40 helpful Apple Watch tips and tricks: Be a pro!

Apple Watch is a fantastic gadget. I am sure you are aware of the standard features it offers. But since you invested a significant amount in it, isn’t it logical to learn about some cool secrets to use it like a pro? Let us get straight in and show you over 40 handy tips and tricks of the Apple Watch!

Note: The tips here are focused on models running on watchOS 7 (Apple Watch Series 6, SE, 5, 4, 3). But several of them also work on watchOS 6 and earlier.

  1. Have Apple Watch announce the time
  2. Get chimes every 15, 30, or 60 minutes
  3. Customize the Dock to show favorite apps
  4. Customize the watch face
  5. Enable or disable the Always On display on the Apple Watch
  6. Be creative when editing app layout
  7. Change app view from grid to list
  8. Increase text size to read comfortably
  9. Eject water from the Apple Watch
  10. Quit apps on the Apple Watch
  11. Disable unnecessary app notifications
  12. Use Siri smartly on the Apple Watch
  13. Take screenshots of the Apple Watch screen
  14. Unlock Mac with the Apple Watch
  15. Use the Apple Watch for creative photography
  16. Use the Apple Watch for transit
  17. Set a timer so that you do not forget things
  18. Show two time zones simultaneously
  19. Have custom messages set for quick replies
  20. Quickly mute an incoming call
  21. Quickly switch between the last two apps
  22. Set your clock a few minutes ahead
  23. Use Apple Fitness+ on the Apple Watch
  24. Cycle tracking on the Apple Watch
  25. Measure blood oxygen
  26. Use EGC on the Apple Watch
  27. Enable handwashing feature (important)
  28. Use sleep tracking on the Apple Watch
  29. Have Apple Watch automatically call emergency services and numbers when you fall
  30. Use Digital Crown to view the time slyly
  31. Nightstand Mode on your Apple Watch
  32. Use the Apple Watch for directions
  33. Use the Apple Watch as a flashlight. Yes. Flashlight!
  34. Transfer calls between the iPhone and Apple Watch
  35. Send dictated text reply always as audio
  36. Visit websites using your Apple Watch! Yes!
  37. Check AirPods battery status from the Watch
  38. Use the Apple Watch to play sound on the iPhone to locate it
  39. See exact battery percentage while charging
  40. Know the ambient noise levels

Customize your Apple Watch

1. Have Apple Watch announce the time

Wake up your watch screen and press with two fingers on the watch face. It will announce the time. In case it does not:

  1. Open Settings and tap Clock.
  2. Enable Speak Time.Have Apple Watch Announce Time

Note: Alternatively, you may also choose to use a haptic version of the time.

2. Get chimes every few minutes

Want your Apple Watch (when not in silent mode) to make a sound every 15, 30, or 60 minutes? If yes, here is how to do that.

  1. Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Chimes.
  4. Enable the switch for Chimes.
  5. Next, tap Schedule to choose an interval. Tap Sounds to choose the desired tone.Get chimes every 15, 30, or 60 minutes

3. Customize the Dock to show favorite apps

When you press the side button of the Apple Watch, the Dock shows the ten most recently accessed apps. But you can have it display up to ten favorite apps instead. To do this:

  1. Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone.
  2. From the My Watch tab, tap Dock.
  3. Under DOCK ORDERING, choose Favorites.
  4. Next, tap Edit to add apps to FAVORITES. You may also rearrange them if desired.Customize Apple Watch Dock to Show Favorite Apps

4. Customize the watch face

Apple Watch has endless possibilities when it comes to customizing the watch face. You can add helpful complications, change colors, share your watch face with others, and more.

You can also make watch face using personal photos! The pictures of your kids, parents, pets, spouse, or anything that you would like will be on your Apple Watch screen! It is effortless. Just follow the steps shown here and make the watch face beautiful and personal.

5. Enable or disable the Always On display on the Apple Watch

If you have Apple Watch Series 5 or later, you can choose to use the ‘Always On’ feature. (It is enabled by default.) But if you prefer a bit more battery life, you can choose to turn off the Always On display feature.

