Everything You Can Do With Force Touch on the Apple Watch

Easily access more options with just a touch

The Apple Watch's Force Touch feature is the wearable device's version of 3D Touch on the iPhone. These features let you unlock new options and shortcuts by pressing on your device's screen. Here's how Force Touch works with some common Apple Watch tasks.

This article's information applies to Apple Watch devices running watchOS 6 and earlier iterations. watchOS 7 devices, including the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, no longer support this feature.

How to use Force Touch on Apple Watch
fancycrave/ Pixabay 

Using Force Touch With Notifications

If the notifications are piling up on your Apple Watch, Force Touch can easily help you clear them all at once.

  1. Navigate to the Notifications screen.

  2. Press down on your screen.

  3. Tap Clear All. You've cleared all your notifications.

    Clear all your notifications with Force Touch

    You can also change settings for individual notifications by pressing on them. This will open a menu that lets you deliver them quietly from that app or turn them off completely.

Manage Apple Watch Faces

Force Touch can also help you give your Apple Watch a new, customized look, or delete the watch faces you no longer want to use.

Create and Customize Apple Watch Faces

  1. From your current watch face, press down on the screen.

  2. A menu will open, giving you the option to adjust the settings on your current face (including complications and colors) or pick a new one.

  3. Tap Customize to change your current settings or swipe left and tap the plus sign to pick a new face.

    Tap Customize to change your current settings or swipe left and tap the plus sign to pick a new face.

Create a Watch Face From a Photo

Create your own watch face using any photo in your library.

  1. Open Photos on your Apple Watch.

  2. Select the picture you want to use and then press it.

  3. Tap Create Watch Face and then tap either Photos Face or a Kaleidoscope Face. Kaleidoscope Face will let you turn the Digital Crown to create different effects based on the photo you selected.

    Tap Create Watch Face and then tap either Photos Face or a Kaleidoscope Face.

    Kaleidoscope Face is available only on watchOS 4 or later.

Delete Apple Watch Faces

If you have old faces on your Apple Watch you don't want to use anymore, Force Touch will help you get rid of them.

  1. From your current face, press the display to pull up the Selection and Customization screen.

  2. Swipe left to the watch face you want to delete.

  3. Swipe up and tap Remove to clear the unwanted face.

Change the App Display Options

By default, Apple Watch apps appear in a honeycomb-like pattern that you can customize through the Watch app on your iPhone, but it isn't always easy to find things this way. If you'd rather have an alphabetical list of your apps, Force Touch can help.

  1. When looking at your watch face, press the Digital Crown to bring up the app screen.

  2. Press down on the display.

  3. Tap List View to get the new look.

    List View gives your app listing a new look

Change Settings in Activity

Force Touch works in the Activity app to help you check your progress and change some settings.

  1. With the Activity app open, press the screen to open a menu with two options, Weekly Summary and Change Move Goal.

  2. Tap Change Move Goal to adjust how many calories you need to burn to close the red Move ring.

  3. Tap the plus sign or minus sign to move the goal in 10-calorie increments, and then tap Update once you have it set to your liking.

    Use Force Touch to help change your move goal

Using Force Touch in Calendar

Your Apple Watch's Calendar app contains several options that become available with Force Touch. Here's how to use Force Touch to manage your events.

Choosing the View in Calendar

Calendar lets you look at your upcoming events and appointments in four different ways: List, Up Next, Day, and Today. When you have one view open, use Force Touch to open a menu that lets you choose one of the other three.

  1. From your calendar, press the screen to bring up the view menu.

  2. Select from the available Calendar viewing options to switch to it.

    Changing the view in Calendar on Apple Watch

    List View shows your events in a single list, Up Next lets you scroll through events individually using the Digital Crown, Day gives you an hour-by-hour breakdown of a particular day's events, and Today limits that list to just the current date.

Getting Directions to an Event

Force Touch can help you easily find directions to an event from your Calendar.

