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How to change your apple watch’s orientation

By default, your Apple Watch is set up to have the Digital Crown on the right side of the watch face.

However, you may want to change this orientation and have the Digital Crown on the left side of the watch face for any number of reasons.

For me, it’s the fact that the Digital Crown gets in the way and is often accidentally pushed by the back of my left hand during workouts (especially when doing push-ups).

Additionally, for owners of Apple Watch Series 3 models and earlier, flipping the orientation turns the microphone towards you, which is a plus when making phone calls or using Siri.

Here’s how to change your Apple Watch orientation.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $399.00 at Best Buy)

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

How to flip your Apple Watch screen

1. Press the Digital Crown to view all your Apple Watch apps.

2. Open the Settings app on Apple Watch. It’s a gray icon with a gear on it.

3. Use your finger or turn the Digital Crown to scroll down to General.

4. Tap Orientation.

5. Choose which wrist you’d like to wear your Apple Watch on (left or right).

6. Choose which side will have the Digital Crown (left or right).

How to flip your Apple Watch screen using your iPhone

1. Open the Watch app for iPhone.

2. Tap General.

3. Tap Watch Orientation.

4. Choose which wrist you’d like to wear your Apple Watch on (left or right).

5. Choose which side will have the Digital Crown (left or right).

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

By default, the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch is on the right side like a traditional watch. But did you know you can flip your Apple Watch face around so that the Digital Crown is on the left of the watch? I did this when I first bought the device because I’m left handed, and I wear my watch on my right wrist. This tip will also work for right-handed people who want to wear the watch on their left wrist, but still prefer to have the Digital Crown be on the left side of the Apple Watch, and for people whose Apple Watch display is upside down and need to fix it. If you want to flip your Apple Watch screen, here’s how.

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Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Tap General and select Watch Orientation.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

The first section in the Watch Orientation menu establishes which wrist you wear your Apple Watch on. If your Apple Watch face is upside down when wearing it, it is likely you have the wrong wrist selected.

  • Choose the correct wrist.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

If you have the correct wrist selected and you want to flip your Apple Watch display, there are two options in the bottom section: Digital Crown on Right Side and Digital Crown on Left Side.

  • Choose the side you prefer and then your physical watch “upside down” if needed so that the reorientated watch face is still facing you.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

The Apple Watch includes the ability to change its orientation to accommodate right-handed as well as left-handed wearers. Here is how to change the orientation on your Apple Watch.

Traditional wristwatches are ambidextrous. Whether you want to wear one on your left wrist or right wrist, it will still be as accessible and usable, no matter what.

With something like a smartwatch, you may not have such an option. Luckily the Apple Watch includes the ability to accommodate anybody, be they left or right-handed.

That said, this will only work if you have the orientation set appropriately.

Setting Your Watch’s Orientation

In order to do this, you must enter the settings and set the orientation to work for whatever wrist you intend to wear it on.

To set your Watch’s orientation, you will first need to tap open the Settings on the Watch.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Next, tap open the General category.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Immediately you should see the Orientation option. Tap that to open those settings.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

You will be able to configure two settings in the Orientation category. The first is to change it to suit left or right-handed wearers. The other is to change the placement of the digital crown.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

The digital crown orientation is an important item because it means that the display will invert so you can wear the Watch upside down.

Why would you ever want to wear it like this? Simply, because then you can control the digital crown with your thumb more easily. Some users might find this to be more intuitive and comfortable.

Changing the Orientation on Your iPhone

You can also accomplish all this using the Watch app on your iPhone. With the app open, tap on “General” to access the settings.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Now in the General settings, tap on “Watch Orientation”.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Like with the settings on the Watch, you will be able to choose between wearing it on your left or right wrist. Additionally, you can also decide whether the digital crown is on the left or right side.

Again, if you do this, it means the digital crown might be on the bottom making it easier for some users to manipulate.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

All told, you can wear the Watch up to four ways, on your right or left wrist, with the digital crown on the right or left side.

This allows any wearer to decide what is most ergonomic and thus comfortable arrangement for them.

We hope you found this article useful and you’re now wearing your Apple Watch in a fashion best suited to you. If you have any questions or comments you wish to contribute, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.

By Mike Peterson 1 comment Last updated January 23, 2019

If you’re an Apple Watch owner, you know Apple places its Digital Crown on the right side of the device itself. At least, by default.

For the most part, Apple likely went with this design decision to mimic how actual watches are set up. That way, users switching from an analog watch to the Apple Watch would find the device familiar and comfortable to use.

But just because the Apple Watch comes out of the box this way doesn’t mean that you have to stick with it.

In fact, there’s another way to wear your Apple Watch that may come with its own set of benefits.

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What is Reverse Crown Orientation?