  1. Press the Digital Crown to see all the apps. Tap on Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap on Always On.
  4. Disable the toggle for Always On.Disable Always On display

6. Be creative when editing app layout

You see a bubble of apps when you press the Digital Crown. But did you know that you can move and rearrange these app icons just the way you like?

  1. Press the Digital Crown to see the app icons.
  2. Press and hold on to one icon until all icons start jiggling.
  3. Touch and drag the desired app to a new place.Be creative when editing Apple Watch Home Screen app layout

You can also use the Watch app on the iPhone to create patterns like a Christmas tree with the app icons!

7. Change app view from grid to list

Feel it challenging to find the apps quickly from the app bubble? Worry not; you can easily switch from this view to the list view, where all your watch apps will be listed alphabetically.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap App View.
  3. Select List View.Change app view from grid to list

8. Increase text size to read comfortably

The Apple Watch screen is tiny, and if you have difficulty reading the text on it, here’s how to adjust the text size. Once you do that, it will become comfortable to figure out the contents of the watch display.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch Settings app.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Scroll down and tap Text Size.
  4. Rotate the Digital Crown or tap Aa to change the text size.
  5. Go back or press any physical watch button to save the changes.Increase Apple Watch text size to read comfortably

Using Apple Watch

9. Eject water from the Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch is waterproof, but you should force eject the water from its grills after a swim or rain.

  1. Bring up the Control Center. From the watch face, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If you are inside any other screen (except the Home screen), swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap the droplet icon.
  3. The watch will ask you to turn the Digital Crown. Do that. You will hear a sound when the process begins.How to Eject Water from Apple Watch

10. Quit apps on the Apple Watch

Have a non-responsive app or feel that an unnecessary app is draining your watch’s battery? Follow the below steps to quickly force quit apps on the Apple Watch.

  1. Press the side button (one below the round Digital Crown) to see open apps.
  2. Swipe right to left on an app card.
  3. Tap on the red close button.

Productivity tips for Apple Watch Users

11. Disable unnecessary app notifications

Apple Watch lets you view app notifications on your wrist. But you must never let all apps bombard you with notifications. This will unnecessarily waste your time and also watch battery life. Here’s how you can disable stock app notifications on your Apple Watch;

  1. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab from the bottom menu → go to Notifications.
  3. Tap the app you want to disable notifications for.
  4. Hit the Off option.

12. Use Siri smartly on the Apple Watch

You know that you can press the Digital Crown or say ‘Hey Siri’ to summon the voice assistant on your Apple Watch. But did you know that there is a third method where you only have to lift your wrist to your mouth and say the query? Just turn on the Raise to Speak option to activate it.

This is useful when you just want to use Siri on Apple Watch and not accidentally trigger the same on your HomePod, or other ‘Hey Siri’ enabled devices nearby like your iPhone, iPad, Mac.

13. Take screenshots of the Apple Watch screen

how to take a screenshot on apple watch

Wish to capture what is on your tiny Apple Watch screen? Press the Digital Crown and the side button to take a screenshot. The image will be saved to Photos on the paired iPhone. By default, this is off.

So, open the Settings app on your watch, tap on GeneralScreenshots → enable it.

14. Unlock Mac with the Apple Watch

Cannot Unlock Mac with Apple Watch

If you own a Mac and Apple Watch, the process of unlocking your computer gets effortless. All you have to do is go near the Mac while you are wearing the watch. Sure, there are some essentials to satisfy beforehand. Similarly, you can also approve payments and password authentications via your Apple Watch if your Mac is on macOS Catalina or later.

15. Use the Apple Watch for creative photography

Take Photos with Apple Watch

Have a group picture to take? Or just want to take your picture from afar? Place the iPhone appropriately and use the Apple Watch as the live viewfinder and camera shutter button remote!

Here’s how;

  1. Go to the Home screen on your watch.
  2. Tap the Camera icon.
    Note – Tap open camera if the iPhone’s camera app is closed.
  3. You can see the preview of what your iPhone is about to capture.
  4. Tap the shutter button to click.

