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The Essential FAQ for Customizing Your Apple Watch Face

by Sarah Dobson on April 15, 2019

Do you want your Apple Watch face to tell you more than just the time? Or perhaps you’d like it to reflect your personality with a special font or custom photo? All this and more is possible when you create a custom watch face. You can even save certain faces for specific uses, such as weekends, workouts, and weddings. Let’s look at what’s possible, and how to enjoy multiple Apple Watch faces.


What are my choices?

The Apple Watch offers over a dozen faces. Some, like Explorer and Siri, are packed with information. Others, like Motion and Numerals, are more elegant. The Photos face can include your own images. To browse an overview of the faces on offer, open the iPhone’s Watch app, and tap Face Gallery.


What’s a complication?

complication is any watch face feature that goes beyond the display of hours and minutes, such as moon phases or a stopwatch. If you consider how complex it would be to add such features to a mechanical watch, you can see why they are called complications! The Apple Watch offers oodles of complications, including activity, alarms, music info, next calendar event, heart rate, and timer.


Should I work on my iPhone or my Apple Watch?

Although it’s possible to customize watch faces on your wrist, we recommend using the iPhone’s Watch app. The bigger screen makes it easier to navigate.


How do I set up a new custom face?

Start on the Face Gallery screen of the iPhone’s Watch app. Tap the face you want to add. If it already looks exactly as you want, tap the Add button near the upper right. Or, to choose different complications and tweak the options, work your way down the screen, specifying what you want. Each face has different options, but for example, with the Utility face, you’ll pick a color for the second hand, select the overall style, and then populate four complication slots.

Notice that a larger complication slot (like the one at the bottom of the Utility face) can show more characters than a smaller one. A larger slot is perfect for the next calendar event so you can see what’s next on your schedule with a glance.

The preview at the top of the screen updates as you make your selections. When you finish, tap the Add button. The face is added to your My Faces list and becomes the active face in use on your wrist.


How does the Siri face work?

When you edit the Siri face, you’ll see a list of data sources from which it will draw when giving you information. Enable the switches for the sources you want included on the Siri face. When you’re looking at the Siri face, turn the Digital Crown to scroll through the different data sources (some may be out of sight above or below the main face). To expand one, tap it.


How do I switch faces?

It’s easiest to switch on the wrist: swipe left or right from the edge of the screen until you find the face you want.


How do I customize an existing face?

Using the iPhone’s Watch app, open the My Watch screen. Under My Faces, you see a horizontally scrolling row of all the faces that you’ve added. Tap the face you want to modify. The screen that comes up works much like the screen where you add a new watch face. Make your desired changes—they are applied automatically. Take note of the two shortcuts at the bottom of this screen: “Set as current Watch Face” makes the face you are editing the active face, and “Remove Watch Face” deletes the face from your My Faces list.


How do I delete a face?

The fastest way to delete a face is as follows: In the iPhone’s Watch app, open the My Watch screen. In the My Faces area, tap Edit. On the Edit screen, for any face you want to remove, tap its red minus button and tap Remove. When you finish removing unwanted faces, tap Done at the top right of the screen.

The Apple Watch is loaded with faces that are both fun and functional. With just a few minutes of configuration, your watch can be telling the time and displaying complications with more style than ever before.

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