15 Apple Watch Tips That’ll Make You A Pro

Getting started with Apple Watch is a fairly simple process. With the Watch app, Apple does a good job of walking you through the bare-minimum basics. But once you’ve been wearing the Apple Watch for awhile, small things begin to bother you (like too many notifications, or Now Playing auto-opening), and often, we’re not aware that there’s a different way. Particularly since it’s such a small piece of hardware, knowing the tips and tricks will make your experience with Apple Watch smooth and awesome. Here’s 15 Apple Watch tips that’ll make you a pro.

Related: Can You Use an Apple Watch without an iPhone?

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How to Pair Your Apple Watch with a New iPhone

When you upgrade your iPhone, this tip will make the transition easier and risk-free. All you need to do is Unpair your Apple Watch in the Watch app. Doing so will automatically backup your Apple Watch to your iPhone. Then set up your new iPhone (with either an iCloud Backup for or encrypted iTunes backup), and pair the watch to your new iPhone. With the latest watchOS, you can pair multiple watches to a single iPhone. So to unpair your watch, open the Watch app. Tap your watch at the top, and tap the orange 'i'. Select Unpair Apple Watch and a backup will save to your iPhone. Then once your new iPhone is ready, open the Watch app and pair your Apple Watch once more.  

Pro Tip: Once your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, you can send texts and make phone calls directly from your watch! If you experience any issues, here are a few ways to troubleshoot your Apple Watch not receiving texts. Next, learn how to use your Apple Watch keyboard.

How to Flip Your Apple Watch Orientation (Perfect for Left-Handers!)

When you set your Apple Watch up for the first time, you have the option to change the wrist it's on and the orientation. But you can also do it after the fact. You can use this tip to simply flip your watch screen around, allowing you to switch which side the Digital Crown is on, or you can also switch which wrist your watch is on for left-handed people. To do this, open the Watch app, tap General, and select Watch Orientation. Another way to personalize your device is to learn how to change app layout on Apple Watch.

How to Add and Remove Apps from Glances on Your Apple Watch

Glances act as a helpful summary and short cut to your Apple Watch apps. To access Glances on watch, you simply swipe up from your watch face. However, having too many Glances renders the feature pretty useless. It’s best to select the Glances that will work best for you. To add and remove apps from Glances, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap Glances. Select Edit, and then you can tap the red circles to remove an app from Glances and tap the green circle to add them.

Pro Tip: Using a lot of apps at once can slow down your battery life. Learn how to close apps on your Apple Watch here.

How to Use Pictures for Your Watch Face

Apple has a decent array of fun watch faces you can use. My favorite is the galaxy mode which shows where all the planets in our solar system reside at any given moment. To change your watch face, complete a hard press from the watch face screen. Swipe until you see the photo album watch face and select it. By default, photos you’ve tagged as Favorites on your iPhone will randomly shuffle as your watch face. To add photos to that favorites folder, tap the heart in your iPhone Photos app.


How to Transfer a Call to Your iPhone

Getting a call on your Apple Watch is awesome, but taking the call from your wrist isn’t always ideal. Yet the whole point of getting the call on your wrist to make sure you don’t miss it while looking for your phone. So, here’s the solution. There are two ways to do this. You can swipe up from the incoming call screen and select Answer on iPhone. That will place the call on Hold, giving you time to find your phone and answer. OR, you can answer the call on your Apple Watch, then locate your phone. Once you select the call (easily seen by the bright green bar at the top of the screen) on the iPhone, it will automatically transfer. Did you know that your cellular Apple Watch has a unique phone number? Here's how to find it.


How to Choose Selective Notifications

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from Apple Watch users is that there’s just too many notifications, “I don’t need to know about everything.” You don’t have to! Just like on your iPhone, you can customize which apps you receive notifications for. To do this, open your Watch app on iPhone. Tap Notifications, and select the app you want to edit notifications for. By default, it’s set to Mirror my iPhone, but you can select Custom and alter the specifics of a notification.

How to Add Music to Your Apple Watch

First thing you need to do is head over to your Music app and create a playlist. Once you have a playlist ready, open the Watch app and select Music. Tap Synced Playlist and select the playlist you want to sync. For this to work, your Apple Watch must also be on the charging dock. Once the playlist is synced, it will say so and be available on your Apple Watch even when your iPhone is out of range.

Next you’ll want to pair Bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch which can be done from the Settings app on your Apple Watch just like on the iPhone. Also, when you play music from Apple Watch it automatically plays from your iPhone speakers. To change this, hard press the Music screen and select Source, then choose Watch.

Now you’re ready to listen to music untethered from your iPhone!

Pro tip: You can also entertain yourself with Apple Watch games that you can play directly on your wrist!

How to Set Up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

To my surprise, Apple Pay is set-up separately on iPhone and Apple Watch. This allows you to use Apple Pay even when your iPhone isn’t present, and you can use different cards if preferred.

To set this up, open the Watch app and select Wallet & Apple Pay. If you’ve already enabled Apple Pay on your iPhone, you’ll see card options to choose from. You can select a card or choose Add Credit or Debit Card. Follow the steps on screen to get your card set up. There will also be Terms & Conditions you’ll need to accept to continue.

If your Apple Watch doesn’t have a passcode, you will also be prompted to set one up as Apple Pay will not enable without it. If you have multiple cards associated with your Apple Watch, you can choose which is the default card. From then on, you’ll be able to double tap the large watch button (next to the Digital Crown) to quickly access Apple Pay with your default card. Once it says Ready, hold your wrist up to the Apple Pay terminal and ta-da!

How To Change Your Apple Watch Band

To change your Apple Watch band, turn your watch over with the screen facing down. If you have fingernails this will be easier. Hold down each oval one at a time and slide the band out. The oval and band connect with a tiny hook, so once that’s released the band should slide out easily. Then take the new band and slide the correct bands on accordingly. Speaking of which, there are so many Apple Watch bands to chose from! Now that you know how to change them, you have no excuse to not start a collection.


How to Take a Screenshot on Your Apple Watch

Similar to the iPhone, you hold down both buttons on the Apple Watch to take a screenshot. The screenshot will appear in the Photos app of your iPhone in your Camera Roll.  


How to Disable Stand Reminders on the Apple Watch

Stand Reminders are a part of the Activity app for Apple Watch which allows you to track three ‘rings’ of activity: Move, Exercise, and Stand. The Stand function recognizes that our sedentary office jobs are bad for health and reminds you to stand if you’ve been sitting for the first 50 minutes of an hour. However, for some people the reminder isn’t necessary. To disable stand reminders, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap Activity, and toggle off Stand Reminders.

How to Use Your Apple Watch to Locate Your Misplaced iPhone

You can locate your misplaced iPhone using your Apple Watch with a ‘ping’. From the watch face, swipe up. You’ll see a small phone icon at the bottom. Tap it and your phone will send out a reverberating pinging. With the watchOS 8 update, you can even ping your AirTags with your Apple Watch!


How to Clear All Notifications at Once on Your Apple Watch

When you swipe down from the watch face screen, your Notifications appear. It’s great for checking anything you may have missed, but if you want to clear all of the notifications simply hard press the screen. An ‘x’ and the words Clear All will pop up. Tap the ‘x’. 


How to Put Your Watch in Power Reserve Mode

Similar to Low Power Mode on the iPhone, you can put your Apple Watch into Power Reserve Mode. However, when your watch is in Power Reserve it won’t communicate with your iPhone, so it’s best to only turn it on if necessary.


How to Ignore Calls and Notifications

This is one of my favorite small features of the Apple Watch. If you get a call or notification you want to ignore, cover your watch screen with the palm of your hand. Doing this will silence an incoming call and turn your screen off.  

The Apple Watch is an impressive device that can do all this and so much more! To learn more about the Apple Watch, such as the Handwashing feature, how to use gestures for navitation, understand Apple Watch icons and symbolshow to customize the Control Center, or how to add or remove Apple Watch Dock apps, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.
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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.