The way mentioned above is known as “reverse crown orientation.” But that’s not its official name since Apple doesn’t acknowledge it on any of its sites or packaging materials.

That name was first coined by app and web developer Craig Hockenberry, who was likely the first user to bring the alternative wear option to light on a large scale.

Basically, reverse crown orientation is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the Digital Crown being on the top-right of the Watch, it’ll be on the lower-left.

That may not sound like it does you much good, but there are some benefits associated with it.

Some of the Potential Benefits of Reversing Apple Watch Orientation How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Flipping the Digital Crown’s orientation on your Apple Watch is not just an aesthetic change. And don’t worry, your screen and apps won’t be upside down.

Here are just a few benefits that users who rock reverse crown orientation reported.

The Ergonomics are Better

When Hockenberry first wrote about the so-called “reverse crown” orientation, he noticed that there was a positive ergonomic change.

Some users find the natural position of the Apple Watch to be somewhat awkward, requiring fingers or thumbs to be placed and used unnaturally. How to change your apple watch’s orientation

With reverse crown orientation, you’ll naturally want to use your thumb to activate and scroll the Digital Crown. The other finger is used for stability and can quickly tap and scroll on the display itself — without ever having to move your thumb off the Crown.

It Could Make Your Voice Clearer

Because of the way the Apple Watch’s externals are situated, flipping it over may bring its built-in microphone closer to your mouth.

That’s a boon for Siri voice command recognition. But it could also bump up your clarity when using an Apple Watch for phone calls or other audio-related activities.

It’ll Mitigate Accidental Siri Activations

Some users, particularly those with physically demanding jobs, may find themselves inadvertently activating Siri at inopportune times. How to change your apple watch’s orientation

That’s where this reverse orientation can come in handy. With the Digital Crown flipped to the right side, there’s less of a chance that it’ll be pressed accidentally.

Are there any downsides?

According to users who use reverse crown orientation, the downsides are really few and far between. But there are a couple worth noting.

For example, many apps will expect the Digital Crown to be in the upper-right — and will show you scroll indicators and other UI elements that reflect that.

Still, it’s a relatively minor gripe and not really a deal breaker. And Apple could always fix it in an upcoming watchOS patch.

How To Set Up Reverse Crown Orientation on Apple Watch

If you’re curious about reverse crown orientation at this point, you may want to give it a try for yourself. It’s fairly easy to do.

  • Open the Watch app on your connected iPhone
  • Tap on General
  • Find and tap on Watch OrientationHow to change your apple watch’s orientation

At this point, you’ll see options for wrist orientation.

But you’ll also find a little-used option to set which side the Digital Crown is on.

Most users ignore or aren’t aware of this option, but it’s how you’ll set your Apple Watch to its “reverse orientation.”

For reverse orientation:

  • Select Digital Crown on Left Side if you wear it on your right wrist How to change your apple watch’s orientation
  • Select Digital Crown on Right Side if you wear it on your left wrist normally

Unless you’re changing wrists, leave the wrist selection alone.

Of course, you’ll also need to flip your watch over by taking off the band and putting it back together “in reverse.”

Change Apple Watch Orientation Using the Watch App!

You don’t even have to use your watch to make this change. Just open the Watch App.

  • Tap General
  • Tap Watch Orientation
  • Change the Digital Crown to the Left or Right Side
    • Look for the checkmark to verify your setting How to change your apple watch’s orientation

A Parting Note

Keep in mind that you’ll probably need some time to get used to the changed positions. But don’t give up right out of the gate. Give it a few days and check in to see if your Apple Watch experience has improved.

For many people, it will. But luckily for those who aren’t fans, it’s extremely easy to return the Apple Watch to its default crown orientation.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.

While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.

He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.

Apple Watch’s digital crown is set on the right side by default. You can change this Watch Display orientation by flipping the watch face. This is going to be convenient for those who wear the watch on the right hand. The flipped watch screen with Digital Crown on the left side of the screen works well for me when I wear the watch on the right hand.

Let’s see how to change the Apple Watch Screen Orientation or flip the screen to wear the watch on the right or left hand.

How to Change Apple Watch Screen Orientation

You can change the Apple Watch Digital Crown Orientation from the watch Settings. You don’t need to go to the paired iPhone to do this.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

  1. Open the Apple Watch Settings.
  2. Scroll Down and tap on General.
  3. Tap on Orientation from General Screen.
  4. Select the Digital Crown Left/Right as your choice.

Here you can select the convenient position of Watch’s Digital crown. The Apple Watch Screen will flip when you choose the left or right Digital Crown orientation.

How to change your apple watch’s orientationDigital Crown Left / Digital Crown Right

The screenshots above displays the screen position of the Apple Watch Screen with Left/Right Digital Crown position.

