How to Set a Digital Watch

Learn the basics of how to set a digital watch.

Updated: September 22, 2022

Digital watches are relatively easy to set. Every digital watch has similar buttons that enable you to set the time and date. Checking your manual will tell you everything you need to know, but if you don't have the instructions, keep reading to learn the basics of how to set a digital watch.

How to Change Time on a Digital Watch

Here's a quick and easy step-by-step guide on how to change the time on a digital watch.

1. Locate the time mode setting

You should find this button on the right side of the device, but it can also be on the base, under a cover, or on the left side.

If your buttons are not labeled, press them and see what happens.

If you've found the correct button, the time (hours and minutes) should start blinking. You may need to use a pen to press buttons if it's recessed.

2. Switch to hour

Some watches will automatically be on the hour setting. Others may need to be selected. Press the time mode button again to land on the "hour" time.

Keep pressing it to change the time to the correct hour, or press one of the other available buttons if this does not work.

For example, the correct button to press may be labeled "Reset", "Adjust", "Set", or "Hour". Press the time mode button again to save changes.

3. Switch to minutes

Pressing the time mode button again should save changes and automatically move you to the "Minutes".

Press the same button you used to change the "Hour" until you reach the correct minutes.

Move slowly through the numbers, as if you miss the correct time, you may need to start from zero again.

4. Save changes

Press the time mode button again to save changes. Check the time is correct.

How to Set a Digital Watch with No Buttons

Some watches have just one button (that can be hard to locate!), while others have neither.

Digital watches without buttons are either touchscreen-activated or broken. Hopefully, in your case, it's the former!

If you can't find any buttons, check the back of the watch, the side, and behind the back casing for hidden buttons.

If your watch doesn't have any buttons, you'll need to use the touchscreen to set the time. Here's how to set a digital watch with no buttons:

  1. Find the settings button - Touch the screen to switch from the digital clock to the settings OR locate a button labeled along the lines of "Time", "Mode", "Set", or "Settings".
  2. Change the hour - Use the + and - minus buttons to change the hour. Press save or the settings button to save changes and move on to the minutes.
  3. Change the minutes - Use the + and - minus buttons to change the hour. Press save or the settings button to save changes.

How to Set a Digital Watch with 4 Buttons

Digital watches with 4 buttons usually include the following (or a variation of):

  1. Mode
  2. Light
  3. Start
  4. Reset

To change the time and date, you'll usually need to use the "Mode", "Start" and/or "Reset" buttons. If you don't have a manual, press each button to find out what it does.

As a general guide, here's how to set a digital watch with 4 buttons:

  1. Press the "Mode" button to activate the time settings (the time should start blinking)
  2. Press again to adjust the hour (the hour time should start blinking when activated)
  3. Press "Start" or "Reset" to move through the numbers until you find the correct hour
  4. Press "Mode" to save changes and move to minutes
  5. Press "Start" or "Reset" to move through the numbers until you find the correct minutes
  6. Press "Mode" to save changes

How to Set the Date on a Digital Watch

Most digital watches have four buttons that let you change the date and time. You should have a time settings button, usually called "Time", "Mode", "Set", or "Settings".

Inspect your device and press each button to find out what it does. The button to change the time should be the same button you use to change the date.

  1. Press the "Mode" button to activate the time settings (the time should start blinking)
  2. Press it again to move through the hour and minute settings, until you reach the date settings (the date should blink when reached)

Author: Burak Özdemir

My name is Burak, and I used to have difficulties waking up in the morning due to unreliable alarm clocks. Over the past few years, I've dedicated part of my life to finding the best alarm clocks and sharing my knowledge with people through this blog.