Essential Customization Tips for Apple Watch Beginners

by Barbara Wilson

The Apple Watch has evolved from a timekeeping device to a versatile companion that seamlessly integrates into our lives. One of the most exciting aspects of owning an Apple Watch is the ability to customize its face, allowing you to express your style, enhance functionality, and make it uniquely yours. This guide is a treasure trove of essential customization tips that will empower Apple Watch beginners to transform their wrist companion into a personalized work of art.


I. Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Change Apple Watch Face

For newcomers to the Apple Watch world, changing the watch face might seem daunting, but it’s a simple process that offers endless possibilities. By pressing down on the watch face, you can enter the customization mode. Swipe left or right to explore different watch face options, and tap on the one that resonates with your style. From there, you can customize the chosen face to your heart’s content, from colors to complications.


Step 1: Access the Watch Face Gallery

Raise your wrist or tap the screen of your Apple Watch to wake it up.


Make sure you’re on the watch face you want to customize or replace.


Press firmly on the watch face: Press down firmly on the current watch face. This is usually done with a Force Touch gesture (applying more pressure than a regular tap).

Step 2: Explore and Choose a New Watch Face

After pressing firmly, you’ll be taken to the watch face gallery, where you can explore various watch face options.

Swipe left or right: Swipe left or right on the watch face to browse through the available watch face options. Each watch face has its own style, complications, and customization options.

Tap on a watch face: When you find a watch face that you like, tap on it to select it. The watch face will now be applied to your Apple Watch.

Step 3: Customize the Chosen Watch Face

Once you’ve selected a watch face, you can further customize it to your preferences.

Tap on the watch face: On the selected watch face, tap and hold anywhere on the screen until the watch face enters customization mode. You’ll see a preview of the watch face with editing options below.

Customize complications: Swipe left or right on the customization options to choose and configure complications. Complications are small widgets that display information like weather, calendar events, activity progress, and more. Tap on a complication slot to choose what information it displays.

Access additional options: Depending on the watch face, you might have additional customization options such as changing colors, backgrounds, or styles. Explore the available options and tap to make changes.

Preview your changes: As you customize the watch face, the preview will update in real-time to show you how it will look on your watch.

Exit customization mode: Once you’re satisfied with your changes, simply press the Digital Crown (the round button on the side of the watch) to exit customization mode and save your changes.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully changed and customized your Apple Watch face. You can repeat these steps any time you want to switch to a different watch face or update the customization of your current watch face. Have fun exploring the various styles and options available to make your Apple Watch truly your own.

II. Creative Apple Watch Faces: Inspiring Ideas to Personalize Your Device

Apple Watch faces are like canvases waiting to be adorned with your creativity. Whether you’re into minimalism, vibrant colors, or artistic designs, there’s a watch face that suits your taste. Experiment with different complications, fonts, and colors to create a unique watch face that reflects your personality.

Minimalist Elegance:

Choose a simple watch face style like “Modular” or “Simple.” Opt for a monochromatic color scheme and limit the number of complications for a clean and elegant look.

Colorful Vibrancy:

Embrace vibrant colors by selecting watch faces like “Color,” “California,” or “Numerals Duo.” Mix and match colorful complications for a playful and energetic vibe.

Photo Memories:

Set a cherished photo as your watch face background using the “Photos” watch face. It could be a picture of your family, a memorable vacation, or a beloved pet.

Artistic Expressions:

Choose watch faces like “Memoji,” “Kaleidoscope,” or “Typography” to add artistic flair. You can use your own Memoji, create dynamic patterns, or display a favorite inspirational quote.

Retro Charm:

Explore vintage-inspired watch faces like “Analog” or “Chronograph.” Customize the watch hands, colors, and complications to evoke a classic, timeless feel.

Nature’s Beauty:

Opt for watch faces that celebrate the outdoors, like “Timelapse” or “Solar.” These watch faces can display stunning visuals of landscapes, skies, and natural elements.

Geek Chic:

If you’re a tech enthusiast, consider watch faces like “Infograph Modular” or “Liquid Metal.” Add complications that display tech-related information, like battery levels and data usage.

