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Most Apple Watch owners (and other watch owners) will wear their watch on their left wrist. This is because most people are right-handed. But, even right-handed people may decide they want to wear their watch on their right wrist even though that is their dominant hand. It doesn’t really matter, and it is totally your personal preference. In this article, we will tell you how you can change the orientation of your Apple Watch so that you can wear it on the other wrist.How to change Apple Watch orientation
You can change the orientation of your Apple Watch in your Apple Watch settings. Essentially what this does is flip the screen upside down.Where do you want the Digital Crown?
The reason you may want to switch the orientation of your Apple Watch is to have the Digital Crown (and Side button) where you want it. You may not care much about where the Digital Crown is; it depends on how much you use the Digital Crown. Most of the time, when I use my Apple Watch, I tap or swipe on the screen. I don’t use the Digital Crown that often.
A few Digital Crown considerations:
Most people find it easier to press the Digital Crown with the index finger of their dominant hand. This is the reason why the two orientations, left wrist and right wrist, are what they are.
Some users have found that it is too easy to accidentally press or turn the Digital Crown when the watch is in its standard orientation, with the Digital Crown near the hand.Left wrist orientation
This is the standard orientation for those who wear their Apple Watch on their left wrist. On your left wrist, the Digital Crown will be next to your hand, and when staring at the watch face, the Digital Crown will be on the right side of the watch. You can use this orientation while wearing your watch on either your left or right wrist. It depends on your preference.
Left wrist orientation with Digital Crown on the right
On your Apple Watch, open Settings.
Scroll down and tap on General, then Orientation.
Under Wrist, select Left. Under Digital Crown, select Right. If you want to wear the Apple Watch on your left wrist with the Digital Crown to the left, select Left under Digital Crown. It will look like the right wrist orientation.Right wrist orientation
This is the standard orientation for those who wear the watch on their right wrist. When worn on the right wrist, the Digital Crown will be next to your hand, and when staring at the watch face, the Digital Crown will be on the left side of the watch.
Right wrist orientation with Digital Crown on the left
On your Apple Watch, open Settings.
Scroll down and tap on General, then Orientation.
Under Wrist, select Right. Under Digital Crown, select Left. If you want to wear the Apple Watch on your right wrist with the Digital Crown to the right, select Right under Digital Crown. It will look like the left wrist orientation.The Apple Watch band
If you switch the orientation of your Apple Watch screen, you may also want to switch the band. To change the orientation of the Apple Watch band, press and hold the band release button on the back side of the watch while sliding the band out of its slot.
When sliding the band back onto the watch, it will snap securely into place once it is in position. For more detail about changing Apple Watch bands, see how to change your Apple Watch band.
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When you set up your move, stand, and exercise goals in Apple’s Fitness app for your Apple Watch (Amazon, Best Buy), you might not know the best numbers to start with. Luckily, you can change your goals to challenge yourself or make them more attainable.
Maybe you far surpass your move goal each day, making that activity ring overlap. On the other hand, perhaps you can’t reach your exercise goal no matter how hard you try.
Table of Contents
Whatever the reason, we’ll show you how to change your fitness goals on iPhone and Apple Watch for activity tracking.How to Change Fitness Goals on iPhone
To adjust the activity goals on your iPhone, open the Fitness app and follow these steps.
Go to the
tab and select your
icon on the top right.
screen that appears, choose
You’ll then go through each of the three goals, move, exercise, and stand. If you don’t want to change that particular goal, simply tap the button at the bottom to continue to the next one.
You can first change your move goal. Use the
buttons in red to increase or decrease the goal. This represents the number of active calories you burn by moving each day. Tap
Change Move Goal
when you finish.
You’ll then see your daily exercise goal. Use the
buttons in green to change the number of minutes of exercise you plan to reach each day. Tap
Change Exercise Goal
when you finish.
Lastly, you’ll see your stand goal. Use the
buttons in blue to adjust the number of minutes per day for this goal. Tap
Change Stand Goal
when you finish.
You’ll then return to the Summary screen in the Fitness app and your new goals are saved automatically. You can see how close you’ve come so far for the day with your updated goals in the Activity section at the top.How to Change Fitness Goals on Apple Watch
You can change your fitness goals on your Apple Watch in addition to your iPhone. The updated goals sync with the Apple Watch Activity app, so open Activity to get started.
Make sure you’re on the main Activity screen which is the one displaying your rings at the top. If you see a different screen, swipe from left to right until you see your rings.
Scroll to the bottom of the main screen and tap
You’ll see each of your three goals in the same order as in Fitness on iPhone. If you don’t want to adjust the goal you see, simply tap the button at the bottom to go to the next one.
