For the most part, you should be able to work out the basics of your new Apple Watch, but Apple has included plenty of hidden gems to allow you to get even more out of it than you thought possible.
How do you turn on Power Reserve? How do you clear all your messages in one go? How do you take a screenshot on the Apple Watch? Here are our tips and tricks full of shortcuts, quick options and much more, all waiting to be discovered and utilised to help you become an Apple Watch power user.
Apple Watch General tips and tricks
How to mute or silence an Apple Watch
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch and tap on the bell icon. This will turn your Apple Watch into silent mode.
How to unpair an Apple Watch
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Head to the My Watch tab > Tap on your Apple Watch at the top > Tap on the information symbol next to your Apple Watch at the top > Select Unpair Apple Watch.
How to pair and setup an Apple Watch with iPhone
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Follow the instructions. It’s nice and easy, we promise. You’ll be guided through everything, from Hey Siri to adding cards for Apple Pay. Apple Watch only works with iPhone so if you’re an Android user, you won’t be able to pair an Apple Watch to your device.
How to factory reset an Apple Watch
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch > General > Scroll down to ‘Reset’ > Erase All Content and Settings.
How to update an Apple Watch
To check you’re running the latest watchOS software, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch > General > Software Update. If there is a software update, make sure your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi and on it’s charger and press the ‘Download and Install’ button.
How to change or remove an Apple Watch band
Take your Apple Watch off and turn it over. You’ll see two buttons at the top and bottom of the heart rate sensor on the underside of the case. Push each button in and slide the respective strap out. You can then slide another strap in and it will click into place.
How to turn off an Apple Watch
Press and hold the side button below the Digital Crown and then slide the Power Off option from left to right on the menu. You can also opt to show your Medical ID (if you have set it up) or make an SOS call.
How to turn on an Apple Watch
Press and hold the side button below the Digital Crown to turn your Apple Watch back on.
How to turn on Power Reserve mode on an Apple Watch
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch clock face and tap the battery percentage. You can then swipe left to right on the Power Reserve tab to turn it on.
How to turn off Power Reserve mode on an Apple Watch
Press and hold the side button below the Digital Crown until the Apple logo appears to turn Power Reserve off.
How to take a screenshot on Apple Watch
To snap a photo of whatever is on your Apple Watch screen, press both the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time.
The photo will be automatically saved to your Photos album on your iPhone. You will need to make sure ‘Enabling Screenshots’ is on however. To do this, head to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > General > Scroll down to Enable Screenshot and ensure it is on.
How to hard reset your Apple Watch
Press the Digital Crown and second button for around 10 seconds until the Apple logo reappears.
How to manage third party Complications
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone and select ‘Complications’ in the My Watch tab. You’ll see what third party apps you have installed that will allow Complications. These Complications will then be able to be selected on various watch faces.
How to make the screen cut out time longer
Go to the Watch app on your iPhone > Hit the My Watch tab and then ‘General’. Scroll down to ‘Wake Screen’ and set the ‘On Tap’ setting to “Wake for 70 seconds”.
How to disable Bedside Mode
It’s possible to make your Apple Watch change to Nightstand mode when connected to the charger on its side. This will display the time, like an alarm clock might for example.
If you want disable this feature, go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch Tab > General > Bedside Mode. You can also enable and disable Bedside Mode from the Settings app on the Watch.
How to quickly go to the last app on Apple Watch
Double click on the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to go to the last app you were using.
How to access Siri on Apple Watch
Either say “Hey Siri” or long press on the Digital Crown to activate Siri on the Apple Watch.
How to mute an incoming call
To mute an incoming call, just cover Apple Watch with your hand.
How to get back to watch face
Don’t worry about pressing the Digital Crown to keep going back before you eventually get back to the main watch face. Instead, simply place your hand over your Apple Watch face and it will go black. Tap on the screen and you’ll be returned to the watch face straight away.
How to unlock your Apple Watch with your iPhone
You can setup Apple Watch to automatically unlock when you’re wearing it and you unlock your iPhone.
Go to the Apple Watch app on iPhone > My Watch tab > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone.
How to find your lost iPhone using your Apple Watch
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch clock face. Tap on the iPhone symbol and if your iPhone is on, it will send out an audible ping to help you locate it.
How to find your Apple Watch using your iPhone
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > Click on your Watch at the top of the display > Tap on the information symbol on the right of your Watch information > Tap on the Find My Apple Watch option. This will launch the Find My app.
You can then opt to Play Sound, Erase your Apple Watch or Mark As Lost.
