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How to Switch, Tweak Your Apple Watch Faces

Tips & How-To

How to Switch, Tweak Your Apple Watch Faces

Change your watch face to fit the moment and customize certain faces with a different look.

You've got an Apple Watch but aren't crazy about the watch face you see when you raise your wrist. The good news is, you can easily switch to one you like at any time.

With Apple's watchOS 4, you can download new watch faces, including a Kaleidoscope face, a Siri face, and a Toy Story face. And best of all, you can customize certain watch faces to give them a different color and style and equip them with specific features. Let's dive into the various watch faces and see how you can switch from one to another and tweak them with your own personal touch.

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  • 1Time to Update

    You can change and customize your watch faces with any version of watchOS. But tapping into the newest watch faces requires watchOS 4 (and iOS 11 on your iPhone). To make sure you've got the latest watchOS version, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap General > Software Update. If the app tells you your software is up to date, you're good to go. If not, your phone will download and apply the latest update to your watch.

  • 2Swipe

    Maybe your current watch face is functional but not jazzy enough for your tastes. So you want to change it. Or perhaps you just want to switch to different faces throughout the day based on where you are and what you're doing. For instance, you may like to sport the animated Toy Story watch face when you're out and about but segue to the Modular face when you're at the gym so you have easier access to the Workout app and the Heart Rate app. All you have to do is swipe left or right on your present watch face. As you keep swiping, you'll cycle through all the watch faces currently available. Stop when you see a face you want to use.

  • 3Download the Latest

    You're running watchOS 4 but haven't yet downloaded the latest watch faces. Here's how to snag them. In the Watch app on your iPhone, tap on the Face Gallery icon at the bottom of the screen. The top of the Face Gallery screen displays the newest available watch faces, such as the Siri face, the Kaleidoscope face, and the Toy Story face. Tap on one you want to install and tap the Add button. When you're done, tap on the My Watch icon at the bottom of the screen. Swipe to the end of the list of watch faces and you'll see the new faces you just added.

  • 4Remove Unwanted Watch Faces

    Next, maybe you want to change the list of available watch faces to remove ones you'd never use. At the same time, you can modify the order in which the available watch faces appear when you swipe your current face. In your iPhone's Watch app, tap on the Edit link for the My Faces section. Swipe down the list until you find a face you don't want. Tap on the Minus sign next to it and then tap Remove.

  • 5Re-Order Watch Faces

    Now you want to shake up the order of the faces to make your favorite ones more accessible. Hold down the hamburger icon () next to a face you want to move. Drag the face up or down in the list to change its location. Tap Done when you're finished. Now keep swiping the face on your watch and you'll see the faces you added to the top of the list.

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  • 6Tweak the Color and Style

    Perhaps you like the layout of a certain watch face but don't care for the color or style. Some watch faces let you tweak the color or style or both; some let you tweak other elements. In your iPhone's Watch app, make sure the My Watch section is displayed. Tap on a watch face, such as the Simple face. The next screen displays the current look of that face. Tap on a different color. Then tap on a different style. Each time you change the color or style, the preview face reflects your change. When you're done, tap on the My Watch link in the upper left to return to the previous screen. Now swipe to display that face on your Apple Watch to see your modifications.

  • 7Switch It Up

    Tap on the watch face for Toy Story, which lets you choose the character or characters you want to see. Timelapse lets you change the location portrayed in the face, while Kaleidoscope offers different images and styles.

  • 8Photos

    Next tap on the watch face for Photos. A photo that you tagged as a favorite is typically chosen as the default image, but you can change that. Tap on the entry that says 1 Photo. At the next screen tap on the link to Add Photos. Open one of your photo albums and tap on a photo or photos that you want to use. You can add several photos to the list. Tap Done.

  • 9Remove Photo

    At the Photos screen, tap on a photo you want to remove. Tap on the Trash Can icon to remove it from the list and then tap on the command to Remove Photo. Tap on a photo that you want to adjust. You can now move and scale the photo to lay it out just right. Tap Done. Then tap Done in the upper-left corner. Now swipe to display the Photos face on your Apple Watch, and you'll see the new photo or photos appear. Tap on the face to cycle through the photos if you selected more than one.

  • 10Customized Complications

    Maybe you like a particular watch face but it doesn't offer all the features or complications you need. As an example, you may like to rock a certain watch face at the gym or when you go for a run, but it doesn't provide access to the complications for workout and heart rate. We can fix that.

    In the Watch app, tap on the face you want to tweak. In this case, we'll change the complications to display Activity, Heart Rate, and Workout. Tap on the location of the complication you want to change and switch it to Activity. Tap on the other two locations, changing one to Heart Rate and the other to Workout. When done, tap on the My Watch link in the upper left. The watch face displays the complications you chose. Check that face on your Apple Watch and you'll see the new complications there as well.

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