How to change, customize and make a Garmin watch face

Mix up the design, data points and even build your own watch face
How to change the watch face on your Garmin
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Most Garmin watches ship with a bevy of built-in watch faces, enabling you to prioritise the data most important to you and freshen up the display design depending on the occasion.

You can select analogue-style hands with no additional data, or a digital clock packed with information like steps, calories, remaining battery life, seconds and the date. Each watch face can also be customized with colour accents for the foreground and background.

Read this: Best running watches to buy 2019

Before you get hung up on the built-in options, there’s also a massive array of third-party options on the Garmin Connect IQ store – some cramming every data point imaginable onto the display. If you’re a little bolder you can even make your own watch face from scratch.

Change the watch face on a Garmin

How to change and customize your Garmin watch face

This method varies somewhat depending on the watch you own, but on devices like the Garmin Forerunner, Fenix, Quatix, Descent and Delta, here’s how to change the watch face quickly and easily.

1. Hold down the Up button on the watch and select Watch Face. Handily, it’s the first option.

2. A scroll bar will then appear on the left side. Press the Up and Down buttons to scroll between the options. Here, you’ll see the five watch faces you have pre-installed, plus the option for Add New (more on this below).

3. When you’ve found the watch face you’d like to use, hit Select.

4. You’ll be given three options here: Apply, Customize or Delete.

5. Select Apply to choose the watch face.

Note: If you have a Garmin Vivoactive or Epix watch, you need to access the Watch Face option via the Settings menu. Hold Up to bring up the menu and scroll down to Settings > Watch face. Then, follow steps 2 to 5.

How to customize a Garmin watch face

If you want to customize the watch face you’re currently using, or one you’ve just selected, it’s easy. Repeat steps 1-3 listed above. Then, instead of selecting Apply, select Customize. This will open the watch face editor.

From here, use the Up and Down commands to move between the options to change the Dial, Layout, Hands, Seconds, Data, Accent Colour, Background Colour. Press the Select button to choose your option.

Read next: Best Garmin watch faces to download

You can then use the Up and Down buttons to move between the available options for each aspect of the Watch face, such as changing the dial style, or changing a data point from steps to calories. When you see the option you’d like to choose, press Select.

When selecting Data, it’s likely you’ll have more than one option field to customize. Hitting Select will move you onto the next field, until you’ve customized all of the data options on the watch face. The same applies to Accent Colour, where you’ll be able to customize the colour of multiple individual areas of the watch face.

Add a new watch face on a Garmin

How to change and customize your Garmin watch face

As well as the visible pre-loaded watch face options, you can select add new faces from the Watch Face selection screen. This will give you access to new watch faces that are hiding away in the background. Here’s how to do it.

Hold Up, select Watch Face, then hit down until you reach Add New. Hit Select and scroll through available options. When you find the face you want to deploy, hit Select again. Here, you’ll have the option to Apply, Customize or Delete. To save any changes, choose Done.

Install new watch faces on a Garmin

How to change and customize your Garmin watch face

Although the Garmin-made watch faces are varied and almost instantly customisable with designs, colours and data points, there are plenty of developers out there coming up with their own unique take on the watch face. This is where the Connect IQ app store comes in.

1. If you haven’t downloaded the Connect IQ mobile app, you can grab it through the iOS App Store and on the Google Play Store. Then, log in with your Garmin account details.

2. Open the app and scroll down to Digital Watch Faces. Here, you’ll see the top-rated and most downloaded watch faces created by the community. Crystal, GearMin and NoFrills are among the most popular.

3. Hit Download and it will be added to the queue.

4. Next, open the regular Garmin Connect app, tap on your watch and choose Appearance > Watch Faces. Here, you’ll see the watch face under the Not Installed section.

5. Tap on the watch face in question and hit Install. You’ll be notified when complete.

6. The next time your watch syncs with the Connect app, the new face will appear on your screen. You can also follow the steps outlined above to customize the watch face, if the developer has added those options.

How to make Garmin watch faces

If you’re feeling ambitious and creative, there are apps that enable you to build your own Garmin watch face. Watch Face Builder is one such app available from Garmin Connect IQ (follow instructions above to download).

Once installed, you can head to the Garmin Connect app, tap on your watch in the top right corner and select find Appearance > Watch Faces. Here, you’ll be able to tap on Watch Face Builder. Head to the Settings section and begin customizing each element. When complete, you can install the watch face on your watch.

It isn’t straightforward and is absolutely more hassle than it’s worth, but you can check this YouTube video out for some more detailed instructions.