How to Set up Your Galaxy Watch

Instructions for Samsung Galaxy Watch version 1

Samsung's Galaxy Watch is the next generation of wearables from Samsung, superseding the Samsung Gear line. Once you set it up, you can receive notifications, track your workouts, and enjoy its long battery life. Here's how to do it.

Get Your Watch Going

Close up of woman using smart watch
Tim Robberts / Getty Images

The first step after taking the watch out of the box is to charge it using the included wireless charging dock. When the LED indicator is red, the watch is charging; when the light turns green, the device has a full charge.

You can optionally set up a screen lock for your watch. Rotate the watch bezel to the left or right and tap Settings > Security > Lock > Type. Then select the screen lock type you'd like to use: pattern, PIN, or none.

Next, pair it with your Android smartphone:

  1. Install the Galaxy Wearable app, which is compatible with devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later.
  2. Launch the app, and update it to the latest version if it's not already.
  3. Tap Start the Journey and follow the prompts to find your smartphone.
  4. A Bluetooth pairing request will display on the screen, and you'll need to confirm the passkeys on your watch and smartphone match. Once done, tap OK.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the process.

When you've successfully paired the devices, the watch will display a brief tutorial so you can get to know the features. Next, go to Galaxy Apps or the Play Store to download apps by rotating the watch bezel left or right.

A few options include:

  • SmartThings: If you want to control smart home devices from your watch.
  • Samsung Health: This app will log your workouts and other health-related data.
  • Bixby: This gives you access to Samsung's virtual assistant.

You can also download different watch faces from Galaxy Apps. Touch and hold the watch face to select a preloaded watch face or download a new one. Tap Customize to tweak the watch face to your liking.

If your Galaxy Watch has 4G LTE, you need to activate it by calling your wireless carrier.

How to Use the Samsung Galaxy Watch

Now that your Galaxy Watch is all set up and ready to go, you should probably know how to use it to perform the basics.

  • To navigate the Galaxy Watch: Rotate the bezel left or right to view notifications, select an app, or navigate screens. Swipe the screen to see notifications, view the Quick Panel, or navigate screens.
  • To find your watch if you lose it: On your smartphone, go to Galaxy Wearable > Settings > Find My Watch > Start. You can also locate your smartphone from your watch by tapping Find My Phone > Start.
  • To view and respond to messages on your watch: Swipe up or rotate the watch bezel to reply to messages with a quick reply response. Tap Edit responses to add a custom response message. Tap Doodle to draw a message. Tap Voice Input to use voice commands. Tap Emoji to send an emoji. Tap to open Handwriting or Keyboard mode.
  • To answer or reject a phone call: Swipe or rotate the bezel. Swipe up to open Decline messages to send the caller to voicemail and respond with a preloaded text message. 

You can only make phone calls when the watch is connected to LTE or a smartphone via Bluetooth.