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What is a Digital Crown and why does your Apple Watch have one?

Spin, push, or long push your way to features and settings.
By
March 24, 2022
An Apple Watch Series 7 rests on it side on a floral planner, emphasizing the device's Digital Crown.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The iconic shape of the Apple Watch has always been relatively square with a protruding Digital Crown. But just what is this spinning dial and how do you use it? Read on to find out.

Don’t miss: Everything you need to know about Apple’s smartwatch

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A rotating dial you can spin or push, the Digital Crown can be used in several ways to navigate or activate Apple Watch features.

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What is the Digital Crown
Five things you can do with the Digital Crown

What is the Digital Crown?

Aside from the device’s overall shape, the Digital Crown is the most noticeable feature of your Apple Watch. It’s the large protruding dial on the side of your device, right above the much less noticeable side button. We like it because it feels like an ode to winding up a traditional watch. However, its existence is not just for looks.

The Digital Crown is one of the most useful interaction options on your smartwatch and can be spun, pressed, or long pressed to accomplish different things. Most notably, push the Digital Crown to return to your watch face, spin it to zoom in or out on photos, or long hold it to access Siri. You may also be asked to use your Digital Crown to expel water from your device and can spin it to wake your device from sleep mode.

To go beyond the basics, keep reading to find out more ways to use your Digital Crown.

Five things you can do with the Digital Crown

An Apple Watch Series 7 rests on a floral planner with Siri activated on screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Open an app: With your app gallery open, zoom in by spinning your Digital Crown to open whichever app you have centered on the screen.

Reopen a previous app: Double-press the Digital Crown to return to the last app you were using.

Control volume: Open Now Playing on your device and use the Digital Crown to raise or lower the volume of any audio you are listening to. This includes music, podcasts, audiobooks, and anything else you are streaming or have saved on your device.

Skim content: You can spin the Digital Crown within most apps to scroll through content. Additionally, you can also use this same functionality to scroll through menus, including those of the watch itself.

Get a better look: In your navigation app, spin the Digital Crown to zoom in or out on your route or points of interest.

Read more: The most common Apple Watch problems and how to fix them


FAQs

Yes. In addition to choosing which wrist you wear your watch on, you can also change your preferences for the Digital Crown. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap General. Tap Watch Orientation and choose either Digital Crown on Left Side or Digital Crown on Right Side.

If you do not like the ticking sound of spinning your Digital Crown you can turn it off.  Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and scroll down to and tap Sound & Haptics. Scroll down to Crown Haptics and slide the toggle to the left.

To water lock your device, open your control panel and tap the waterdrop symbol. Then spin your Digital Crown to expel water and unlock your device.