Fitness Focus:

Choose watch faces designed for fitness, such as “Activity Digital” or “Numerals Mono.” Customize complications to include activity rings, step count, and workout data.

Gaming Nostalgia:

Some watch faces offer playful animations reminiscent of classic games. Customize your watch face with these animations to showcase your love for gaming.

Sci-Fi Vibes:

Embrace a futuristic aesthetic with watch faces like “Fire/Water” or “Vapor.” Experiment with bold colors and animations that give off a sci-fi feel.

Travel Inspiration:

Use watch faces that display world clocks or time zones to celebrate your love for travel and different cultures.

Mix and Match:

Don’t hesitate to combine elements from different watch faces. You can mix and match complications, colors, and styles to create a truly unique and eclectic watch face.

Your Apple Watch face is a reflection of your personality and interests. Feel free to experiment, try different combinations, and change it up whenever you feel like it. With countless possibilities, your watch face can be a canvas for your creativity and self-expression.

III. Hidden Features: Unleashing the Full Potential of Apple Watch Faces

Apple Watch faces are not just about aesthetics—they also offer hidden features that enhance your daily life. Force Touch on the watch face to reveal hidden settings, such as changing the color of the second hand or accessing the time travel feature. These hidden gems provide a deeper level of personalization and functionality.

Force Touch for Options:

On many watch faces, pressing down firmly (Force Touch) on the watch face screen reveals a menu of options. This can include changing the color of the watch face, selecting a different style, customizing complications, and more.

Customizable Complications:

Most watch faces allow you to customize complications, which are small widgets that display information or shortcuts. You can tap on a complication area while customizing your watch face to choose what information or app it should show.

Time Travel Feature:

Some watch faces support the “Time Travel” feature, which allows you to turn the Digital Crown to see past or future information. This is particularly useful for seeing upcoming appointments, weather forecasts, and other time-sensitive data.

World Clock Complication:

Many watch faces have a World Clock complication that lets you see the time in different cities around the world. This is perfect for travelers or anyone who needs to stay in touch with friends and family in different time zones.

Tappable Complications:

Some complications are tappable, meaning you can tap on them to open the corresponding app or action directly from the watch face.

Editing Complication Locations:

You can customize the layout and placement of complications on your watch face. In customization mode, drag and drop complications to different locations to arrange them according to your preference.

Sunrise and Sunset Complications:

Some watch faces have complications that display the times of sunrise and sunset. This can be useful for planning outdoor activities and capturing the golden hour for photography.

Customizable Watch Hands:

In certain watch faces, you can customize the design and color of watch hands. This adds an extra layer of personalization to your watch face.

Activity Rings Complication:

The Activity Rings complication lets you see your progress towards your daily activity goals directly on your watch face, encouraging you to stay active throughout the day.

Hidden Shortcuts:

Some watch faces have hidden shortcuts that appear when you tap on specific areas. These shortcuts can take you to frequently used apps or actions.

Exploring these hidden features and experimenting with customization options can truly unleash the full potential of your Apple Watch faces. It’s a great way to tailor your watch to your unique needs and preferences while making the most of the device’s functionality.

IV. Customizable Complications: Making the Most of Your Apple Watch Face

Complications are the heart of the Apple Watch face, providing quick access to information and apps. Customize your complications to display the weather, calendar events, activity progress, and more. Rearrange and resize complications to suit your preferences and optimize the information you need at a glance.

Here’s how you can make the most of customizable complications:

  • Adding Complications:

Enter Customization Mode: Press down firmly on your current watch face to enter customization mode.

Choose a Complication Slot: Depending on the watch face, you’ll see different complication slots available. Tap on a complication slot that you want to customize.

Select a Complication Type: A list of available complication types will appear. These can include weather, calendar, activity, timer, world clock, and more.

Customize the Complication: Once you’ve selected a complication type, you can further customize it by selecting a specific source or app to pull information from. For example, you can choose a weather complication to show the weather conditions in your location.

  • Rearranging Complications:

Enter Customization Mode: Press down firmly on your current watch face to enter customization mode.

Long Press on a Complication: Tap and hold on a complication until it starts to wiggle.

Drag to Rearrange: While the complications are wiggling, you can drag a complication to a different slot on the watch face. You’ll see other complications move aside to make space.

Release to Drop: Release your finger to drop the complication into its new location.

  • Resizing Complications:

Enter Customization Mode: Press down firmly on your current watch face to enter customization mode.

Long Press on a Complication: Tap and hold on a complication until it starts to wiggle.

Pinch or Tap: While the complication is wiggling, you can pinch with two fingers to shrink the complication or tap the “+” or “-” buttons that appear to resize it.

Release to Confirm: Once you’ve resized the complication to your liking, release your finger to confirm the new size.

  • Removing Complications:

Enter Customization Mode: Press down firmly on your current watch face to enter customization mode.

Tap on a Complication: Tap on the complication you want to remove. This will bring up a list of available complication types.

Scroll to the Left: Scroll to the left until you reach the option to remove the complication. Tap on “Remove” to delete the complication from the slot.

Customizing complications gives you the power to tailor your watch face to your specific needs and preferences. You can have a mix of complications that provide quick access to information like weather, fitness tracking, calendar events, and more. Experiment with different combinations to create a watch face that’s perfectly suited to your daily routine.

V. Unique Apple Watch Face Designs: Stand Out from the Crowd

With a myriad of design options, standing out from the crowd is a breeze. Explore less common watch face designs like “Photos” or “Memoji” to infuse your watch with a touch of uniqueness. Personalize it further by adding your favorite images or a Memoji that captures your expressions.

Here’s how you can stand out from the crowd with distinctive watch face designs:

  • Using “Photos” Watch Face:

Choose a Memorable Photo: Set a photo that’s meaningful to you as the background of your watch face. This could be a picture of your loved ones, a beautiful landscape, your pet, or anything that resonates with you.

Select the “Photos” Watch Face: Enter customization mode by pressing firmly on your current watch face. Swipe left or right until you find the “Photos” watch face.

Customize Complications: After selecting the “Photos” watch face, customize the complications to include information you need at a glance. These can be weather updates, fitness stats, calendar events, or more.

Choose the Photo Album: Tap on the watch face to reveal customization options. You’ll have the choice to select a specific photo album to source your watch face background from.

  • Using “Memoji” Watch Face:

Create Your Memoji: If you haven’t already, create a Memoji that represents your unique appearance, style, and personality. You can customize facial features, hairstyles, accessories, and more.

Select the “Memoji” Watch Face: Enter customization mode and swipe through the available watch face options until you find the “Memoji” watch face.

Choose Your Memoji: Once you select the “Memoji” watch face, you’ll be prompted to choose your created Memoji to be featured on the watch face.

Customize Complications: Just like with any other watch face, customize the complications to display the information you want to see.

  • Infusing Uniqueness:

Mix and Match Complications: Combine different complications that reflect your interests and needs. For example, combine weather updates, music controls, and activity rings.

Experiment with Colors: Many watch faces allow you to choose different color schemes. Experiment with vibrant colors or unique combinations to make your watch face stand out.

Be Playful with Animations: Some watch faces, like “Kaleidoscope,” offer dynamic animations. Choose an animation that resonates with your personality and adds a touch of playfulness.

Customize Fonts: If the watch face supports it, experiment with different fonts for added personalization.

Embrace Minimalism: Consider a minimalist approach with fewer complications and a simple color palette. This can create a sleek and distinctive look.

VI. Customizing Watch Faces for Different Occasions: Day-to-Night Transitions

Your Apple Watch can be a reflection of your day’s agenda. Create separate watch faces for different occasions, such as work, workouts, or relaxation. Easily switch between them based on your activities, ensuring you have the most relevant information at your fingertips.

Here’s how you can set up and switch between watch faces for various occasions:

  • Setting Up Watch Faces for Different Occasions:

Create a Work-Focused Watch Face:

Customize a watch face with complications that are useful for work, such as your calendar, email, and productivity apps. Choose a more professional design and color scheme.

