Apple Watch for Lefties: Using Left Wrist and Right Wrist Mode on the Apple Watch

By Lifehacker UK on at

The Apple Watch does indeed have a left-handed mode, which enables lefties to choose to wear the watch on their right-wrist, and operate the controls with a left-hand.

Confusing, this isn't called left-handed mode, but Right Wrist and Left Wrist mode. Support for southpaws in the Apple Watch itself isn't surprising, because many key Apple people, including the designer Jony Ive, are lefties themselves.

Is a left-handed Apple Watch available?

Sadly the Apple Watch accommodation for left-handed people only goes as far as the software. To wear the Apple Watch left-handed, the device is flipped upside down and worn on the right wrist. The watch has to be flipped so you can access the Digital Crown with your left hand (without covering the screen).

During left-hand mode the Apple Watch screen is flipped so it presents the information correctly on the upside-down watch. An option in the Apple Watch settings enables you to choose between left-handed and right-handed mode.

Observant left-handers will already have spotted a flaw in this plan. On the right side of the Apple watch sits the Digital Crown and Side Button. When you flip the Apple Watch upside down the Digital Crown and the Side button's positions are reversed. The Digital Crown is the most important, because you rotate it to adjust the screen and tap it to return to the Home screen. The Side Button is used to access contacts and communications.

Is Apple making a left-handed version of the Apple Watch

As far as we are aware no left-handed model of the Apple Watch has been developed. It may be that with the Apple Watch flipped upside down it's just as effective as a custom left-handed model.

With the Apple Watch flipped the Digital Crown is placed on the lower half of the watch.  Just how much this changes the Apple Watch experience for left-handed people remains to be seen. The Digital Crown looks less accessible to our eyes when placed on the lower half of the Apple Watch.

It's also worth noting that the straps will also be worn upside down. We don't think this will make a tremendous amount of difference, but it is irksome. Given the sheer range of options available in the Apple Watch range, and the amount that Apple is charging we are somewhat surprised that Apple didn't make a version for left-handed people.

How to set Apple Watch to Right Wrist (left-handed) mode

Apple has been true to form and released very little information about how to manage, and edit the Apple Watch settings. All is not lost, however, and Apple released a companion app to the Apple Watch for the iPhone alongside the iOS 8.2 update. The Apple Watch app is used to pair the Apple Watch devie with the iPhone, but it also contains all the settings for the Apple Watch.


Fortunately, one app developer called Hamza Sood has managed to unlock the Apple Watch app and has posted a bunch of images on his Twitter account. From here we can see how the Apple Watch app is used to set the Apple Watch to Left Wrist and Right Wrist mode:

  1. Tap the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. (The first time you do this you will have to pair the App with your iPhone).
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Tap General > Watch Orientation.
  4. Choose the Right Wrist setting.

The Apple Watch will now be set to Right Wrist mode, which is Apple's way of saying left-hand mode (because you wear the watch on your right wrist, but operate it with your left hand).

The screen rotation is flipped by 180-degrees. All of the other interface elements work exactly the same in Left Wrist mode as Right Wrist mode.

This article originally appeared on Lifehacker UK -- the expert guide to getting things done more efficiently, whether at home or at work.