How to Customize the Watch Face on Apple Watch: A Detailed Guide

how to customise apple watch faces

Feeling festive, blue, missing someone, or need tons of data handy, instantly switch your Apple watch face to match your mood, occasion, or requirements. Set photos or animated Memoji, add varied complications or change it as per a schedule. Thankfully Apple gives you several ways to customize your watch face. Here’s how you can do it.

How to Change Watch Face on Apple Watch

There are two effortless ways to choose a different watch face on your Apple Watch quickly.

change watch face on apple watch
Credit: Apple
  1. Lift your wrist to light up the screen. You may also tap once. From the left or right edge, swipe horizontally to easily switch to a different watch face from your collection.
  2. Press firmly on your current watch face. Now, swipe left or right to see all the available watch faces from your collection. Tap on one to set it.

Now, let us see how to add helpful features to the Apple Watch face.

Add Complications to the Watch Face

According to Apple, complications are ‘special features‘ that you can add to some watch faces. Once you do that, you can see information like battery status, weather, stocks, heart rate, etc. at a glance. Complications also let you quickly trigger an action. For example, get to the Phone app quickly. Here is how to add complications to the Apple watch face.

  1. Press firmly on the current watch face. Tap on Customize. If your Apple Watch is running watchOS 7, tap on Edit.
  2. Swipe left till you reach the end screen. Tap on one of them.
  3. Use the Digital Crown to change the list of complications.
    tap on customozie and tap on complications on watch face
  4. Press the Digital Crown to save the changes.
  5. Finally, tap on the watch face to set it.change complications on watch face

Add Complications from Other Apps

Third-party apps downloaded from the App Store can have their complications for the Apple Watch. Here is how to enable and make use of them.

  1. Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Tap on My Watch tab, if not already.
  2. Tap on Complications.
  3. Tap on Edit.tap on complications in my watch tab in watch app and then tap on edit
  4. Under DO NOT INCLUDE, tap on the green plus icon for a complication.
  5. Tap Done.add complications from other apps to apple watch using watch app

Now, this third-party complication is ready to be used with compatible watch faces. Follow the above steps for this. It is the same as adding any in-built complication.

Note: watchOS 7 allows you to add multiple complications from the same app to view different pieces of information at a glance.

For instance, if you use the Dawn Patrol app for surfing, you can set up a watch face that shows the water temperature, swell, and wind speed predictions for a beach of your choice.

Change Watch Face Colors, Symbols, Dial, etc.

On supported watch faces, you can change the accent color, style, dial type (analog, digital), number system (Arabic, Indian, Roman, etc.), and more. Here is how.

  1. Press firmly on the current watch face.
  2. Tap Customize. Or swipe left or right to select the desired watch face and then tap on Customize.
  3. On top of the screen, you will see SYMBOLS, DIAL, STYLE, COLOR, etc. The options here depend on the watch face. Some have, some do not.tap on customize and select option to make changes in apple watch face
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to make the changes.
  5. Swipe left to right to select a different heading. Again rotate the Digital Crown to customize it.change color of watch face
  6. Press the Digital Crown to save the changes, and finally tap on the watch face to set it.tap on watch face to save changes

Set Photo as Watch Face on Apple Watch

There are two easy ways. You can use saved pictures on your Apple Watch to create and set it as a watch face. Or, use the Photos app on the iPhone. Let us look at both.

Using Apple Watch

  1. Open the Photos app and tap on a picture to open it in full screen.
  2. Press firmly on the photos app, tap on photo on apple watch
  3. Tap on Create Watch Face.
  4. Choose Kaleidoscope or Photos.
  5. The image is set as the watch face. Press the Digital Crown to see it.set a photo as watch face on apple watch

Using Photos App on iPhone

  1. Launch the Photos app → Albums → Recents.
  2. Tap on Select. Now choose one image or any number up to 24 (It will change every time you lift your wrist). Next, tap on the Share icon.tap on select choose photos and tap on share on iphone
  3. Scroll down and tap on Create Watch Face.
  4. On the next screen, you can customize it with colors, complications, etc.
  5. Finally, tap on ADD. The new watch face is set.set photo as watch face on apple watch using photos app on iphone

With watchOS 7, you can share watch faces too. So, if you have a beautiful watch face with photos of your kids, you can share this with your wife’s Apple Watch.