How to Change Apple Watch Wrist Settings

Do you want to change the default wrist set for Apple Watch to wear on the right hand? You can change the wrist setting from Apple Watch Settings.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

  1. Open the Apple Watch Settings.
  2. Scroll Down and tap on General.
  3. Tap on Orientation from General Screen.
  4. Select the Left/Right Wrist on your choice.

Sometimes, you may need to change the Digital Crown’s position when you change the wrist. You can follow the above steps to change the Digital Crown’s position from right to left to match to the Wrist position.

Change Apple Watch Digital Crown Orientation from iPhone

You can change the Apple watch screen orientation right form the iPhone too. See the steps below to change Apple Watch screen orientation from iPhone.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

  1. Open Apple Watch App on the iPhone.
  2. Tap on General Setting on Apple Watch app.
  3. Now, tap on Watch Orientation from General screen.
  4. Select Digital Crown on Left Side/Digital Crown on Right Side.

Apple offers the option to change the Digital Crown Orientation in both iPhone and Apple Watch. Even if your iPhone is not with you, you can still flip the Apple Watch Screen right from the Apple Watch Settings. However, the setting from the iPhone is pretty easy to flip the Apple Watch screen and also to change the wrist settings.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

If you’re not a big fan of the crowded app layout on the Apple Watch, WatchOS 4 has introduced a simpler alternative that makes it easier to scroll through and locate an app.

By default, the Apple Watch uses a really weird app layout. If you click down on the Digital Crown, you’ll see all of your Apple Watch apps laid out in a confusing mess with just the icons showing—no app names or anything. Luckily, life doesn’t have to be like this.

The downsides, however, are that you won’t be able to rearrange apps (they’ll only appear in alphabetical order) and it might take more time to scroll through the list to find the app you want to open, since technically the default app layout lets you squeeze in more apps onto the screen. But, at least this new method lets you see the app names, making it easier to see which app is which without getting confused.

To change the app layout on your Apple Watch, start by pressing down on the Digital Crown to bring up the app layout, if you’re not there already.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

From there, force touch the screen by pressing down hard enough until your watch vibrates. You’ll get two options that appear on the screen: “Grid View” and “List View”. Grid View is the default app layout that you’ve been using, while List View is the new app layout. Tap on that to change to it.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Your Apple Watch apps will now appear in list form in alphabetical order. From there, you can use the Digital Crown or the touch screen to scroll through the apps.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

That’s all there is to it! If you ever want to go back to the Grid View app layout, just force touch the screen again and choose “Grid View”.

It has been more than a month since I’ve been using the Apple Watch. But after you’ve get used to a new type of device, you tend to wonder if you’re using it efficiently.

A great way to figure that out is to find out how others are using the device. I came across this interesting article by Craig Hockenberry, developer of Twitterific, a popular Twitter client for iPhone and iPad, where he explains why he prefers the Digital Crown on the left side on his left wrist.

One of the first things I noticed about using the Apple Watch was that pressing the digital crown on my left wrist required a fairly awkward position of the index finger on my right hand. While pressing on the crown without another finger to provide resistance, the strap twisted uncomfortably. When you try to get your thumb on the opposite side of the case to provide support, you either cover the face or resort to contortions.

Luckily, I had spent some time digging around in the settings in the Apple Watch app and remembered seeing some odd settings in General > Watch Orientation. The wrist selection is obvious enough, but being able to change the position of the digital crown had no obvious benefit. That is, until I tried it.

So I tested the Apple Watch with the Digital Crown on the left. After testing it out for a couple of days, I prefer the default position of the crown, which is on the right. Since you’re so used to the crown being on the right, even in case of mechanical watches, it feels as if you’re wearing the watch the wrong way. So it takes some time to get used to the idea of having the crown on the left.

While I agree with Hockenberry that it is a little awkward to use the index finger to press the digital crown, and it seems a lot more natural to use the thumb, I have got used to it. In fact, I found it a little awkward to use the Digital Crown to scroll with my thumb. Using the index finger to scroll also wasn’t as convenient as using it when the Digital Crown was on the right side. The other problem is that accessibility to the Side button isn’t great when it is above the Digital Crown because of the protruding crown.

But I can see why Hockenberry, and the fact that there is a setting available, suggests that some people at Apple also preferred the position of the Digital Crown reversed.

About the Setting:

You can change the settings by following these steps:

  • Launch the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on Watch Orientation.
  • Tap on Digital Crown on Left Side.

It also goes without saying that you need to wear the watch with the Digital Crown on the left. Note, this feature is meant for left-handed users who want to wear the watch on the right hand.

Do you prefer the Digital Crown on the left or right side? Let me know in the comments below.

Credit: Marco Arment for the title.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

If you want to change the wrist in which you wear Apple Watch, you can do so without having a cumbersome button experience by choosing to switch the devices orientation.

