How to Change an Apple Watch Band in 3 Steps (With Photos)

how to change an apple watch band

How to Change an Apple Watch Band in 3 Steps (With Photos)

No two Apple Watch owners are alike. From the combination of apps on the device to the size and color of the Apple Watch itself to the actual Apple Watch band material itself, the Apple-branded smartwatch is known for its remarkable versatility and unique customizability.

However, it’s the last of these that remains the least known: the ability to change an Apple Watch band. How can it be done? Not to mention, why change a band in the first place?

Below, we’ve outlined the steps necessary to change an Apple Watch band. Regardless of your band material, your Apple Watch size, generation, or color, these steps will help you remove the Apple Watch band you have on now and attach a new band in its place.

Additionally, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why you might want to change an Apple Watch band in the first place. Follow along with the photos and steps below.

Why Change an Apple Watch Band?

Before learning how to change an Apple Watch band, it helps to understand why you’d want to change it in the first place. As it turns out, there are several reasons beyond the simple fact that you can. From comfort levels to skin sensitivities to fashion statements, these are the top reasons to change an Apple Watch band.


Firstly, there’s comfort. There are currently more than a dozen different Apple Watch band types in the Apple Store. This number increases exponentially when you realize that the Apple Store isn’t the only place to find bands, either.

From nylon to leather to stainless steel to rubber to polyester and countless other materials in between, changing an Apple Watch band is synonymous with changing your watch’s comfort level. If the band is too firm on your wrist while working out, you can consider switching to a more flexible material.

If your band is too flashy for a professional meeting, you can class up your Apple Watch with a stainless steel band. The possibilities and reasons are endless, but one thing is a constant across all these materials: to change an Apple Watch band is to change the kind of comfort you’re going to experience while wearing it.


Secondly, there are allergies. Sometimes, our skin doesn’t react very well to an irritating material. This is especially true when the material gets all sweaty and dirty during a workout or outdoor excursion. (Not to mention those of us who are allergic to some synthetic materials.)

For this reason, many Apple Watch users with skin sensitivities will switch out their standard Apple Watch bands for some hypoallergenic, skin-friendly ones instead. Whether you have a rubber allergy, a metal allergy, a synthetics allergy, or simply find your Apple Watch band irritating your skin for some reason, changing it can be a great way to put a stop to frequent allergic reactions.

There are many third-party sellers out there who specialize in hypoallergenic Apple Watch bands. The same goes for Apple Watch bands for people with sensitive skin.


Thirdly, there’s style. With more than a dozen band types and band colors, three different band collections, and seven different Apple Watch sizes in the Apple Store alone, the customization options are seemingly endless.

Once you’ve opened up your search to the entire internet, those customization options become even greater. There are innumerable options for you to choose from out there, each with its own unique style.

The Apple Watch is more than just a thing that tells you the time. When you change an Apple Watch band, you’re making a statement whether you’re intending to or not.

That statement can be understated and minimalist with a plain-colored sport band, or it can be high fashion with a luxury Apple Watch Hermès band. Or, it can be anything in between these two opposite ends of the spectrum.

How to Change an Apple Watch Band

Here are the three simple steps you need to follow in order to change an Apple Watch band. These steps remain the same no matter what generation, size, or material your Apple Watch or band is made of. Follow along with the steps and photos below, and you’ll be sporting your new Apple Watch band in no time.

Step 1: Turn the Apple Watch Over

change an apple watch band
To change an Apple Watch band, you must first turn the Watch over.

To begin, turn your Apple Watch over so that the face of the Watch is facing down. You’ll want the back of the Watch to be facing upwards toward you. Here, you’ll see two release buttons; one on either side of the Watch casing.

Step 2: Remove the Band

how to change an apple watch band
Press down on the release button and slide the existing band out.

With the Apple Watch still turned over, press your finger hard on one of the release buttons. These buttons can be tricky to press, so it might help to use your fingernail to press down. While pressing, slide the Apple Watch band out. This is another part that takes some effort, but fear not: it’ll budge.

Step 3: Slide the New Band In

how to change an apple watch band
After you’ve changed an Apple Watch band, make sure it’s secured in place.

In addition to the steps above, we also found the perfect video guide on YouTube. This step-by-step tutorial will help you through the process and should answer any lingering questions you may have.

Once the Apple Watch bands have been removed from both sides, you can now slide the new Band in their place. You may hear a slight click when the new Band is in place, but a better indicator that the Apple Watch band is secured in place is if it stays immobile when pulled and doesn’t start to move back out again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Apple Watch Ultra bands different than regular Apple Watch bands?

While the Apple Watch Ultra is as large as 49mm — far bigger than any other Apple Watch model or type to come before — many different Apple Watch bands will fit the device. Specifically, all Apple Watch bands made for 42mm, 44mm, and 45mm Apple Watch models are compatible with the Apple Watch Ultra, even in spite of their case size differences.

Do Apple Watch bands come in children's sizes?

While the 40mm and 41mm Apple Watch band sizes are more kid-friendly than the larger bands, it might be best to look at third-party sellers for Apple Watch bands made specifically for children. As of this writing, Apple does not have any officially made only for children’s sizes.

Is there a specific direction to slide out the Apple Watch band?

The Apple Watch band can be removed in either direction. There is no one right or wrong way to slide the band out.

Do they make extra long Apple Watch bands?

While Apple does not make any longer Apple Watch bands than their XL size, you can certainly find extra long Apple Watch bands from third-party sellers on the internet. The M/L Apple Watch band size fits wrists as wide as 205mm. The XL size fits wrists up to 245mm. Any wider, and you’ll have to look elsewhere other than Apple.

Do different Apple Watch models have different Apple Watch band lengths?

No matter the Apple Watch case size, Apple tends to stick to the same Apple Watch band lengths. These are as follows: S/M, M/L, and XL. According to Apple, bands for 38mm, 40mm, and 41mm models are all compatible, while bands for 42mm, 44mm, and 45mm cases are also compatible with one other.

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