How to use your own photos as an Apple Watch face: Portraits and Photos backgrounds explained

Dress your display with a watch face you love to stare at
How to use Portraits Apple Watch face
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Setting a picture as your Apple Watch background has never been simpler - even if it did take a long time for Apple to release the feature.

First introduced through watchOS 8, users now have the ability to bring Portrait photos from their iPhone directly over the watch face.

Providing you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, you're ready to get started.

Below, we've broken down the key steps, including everything you need to know to set a picture as your Apple Watch face.

Adding a Portraits Apple Watch face

Works with: Apple Watch SE / SE 2 and Apple Watch Series 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

 Portraits Apple Watch face

if you want to make use of Apple's latest Portraits Watch Faces feature, there are a few things you need to make sure you've ticked off to make it happen.

  • An iPhone that can take Portrait photos (iPhone 7 Plus or later)
  • Access to Portrait photos that you've captured
  • An Apple Watch running watchOS 8 or later
  • An Apple Watch Series 4 or later

How to to create a Portraits Apple Watch face

How to create a Portraits Apple Watch face

1. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone and open Face Gallery.

2. Scroll down to 'Portraits', then choose the photos you want to turn into a watch face.

3. Once you've found your ideal Portrait photos, select from Classic, Modern or rounded face looks and then choose your complication layout.

4. When you're done customizing, hit the 'Add' button and you have your Portraits watch face.

Apple says that photo watch faces are the most popular choice for Apple Watch owners, so now you know exactly how to get them onto your smartwatch.

How to add an Apple Watch Photos watch face

Works with: Apple Watch SE / SE 2 and Apple Watch Series 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

How to set a picture as an Apple Watch Face

There are a few ways to do this, with options to create a picture-based watch face from your phone or directly from your Apple Watch.

To set a picture as an Apple Watch from your iPhone, do the following:

1. Go to the 'Photos' on your iPhone.

2. Look for a photo that you want to share with your Watch and press the 'Share' button.

3. Next, scroll down to select 'Create Watch Face', you'll then be given the option to choose the type of watch face you want. You can also adjust colors, the time position and where Complications sit.

4. Once you've finished customizing, press the 'Add' button and the face will sync over to your Watch immediately.

For an alternative way to do this from your iPhone:

1. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone.

2. Select 'Face Gallery' and scroll down to Photos.

3. Scroll to the 'Content' section and select 'Photos' to sync over images you want to customize and add to your watch face.

How to set a picture as an Apple Watch face

To set a picture as an Apple Watch face from your Watch:

1. Open the Photos app on your Watch.

2. From here, you can see synced photos from your iPhone that you can use to create watch faces.

3. Select your preferred photo and hit the 'Share' button to create a watch face. Just like the iPhone approach, you'll have the option to pick from Kaleidoscope and Photos watch faces.

This feature works with static and live photos, so, if you choose to use the latter, it will add in the animation, which jumps into life when you tap the screen or raise your wrist.

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