16. Use the Apple Watch for transit

You can use your Apple Watch in multiple countries to pay in-stores or online via Apple Pay. You also have the convenient options to pay for metro, train, and bus rides using just your Apple Watch!

17. Set a timer so that you do not forget things

When you are cooking, doing laundry, or engaged in any such activity, setting a quick timer straight on the Apple Watch is a godsend. For this, summon Siri on your wearable and ask it to ‘Set a timer for 10 minutes.How to Set Timer on Apple Watch

18. Show two time zones simultaneously

On Apple Watch Series 4 and later, you can use the GMT watch face that lets you keep track of two time zones. The inside one shows the local time, and the outer ring has the city time chosen by you.

For this, open the Watch app on the iPhone and tap Face Gallery. From under New in watchOS, tap on GMT and ADD it to the watch.Open iOS Watch App tap on Face Gallery and Add GMT Watch Face

To choose the second time zone clock, rotate the Digital Crown when on the GMT watch face. Now, select a pre-listed city and tap the checkmark icon.Rotate Digital Crown from GMT Watch Face to Change City

Or, to add a city of your choice, go to the World Clock section of the iPhone Clock app. Now add the city here. After that, it will appear in the list of cities added to the GMT watch face.Open iPhone Clock App and Add Desired City to World Clock

19. Have custom messages set for quick replies

  1. Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone.
  2. From the My Watch tab, scroll down and tap Messages.
  3. Tap Default Replies.In iPhone Watch App Tap on Messages and Default Replies
  4. Edit one of the responses by adding your custom quick reply. Or, tap Add reply.
  5. Now, you can use these quick texts while replying to messages from your Apple Watch.Edit a Pre-Written Text or Tap Add reply for New Quick Reply

20. Quickly mute an incoming call

When you receive a call, place your hands on the Apple Watch for 3 seconds to silent the tone. If this does not work, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap on Sound & Haptics, and make sure the toggle for Cover to Mute is enabled.

21. Quickly switch between the last two apps

Swiftly double press the Digital Crown to switch between two recent apps.

22. Set your clock a few minutes ahead

On my regular watch, I always loved setting it 5 minutes ahead. I do the same on the Apple Watch. It helps with time management. When you set your clock ahead, the alarms, notifications, and other time-based settings remain unchanged. Only the reading on the watch face is ahead. Neat!

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Clock.Open Apple Watch Settings App and Tap on Clock
  3. Tap +0 min and increase it by 1 to 59 minutes, as desired.
  4. Finally, tap Set.Tap 0 Min Increase Apple Watch Time and Tap Set

Health and Safety

Apple Watch is primarily a fitness device that encourages you to stay healthy, motivated, and safe. Thus, we have dedicated posts for the tips mentioned below.

23. Use Apple Fitness+ on the Apple Watch

In December 2020, Apple announced a new service called Fitness+. There are videos and instructions for several exercises by accomplished trainers. You can learn all about it here.

24. Cycle tracking on the Apple Watch

It can be troublesome to keep track of a woman’s monthly periods. Apple watch makes it convenient to do the same. Here’s how you can set up cycle tracking.

  1. Go to the Health App → Browse → Cycle Tracking option.
  2. Tap Get Started → enter all the details → tap Next or I’m not sure to continue.
  3. Tap Options and adjust the cycle length, if necessary.

25. Measure blood oxygen

With the latest Series 6, you can conveniently measure the oxygen level of your blood. The results are pretty accurate and help you understand your health well.

  1. Once you’ve set up the Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch, wear your watch.
  2. Open the Blood Oxygen app.
  3. For 15 seconds, keep your arm steady.
  4. See the results and tap done.

26. Use EGC on the Apple Watch

Electrocardiogram or EGC for short ‘records the timing and strength of the electrical signals that make the heartbeat.’ Head over to this post to learn how to use it on Apple Watch. and How to use Cardio Fitness on Apple Watch (Fitness guide)

27. Enable handwashing feature (important)

The handwashing timer automatically starts displaying on the Apple Watch screen when you begin to wash your hands. It recommends you to keep washing for at least 20 seconds (this is the time recommended by global health organizations.)