How to turn on Airplane mode on your Apple Watch
You can pair your Watch and your iPhone to go into Airplane mode together, or you can turn Airplane Mode on manually from your Apple Watch.
Make sure the Airplane Mode Mirror iPhone feature is turned on in the Apple Watch app. From the Apple Watch app on iPhone, head to the My Watch Tab > General > Airplane Mode > Toggle on Mirror iPhone.
Alternatively, swipe up from the bottom of your Watch face and tap the plane on or off.
How to turn Do Not Disturb on or off on your Apple Watch
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch clock face and hit the moon. This will switch do not disturb on or off. You can choose between On, On for 1 Hour, On Until This Evening or On Until I Leave.
How to reorder or delete quick settings on your Apple Watch
If you want the torch symbol more accessible, or airplane mode, for example, you can rearrange Quick Settings on your Apple Watch so you can access what you use most, faster.
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch clock face and scroll to the bottom. Tap ‘Edit’. The icons will jiggle so you can move them into the positions that best suit what you want. Make sure you hit ‘Done’ at the bottom afterwards.
How to change your Apple Watch to left-handed orientation
You can change the orientation of the Apple Watch by setting whether you will be using it on your left or right wrist. Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > General > Watch Orientation > Change from left to right or vice versa. You can also select the side of the Digital Crown.
You can change a number of accessibility features on the Apple Watch, such as how it reacts to your input. Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > Accessibility. You’ll be able to run on Bold Text and Zoom in these settings, for example.
How to enable Handoff for your Apple Watch
If you are doing something on your Apple Watch that you then want to carry on doing on your iPhone, you can enable Apple’s Handoff feature so you can carry on as you were.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Select the My Watch Tab > General > Toggle on Enable Handoff.
How to change the app layout on Apple Watch
Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > App Layout > Start moving the circles around to suit your preferences.
How to delete an app from Apple Watch
Go to the app screen on your Watch by pressing the Digital Crown > Long press on the display until the icons start to jiggle. Any apps that have a ‘x’ in the top right corner can be deleted. You can also move the apps around in the same way you do on your iPhone using this tip.
How to add apps to Apple Watch
It’s even easier to add apps to Apple Watch than it was previously as the Apple Watch has it’s own App Store in watchOS 6. Press the Digital Crown to take you to the Apps screen and then look for the App Store symbol.
You’ll then be able to search or scroll through the various recommended apps for Apple Watch. Tap on an app you want to download and press ‘Get’ to add it to your Apple Watch.
You can also find and download new apps for your Apple Watch on your iPhone. Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > tap on the App Store tab in the bottom right > press Discover Watch Apps on iPhone > Find an app you like and press ‘Get’.
How to pair Bluetooth headphones to an Apple Watch
On the Apple Watch, open the Settings app and then Bluetooth. You can pair your headphones directly to your Apple Watch from here.
Increase vibration with Prominent Haptic
Sometimes a haptic (buzz) from a notification isn’t enough to alert you, especially if you are wearing your Apple Watch strap loosely.
To help combat that, you can turn on something called ‘Prominent Haptic’ that when on, Apple Watch will play a prominent haptic to pre-announce some common alerts. To turn this on, go to the Settings app on the Apple Watch > Sounds & Haptics < Scroll to the Haptics section > Tap on Prominent.
How to turn on a six-digit passcode
As default, the Apple Watch comes with a four-digit passcode, however you can increase this level of security to a six-digit passcode.
To do that, go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Passcode > De-toggle Simple Passcode > Type in your new six-digit code.
How to connect your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi
During setup, you will need to connect your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi but if you change Wi-Fi systems or you need to connect to a different network, it’s nice and simple.
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch > Scroll down to Wi-Fi > Choose the network you want to join > Enter the password.
How to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
If you have a Mac and an Apple Watch, you can set it so your Apple Watch will unlock your MacBook without you having to type in your password.
Open the System Preferences on your Mac > Security & Privacy > Tick the ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and Mac’ box > Type in your Mac password to enable.
How to add a payment card to your Apple Watch
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on Wallet & Apple Pay > Add Card. You’ll need to follow the steps to add your payment card.
How to choose your default payment card on Apple Watch
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on Wallet & Apple Pay > Default Card > Choose the card you want to have as the main card. Don’t worry, you can switch between cards easily so it doesn’t matter too much.
Set an Express Travel Card
If you set an Express Travel Card, you won’t need to double tap the button to launch Apple Pay on your Apple Watch when travelling on public transport. Once an Express Travel Card is setup, you’ll be able to just hold your watch against a public transport travel terminal to pay for your journey.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on Wallet & Apple Pay > Select Express Travel Card > Choose the card you want to work automatically when travelling without you needing to double click the side button.
How to use your Apple Watch to confirm payments on Mac
You can use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch to confirm payments on a nearby Mac. To do this, open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on Wallet & Apple Pay > Toggle on Allow Payments on Mac.
How to find a Medical ID on Apple Watch
Push and hold the side button next to the Digital Crown on Apple Watch and slide the Medical ID option to view Medical ID. You’ll need to have set your Medical ID up on your iPhone beforehand.
How to set your noise threshold on Apple Watch
You can choose to be notified by your Apple Watch if you are in an environment where the sound levels could be damaging to your hearing.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Noise > Noise Threshold > Choose your threshold.
How to check the noise levels on your Apple Watch
Open the Noise app on Apple Watch and you’ll see be able to see what decibels the environment you are in is at.
How to start a voice recording from your Apple Watch
Open the Voice Memo app on your Apple Watch and tap the big red button. This will start a voice recording which will be saved to your iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Apple Watch Messages tips and tricks
How to read messages on Apple Watch
When you get a message, raise your wrist to see who your message is from and to read the full message. Lower your arm to dismiss it.
Respond with a preset message on Apple Watch
When a message comes in on your Apple Watch, scroll down to the bottom and you can send a preset message in response.
Respond with words
You can opt to dictate your message to be turned into words via Siri or send as an audio file within the text. It’s also possible to use your finger to type and it will turn it into text.
Respond with Emoji, Animoji or Memoji
Apple also lets you respond with a number of different emoji exclusive to the Apple Watch, as well as standard emoji, Animoji and Memoji stickers. To see beyond your most recently used emoji scroll down with your finger or the Digital Crown and you’ll find other emojis as well as Memoji and Animoji.
How to send a new message on Apple Watch
Force Touch in the Messages inbox on your Apple Watch to compose a new message.
Mirror your iPhone for Messages on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Messages > Tick Mirror my iPhone. Your Apple Watch will now alert you in the same way your iPhone is set up for new messages.
Only repeat alerts once
If you don’t want your Apple Watch buzzing all the time, you can set it so your watch only alerts you of a new text message once rather than twice. Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Messages > Select Custom. Alternatively you can have the watch remind you of a single message up to 10 times.
Turn off sound for message alerts on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Messages > Select Custom > Toggle Sound off.
Send Read Receipts from Apple Watch
You can set the Apple Watch to automatically send read receipts when you have read a message. Go to the Apple Watch App for iPhone > Messages > Toggle Send Read Receipts on or off depending on your preference.
Changing Default Replies on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Messages > Default Replies. You can change the default replies you send when the Apple Watch isn’t trying to guess what to say by tapping Edit at the top right. Or you can turn Smart Replies on or off.
It’s also possible to add a reply that you might want to send frequently if you scroll to the bottom. Swiping right to left on a default reply will allow you to delete it.
How to sending your current location in a message on Apple Watch
You can send your current location to anyone you’re messaging via the Apple Watch. Force tap on an iMessage and then opt to Send Location.
Apple Watch Mail tips and tricks
Delete email from your Apple Watch
You can quickly delete an email from your inbox list by swiping left to right on the message on your Apple Watch and tapping the red icon with the bin. You’ll then need to confirm the delete.
Flag an email on Apple Watch
You can flag your emails by swiping left to right on the message on Apple Watch and tapping the flag icon.
Marking an email as unread from your Apple Watch
You can mark an email as unread from your Apple Watch by either swiping left to right on the message in your inbox or Force Touch the email when you’re in it. A grid of options will appear, one of which is to mark it as unread.
Mirror your iPhone for Mail on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Tick Mirror my iPhone. Your Apple Watch will now alert you in the same way your iPhone is set up when you get new emails.
Customise what email alerts you get on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Custom. Here you can select how each of your different email accounts are handled and whether you want alerts at all.
Emails only from VIPs on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Custom > Tick VIPs. Now you will only get alerts on your Apple Watch when your VIPs email you.
Change message preview size on Apple Watch
You can have none, one, or two lines of preview for your email messages on Apple Watch. To select the one for you go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Message Preview.
How to change your email signature on Apple Watch
By default, any email you send from your Apple Watch will say “Sent from my Apple Watch”. To change your signature, open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Select Mail > Custom > Signature > Type what you want your new Signature to be.
