How to Copy Photos to Apple Watch

By Marc Saltzman

For most tasks, Apple Watch requires a nearby iPhone. The two devices are wirelessly tethered via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but you can sync some files to Apple Watch — just in case your iPhone isn’t nearby.

It’s not exactly clear why you’d want to copy photos to your watch — unless you really think you’re going to want to see some pictures when your iPhone isn’t nearby. Having music on the watch makes more sense, but those who want to take advantage of this feature must first enable it on the Apple Watch app on iPhone.

You’ve got some options in the Photos area of the Apple Watch app on iPhone:

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  • Synced Album: Select which iPhone-stored photos are viewable on Apple Watch — even when you don’t have your iPhone with you. By default, it’s your Favorites album, but you can also choose another one, such as Camera Roll. Or select None.

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  • Photos Limit: Select the photo storage limit on your Apple Watch. Measured in megabytes (MB), you can raise or lower the number, but 15 MB is the default number, which translates to 100 photos. Lowering it to 5 MB only loads 25 photos. You can raise it to 40 MB (250 photos) or a maximum of 75 MB (500 photos).

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Interestingly, you can also copy up to 2 gigabytes of music to Apple Watch, which translates to roughly 500 songs. Therefore, you can store up to 500 photos and up to 500 tunes. You can’t go over this maximum for photos and music.