This also insures the devices screen will show properly, otherwise if you simply move the Watch from one wrist to the other, the display would be upside down. Also, you may find this helpful if you want to wear the Apple Watch on the same wrist, but simply wish to change the devices digital crown orientation as well.

How to Change Wrist & Digital Crown Orientation on Apple Watch

Changing the Apple Watch wrist orientation from left to right (or vice versa), which basically flips the Watch, takes just a moment on the device itself:

  1. Open the Settings app on the Apple Watch and go to “General
  2. Go to “Orientation” and choose “Left” or “Right”, which will offer the following changes
    • Left – the Digital Crown and power button will be on the right side of the device
    • Right – the Digital Crown and power button will be on the left side of the device, essentially flipping the Watch upside down

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

You can also make this adjustment from the paired iPhone by opening the Watch app, going to “My Watch”, and then to General settings and finding “Watch Orientation”, the effect is the same either way.

Once you’ve adjusted the settings, raising Apple Watch will display the screen as intended proper side up:

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Of course, you could switch the Watch to another wrist without making this change, and as long as you didn’t flip the device, it would still work the same, but obviously the two side buttons, which are necessary for screen shots, navigating certain features, and powering on the device, would be a bit more difficult to access. Thus, if you’re going change the wrist wearing the Apple Watch, do yourself a favor and adjust the settings to accommodate the change, it works much better this way.

By Rob LeFebvre • 12:50 pm, January 18, 2016

  • How-To
  • Top stories

How to change your apple watch’s orientationTurn that crown upside down!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is designed with the Digital Crown in the same place as where traditional watches have their own crown to set the time. It’s a design choice that helps us think of this new tiny computer on our wrist as something comfortable and familiar.

But there’s no reason the Digital Crown should remain on the right, as it defaults to if you’re wearing your Apple Watch on your left wrist.

In fact, flipping it around can make things on your Apple Watch even better. Check it out.

App and web developer extraordinaire Craig Hockenberry tried this and found that the ergonomics of the Apple Watch got better. He found that using your thumb to scroll and press the Digital Crown was just better, and didn’t block the screen as much as when in the default orientation. In fact, using your index finger to brace the Apple Watch when you press either of the buttons on the left side made it more convenient to tap on the screen with it.

iMore’s Serenity Caldwell recommends the switch to move the Apple Watch microphone closer to your face when you raise your wrist, which should help Siri be more accurate, especially if you’re wearing a heavy coat or several layers.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation A simple setting could make your Apple Watch even better.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac To make this happen for your own Apple Watch, tap into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then tap the General button. Find Watch Orientation and tap through to set the side you want the Digital Crown on. You’ll want to leave the wrist selection alone if you want to keep your watch on your preferred hand.

If wearing your Apple Watch on your right hand, the idea is similar, if mirrored a bit. Leave the Apple Watch set to Right Wrist, but then put the Digital Crown on the right, as well. That way, the crown will be closer to your elbow and the microphone will be nearer your hand.

Of course, any new way of doing things will require some getting used to. Give it a few days and see if your own experience is improved. If not, just pop back into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and set things back to the more traditional.

The default Apple Watch layout is the Digital Crown on the top right, and this is how many users wear their Apple Watch if they wear it on your left wrist. However, this can be changed and there are valid reasons to do so.

While the default configuration is aesthetically pleasing, and falls in line with most other watches, changing your Apple Watch orientation could boost your Apple Watch efficiency.

You have two ways to go about doing this. One will require your iPhone, and the other can be done directly on the Watch.

  1. On the iPhone, head to the Watch app > General > Watch Orientation
  2. On your Apple Watch, head to Settings > General > Orientation

If you wear your Apple Watch in the default configuration, the options should show Left Wrist and Digital Crown on Right Side. What you’ll want to do is tap Digital Crown on the Right Side if you wear your Apple Watch on your left wrist. Immediately, the Apple Watch will flip its software 180 degrees.

If you wear your Watch on the right hand, you’ll want to set the setting to Digital Crown on Right Side. Note that you’ll need to flip your Apple Watch band as well. To do so, you’ll need to press the release button on the underside of your Apple Watch and slide it out in either direction.

And that’s all there is to it! You’ve now flipped the orientation of your Apple Watch from the default configuration.

How to change your apple watch’s orientation

Some may ask why should anyone flip your Watch orientation, but the answer is fairly simple. Flipping your Watch orientation allows you to scroll the Digital Crown with your thumb, and navigate with your index finger. This will also save you from accidentally pressing the Digital Crown with the backside of your hand.

But most importantly, it will allow the microphones on your Apple Watch to be facing you, instead of away from you, when using Apple Watch for phone calls or Siri.

Do you use your Apple Watch in its original orientation, or did you change it? Let us know in the comments below!

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles: