Apple Watch missing your favorite photos? Fix it now

Photos app on Apple Watch with photo of dog

Apple Watch provides some nifty features when it comes to incorporating your own photos.

These include personalizing your watch faces with your favorite photos and accessing your favorite albums directly on your Apple Watch.

Unfortunately, some users have found that they cannot locate their synced photos on their Apple Watch or their watch is missing some of their albums or favorite photos.

In this short article, we outline some tips that help you sync your iPhone’s photos to your Apple Watch.

Related reading

Apple Watch missing photos? How to fix

On Apple Watches, you should be able to browse selected photos in the Watch’s Photos app and show a photo on your watch face.

Due to its limited storage, you cannot view all your photos on your Apple Watch. Instead, Apple allows you to choose a single Photos app album (the default is your Favorites album) to showcase on your watch’s Photos app. Your watch also shows your featured photos and your Memories.

You can add up to 500 photos to your watch. The number of photos stored on your Apple Watch depends on its available space.

Before you start, open the watch’s Control Center and make sure your Watch isn’t in Airplane mode and confirm that your watch connects to your iPhone. Control Center Apple Watch

You should see a green phone icon at the top of the control center, and Airplane mode should be grayed out.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone and select the My Watch tab from the bottom. Apple Watch app on iPhone My Watch tab
  2. Now, Scroll down and locate the Photos app.Apple Watch missing photos? how to fix
  3. Turn off Photo Syncing. Photo syncing off for Apple Watch in Watch app
  4. Wait 10-20 seconds, then toggle Photo Syncing back on. Apple Watch turn Photo Syncing with iPhone on
  5. Scroll down to the Album section and tap Photos Limit. If the Sync Album listed is not correct, tap it and choose the album you want to store on your Apple Watch.Sync photo albums with Apple Watch and iPhone settings
  6. Increase your limit to 250 or 500.Increase Photo Limit on Apple Watch
  7. Go back and turn on Sync Memories and Sync Featured Photos. This automatically syncs your featured photos and Memories from the photos app library on your iPhone.Photo syncing options in the Watch app on iPhone for Apple Watch
  8. Restart your Apple Watch.

The steps above should help force a sync for your photos between your Apple Watch and your paired iPhone.

This process also works for watch faces. Sometimes you add new watch faces using the watch app on your iPhone and won’t be able to locate the faces on your Apple Watch.

Forcing a sync on the Photos side of things usually brings up the missing watch faces.

Apple Watch and Photos tips and tricks

Given that we are discussing the Photos feature on the Apple Watch, we wanted to highlight a couple of useful tips in this area.

If you have not explored the Photos app feature on your Apple Watch, we recommend checking out some of the articles below.

Add photo complications via a third-party app

Third-party app Photo Complications is an app you must check out for your Apple Watch.

This app allows you to select your favorite photos and have them show up as complications on your Watch face.

Tap on your fav photo on the watch face, and it fills up the screen. The app is easy to use and has the following features. Photo complications app on Apple Watch

    1. Add images from your Photos library, iCloud, other apps, or a URL.
    2. Tap to go fullscreen with an optional title.
    3. Show random images every hour.
    4. JPEG, PNG, JPG, BMP, and GIF (non-animated) image types are supported.

Change your iPhone’s camera orientation using your watch Camera remote app for Apple Watch

You can remotely change your iPhone’s camera orientation using your Apple Watch. If you have not tried the feature, check out the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. 

With this app, you can use your Apple Watch to see what your iPhone camera shows as its image and even take a photo or video from your Watch.

The next time you are struggling to take a group photo with everyone accounted for ‘including you’, try out the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch.

Unfortunately, the Camera Remote app only works between Apple Watch and iPhone, it does not work for your iPad’s camera app.

Changing the camera orientation is easy when using this app

  • First, the Camera app should be open on your iPhone. Choose what type of photo you want to take (photo, portrait, pano) or select video, slo-mo, or time-lapse.
  • Open the Camera Remote app and tap on the three dots icon next to the shutter button. Camera Remote options for Apple Watch app
  • Select the camera orientation between the front and rear cameras. For selfies, choose the Front camera. Scroll all the way up to turn a 3-second timer off or options for Apple Watch Remote Camera app
  • Scroll down for options for using the flash, turning live photos on or off, and choosing an HDR (high dynamic range) photo or not. Camera Remote App options for Apple Watch
  • Tap Done to save your options.
  • When you’re ready to take your photo, press the shutter button or ask Siri to “take a picture.”  If you set the 3-second timer, your iPhone camera shoots the picture with a 3-second delay to allow you to get ready and raise your eyes when you’re in the picture.
    • To zoom in or out, turn the watch’s Digital Crown.
    • To adjust the picture’s exposure, tap an area of the shot preview on your Apple Watch.

When you take a video, the watch remote shutter button changes to a red button and starts recording when you tap it once and then stops recording with another tap. Video recording with Apple Watch Camera Remote app

When making a video, Apple limits your available options to using front or rear cameras and turning the flash on or off. 

How to see how many photos are on your Apple Watch

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch Ultra, then go to General > About > Scroll down to Photos. Or open the Watch app on your iPhone >My Watch > General > About > Photos. Apple Watch number of photos on watch
  • To see how much space is used for your photos, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch > General > Storage > Photos. To do this on your iPhone, open the Watch app > My Watch > General > Storage > Photos. Storage use on Apple Watch

Wrap up

We hope that you were able to sync your photos between your iPhone and Apple Watch using the tips.

Please feel free to share your favorite Apple Watch tip or two using the comments below!

Previous articleSamsung Galaxy Watch not showing texts or notifications? Fix it now
Next articleHow to increase the volume of your Samsung Galaxy Watch audio guide for workouts and more
Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.