One of the less trumpeted new features in
watchOS 7 is the ability to share watch faces. This means you can customise a face with exactly the colour choices and complications you like, and then send it to a friend or family member to save them going through the same process.
There are several different ways to share faces – and to access custom faces made by others. In this quick tutorial we walk you through the process.
Sharing from the Apple Watch
In its most basic form, face sharing can happen directly on the watch. Press and hold the current face; next to the Edit button you’ll see a small arrow pointing upwards, which in Apple’s design language indicates sharing.
Press this and you’ll be able to send the face to a contact using iMessage. There are no other options here, but we can unlock more possibilities by switching to the associated iPhone.
Sharing via iPhone
There are significantly more face-sharing options on the iPhone: via email, messages, WhatsApp, Outlook… basically any system that can send data.
Open the Watch app and make sure you’re in the default My Watch tab. You’ll see your faces along the top, under the heading MY FACES. Find the one you want to share and tap it.
You’ll now see a screen dedicated entirely to that face, complete with options to customise it and (at the top-right) that giveaway sharing icon. Tap this for a wide range of options.
Sharing online via iCloud
The sharing options above tend to be single-recipient or small-group methods; there are no options in the sharing pane to tweet a face or share it on Facebook. If you want to distribute a watch face online, the best method is to do so via an iCloud Drive link, which you can post on any social network.
Start by sharing the desired face with yourself via email using the iPhone method above.
Some find it easiest to do the next part on a Mac. Open the email on your Mac and grab the file with the extension .watchface. Move this file to your iCloud Drive, which is shown by default in the Finder’s sidebar.
Once the new watch face has landed there, select it and click the Share arrow in the Finder menu bar. Click the option to Add People, then Copy Link. Under Share Options, define authorised users as ‘Everyone with the link’. Now click Share.
Unfortunately not every version of macOS offers the option to Add People in iCloud Drive; the MacBook being used to write this tutorial is on macOS Sierra and does not. So we’re going to use the iPhone instead.
Open the email on your iPhone and tap and hold the .watchface attachment. Tap Share, then Save to Files. Select a location in iCloud Drive and hit Save.
Now open the Files app (if you don’t use it regularly, swipe down from the home screen and search for it). Find the file, which should be at the top of the list, but don’t just tap it – this will take you to the Watch app and walk you through adding it to your gallery. Instead tap and hold the file, and select Share once again.
Finally we get the option, at the bottom of the sharing pane, to select Add People. First hit Share Options and make sure ‘Anyone with the link’ is selected. Then go back and tap Copy Link. You’re now free to post this link on the social network of your choice.
Bear in mind that not every Apple Watch can use every face. The Apple Watch 3, for example, is not compatible with most of the new watchOS 7 faces.
For more advice, read
How to change Apple Watch faces.
This is based on an article that originally appeared on