Don’t delete emails by mistake on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Custom. Scroll down and toggle on ‘Ask Before Deleting’.
How to reply to emails on Apple Watch
You can reply to emails, flag them, mark them as unread or delete them on Apple Watch. To do so, Force Touch on the screen on the email you are reading and chose from the four options. Scrolling down to the bottom of an email will also give you the option to reply.
Apple Watch Activity tips and tricks
Change your goals on Apple Watch
Force Touch in the Activity app on Apple Watch to change your daily move goal.
See more activity data on Apple Watch
Swipe up from the three ring summary on Apple Watch view to see more information, including active calories, steps, distance and flights climbed.
Turn off Stand reminders on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Activity > Toggle Stand Reminders off. Follow the same instructions to turn Stand Reminders back on.
Turn off activity progress updates on Apple Watch
If you aren’t fussed about getting updates throughout the day about how active you’re being then you can change when the Apple Watch notifies you about it.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Activity > Daily Coaching.
Turn off all Activity alerts on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Activity > Toggle off all the alerts you don’t want.
Turn off activity tracking altogether on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Privacy. There are two options: Fitness Tracking and Heart Rate. You can turn either on or off, or both to stop the heart rate sensor calculating your calories burned and the watch using your body movements to determine your step count and fitness level.
Apple Watch Workout tips and tricks
How to pause or end a workout quickly on Apple Watch
Swipe left to right during a workout on your Apple Watch to end or pause a workout. You can then choose to save or discard it.
Change the metrics shown during a workout on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Workout > Workout View. You can set your preferences for the different workouts.
How to enable Power saving mode in Workout on Apple Watch
If you want to save power during a workout, you can turn off the heart rate monitor. Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Workout > Toggle the Power Saving Mode option on.
Add segments when on an outdoor run on Apple Watch
It’s possible to add a segment when on an outdoor run with Apple Watch by just double tapping the display. A segment will feature time, distance and average pace.
Turn on Running Auto Pause on Apple Watch
You can toggle on a setting called Running Auto Pause on Apple Watch that will pause running workouts when you stop moving and resume them when you start again.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Workout > Toggle on Running Auto Pause.
Select a playlist to automatically play when you start a Workout on Apple Watch
You can choose a playlist to start playing automatically every time you start a Workout on Apple Watch, though it won’t play if you are already listening to music or other audio.
To turn this feature on, head to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Workout > Scroll down to Workout Playlist > Select your Playlist. You’ll need to have downloaded the playlist from Apple Music.
Apple Watch Music tips and tricks
How to see album art on Apple Watch
Tap on the three dots in the bottom corner of the Now Playing screen in the Apple Music app and scroll down to View Album.
How to shuffle a playlist or album on Apple Watch
Tap on the middle icon at the bottom of the Now Playing screen on the Apple Music app on Apple Watch and hit the shuffle button on the next screen.
Jump alphabetically in track or album listings on Apple Watch
Scroll faster with the Digital Crown until a letter appears when in the Apple Music app on Apple Watch. It will then jump through your songs via the alphabet.
Turn up the volume with Digital Crown on Apple Watch
When you are viewing music in the Apple Music app on Apple Watch, use the Digital Crown to turn the volume up or down.
How to add music to your Apple Watch
The Apple Watch has the ability to store songs so you can listen without your iPhone nearby – great for a run. To sync a playlist go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Music > Select Add Music and then select the playlist or album you want to sync. Songs sync when Apple Watch is on its charger.
Apple Watch Calendar tips and tricks
Switch between list and day view on Apple Watch
Force Touch when in the calendar app on Apple Watch and select either day view or list view.
Get directions to an event on Apple Watch from Calendar
Force Touch on a calendar entry on the Apple Watch and select get directions. These will then open up in Maps, taking you through step by step with vibrations on your wrist. The calendar entry will need to have the location of the event in for this to work though.
Back to today on Apple Watch
If you’ve scrolled down through your appointments on your Apple Watch, you can get back to today by using Force Touch and then selecting Today.
Watch faces tips and tricks
How to change your watch face on Apple Watch
Force Touch on the watch face screen on your Apple Watch and then scroll left or right to reveal more.
How to customise your watch face on Apple Watch
Force Touch on the watch face screen on your Apple Watch and then press ‘Customise’.
Scroll left and right to reveal different elements, like colour, which can be changed. Use the Digital Crown to scroll through colour or different Complications.
Tap on each Complication to change what’s in them. Not all features are available on all watches.
