How to Change Your Apple Watch Band

The secret? The buttons you need are on the back of the watch

What to Know

  • Turn off your watch, hold down the release buttons on the back, then slide the bands across to remove each strap.
  • With the text on the new band facing you, slide the new band in until you feel and hear a soft click.
  • You must use a watch strap specifically made for Apple Watches.

This article explains how to change your Apple Watch band, including the Link Bracelet. These instructions apply to all Apple watches with removable watch bands.

How to Remove a Standard Apple Watch Band

Follow these steps to remove your Apple Watch's original wrist strap and replace it with a new one:

  1. Place your Apple Watch face down on a smooth and clean surface, ideally a micro-fiber cloth or soft mat on a desktop.

    An Apple Watch face down

    Make sure your Apple Watch is switched off so that you don't accidentally tap anything.

  2. Hold down the band release button on the back of the Apple Watch with your fingertip or fingernail. 

    The back of an Apple Watch

    There are two band release buttons for each strap. They're located at the top and bottom of the back of the Apple Watch. The buttons are the same color as the rest of the back of the Apple Watch, but they're fairly easy to spot.

  3. While holding the button, slide the band across to remove it. 

  4. Once the band slides out, you can release the band release button. If the band does not slide out, try pressing the band release button again and make sure you are holding it down.

    An Apple Watch with its wrist band removed
  5. Repeat the same process for the remaining strap.

How to Install a New Apple Watch Wrist Band

Inserting a new band is even easier than removing the old one.

The Apple Watch doesn't use a standard watch band. You need to use a watch strap specifically made for the device. All Apple Watches use the same type.

  1. Make sure the small text on the back of the new band is facing you. 

  2. Tilt the new wrist band a little so that it's in line with the angle of the Apple Watch's wrist strap slot.

  3. Slide the new band in until you feel and hear a soft click.

    If you don't feel or hear a click, try sliding the band back out, then back in again. When you're done, you can change your Apple Watch face to match your new band.

    An Apple Watch with its wrist band partially attached

How to Remove and Replace a Link Bracelet

The process is a little different when working with a Link Bracelet band. Before you can remove it, you need to first separate the bracelet into two sections. Hold down one of the quick release buttons and gently pull the band off.

Slide a new link bracelet on. The soft click will tell you the band is snugly fit.

Trio of images showing how to press the quick release button to remove the Apple Watch Link Bracelet


  • How do I clean my Apple Watch band?

    To clean your Apple Watch band, remove the band from your Apple Watch, wipe it with a lint-free cloth, dry it, and reattach it to the watch.

  • How do I unpair my Apple Watch?

    To unpair your Apple Watch with your phone, open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to All Watches > Info (i) > Unpair Apple Watch. Then, enter your password and tap Unpair. Or, press the crown and go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Erase all.

  • How do I restart my Apple Watch?

    To restart your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button, then swipe Power Off. Press and hold the side button again, then release when the logo appears.

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