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Apple Watch on an arm showing +6 minutes ahead

Set Your Apple Watch Ahead and Always Arrive On Time

Back in the good old low-tech days, my wife taught me a trick for always getting to appointments on time. She’d set her watch, alarm clock, and car clock ahead by a few minutes, which meant that she always left early for meetings after glancing at one of the timepieces. Although your Apple Watch is designed to be very precise thanks to Internet time synchronization, it’s easy to set the display ahead. Here’s how!

Don’t Set the Apple Watch TOO Far Ahead!

One caveat — don’t set your Watch too far ahead, or you may really have problems getting anywhere on time. Instead, setting it anywhere from five to ten minutes fast is usually sufficient to get you out the door early and to your next meeting on time.

It’s All In The Settings

As you’d expect, the Apple Watch settings app is the place to set your Watch time ahead by a few minutes. To get to Settings, press the Digital Crown to make the apps appear, then look for the “gear” icon. Tap it to enter Settings.

Settings button on Apple Watch
Settings button on Apple Watch

Once in Settings, scroll with your finger or by turning the Digital Crown until you see the Clock button. Tap it.

Clock Settings on Apple Watch
Clock Settings on Apple Watch

The first Clock option is “Set Watch Face Display Time Ahead”. It’s set at +0 min, meaning that the watch displays the actual time. Tap the “+0 min” button to display a way to change the displayed time:

Tap +0 min to set your watch display ahead
Tap +0 min to set your watch display ahead

Rotate the digital crown until you get to the desired number of minutes ahead you want your watch to display. When you see the magic number, tap the green “Set” button.

Setting the watch display 7 minutes ahead
Setting the watch display 7 minutes ahead

Alerts and Notifications Don’t Change

It’s important to note that alerts and notifications still happen at the correct “real world” time. Set your alarm clock for 7 AM, and it’s going off at 7 AM — even though the Watch face will show 7:07 AM.

Be sure to check out this recent article for a tip on how to Create Your Own Custom Text Message Replies for Apple Watch.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve has been writing about Apple products since 1986, starting on a bulletin board system, creating the first of his many Apple-related websites in 1994, joining the staff of The Unofficial Apple Weblog in 2008, and founding Apple World Today in 2015. He’s semi-retired, loves to camp and take photos, and is an FAA-licensed drone pilot.
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