the Time From Watch Face

One interesting feature of the Apple Watch is that it can announce the time for you. To use this feature, you must activate it first.

  1. Go to “Settings” on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Clock.”
Apple Watch Face Settings Clock
  1. Scroll down again and enable the toggle next to “Speak Time.” Also, select “Always Speak.”
Apple Watch Face Settings Clock Listen Time
  1. With the feature enabled, hold two fingers on the watch face to hear the time out loud.

How to Always Show Time on Apple Watch

Generally, your Apple Watch display turns off automatically after a few seconds and you have to raise your wrist or tap the screen to view the time. You may, however, enable the always-on display that shows the time anytime just like traditional watches.

  1. Go to “Settings” on your Watch and tap on “Display & Brightness.”
Apple Watch Face Settings Display
  1. Scroll down and tap “Always On.” Then, enable the toggle next to “Always On” on the next screen.
Apple Watch Face Settings Always On

How to Change the Time Shown on Watch Face

Apple Watch lets you show a different time on the watch face than the actual time. That is, you can set the time ahead on the watch face. Please keep in mind that the new time will only show on the watch face. Your alarms, notifications, world clock, etc., won’t be affected by the time change. They will continue to work according to the actual time.

  1. Open “Settings” on your Watch.
  2. Go to “Clock.”
Apple Watch Face Settings Clock
  1. Tap on “+0 min,” then use the Digital Crown to set how far ahead you want to set the time, and tap on the check mark to confirm.
Apple Watch Face Settings Clock Time Ahead

How to Change Watch Face Automatically

You can automate watch faces and make them change automatically at a certain time or at a particular place using Shortcuts on your Apple Watch.

  1. Install and open Shortcuts on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the “Automation” tab at the bottom. If you are creating the first automation, tap on “Personal Automation.” If you have already created an automation before, tap on the “+” icon at the top and hit the “Create Personal Automation” button.
Apple Watch Face Automationc Create
  1. Select “Time of Day” if you want to change your watch face at a particular time or tap on “Arrive” or “Leave” to change it at a particular location.
  2. Set the parameters like time or location on the next screen and hit the “Next” button.
Apple Watch Face Automation Create Parameters
  1. Tap on the “Add Action” button, then tap the “Set Watch Face” action under “Watch.”
Apple Watch Face Automation Add Action
  1. Tap on the “Face” placeholder text under “Set active watch face to” and select the watch face that you want to set when the particular condition of time or location is met.
Apple Watch Face Automation Select
  1. Press the “Next” button. Then, turn off the toggle next to “Ask Before Running” and hit the “Done” button at the top.
Apple Watch Face Automation Done
  1. Now, the watch face will change automatically at a set time or location.

How to Interact With Watch Faces

Many watch faces, like Astronomy, allow you to interact with them. Tap on the watch face once to enter the interaction mode. Then, swipe left or right to interact with the watch face. You can also use the Digital Crown to interact with the clock face.

More Customizations

If you want to enhance the look and feel of your Apple Watch further, use third-party to customize watch faces.

All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

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