How to Change the Background on Your Apple Watch

Use your own photo as Apple Watch wallpaper

What to Know

  • Open Photos app and choose pics > select heart icon to favorite > repeat for additional photos.
  • Next, open Watch app and select Face Gallery > Photos > make sure Favorites Album is selected under Content.
  • Next, choose Time Position > choose Complications > select Add to sync with Watch.

This article includes instructions for how to change the background on your Apple Watch using your own photos.

Personalizing Your Apple Watch Background

If you're looking for something a little different on your Apple Watch face, you can quickly change the watch face to one of Apple's pre-designed selections. If you're looking for something a little more personalized, you can use your pictures to create an Apple Watch background that reflects your style.

The easiest way to use your photos as your Apple Watch background is to set up a display of your favorite images. To do that, you'll first need to favorite pictures in the Photos app so they'll show up on your Apple Watch.

  1. Open Photos on your iPhone.

  2. Tap a photo you want to add to Favorites.

  3. Tap the heart on the photo page to favorite it. You can repeat this with as many photos as you like.

    Screenshots of adding photos to Favorites on iPhone to share with Apple Watch.

How to Set Up Apple Watch Faces

Once you've selected photos to share with your Apple Watch, then you can use the Watch App on the iPhone to set up a watch face that displays those images.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Face Gallery at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Scroll down and tap Photos. This watch face will display selected photos on your Watch. If you added more than one photo, it would cycle through them each time you raise your watch face.

  4. On the Photos screen, scroll down to Content and make sure Album is selected to ensure that the photos are from the Favorites album.

    You could also tap Photos and choose the photos you want on your Watch, or you could choose Dynamic to display photos from your recent Memories.

    Screenshots of adding a photo album as an Apple Watch face from the iPhone.
  5. Scroll a little further down the page and select whether you want the time to appear at the Top or Bottom under Time Position.

    There are some things you cannot change. For example, when using a photo for a watch background, you can't change the color because the pictures will automatically color the watch's face.

  6. Then, choose the Complications you would like to have display Above Time and Below Time.

  7. When you're finished, tap Add, and the watch face will be added to and automatically synced with your Apple Watch.

    Screenshots of adjusting the Photos watch Face in the Watch app on iPhone.

How to Change Your Apple Watch Background

Once you know how to create new backgrounds for your Apple Watch, you can create as many photo galleries or even individual photo backgrounds as you want. Then, all that's left is to change them up whenever you're ready.

Only the last Apple Watch face you created will be displayed on your Apple Watch. You can, however, change them at any time from the Apple Watch or the Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Lift your Apple Watch to display the face.

  2. Hard press the face to open the Watch Face Gallery.

  3. Scroll through the gallery to find the face you want to use. When you do, tap it to activate it. Repeat the process any time you wish to change your Watch face.

    You can also choose Edit to edit some of the complications on the watch face. However, not all complications will be available to edit, even if they are on the Edit screen. For those that are, tap the complication and then choose the new option.

    Screenshots showing how to choose a new face on Apple Watch.
  • How do I change my Apple Watch face from my iPhone?

    Open the Apple Watch app and select My Watch, then choose a new face from My Faces.

  • How do I view my steps on my Apple Watch face?

    You can't currently display steps on your Watch face by default, but you can view your step count from the Activity app. Third-party apps like Pedometer++ do offer a step counter Complication to display on your Watch face, however.

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