Apple Watch Band – how to change or remove


Before You Begin

Before attempting to change your Apple Watch band, it’s essential to ensure that you are using a band that corresponds to your device’s case size. Apple Watch bands come in various sizes, including 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm, and 49mm. Bands for 38mm, 40mm, and 41mm cases are compatible, while bands for 42mm, 44mm, and 45mm cases are interchangeable. The largest 49mm bands are compatible with 44mm and 45mm cases and vice versa.

Most Apple Watch bands are designed to be compatible with any previous device version, ensuring a perfect fit. However, some bands, such as the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop, are specifically designed for more recent Apple Watch models.

Necessary Tools and Preparation

Before removing or changing your Apple Watch band, gather the following tools and materials:

  • A clean, soft surface such as a microfiber cloth or lint-free cloth to protect your device’s screen from scratches
  • A new Apple Watch band compatible with your device’s case size
  • Your Apple Watch

When you’re ready to begin, turn off your Apple Watch to avoid accidentally activating any features or buttons during the band-changing process.

Removing the Band

Follow these steps to remove your current Watch band:

  1. Place your Apple Watch face on a clean, soft surface to protect the screen.
  2. On the back of your Apple Watch, locate the two band-release buttons—one at the top and one at the bottom.
  3. Press and hold the top band-release button while sliding the band to one side to remove it.
  4. Repeat this process with the bottom band-release button to remove the other half of the band.

Never force a band out of its slot. If you have difficulty removing the band, press and hold the band-release button again while attempting to slide the band out.

apple watch band

Changing the Watch Band

Once you have removed your old band, follow these steps to install your new band:

  1. Ensure that the text on the back of the new band faces you.
  2. Tilt the new wristband slightly so that it aligns with the angle of the Apple Watch’s band slot.
  3. Slide the new band into the slot until you feel and hear a soft click.

If you don’t feel or hear the click, try sliding the band out and back in again. Make sure not to force the band into the slot. The band should be securely in place and not slide out unless you press the band-release button.

Installing New Band

Fastening the Apple Band

For optimal performance, your Apple Watch should fit snugly on your wrist. The back of your Apple Watch requires skin contact for features such as wrist detection, haptic notifications, and the heart rate sensor. Wear your Apple Watch with the right fit—not too tight, loose, and with room for your skin to breathe—to ensure comfort and allow the sensors to function correctly. Remember that the sensors will only work when you wear your Apple Watch on your wrist.

For more information, consult the Apple Support articles on Wearing Your Apple Watch and Changing Your Apple Watch Band.

Removing and Changing Special Bands

Some bands, such as the Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, and Milanese Loop, may have slightly different removal and installation processes.

Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop

To remove a Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop, press the release button and slide each side of the band out as you would with a standard band.

Milanese Loop

Apple has redesigned the band for the Milanese Loop since 2018 to allow the end to move through the connector (or lug). This design change makes it easier to dismantle the loop and lay the band flat on a table as you remove each side of the strap.

If you have an band with a Link Bracelet design, the removal and replacement process is slightly different:

  1. Close the butterfly closure by folding each side inward until you hear and feel a click.
  2. Hold down one of the quick-release buttons on the inside of the bracelet and gently pull the band off.
  3. Slide the new link bracelet onto your Apple Watch, listening for the soft click to confirm a snug fit.
Link Bracelet Removal

Cleaning Your Band

To maintain the appearance and longevity of your band, it’s essential to clean it regularly. To clean your Apple Watch band, remove it from your device, wipe it with a lint-free cloth, allow it to dry, and reattach it to your watch.

Troubleshooting and Support

If you encounter any issues or difficulties when changing your watch band, consider contacting official Apple support through their website or booking an appointment with an Apple Genius Bar technician.


Customizing your Apple Watch with different bands allows you to express your style and adapt your device to various occasions and activities. With this comprehensive guide, you can confidently change or remove bands on your Apple Watch, ensuring a perfect fit and optimal functionality.


Apple Watch, Consumer Tech, Tech

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