  1. While looking at a Calendar event, press the screen.

  2. Tap Directions to open the Maps app and choose from available routes.

  3. If you're done with the activity, tap Delete to remove it from your docket.

Using Force Touch with Maps

The Apple Watch Maps app also has some Force Touch options:

  • From the Map screen, switch between the Standard Map and the Transit Map with a touch.
  • Use the Search option to browse nearby businesses and search for specific places using either dictation or Scribble.
  • Look up your contacts' addresses if they're saved in your phone.
  • If you're in the middle of going somewhere and decide you don't need help anymore, Force Touch in the middle of navigating, then tap End to stop the step-by-step instructions.

How to Use Force Touch With Camera

The Apple Watch can serve as a remote for the camera on its paired iPhone. The smaller screen doesn't provide enough space for all the controls you might need, but Force Touch can bring up the rest. Use it to flip between the iPhone's forward and rear-facing modes, turn the flash on or off, use HDR Mode, and toggle Live Photos on and off.

Camera options on Apple Watch

Changing the Language in Mail and Messages

The iPhone and Apple Watch support dozens of languages for both text and dictation, and if you're multilingual, it's quick to switch between them.

  1. In a text or email, press the screen with a message or thread open.

  2. Tap Choose Language.

  3. Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the available languages, and then tap the language you want.

    Choosing the language in Messages on Apple Watch

Other Uses in Mail and Messages

If you're reading your emails and messages on your Apple Watch, Force Touch gives you some options:

  • Press the screen with a message open to choose to reply, flag, trash, archive, or mark as unread.
  • Create a new email from your inbox with Force Touch by pressing the screen and then taping New Message.
  • With a Messages thread open, use Force Touch to reply, see the details of the contact, and send your location to your friend.

Using Force Touch in Stocks

If you use Stocks on your Apple Watch to keep an eye on your investment portfolio, Force Touch will help you manage the info from your wrist.

  1. From the main screen, press the display to see the change in stock value by points or percentage, or see the stock's current total market value.

    How to change the view in Stocks on Apple Watch
  2. If you want to delete a stock from your list, tap it from the main screen, then Force Touch it and tap Remove.

Changing Homes in Home

The Home app is a central hub that lets you control all the smart devices in your house. It even lets you set up multiple locations. From the main screen, use Force Touch, tap Change Home, then tap the location you want to start controlling.

How to change homes in Home on Apple Watch

Show or Hide Completed Tasks in Reminders

If you keep a to-do list in the iPhone's Reminders app, you can look at everything on it from your Apple Watch. Using Force Touch, select whether to show or hide the items you've crossed off. Press the screen, then tap either Hide or Show Reminders to change the setting.

How to Use Force Touch with Remote

Remote lets you control your Apple TV or iTunes Library from your wrist. Press the watch screen to add another device or manage the ones you already have set up.

How to change AirPlay sources using Force Touch on Apple Watch

If you're using Remote to control iTunes, Force Touch will also let you use Airplay to output the audio to a Bluetooth device or Apple TV. With a song open, press the screen, tap Airplay, and then tap the device you want to use.

Remove a Card From Apple Pay

If you have any credit or debit cards saved to use with Apple Pay, you'll find them stored in the Wallet app. To remove ones that have expired, or just ones you don't want to be saved anymore, tap the card, press the screen, and then tap Remove Card.

How to Use Force Touch With Weather

The Weather app gives you a quick idea of what the conditions are like in your location and other areas you monitor. Force Touch can bring up more options.

  1. Open the Weather app and press down on the screen.

  2. Choose whether to display forecasts for conditions, temperature, and chance of precipitation.

  3. Tap Remove to delete a city you've been monitoring.

    How to check conditions in Weather on Apple Watch

How to Use Force Touch With the Clock App

The Apple Watch breaks the iOS Clock app into four iterations: World Clock, Timer, Alarm, and Stopwatch. Force Touch has special applications in most of them.

  1. In World Clock, press the watch display with a city open to remove it.

  2. Add a new alert in the Alarms section.

  3. In Stopwatch, choose between four different displays.

    How to display different stopwatches on Apple Watch