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How to remove and change your Apple Watch band

Switch up your Apple Watch's band with ease.
August 31, 2022

Learn how to change your Apple Watch band and stay equipped for every occasion. From sports bands to woven loops, Apple Watch bands come in various styles, so you can switch to the best strap for your needs.

Buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch


Quickly remove your Apple Watch band by pushing the band's release buttons with your fingernail. Align the new band with your Apple Watch and slide the band into the grooves one side at a time.


Remove an Apple Watch band

Apple Watch Series 6 rests on a blue surface depicted how to remove your Apple Watch band.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Before gearing up to take off your current band, find a clean, soft work surface, like a lint-free, nonabrasive cloth. This will minimize the risk of scratching your Apple Watch face.

  • Place your Apple Watch face down and locate the two release buttons on the backside of your watch case.
  • Using your fingernail, push one of the release buttons and gently slide the corresponding band free from your Apple Watch.
  • Repeat step two with the opposite release button and remaining band.
  • If your band is a metal link bracelet, separate it into two parts (using the quick-release button inside the bracelet) before removing it from the Apple Watch.

Don’t miss: The best Apple Watch bands you can buy

Install a new Apple Watch band

Apple Watch Series 6 rests on a light blue surface with its nylon band partially removed.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Once you know how to remove an old Apple Watch band, slide in something new. The ability to change bands from casual to high class makes the Apple Watch so adaptable.

  • Align the new band with your Apple Watch (face down) and slide the band into the grooves one side at a time. You will hear a click when the strap is in place.
  • If your new band doesn’t lock into place, it may be upside down. Some bands have small text on the inside, such as sizing or product details. This can help you identify front from back.
  • If the band orientation is correct, but you still don’t hear a click, Apple suggests giving the band a gentle up and down wiggle to try and activate the locking mechanism. It is also possible that your band may be damaged and can no longer click in securely.

Read more: Most Common Apple Watch problems and how to fix them


Your band may be causing a rash if you are not wearing it correctly. If the fit is too tight, it can cause irritation. If it is too loose, it can cause excessive rubbing. You may also have a sensitivity to the materials of your particular band. Regularly wash and dry both your band and wrist after workouts and consider changing bands if the Apple Watch-caused rash persists.

You can wash your braided Apple Watch band with a damp, non-abrasive cloth and allow it to air dry. For more details on caring for this and other types of bands, read our guide to cleaning your Apple Watch.

Apple sells a variety of replacement bands for all of its watches. You can also find more variety and affordable options from third-party retailers such as Amazon.

Not all Apple Watch bands are the same size, but many are compatible. Before learning how to change your Apple Watch band, check that the size of your new band will work with the device you are using. Bands designed for 38mm cases are compatible with 40mm cases. Bands for 42mm cases are compatible with 44mm cases.