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How to set a custom time on the Apple Watch

For those who are habitually late, setting your watch a few minutes ahead is a simple life hack to help with your timeliness.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Unlike a traditional watch, when you first power up the Apple Watch, the task of setting the time doesn't exist. The Apple Watch merely duplicates the time on your iPhone, and that's that.

Or is it?

It may be a bit buried in settings, Apple has included the option to set a custom time on your Apple Watch. Here's how:

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Open the Settings app on your watch.
  • Tap on the top item, Time.
  • Tap on the button in the middle of the screen.
  • Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the time; tap Set when done.

As you likely noticed, you can only set the time ahead, not back. Which makes sense, because living in the past is overrated.

Also important to note is that any notifications or alerts you receive on the watch will still show the correct time; this change only affects the watch face itself.