First is your daily move goal. Use the
buttons or Digital Crown to
increase or decrease the calories you seek to burn each day. Tap
Next is the exercise goal. Use
buttons or Digital Crown to select the number of minutes you want to exercise every day. Tap
Last is the stand goal. Do the same and use the
buttons or Digital Crown to choose the number of hours per day you want for the goal. Tap
Note: If you don’t see the exercise and stand goals, make sure you have the latest watchOS version on an Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
When you finish, you’ll return to the main Activity screen and your updated goals are saved. You can view how close you are to your new goals for the current day in the Activity section.
Remember, you can also sync your Apple Watch to your fitness tracker or workout app if you use something beyond the Activity app.
Whether you want to challenge yourself to reach higher targets or need to make your goals more realistic, it’s easy to change your fitness goals on iPhone and Apple Watch.
For more, check out the best Apple Watch faces for health and fitness.
Automations can be wonderful. You can make things happen with a one-time action and have them repeat. And with the Shortcuts app on iPhone you can set up personal automations for your Apple Watch.
One such automation you may find handy is changing your Watch face based on time of day, location, or action. For instance, you might like a certain face in the morning as your day is starting and a different one as your evening begins. As another example, you might prefer a particular face for when you head to the office and another when you arrive home.
Here, we’ll show you how to automatically change your Apple Watch face for situations like these.Change your Apple Watch face based on time
Let’s start with a Watch face that changes based on the time of day. And we’d like to thank Jake Behrens and his Twitter post for the idea!
1) Open Shortcuts on your iPhone and tap Automation at the bottom.
2) Tap the plus sign at the top to add one and choose Create Personal Automation.
3) Pick Time of Day at the top of the New Automation screen.
4) Select Sunrise, Sunset, or a custom Time of Day. Optionally, set the automation to repeat Daily, Weekly, or Monthly if you like.
5) Tap Next and then tap Add Action.
6) You can scroll through the Suggestions here, but it’s easier to pop the word “Watch” into the Search at the top. This should display Watch at the very top under Apps, so tap it.
7) On the list of Watch actions, select Set Watch Face.
8) On the Actions screen, tap “Face” in blue. Choose the face you want to use for the time you selected.
Tip: If you’re doing this just for fun, you can pick the option at the bottom for Ask Each Time and select one by mood or activity when prompted.
9) Now you’ll be back on the Actions screen and should see the face you selected in the action. Tap Next.
10) On the following screen, you’ll likely want to turn off the toggle for Ask Before Running. If you leave this enabled, you’ll be prompted each time the automation runs which is really unnecessary. If you disable the toggle, confirm by tapping Don’t Ask.
11) Tap Done.
This completes the setup process for the automation and you’ll be directed to the main Automation screen where you should see the one you just created.
Follow the same steps to set up the Watch face changes for the additional times of day.Change your Watch face automatically by location
Next, we’ll show you how to set up an automation to change your Watch face based on location. This is pretty much the same process except you’re choosing a location instead of a time.
1) Follow Steps 1 and 2 above and pick Arrive or Leave at the top of the New Automation screen, depending on when you want the face to change.
2) Tap Choose to pick the location and then tap Done. You can optionally select a Time Range for changing locations or simply set it to Any Time.
3) Tap Next and then tap Add Action.
4) Follow the remaining Steps 6 through 11 above to add the action for your Watch, select the face, and finish the automation setup.Other handy Watch face actions
Now that you see the basics for automatically changing your Apple Watch face based on time or location, you might try some other actions.
Once you start setting up the automation, review the available actions. You can change the face based on before you commute, when Airplane Mode is turned on, when your Watch reaches a certain battery level, and more.
When Apple previewed watchOS 8 at WWDC 2023, the Portraits watch face managed to catch my attention right away. As I have a penchant for trying out a variety of watch faces, I was curious to see how the new Portraits watch face works on my Apple Watch. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t introduce it in watchOS 8 beta 1. Now, with the release of watchOS 8 beta 2, the Cupertino giant has added this much-awaited feature that lets users set portrait photos as a watch face on Apple Watch. If you want to try out this exciting new feature, let me help you set a Portraits watch face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch.Set Up Portraits Watch Face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch
First off, let’s understand what makes Portraits watch face so exciting! And why is every Apple Watch user going gaga over this feature? Then, we will look at the steps to enable the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch.What is Portraits Watch Face and How It Works on Apple Watch?
The Portraits watch face is designed to let you view and engage with photos in an all-new way on Apple Watch. What makes it so fascinating is the ability to animate a portrait image with a multi-layered effect. Notably, it intelligently recognizes faces in photos and crops in to highlight the subject. Thus, the watch face appears pleasing to the eyes.
