How to automatically change your Apple Watch face by time or location with Shortcuts

By | March 18, 2022


Source: Stephen Warwick / iMore

One of the best things about having an Apple Watch is having many different watch faces at your disposal. While flicking through your different watch faces is very convenient, if you like to set up different watch faces for different occasions, it can become a little annoying to set your watch to display the right face at the right time. What if your Apple Watch could read your mind and change automatically based on your needs? Well, it kind of can by using the Shortcuts app.

If you set it up, you can create an automation in the Shortcuts app to ensure that your best Apple Watch changes to a specific watch face at a particular time or a specific location. Want a more classy-looking watch face at the office? Create an automation to automatically change your watch face when you get to your office. What about a darker watch face in the evening? Create an automation to change your watch face starting at 8 p.m. (or another time you set).

So get your favorite watchOS 8 watch faces ready; here’s how to automatically change your Apple Watch face by time or location with Shortcuts.

How to automatically change your Apple Watch face based on time

This amazing automation lets you change your watch face based on time of day, so you can easily set your Apple Watch face to change at any time you want automatically. Let’s say you head to the office every day at 8:30 AM and want to ensure that your watch face is set to something minimal and classic; this automation will help you do just that.

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that this automation can only choose watch faces that you already have created. So be sure to add any watch faces you want to use before setting up the automation.

  1. Launch Shortcuts from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Automation.
  3. Tap + symbol in the top right corner of your screen.

    Create New Automation In Shortcuts in iOS: Launch Shortcuts from your home screen, tap Automation, and then tap the + symbol.

    Source: iMore

  4. Tap Create Personal Automation
  5. Tap Time of Day.
  6. Set the time you desired. You can also pick Sunrise or Sunset if you want to follow the sun in your location.

    Set Up Time Of Day Automation: Tap Create Personal Automation, tap Time of Day, and then choose the time you want.

    Source: iMore

  7. Tap how often you want it to happen. Choices are Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
  8. Tap Next.
  9. Tap Add Action.

    Set Up Time Of Day Automation And Add Action: Select how often you want the automation to repeat, tap next, adn then tap Add Action.

    Source: iMore

  10. Type Set Watch Face in the search bar.
  11. Tap Set Watch Face from the list of actions.
  12. Tap the word Face highlighted in blue on the screen.

    Select Set Watch Face Action For Time Automation: Type

    Source: iMore

  13. Tap the Watch face you want to change to at that time.
  14. Tap Next in the top right corner.
  15. Tap the Ask Before Running On/OffSwitch to turn it to the off position.

    Customize Action For Time Based Automation: Tap the watch face you want, tap next, and then tap the Ask Before Running On/Off switch.

    Source: iMore

  16. Tap Don’t Ask on the pop-up alert.
  17. Tap Done.

    Finish Creating Time Based Automation: Tap Don't Ask on the pop-up alert, and then tap done.

    Source: iMore

Now your watch face will automatically change to the face you want at the time you set up. You can follow these exact instructions again to set up a different time to schedule your watch face changes as many times as you want.

How to automatically change your Apple Watch face based on location

If you’d rather change your watch face based on where you are instead of what time, this automation can help you do just that. Particularly useful if you have a specific location — like a gym maybe — where you prefer to use a particular watch face.

Once again, this automation can only use watch faces you’ve already created. So make sure you have the watch face you want to use added to your watch face list.

  1. Launch Shortcuts from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Automation.
  3. Tap + symbol in the top right corner of your screen.

    Create New Automation In Shortcuts in iOS: Launch Shortcuts from your home screen, tap Automation, and then tap the + symbol.

    Source: iMore

  4. Tap Create Personal Automation
  5. Tap Arrive or Leave. Arrive will change the watch face when you arrive at a location, and leave will change the watch face when you leave the set location.
  6. Tap Choose.

    Set Up A Location-Based Automation: Tap Create Personal Automation, tap arrive or leave, and then tap choose.

    Source: iMore

  7. Type in an address or select a location from the list of options.
  8. Tap **Done* once your location is set.
  9. Tap Next in the top right corner of your screen.

    Choosing Location For Location Based Automation: Tpye in an address of select an address from the list, tap done, and then tap next.

    Source: iMore

  10. Tap Add Action.
  11. Type Set Watch Face in the search bar.
  12. Tap Set Watch Face from the list of actions.

    Adding Action To Location Based Automation: Tap Add Action, type Set watch face in the search bar, and then tap Set Watch Face.

    Source: iMore

  13. Tap the word Face highlighted in blue on the screen.
  14. Tap the Watch face you want to change to at that location.

    Customize Action For Location Based Automation: Tap the word Face highlighted in blue and then tap the watch face you want.

    Source: iMore

  15. Tap Next in the top right corner.
  16. Tap Done.

    Finishing Creating Location Based Automation: Tap Next and then tap Done.

    Source: iMore

There is one catch if you choose to set up your automation like this — there’s no way to turn off Shortcuts from asking you if it’s okay to run this automation. Instead of the watch face automatically changing with no effort from you at all, you’ll have to allow the automation to run for the watch to change. Not quite as convenient as the time-based automation, but still useful in some instances.

Shortcuts have so much potential

The Shortcuts app has so much potential, and if this is the first time you’ve set up any shortcut or automation, there’s a whole world to explore. It’s especially useful if you have any HomeKit devices that you want to behave a certain way. We recommend you explore the Shortcuts app thoroughly to truly make your devices work for you!





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