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.
Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch and tap on the bell icon. This will turn your Apple Watch into silent mode.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Head to the My Watch tab > Tap on All Watches in the top left > Tap on your Apple Watch > Tap on the information symbol next to your Apple Watch > Select Unpair Apple Watch.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Follow the instructions. It’s nice and easy, we promise. You’ll be guided through everything, including 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.
To set up an Apple Watch for your child, place your iPhone near the watch. You’ll then need to tap Continue and choose Set Up for a Family Member.
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch > General > Scroll down to ‘Reset’ > Erase All Content and Settings.
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 its charger and press the ‘Download and Install’ button.
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.
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.
Press and hold the side button below the Digital Crown to turn your Apple Watch back on.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Display & Brightness > Always On > Toggle on or off.
If you want data like your calendar appointments, messages and heart rate can be hidden when your wrist is down, even when the always on display is on.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Display & Brightness > Always On > Toggle on or off Hide Sensitive Complications.
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.
Press and hold the side button below the Digital Crown until the Apple logo appears to turn Power Reserve off.
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 toggled on.
Press the Digital Crown and second button for around 10 seconds until the Apple logo reappears.
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”.
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.
Double click on the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to go to the last app you were using.
Single tap the side button under the Digital Crown and you will see all the apps you’ve recently opened.
Either say “Hey Siri” or long press on the Digital Crown to activate Siri on the Apple Watch.
Raise your wrist, then say “How do you say ‘ How are you in Chinese'”. Siri will be able to translate directly from your Watch in 10 languages.
To mute an incoming call, just cover Apple Watch with your hand.
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.
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.
You can set it up so your Apple Watch will unlock your iPhone when Face ID detects a face mask, as long as you’re running iOS 14.5 or later and watchOS 7.4 and later. Your Watch will need to be on your wrist, near to your iPhone, unlocked and protected by a passcode.
Open Settings on iPhone > Face ID & Passcode > Type in your passcode > Toggle on ‘[Name] Apple Watch’ under the “Unlock with Apple Watch” section.
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.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > Tap on All Watches > Click on your Watch > 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, which you could also launch independently.
You can then opt to Play Sound, Erase your Apple Watch or Mark As Lost.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone > Tap on the My Watch tab > App View > Choose between Gid View and List View.
In Grid View, you can also tap on Arrangement. You’ll then be able to start moving the circles around to suit your preferences.
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. This only works if you have the app layout set to Grid View.
It’s even easier to add apps to Apple Watch than it was previously as the Apple Watch has it’s own App Store from watchOS 6 and later. 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 Discover tab in the bottom right > Press Explore Watch Apps > Find an app you like and press ‘Get’.
On the Apple Watch, open the Settings app and then Bluetooth. You can pair your headphones directly to your Apple Watch from here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you’ve set your cards up on Apple Watch, just double click the side button under the Digital Crown to launch Apple Pay. You can slide between the cards you’ve set up and then just hold your Watch next to the payment terminal.
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.
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.
If you set an Express Travel Card, you won’t need to double tap the side 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.
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.
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.
Apple Watch can detect when you’re washing your hands if you turn it on, and set a 20-second timer so you wash them for long enough.
Open Settings on your Apple Watch > Scroll down to Handwashing > Toggle it on.
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.
Open the Noise app on Apple Watch and you’ll see be able to see what decibels the environment you are in is at.
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.
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.
When a message comes in on your Apple Watch, scroll down to the bottom and you can send a preset message in response.
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.
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.
Open the Messages app on your Apple Watch and pull down from the top. You’ll see ‘New Message’ at the top, tap on that to compose a new message.
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.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Messages > Select Custom > Toggle Sound off.
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 > Choose Custom > Toggle Send Read Receipts on or off depending on your preference.
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.
You can quickly delete an email from your inbox list by swiping right to left on the message on your Apple Watch and tapping the red icon with the bin.
You can flag your emails by swiping right to left on the message on Apple Watch and tapping the flag icon.
You can mark an email as unread from your Apple Watch by either swiping left to right on the message in your inbox or scrolling down to the end of the email when you’re in it and tapping on Mark as Unread.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Mail > Custom. Scroll down and toggle on ‘Ask Before Deleting’.
You can reply to emails, flag them, mark them as unread or delete them on Apple Watch. To do so, scroll down to the bottom of the email you are reading and chose from the options.
Open the Activity app on Apple Watch and scroll down to bottom of your stats to change your daily move goal, exercise goal and stand goal.
Swipe up from the three ring summary on Apple Watch view to see more information, including active calories, steps, distance and flights climbed.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Activity > Toggle Stand Reminders off. Follow the same instructions to turn Stand Reminders back on.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Activity > Toggle off all the alerts you don’t want.
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.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Workout > Workout View. You can set your preferences for the different workouts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Sleep > Toggle on Track Sleep with Apple Watch.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Sleep > Toggle off Show Time.
You can get a reminder to charge your Apple Watch before your wind down time to make sure it has enogh juice to track your sleep.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Sleep > Toggle on Charging Reminders.
Apple Watch can detect when you are washing your hands and start a 20-second timer. To do this, open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Handwashing > Toggle on of off Handwashing Timer.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a Blood Oxygen app to measure the oxygen levels in your blood and take on-demand readings.
To turn it on or off, open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Scroll down to Blood Oxygen > Toggle on or off Blood Oxygen Measurements.
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.
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.
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.
When you are viewing music in the Apple Music app on Apple Watch, use the Digital Crown to turn the volume up or down.
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.
Open the settings app on the Apple Watch > Scroll down to Calendar > Choose from Up Next, List and Day view options.
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.
Force Touch on the watch face screen on your Apple Watch and then scroll left or right to reveal more.
Force Touch on the watch face screen on your Apple Watch and then press ‘Edit’.
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.
Force Touch on the watch face screen > Swipe to the watch face you want to share > Tap on the share icon next to ‘Edit’ under the watch face > Tap on Add Contact > Tap Send.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of the Apple Watch watch faces – like Infograph, Colour, Meridian and California – 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.
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.
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.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Phone > Custom > Opt to have the Watch show notifications, sounds, or whether it should buzz.
Go to the Phone app on your Apple Watch and then select someone from your Favourites, Recents, or Contacts.
Press the Digital Crown to load Siri and then say “Call [insert name]” to make the call.
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.
Use the Digital Crown to zoom in and out on the photos app on your Apple Watch and your fingers to move around.
To set a specific photo as a watch face on your Apple Watch, find a photo in Photos and tap on the Apple Watch icon in the bottom left corner to see which watch face options you can create.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Stocks > Select whether you want Current Price, Points Change, Percentage Change, or Market Cap.
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.
Open the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Weather > Select which city you want to show on your watch faces or the Weather Glance.
Go to the Weather app on your Apple Watch and swipe up to see the next 10 days of weather for that city.
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.
Scroll to the top of the notifications pane to Clear All notifications on your Apple Watch.
Swipe down from the top of the screen on your Apple Watch and all your uncleared notifications will appear.
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.
Go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone > Notifications > Select whether you want Apple and third party apps to send you notifications or not.