How to Use Apple Watch

Discover the cool functions included with your wearable

Getting a new Apple Watch can introduce you to a new way of life, changing how you stay fit, organize, and connect to the world around you. The Apple Watch is intuitive to use, but there are some basic instructions and functions that are important to understand. Here are some of the most important things to know.

Pair Your Apple Watch With Your iPhone

Man pairing an Apple Watch with his iPhone

VCG/ Stringer / Getty Images News

One of the first things you'll need to do with your new Apple Watch is pair it with your iPhone. Apple Watches use Bluetooth to connect to iPhones, so make sure to turn on your iPhone's Bluetooth function.

After you've paired the devices, use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to communicate with your Apple Watch, customizing notifications, adding preset messages, and more.

There are ways to troubleshoot when your Apple Watch won't pair, and a method to follow when you want to unpair your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Charge Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch charging next to computer


The Apple Watch comes with a unique charging cable. One end of the cable plugs into the USB port on your computer or into a wall socket. The other side is a small circle that attaches magnetically to the back of your Apple Watch.

There are some third-party Apple Watch charging options that also use the Apple Watch cable, and Apple also sells a charging dock that gives the Apple Watch a little more surface area to rest on while it's powering up.

Change Your Apple Watch Face

Four Apple Watch models, with different watch face designs

Apple Inc.

The Apple Watch comes preloaded with a selection of watch faces, including everything from Mickey Mouse to Memojis and infographics. Changing your watch face is easy, so switch up your look anytime you want to match your mood, wardrobe, or taste for the day.

Make and Receive Calls With Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch on wrist receiving a phone call


Use your Apple Watch to make phone calls just as you would with your iPhone. The speaker isn't particularly strong, so you may not want to make Apple Watch calls all the time. Still, talking into your watch has a certain Dick Tracy feel and is a fun way to use your new device. It's also easy to make FaceTime audio calls on your Apple watch.

If a call comes in on your Apple Watch, and you don't want to have a conversation on your wrist, it's easy to transfer the call to your iPhone before or after you've answered the call.

Use Apple Pay With the Apple Watch

Woman Paying using Apple Watch and Apple Pay

 Onfokus / Getty Images

Who needs to carry around a wallet? Make payments via Apple Pay with your Apple Watch just as you would with your iPhone. First, you'll need to set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch. Then, when you want to make a purchase, double-tap the Watch's side button and hold your Apple Watch up to the card reader.

Send Your Heartbeat With the Apple Watch

Heartbeat Apple Watch feature with Digital Touch

If you have a friend or loved one with an Apple Watch and iPhone, send them an image of your actual heartbeat via the Watch's Digital Touch function. This is a fun, sweet, and whimsical feature that sends a distinctive image to your recipient's device. You can even send a broken heart if you're feeling dramatic.

Use Maps on the Apple Watch

Apple Maps on an Apple Watch

Iain Masterton / Getty Images

Maps is one of the greatest features of the Apple Watch. With Apple's built-in mapping tool, you can gently tap your wrist to get turn-by-turn directions to a destination. No more looking like a tourist as you stare at your iPhone with confusion or listen to Siri barking orders.

Update Your Apple Watch's Software

Apple Watch is Ready message on iPhone next to Apple Watch
TraceyAPhotos / Getty Images

From time to time, Apple pushes out software updates for the Apple Watch. Some of those updates are small and meant to patch small bugs or security issues. Other updates are big and involve a complete overhaul of Apple's watchOS.

There's a little more to Apple Watch software updates than updating an iPhone or iPad, such as making sure the Watch is connected to Wi-Fi and your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS.

Change Your Apple Watch Band

Apple Watch bands

One of the coolest Apple Watch features is the ability to change its look easily and quickly. While you're stuck (for the most part) with the Apple Watch body color you chose, there are seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to Watch bands. Apple has a variety of Watch bands for every occasion, such as sports bands for working out or leather and Milanese loop options for dressier looks.

Take an Electrocardiogram With Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch heart rate monitoring

Apple, inc.

The Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6 have an ECG app that checks your heart rate and rhythm using your Apple Watch's electrical heart sensor to detect s atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Get Some Apple Watch Apps

Open the App Store on your Apple Watch to see featured apps

Apps are the best way to personalize your Apple Watch, and there's an astounding array of apps to choose from. Reach your fitness goals, stay connected with loved ones, check the weather, and more. Add apps to your Apple Watch via your iPhone, or access the Apple App Store right from your wrist with watchOS 6 and later.

Control Your Car With Your Apple Watch

Woman wearing Apple Watch while driving a car

Onfokus / Getty Images

If you have a Tesla, BMW, Porsche, Volvo, or one of several other car models, you may be able to use your Apple Watch to smartly control certain functions. Some carmakers even let you use the Apple Watch as a car key.

Use the Find My Feature to Locate Your Apple Watch or iOS Device

Find My feature locating an Apple Watch

Like other iOS devices, the Apple Watch is equipped with the Find My feature, which will help you locate a missing iPhone or iPad. Additionally, if your Apple Watch is lost or stolen, its Find My Apple Watch function will locate your Apple Watch on a map and then automatically trigger the Activation Lock feature, so no one will be able to open, unpair, or otherwise mess with your Apple Watch without inputting your Apple ID and password.

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