Design a Workout Watch Face:

Create a watch face optimized for workouts with complications showing your heart rate, workout app, and activity rings. Choose a style that’s easy to read during physical activity.

Craft a Relaxation Watch Face:

Design a calming watch face with complications that display meditation apps, relaxation exercises, or soothing reminders. Opt for a design that promotes tranquility.

  • Switching Between Watch Faces:

Swipe Right or Left: From your current watch face, swipe right or left to access other watch faces you’ve set up.

Customize the Watch Face Shortcut: In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, go to “My Watch” > “Watch Face Gallery.” Browse through the available watch faces and tap on “Add” next to the ones you want to use for different occasions. These watch faces will then appear in your list of watch faces when you swipe.

  • Using Watch Face Complications:

Customize Complications for Each Occasion: In customization mode, set up the complications you want to see for each specific watch face. For example, the work watch face might have your email and calendar complications, while the workout watch face could have activity rings and a workout app.

Use “Time Travel” to See Future Complications: If you’ve set up different complications for different times of day, you can use the “Time Travel” feature to see what complications will be active later in the day. Turn the Digital Crown to scroll forward in time while on the watch face with the “Time Travel” feature.

  • Switching Watch Faces Based on Occasion:

Swipe to the Desired Watch Face: When you transition from one occasion to another (e.g., from work to workout), simply swipe to the watch face that’s most suitable for your current activity.

Use the Control Center: If you’ve added your custom watch faces to the Control Center on your Apple Watch, you can access and switch between them with a quick swipe up and a tap.

Creating separate watch faces for different occasions ensures that you always have the right information at your fingertips, making your Apple Watch a truly versatile tool that adapts to your daily routine. It’s a practical way to enhance your efficiency and make the most of your device.

VII. Customizing Apple Watch Faces with Family Photos: Keepsakes on Your Wrist

Transform your watch face into a cherished keepsake by adding family photos. Every glance at your wrist becomes a heartwarming reminder of your loved ones. To achieve this, select the “Photos” watch face, and choose the album with your favorite family pictures. Swipe to see different images each time you lift your wrist.

  • Adding Family Photos to the “Photos” Watch Face:

Select the “Photos” Watch Face: Enter customization mode by pressing firmly on your current watch face. Swipe left or right until you find the “Photos” watch face.

Customize the Complications: After selecting the “Photos” watch face, customize the complications to include information you want to see alongside your family photos. These complications can be weather updates, activity rings, or any other relevant information.

Choose the Photo Album: Tap on the watch face to reveal customization options. You’ll have the choice to select a specific photo album to source your watch face background from.

Select Your Family Photo Album: Tap on the “Photo Album” option and choose the album that contains your favorite family pictures. This is the album that will be displayed on your watch face.

  • Enjoying the Keepsake on Your Wrist:

Lift Your Wrist: Each time you lift your wrist to check the time, your Apple Watch will display a different family photo from the selected album.

Swipe to See More: You can swipe left or right on the watch face to see different images from the same album. This adds variety and keeps the experience fresh.

Tap for More Info: If you’ve added complications, you can tap on them to access additional information or shortcuts.

By adding family photos to your Apple Watch face, you create a heartwarming connection between your loved ones and your daily routine. This is a meaningful way to carry your family memories with you wherever you go and to make your watch more than just a device—it becomes a sentimental reminder of what truly matters to you.


The Apple Watch is not just a device; it’s an extension of your personality and lifestyle. As a beginner, delving into the world of customization is a thrilling journey that enhances your wearable experience. From changing watch faces to adding personal touches like photos and complications, you’re crafting a wearable masterpiece that’s uniquely yours. These essential customization tips are your key to unlocking the full potential of your Apple Watch, allowing you to express yourself, stay organized, and stay connected—all from the convenience of your wrist. Whether you’re drawn to vibrant designs or prefer a minimalist aesthetic, the Apple Watch is a canvas waiting for your personal touch.


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