​How to change an Apple Watch band

Swap and go with Apple's easy strap-changing system
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One of the best features of the Apple Watch is the hot-swappable bands, which enable you to change one out for another in seconds.

It takes around 10 seconds to swap between Apple Watch bands, which means there’s no reason not to have multiple options ready to go.

You may use a silicon Apple Watch strap for running or the gym, but want to swap to a leather or link band when you return to the office. Also, why not have different bands for different outfits? With such a vibrant market of third-party Apple Watch bands out there, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. 

Want to know how to change Apple Watch bands? Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to change Apple Watch bands

Wareable​How to change an Apple Watch band photo 4

Apple has the same two quick-release buttons on the underside of the watch that featured on the very first generation. 

These are shown in the above picture, and the direction the band can be pulled away from the Apple Watch case.

Here are some instructions on switching them:

  • Look for the quick-release button on the underside of the Apple Watch.
  • Push in and pull the band sideways, and slide it sideways out of the bracket.
  • Now just slide in your new band, and wait for it to click into place.

What if it doesn't click into place?

If you don't feel the new strap click into place, it's probably the wrong way around. The only criticism of the incredibly simple strap mechanism is that it's quite hard on some bands to see which way around it's supposed to go.

So if it hasn't clicked and sat nicely into place, or you can't slide it past halfway, just turn the band over and try again.

Apple Watch sizes

We have a full guide to Apple Watch sizes, as things are quite confusing.

The 45mm strap size will work with 45mm Apple Watch Series, as well as 44mm older smartwatches and the 49mm Ultra, without leaving a nasty gap.

41mm straps will work with the 40mm and 41mm smaller sizes of Apple Watch Series and SE.

Read our full Apple Watch sizes explainer.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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