Once you have set up Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch, a new photo will show up whenever you raise your wrist or tap the display. Interestingly, there is also a way to zoom in/ out of the portrait for times when you may want to get into the details. It is a nice way to take a glance at memorable photos and also personalize your smartwatch.What Sort of Customization Does Portraits Watch Face Offer?
Unlike the Photos watch face, the Portraits doesn’t let you fine-tune the colors. Though it might not be a big deal for many, I would have certainly appreciated having the flexibility to tweak colors as well. Since watchOS 8 is still a work in progress, a lot could change by the time Apple rolls out the OS this fall.Use Portraits Watch Face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch
Note: I tried out the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch SE running watchOS 8 beta 2, and it worked perfectly fine. The latest watchOS update is also supported by Apple Watch 3 and above.
Launch the Watch app on your iPhone, paired with the Apple Watch.
3. Next, scroll down and choose the Portraits watch face option.
4. Next up, tap on the “Choose Photos…” option from the Content section and then select up to 24 portrait images. The better way to go about it is to create an album of all of your portrait shots and then select the desired images from the album.
5. Up next, select the portrait images and then tap “Add” at the top right corner of the screen. You can then move around the image to adjust the crop and see how it would look on your Apple Watch’s screen.
6. Then, you can choose from three different clock styles:
Classic: Pick this to give a retro look to the clock.
Modern: Gives a more refined look to the clock.
Rounded: Select it if you prefer a rounded design.
7. Next, you can select complications. The date appears in the middle of the Portraits watch face. At the bottom, you can choose to show any other complications like moon phase, your schedule, activity, etc.
6. In the end, make sure to tap “Add” to finish setting up the Portraits watch face in watchOS 8.
Zoom In or Out Portraits Watch Face on Apple Watch
Probably the best part about the Portraits watch face is the ability to zoom in or out of the portrait image. You can use the Digital Crown to zoom in or out of the portrait shot. Take a look at the GIF below to find out how it works.Get the Most Out of Portraits Watch Face on Apple Watch
That’s pretty much it! So, that’s how you can enable and use Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch. Now that you know how this cool feature works, you can make the most of it to jazz up the watch face in watchOS 8. While watchOS 8 might not be a huge upgrade, it has some notable features, including the ability to measure respiratory rate, an improved Home app, and a smarter Breathe app. So, share your thoughts about the latest iteration of watchOS and whether or not the Portraits has won you over.
If you forgot your Apple Watch passcode, the only way to regain access to your Apple Watch is by factory resetting the device before pairing it to your iPhone again. You can reset your Apple Watch with or without your iPhone on hand. However, you will need your iPhone to initiate the pairing process and to retrieve a backup of the data from your Apple Watch, once you have reactivated it. Here is everything you need to know the next time you get locked out of your Apple Watch.How to Reset Apple Watch Without iPhone
If you are out of range of your iPhone, you can reset your Apple Watch with a few simple taps. It is required that you place your Apple Watch on its charger while you complete the following steps:
Press and hold the side button (highlighted below on your Apple Watch) until you see the power button icon in the upper right corner of the display, then let go of the side button. If you have an Apple Watch Ultra, be sure not to press the Action Button by accident since doing so will override this workflow.
Tap the button labeled “Reset” twice to confirm that you would like to reset your Apple Watch. After your Apple Watch restarts, you can attempt to pair it to your iPhone again.
Good to know: When you erase your Apple Watch a backup of its data is automatically created and stored on your iPhone. If your Apple Watch is not connecting or pairing to your iPhone, we have a number of ways to help you troubleshoot the problem.How to Reset Apple Watch With iPhone
You can use your iPhone to remotely reset your Apple Watch to factory settings and unpair it from your iPhone as long as both devices are within range of each other. This is the method that you should use if you plan to pass your Apple Watch on to a different owner. Here is how to do it:
Note: If you have a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch, you will need to follow an extra step to retain your data plan once you set up your Apple Watch again. After you agree to erase all content and settings, select the button labeled “Remove Cellular Plan”.
With your Apple Watch placed close to or alongside your iPhone, open the Watch app on your iPhone.
Tap the “My Watch” tab highlighted below.
Tap on the menu item labeled “General”.
Scroll all of the way down to the bottom of the list of menu items and tap on the option titled “Reset”.
Tap on the “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings” button.
Confirm this action by selecting “Erase All Content and Settings” from the bottom of the screen. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password to confirm this action.
Tip: Looking to level-up your workflow by establishing seamless continuity among your Apple products? Discover how to easily unlock iPhone and Mac with an Apple Watch.How to Restore From a Backup on Apple Watch
After you erase and unpair your Apple Watch, you need to pair it to your iPhone again. Here is how to get paired up again without losing the data that you had on your Apple Watch before you erased it.
To pair, hold your iPhone close to your Apple Watch and then press “Continue” on your iPhone.
Image source: Apple
After you have finished pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you will reach a screen that gives you the option to set up your Apple Watch as new, or restore all of your data from a previous backup. Select “Restore from Backup” to restore your data. On newer versions of iOS and watchOS, your Apple Watch will automatically restore from a backup.
Tip: Heading out into the unknown with your newly-restored Apple Watch? Discover 10 ways to maximize your Apple Watch Battery on long journeys including how to enable Low Power Mode.Frequently Asked Questions Are there any extra steps to take if I plan to sell, give away, or trade in my Apple Watch?
No. However, be sure to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings using your iPhone, since erasing your Apple Watch using watchOS will not unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone. Erasing and unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone removes Activation Lock, a feature that prevents lost or stolen Apple devices from being paired to a new owner without the original owner’s Apple ID password.How do I backup my Apple Watch?
Your Apple Watch automatically backs up to your iPhone when both devices are near each other. If you choose to erase and unpair your Apple Watch, your data is automatically backed up to your iPhone before the actual restore process begins, in order to ensure that your backup includes the latest information.If I restore my Apple Watch from a backup, will I lose any data?
Yes. For security reasons credit or debit cards stored in the Wallet app, bluetooth pairing data, and of course your passcode, are not included in Apple Watch backups. Conversations from the Messages app are also unretrievable unless you use iCloud and have Messages in the Cloud enabled on your iPhone. All other data, including watch faces will be available after you restore from backup.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank.
Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts – including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.
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When you press the side button on your Apple Watch, you see the Dock. Depending on the setting, the watchOS Dock has either your favorite apps or the ones you used recently. In this tutorial, we tell you more about the Apple Watch Dock, how to use it, add favorite apps, and get the most of it.Does my Apple Watch have a Dock or App Switcher?
This is an interesting question.
On an iPhone, the bottom part of the Home Screen with four essential apps is the Dock. And when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen or quickly double-press the Home button, you see the App Switcher, which has cards for all the apps you recently opened.
On an Apple Watch, the screen is tiny, and thus you do not have a Home Screen that can mimic the iPhone-like Dock. To address this, watchOS has a hybrid screen where you can have up to ten favorite apps or configure it only to show the apps you opened recently. Apple calls this screen the Dock, and you can access it by pressing the side button.How to use the Dock on Apple Watch
To get the most out of the tiny computer on your wrist, you can use its Dock which lets you switch among favorite or recent apps. Let’s show you how to do that and more.
Press the side button from the watch face, app bubble, or any app screen.
Use a finger or Digital Crown to swipe through.
Tap to use one of the apps listed here.
Swipe left and tap X to remove a recent app. If Dock is set to display favorite apps, tapping X will remove it from Favorites.
From the bottom, tap All Apps to see the app bubble.
Press the side button or Digital Crown to close the Dock.How to choose Recent or Favorite apps for Apple Watch Dock
Here’s how to set your Apple Watch Dock to display recently used apps or the favorite apps:
Press the Digital Crown and tap the Settings icon.
Scroll down and tap Dock.
Favorites: If you use your Apple Watch for fixed tasks like workouts, listening to music on the run, quickly calculating a tip, and such, you might want to have only your favorite apps on the Dock. Choosing Favorites ensures you can instantly launch these essential apps by pressing the side button and tapping its card.
Recents: On the other hand, choose this if you want an iPhone-like experience where all your recently used apps are in the Dock (or App Switcher).
You can do the same from your iPhone via the Watch app.How to set favorite apps for Apple Watch Dock
Though you can choose to arrange your apps by favorites (or recents) on the Apple Watch itself, you need the paired iPhone to customize the list of favorite apps.
Here’s how to add or remove apps from Favorites and reorder their position:
Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone.
From the My Watch tab, tap Dock.
Make sure Favorites is checked and tap Edit.
Tap the green plus icon next to an app to add it to Favorites. You can repeat this with 9 more apps. 10 in total.
Touch the hamburger icon (three short lines) and move it up or down to rearrange its position. The apps on the top appear on the top of the Dock on Apple Watch. So, make sure you keep the most used ones in the top three.
Finally, tap Done.Apple Watch multitasking tip
By now, you know how to use the Apple Watch Dock to multitask and use apps efficiently. Given the tiny screen, I rarely use apps on it. But if you’re a pro user, here’s one more tip that lets you switch back and forth between two apps on Apple Watch.
Open the first app.
Open the second app from the app bubble or Dock.
Double-press the Digital Crown to instantly switch between these two apps.
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