Deleting clock faces on Apple Watch
Swipe up when in the watch face selection mode on Apple Watch to delete the face. Don’t worry you haven’t deleted it forever.
Having more than one design of the same watch face on Apple Watch
In the watch face selection mode on Apple Watch, scroll all the way to the right and select new. Use the Digital Crown to scroll through available options.
Setting 24-hour time on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone and scroll down the menu and tap Clock. Toggle whether you want your watch to show 24-hour time or not.
Push Alerts from your iPhone on your Apple Watch
When Push Alerts is on, your Apple Watch will alert you of Timers and Alarms you’ve set on your iPhone so you can snooze or dismiss them remotely.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Clock > Toggle Push Alerts on or off.
Turn off the red notifications indicator on Apple Watch
When the notifications indicator is on, a red dot will appear at the top of your Apple Watch face when you have unread notifications.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Clock > Turn the Notifications Indicator on or off.
Choosing your monogram details on your Apple Watch
Some of the Apple Watch watch faces – Infograph and Colour for example – allow you to show your monogram on the face.
The Apple Watch app for iPhone allows you to customise what initials are shown (up to 5).
To change it go to the Apple Watch app on iPhone > Clock > Monogram.
Change City names or add airport abbreviations
By default, Apple lists the city time zones around the world you’ve got stored in your phone, but if you associate more with San Fran or Seattle than you do with Los Angeles then you might want to change the name.
Go to the app on your iPhone > Clock > City Abbreviations.
Set the time ahead on Apple Watch
Some people like to have their watch always set a couple of minutes fast.
On your Apple Watch go to Settings > Clock > +0 min. Use the Digital Crown to change the time up to an hour ahead in one minute increments.
Setting a photo watch face on Apple Watch
To set a specific photo as a watch face on Apple Watch, find a photo in Photos on your iPhone. You’ll then need to tap on the share icon in the bottom left corner and scroll down to Create Watch Face.
Apple Watch Phone tips and tricks
Stop your Apple Watch ringing when your phone rings
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Phone > Custom> Opt to have the Watch show notifications, sounds, or whether it should buzz.
Call someone from your Apple Watch
Go to the Phone app on your Apple Watch and then select someone from your Favourites, Recents, or Contacts.
Making a call on your Apple Watch
Press the Digital Crown to load Siri and then say “Call [insert name]” to make the call.
Apple Watch Photos tips and tricks
Deciding what photos to show on the Apple Watch
You can opt to have certain photos or albums synced to your Apple Watch even when you don’t have your iPhone nearby.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Photos > Synced Albums. You can then select which albums you want on your Apple Watch.
Selecting a photo on your Apple Watch
Use the Digital Crown to zoom in and out on the photos app on your Apple Watch and your fingers to move around.
Setting a photo watch face on Apple Watch
To set a specific photo as a watch face on your Apple Watch, find a photo in Photos and Force Touch on it to set as a Watch Face.
Apple Watch Stocks tips and tricks
Change the Stock watch face complication on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Stocks > Select whether you want Current Price, Points Change, Percentage Change, or Market Cap.
Change default stock in Glances on Apple Watch
Go to the Stocks section of the Apple Watch app for iPhone and then select from a range of different stocks or simply have it mirror your iPhone.
Apple Watch Weather tips and tricks
Change the default city on Apple Watch
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Weather > Select which city you want to show on your watch faces or the Weather Glance.
See 10 day forecast on Apple Watch
Go to the Weather app on your Apple Watch and swipe up to see the next 10 days of weather for that city.
See if it is going to rain today and at what time
Force Touch on the Weather app on your Apple Watch to set the dial to show the conditions, chance of rain, or temperature throughout the day. Now you can see that it will rain at 5PM clearly.
Apple Watch Notifications tips and tricks
What does the red dot mean on Apple Watch?
If you see a red dot on your watch face, it means you have unread notifications. To get rid of the dot, open the Watch app on iPhone > Notifications > Toggle off Notifications Indicator.
How to clear all notifications on Apple Watch
Force Touch when you are on the notifications pane to Clear All notifications on your Apple Watch.
How to see past notifications on Apple Watch
Swipe down from the top of the screen on your Apple Watch and all your uncleared notifications will appear.
Don’t show the message on Apple Watch, just the alert
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Notifications > Select Notification Privacy.
Now when you get a message you’ll know its from a specific app but you have to tap to see what it says. Handy if you don’t want others reading your notifications.
How to cut down notifications on Apple Watch
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Notifications > Select whether you want Apple and third party apps to send you notifications or not.