How to Change the Watch Face on Your Apple Watch

Switch Between Faces, Add Customizations and More.

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Once you have purchased a smartwatch, it's time to get creative and spend some time customizing it. This can entail several things, from changing your smartwatch strap to familiarizing yourself with the device's various settings to changing your watch face. In this post, I will focus on the latter specifically for the Apple Watch, providing you a step-by-step guide for changing your watch face. Keep reading for more info.

Changing Your Apple Watch's Face

The default watch face that ships with the Apple Watch is fine and all, but what if you have something else in mind? Luckily, there's no shortage of options for customizing faces on your wearable. That's the good news — the bad news is that Apple doesn't support third-party watch faces, so you're limited to the options Apple has made available. For the record, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) does allow third-party watch faces, and you'll find some great options from Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto, MANGO and more.

Before showing you how to customize the available watch faces so they feel less cookie-cutter, I will walk you through the process of actually changing the Apple Watch face away from its default option.

Step 1: Start by tapping the screen or raising your wrist, then press on the digital crown (the Apple Watch's hardware button on the side) until you're at the clock face screen (also known as the clock app)

Step 2: Force-touch on the watch display (think of this as the same long press you'd do on your iPhone if you wanted to delete or move any apps) until the watch face in question becomes small and you see "Customize" below. Don't tap on the "Customize" button unless you want to stick with that current watch face and make adjustments to it.

Step 3: Swipe right or left to scroll through the different watch face options. When you find one you like — options include Modular (the default), Mickey, Motion and Solar — press on it, press on the digital crown and voila! Your Apple Watch is rocking a new look.

Changing Your Apple Watch's Face with Customizations

While your watch face options are somewhat limited on the Apple Watch, at least compared to Wear OS, the good news is that you can add plenty of customization. The customizations include changing the color of elements in the watch face.

Step 1: As before, press on the digital crown until the watch face is showing.

Step 2: Also as before, force-touch on the display until the face gets small. Click the "Customize" button you'll see below.

Step 3: You can swipe between features of a given watch face, and with the one you'd like to change selected, you can turn the digital crown to adjust it. For example, turning the digital crown could tweak the color of text in the watch face.

Step 4: Once you've customized the face to your liking, press on the digital crown to save your changes. Then tap on the customized watch face to make it the currently displayed one.

Apple Watch Face Complications

There's one final option to be aware of when it comes to customizing your watch face. With select faces, you can add "complications," or addition information such as weather or current stock prices. For complications available by default, follow the steps above and when you're looking at customization options, keep swiping to the right to see the complication choices. 

While Apple doesn't offer third-party watch faces, it does allow app developers to integrate elements of their Apple Watch apps as complications in watch faces. To view these options, navigate to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, select My Watch and then tap Complications.