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How To Use GPS on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 3 Watch Face

Apple Watches are some of the most beautiful things technology has given us. There’s so much we can do with these wearable devices in addition to checking time. However, if you just bought a new Apple Watch recently, you might need to know how to use GPS. Well, we’ve got you covered!

Quick Answer

There are two ways to use GPS on your Apple Watch. One is by pairing the device with your iPhone, which allows any directions you set on the phone to display on the watch automatically. For this method, you must have your iPhone nearby. The other process involves using the built-in GPS feature on Apple Watch Series 2 and other recent releases. 

We’ll cover all this in detail below. Continue reading to understand everything you need and know which method best suits you. 

2 Methods To Use GPS on Apple Watch

Method #1: Pair the Apple Watch With Your iPhone

It’s the simplest way to use GPS on an Apple Watch. When you pair the two devices, any directions you set on the phone are sent automatically to the watch.

That means you’ll be able to access any locations you’ve started on the phone from the watch, and you won’t require pulling your iPhone out of the pocket or turning on the screen to see directions. The Apple Watch will capture your location info from the GPS in your iPhone.

So, here’s how to go about it.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Scroll down and choose “Maps“. You’ll find several options, including “Driving“, “Walking“, and “Transit“.
  3. Tap on the feature you wish to use on your Apple Watch to move the toggle switch to the on position.

Once you turn the feature on, any directions you set will automatically display on your Apple Watch as long as your iPhone is nearby.

Method #2: Use GPS on Apple Watch Without iPhone

Apple Watch Series 2 and the releases that came later have built-in GPS. Therefore, if you’ve got one of them, you don’t need to have your iPhone nearby to find directions. Here’s what to do/

  1. Press the digital crown to access the Apps screen.
  2. Tap the Settings app and choose “Privacy“.
  3. Turn on “Location Services“.
  4. Tap the Maps app on the screen.
    Once the Maps app on your Apple Watch opens, you’ll see two options; “Search” in the top-left and “Location” in the top-right section of the screen. Tap the “Location” to see a map of your current location indicated by a blue dot
  5. Tap “Search” to bring out three options: “Dictation“, “Scribble“, and “Contacts“.
  6. Choose the “Dictation” option to pull up a microphone. Say aloud the name of the destination you want to go to. A wave of the name you say should appear at the bottom of the screen.
  7. Tap the destination name on your search results and tap “Done” at the top-right corner of the screen. 
  8. Choose the mode of transportation under “Directions“.  
  9. Scroll down using the digital crown and choose “Driving“, “Walking“, or “Transit“.
  10. Select a route you wish to take to reach your destination. The path at the top is usually the quickest depending on where you’re currently and the traffic circumstances.
  11. Use the turn-by-turn directions on the screen to travel to your destination. 

How To Use the Various Features While on the Journey

Your Apple Watch offers many options to help you while en route and ensure you don’t get lost. When you begin your journey, you’ll see all the turns you’ll take together with highway and street names on the screen.

You can also tap on the button that looks like a double wave at the bottom center of the screen to access a map of the incoming turn’s location. Use the digital crown to zoom the map in and out per your preferences.

Tap the three horizontal lines/dots when you want to return to the turn-by-turn list. Your Apple Watch will let you know when to turn using sounds and taps. For example, turn right at the corner you’re approaching when you hear a low-to-high tone and left when you hear a high-to-low tone. You should feel a vibration when you’re on your last leg of the journey or when you arrive.


That was our article on how to use GPS on the Apple Watch. We’ve discussed two easy methods to go about it. Method one involves pairing the watch with your iPhone so that any directions you set on the phone are displayed automatically on the watch. This method is beneficial for Apple Watches that don’t have built-in GPS. 

The second method was to use the Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby. Here, you’ll need an Apple Watch with built-in GPS, such as the Apple Watch Series 2 or Apple Watch Series 3. With any of these watches, you can search locations and use the turn-by-turn and other valuable features to navigate your destination. 

We’ve learned that in method two, you don’t need to have your iPhone nearby to access the GPS feature on your Apple Watch. We hope that you now have an idea of how to use GPS on your Apple Watch.

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