How to change your Apple Watch face

What's the first thing you see on a watch? It's the face. Regular analog watches will always have the same old look, but we're now living in a world with digital smartwatches where limitless customization options are readily available. 

When it comes to personalizing your smartwatch, its face is likely the first thing you'll tailor to fit your needs. You may have more options on a Wear OS watch, but Apple has expanded its selection of watch faces so now there's quite the variety.

Originally the company launched with ten faces for the first Apple Watch, but now the company had expanded the choices so there's many more and if you want to see the best we have our own selection of the best Apple Watch faces here.

If you want to explore the options or you're bored of seeing the same face every day, here's our guide on how to change your Apple Watch face to reflect your mood.

How to switch Apple Watch faces

This is the easiest thing you can do in terms of changing the look of your Apple Watch. Simply use Force Touch - essentially a firm press - on the face of the watch and you'll be taken to a horizontal, scrollable gallery.

Apple Watch

From Apple's little showcase of faces, you can pick the one you want. Select it and your new Watch face will stick to your homescreen on the watch to display whenever you wake it up.

How to customize your Apple Watch face

Apple Watch

Feel free to customize the colors, number dial, notifications and more by pressing "customize" on the bottom of the face in the editing mode. There you'll be able to swipe left or right through the different elements of the face and use the crown of the watch to cycle through the different options for how to change them.

Not every face will let you mix and match to your heart's desire, but most like Utility and Chronograph will let you switch around details and even change the color of different elements.

Swiping left will allow to select different complications - more about that in the next section below - and you'll be able to tap on the digital crown to save your changes easily.

Or, for simpler customization, there's the Motion face that will let you change the type of moving image - flowers, jellyfish or butterflies - and let you decide if you want the date to be displayed.

Once you've customized your watch face, it'll appear in the gallery of options you have to switch between. If you want to make a new one to save, you can head back to the Apple Watch gallery by pressing on the display and swiping all the way to the right.

How to add a complication to your Apple Watch face

To do this, it's a little more complicated and you'll need to grab your iPhone too. You'll want to open up the My Watch tab within the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and you'll then see an option called Complications and you'll want to hit the orange Edit in the top right.

In here you can choose what type you want. There are usually options such as battery life, the date and a few other options, but these can only be added to certain watch faces.

To do so, you want to tap the green button that has a white plus symbol inside. You'll then need to grab your Apple Watch, go back to the watch face and use Force Touch again to see the watch face that's active.

Here you can press customize and decide where it's going to go. It's a bit of an unnecessarily fiddly feature, but it's worth it to be able to add extra features to your current watch face.

In here you can also add third-party complications, if you're running watchOS 5 software. It means you can quickly access features from popular apps like Citymapper, Lifesum, Carrot Weather, ETA, Pokemon Go and many others.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.