Add a Watch Face to Your Collection

Suppose you want to sport a new watch face every day (or frequently). For this, you should add them to the collection, so it becomes effortless to switch among them. Here is how to do that.

  1. Press firmly on the current watch face.
  2. Swipe all the way from right to left. Tap on the plus icon.long press on watch face and tap on plus icon
  3. Use touch or Digital Crown to see the watch faces. Tap on one to add it.add watch face to apple watch collection

Note: When you create watch faces, for example, from photos, they are automatically added to your collection.

View Your Watch Face Collection

You can view your collection from the Apple Watch or the paired iPhone.

From the Apple Watch: Press firmly on a watch face, and swipe left and right.

From the iPhone
: Launch the Watch app and tap on My Watch. Under MY FACES, you will see your collection. Swipe horizontally. You may also tap on Edit to see them in the list view.

tap on edit to view all watch faces in list view on iphone

Delete a Watch Face From Your Collection

You can remove watch faces straight from your Apple Watch or the iPhone. Here’s how.

From the Apple Watch

  1. Firmly press on a watch face.
  2. Swipe left or right to select the desired one.
  3. Now, drag it up (just like you force close apps on iPhone). Finally, tap Remove.
delete watch face on apple watch

From the iPhone

  1. Open the Watch app → Tap on My Watch.
  2. Tap on Edit next to MY FACES.
  3. Tap on the red minus icon and then tap Remove.
remove watch face from watch app on iphone

Change Time Shown in Watch Face

Many people, myself included, like to keep the wristwatch 5 minutes ahead. You can do so with your Apple Watch as well. Please note that thankfully, this change does not affect alarms, the time shown in notifications, world clocks, or any other time. Pretty neat!

  1. Open the Settings app on your watch.
  2. Scroll down using touch or by rotating the Digital Crown. Tap on Clock.
  3. Tap on +0 settings tap on clock and then on time on apple watch
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to set your watch ahead. You can choose from 1 minute to up to 59 minutes.
  5. Finally, tap on Set.change time shown in watch face

This new forward time is visible only on the watch face. The time everywhere else, like in the upper right corner of the Apple Watch Settings app or other apps, will continue to be the actual time.

Automatically Change Apple Watch Faces According to Time and Location

  1. Launch the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the Automation tab from the bottom of the screen and tap on ‘+’.Open Shortcuts App Tap on Automation and Then Tap on Plus on iPhone
  3. Here, tap on Create Personal Automation.
  4. Tap Time of Day and choose the time and the repeat cycle accordingly.
  5. After selection, tap on Next.Tap on Create Personal Automation and Tap Time of Day Then Set Time and Repeat Cycle and Tap on Next
  6. Now, tap on Add Action.
  7. Search Set Watch Face and select the action.Tap on Add Action and Then Tap on Set Watch Face in Shortcuts App on iPhone
  8. Here, tap on Face (the box at the end) and select the watch face from the list, and tap on Next.Tap on Face Select Watch Face and Tap on Next
  9. Now, turn off the toggle next to Ask Before Running off.
  10. Select Don’t Ask from the popup & then tap on Done to create the shortcut.Turn Off Ask Before Running and Then Tap on Done on iPhone

The tutorial is focused on Time of Day, you can easily do similar for a location as well. This is very slightly different, Just repeat steps 1 to 3 and then choose either Arrive or Leave → Choose, and enter the location.

Tap on Arrive and Then Tap on Choose Next to Location on iPhone

After selection tap on Done → select whether Any time or Time Range → Tap on Next → Add Action → search for Set Watch Face → Tap on Face → select the watch face → Next → Done.

Tap on Done Select Time Range and Then Tap on Add Action on iPhone
Search Set Watch Face and Then Tap on Face on iPhone
Select Watch Face Tap on Next and Then Tap on Done in Shortcuts App on iPhone

As and when the shortcuts created by you will run, your Apple Watch face will switch. Isn’t this hack super simple and massively handy; And the best part is that you can create as many scenarios as you want, one for home, office, movie, parties, gym, and what not…

Customize the Apple Watch Face to Match your Mood

This how you can play with different watch face settings to make the Apple Watch reflect your personality. Feel free to explore the possibilities on your own.

Besides, we also have a list of best Apple Watch alternatives. In case you are planning to get a wearable for a friend or family, make sure to check our recommendation.


Author Profile

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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