28. Use sleep tracking on the Apple Watch

Finally (with watchOS 7), you can use your Apple Watch for sleep tracking. If you are into this, here is how to do that.

29. Have Apple Watch automatically call emergency services and numbers when you fall

Apple Watch Series 4 and later support fall detection that helps you quickly connect with emergency services. After a fall, if you do not move, it will automatically call the emergency services. It will also send your location to your emergency contacts and let them know that you suffered a hard fall.

You can learn more, including how to enable it here.

Other helpful Apple Watch tips

30. Use Digital Crown to view the time slyly

Let us assume you are in a meeting. You do not want to lift your wrist or tap to wake the screen to full brightness. In this case, slightly rotate the Digital Crown to see the time discreetly. Rotate it back to dim the display.

Note: This isn’t available when Always On feature is enabled.

31. Nightstand mode on your Apple Watch

At night you can place your Apple Watch on a table while it is plugged into charging, and it will display the current time & date and alarm. It may sound a bit simple, but it is a helpful feature to have when you wake up at night.

32. Use the Apple Watch for directions

The traveler, hiker, or biker in you will love this little feature. Apple Watch has the Compass app that lets you see direction straight on your wrist.

33. Use the Apple Watch as a flashlight. Yes. Flashlight!

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face screen to bring up the Control Center. From any other screen (except the Home Screen), touch and hold the bottom of the screen and swipe up.
  2. Tap the flashlight icon.
  3. Use one of the three modes for light or alerts.
  4. To turn off the flashlight, swipe down or press the Digital Crown or Side button.Use Apple Watch as Flashlight

34. Transfer calls between the iPhone and Apple Watch

When you get a call notification on your Apple Watch, you may pick it up from there and have a quick conversation. But, if you believe that it would be a long talk, you can easily switch the call from your watch to the paired iPhone.

35. Send dictated text reply always as audio

When you dictate a message reply, the watch gives you the transcribe option or ‘send it as audio.’ But if you wish to always send the dictated message as an audio message (or transcribed), you can set the desired option accordingly.

36. Visit websites using your Apple Watch! Yes!

I know the watch screen is tiny, and there is no Safari browser for the Apple Watch! But still, you can use it to browse the website if needed.

37. Check AirPods battery status from the Watch

The battery widget on the iPhone in iOS 14 is a fantastic addition. But in several instances, you may wish to check the battery status of the connected AirPods or even the iPhone straight from your wrist!

  1. Go to the Apple Watch Control Center.
  2. Tap the battery percentage.
  3. Here you will see additional details, including the battery status of AirPods or any other connected device.

38. Use the Apple Watch to play sound on the iPhone to locate it

Do not remember where you kept your iPhone? Is it on the sofa, bed, study table? Just bring up the Apple Watch Control Center and tap the phone icon. The iPhone will start beeping so that you can quickly locate it.

39. See the exact battery percentage while charging

When the Apple Watch is charging, it shows a small charging logo. When you tap it, you will see the exact battery percentage.See Exact Apple Watch Battery Percentage While Charging

40. Know the ambient noise levels

The handy Noise app on your Apple Watch can tell you the ambient noise level. This can even warn you if the noise is continuously high, and thus, dangerous. Here’s all you need to know about using the Noise app.

Miscellaneous tips for the Apple Watch!

In addition to the above tips, we also have several other related posts that show you how to use your Apple Watch to the full potential. If interested, take a look at these as well!

Ready to Use the Apple Watch Like a Pro!

This was a long ride, but I hope it was helpful and you learned multiple new tips. What is/are your favorite(s) from the list above? Let us know in the comments down below.

I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.

A tech-aficionado whose superpower lies in blabbering interminably about new technologies. After 4+ years and 4500+ content pieces that helped diverse companies grow, I followed my passion and made iGeeks Media my home. When not gushing over technology, you will find me immersed in a fictional world, either reading or creating one.