How to customize the buttons on your Samsung Galaxy watch

customize and personalize home and back buttons on Samsung galaxy watch

Customizing the buttons on your Samsung Galaxy Watch is a great way to access your favorite apps or settings quickly. Unfortunately, not enough people know that you can personalize your buttons.

Your Galaxy smartwatch (most models) has two buttons: one is your home button and one is the back button. The Home button is usually at the bottom, while the back button is at the top. However, on the Samsung Galaxy 4 watch, the button position changed: the home button is now the top, while the back button is at the bottom. Go figure!

No matter your Samsung watch model, you can personalize and change your watch’s button shortcuts for the Home and for some models, the Back buttons. And the good news is that it’s pretty easy to do!

If you’re looking to swap your Galaxy 4’s button placement to match your older Galaxy watch, unfortunately you cannot do that (at least not yet.)

So let’s get to it and change your button shortcuts on your Samsung Galaxy Watch!

Related reading

How to personalize and customize your Samsung Watch’s Home button Samsung Galaxy Watch personalize and customize Home Button

Your Samsung Watch allows you to change two parameters: what happens when you double press your watch’s Home button and what happens when your press and hold it.

You can set a double press of the home key to open up a particular app or open up your most recently used app (that’s the default setting.) Samsung Galaxy Watch home button double press personalization and customization

If you find yourself always using a particular app on your watch, changing this double press setting is for you! I use the Settings app quite a bit, so I set my double press to that app. Choose your favorite app so you too can access it quickly!

You can also set a press and hold of the home button to either wake up Bixby (Samsung’s voice assistant) or show you the power off options. Samsung Galaxy watch options to customize home button press and hold

The default setting is to wake Bixby, but if you don’t use Bixby, we recommend changing it to easily power off your watch.

  1. To make changes, open the Settings app on your watch.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced features (or Advanced.)
  3. Swipe down and tap Customize keys (or Home.)
  4. Under Home key, choose Double press and change which app it opens or set it to open your most recent app. Then, choose Press and hold to update its settings.

While Samsung makes these options available on most of its smartwatches, they are not available on the Galaxy Fit or Fit2.

How to personalize and customize your Samsung Watch’s Back button Samsung Galaxy watch personalize and customize the back button short press

You can only customize the short pressing of your Galaxy watch’s back button.

You cannot change the behavior of a long press to your back button–it’s set to only open up Samsung Pay (and cannot be changed, even to open Google Pay.)

Unfortunately, some models don’t allow any back button customization. And Samsung doesn’t allow much customization on models that do.

For models that don’t offer the option to customize the back button, it’s automatically set to Go back to previous screen.

For supported models, there are only two options available for the back button–either Go back to previous screen (the default setting) or Show all recently used apps as tiles on your watch’s screen. back button short press options for Samsung Galaxy Watch

  1. To make changes, open the Settings app on your watch.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced features.
  3. Swipe down and tap Customize keys.
  4. Under Back key, choose Short Press and update its settings. Choose from Go to previous screen (the default) or Show recent apps.

FAQs FAQ frequently asked questions

Is there a way to have a long press of the back button open Google Pay instead of Samsung Pay?

Unfortunately at this time, you cannot change what a long press of the back button does. It is reserved for Samsung Pay exclusively.

If you frequently use Google Pay, we recommend you set it to your Home button’s double press set Google pay to open when you double tap your Home button.

Can I set my Home button’s double press to open a specific workout, playlist, or app function

No, you can only set your Home key’s double press to open a particular app. You cannot set it to open a particular workout or any subset within an app.

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!


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