How to replace the lugs on your Apple Watch bands to match your casing

Have an Apple Watch band that doesn't match your Watch's case? No worries — just pick up some custom lugs and you'll be rocking the right color in no time.

Whether you're someone who wants to install the latest band or you're looking to revisit an old classic, there are very simple steps you can take to replace the lugs on your new Series 4 space grey, gold, and silver Apple Watches.

Products used in this guide

Step 1: Separate your band from its old lugs

Custom Apple Watch lugs!

  1. Slide the band out of your Apple Watch and put your watch casing in a safe place.
  2. Pick up one side of your band.
  3. Look for the two screws on the top of the lug — they're tiny!
  4. Use the included Pentalobe screwdriver (or buy one of your own) to remove the screws; this will free the top bar of the lug from the pieces that slide into the material of the band.
  5. Slide out the metal bars that connect the band to the lug. Note that I said bars, plural — that seemingly unified piece of metal is actually two pieces connected in the middle. Put the old lug aside.

Step 2: Add the replacement lug to your band

  1. Grab one of the replacement lugs, and find the two screws on top.
  2. Use the Pentalobe screwdriver to remove the screws, freeing the top bar from the parts that slide into the band.
  3. Slide the two metal pieces into the band.
  4. Position the top bar over the metal pieces so that the screw holes are lined up.
  5. Screw in the Pentalobe screws, making sure to get everything nice and tight.

Note: Wondering which way the lug is supposed to go? There are three ovals on either side of the lug — look at the middle one on each side. The side with the flat metal oval should face the inside of the band.

The metal oval should face the inside of the band.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the other side of the band

After you've done this, store your original lugs somewhere safe in case you ever want to use them again. I recommend fastening the top bar to its metal pieces when you store it, to avoid losing screws or lugs and using a clear plastic bag.

The process was so simple that I ended up ordering another set of Space Gray lugs, which allows me to swap out the stainless steel lugs on many of the third-party bands that look good with the Space Gray Apple Watch.

Our top equipment picks

If you're looking to replace the lugs on your Apple Watch bands, here's what you'll need!

You can pick out the new Apple Watch Series 4 in three different colors: gold aluminum, silver aluminum, and space gray aluminum. From there, it's super simple to change your bands and lugs on the watch, matching the colors effortlessly for a smooth, uniform look.

Additional Equipment

Pick up these pieces of equipment to effortless change and customize your Apple Watch at will. Here's what you'll need!

Pentalobe Screwdriver for iPhone ($9 at ifixit)

This little tool makes changing the lugs on your Apple Watch as simple as 1, 2 3. Not only that, but it's great to have a in your tool-kit in case of tiny emergencies.

Milanese Apple Watch Band ($11 at Amazon)

Having a couple of replacement bands is always a good idea when you pick up a new Apple Watch — and a Milanese band can never steer you wrong! This affordable, functional band is great for people with a variety of wrist sizes and with its lugs, you can easily install and reinstall it in a heartbeat.

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau