How to Change Scribble to Keyboard on Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch has revolutionized wearable technology with its sleek design and versatile features. Among these features is the ability to send and receive messages, which has been made easier with different text input methods, notably Scribble and the keyboard function. Both input methods have their unique features, but sometimes, you may find one more practical than the other.

If you frequently use your Apple Watch for texting, you might have used the Scribble function, which allows you to draw each letter on your watch’s screen. However, there’s also the Keyboard function – an option that offers a familiar, convenient typing experience similar to a miniature version of your iPhone keyboard. Switching between these text input methods can significantly enhance your user experience.

Understanding how to switch between these two text input methods on your Apple Watch can streamline your communication process. Let’s dive deeper into the realm of Apple Watch’s text input methods and explore how you can change from Scribble to Keyboard.

Understanding Text Input Methods on Apple Watch

Scribble is one of the default text input methods on your Apple Watch. It allows you to ‘write’ your message directly on the watch’s screen, one letter at a time, using your finger. Each character you scribble gets converted into text in the text box. This method can be quite effective if you’re in a situation where speaking out loud isn’t appropriate, and you need to send a quick message.

When you open a messaging app and tap on the input field, the Scribble function will automatically appear. You can then start drawing letters on the screen. The Apple Watch software recognizes the shapes you make and converts them into text characters. If you make a mistake, you can simply over-scribble the letter to erase it.

Introduced in watchOS 8, the keyboard function presents a fully interactive keyboard on your Apple Watch screen. It provides a familiar layout for users accustomed to typing on a traditional keyboard, making text input easier and more convenient for longer messages.

Once enabled, the keyboard function will appear whenever you tap a text input field. You can tap individual keys to type, or you can glide your finger across the keyboard to form words – a feature known as QuickPath. Predictive text and autocorrect are also available to assist in faster and more accurate typing.

The Pros and Cons of Scribble and Keyboard on Apple Watch

Scribble is an intuitive text input method. It is easy to use, especially for short, quick replies. It’s great for situations when voice dictation isn’t suitable, and it can help you send a message discretely.

The main disadvantage of Scribble is that it may be less efficient for typing longer messages because you have to write each letter individually. Additionally, if you’re in a hurry or your handwriting isn’t clear, Scribble may have difficulty recognizing your input.

The keyboard function allows for faster input, especially if you’re familiar with QWERTY layouts. It’s convenient for longer messages, and the QuickPath feature allows you to glide your finger across the keyboard to form words, speeding up the process.

The keyboard’s small size can be a challenge, leading to frequent typing errors. Additionally, it may take some time to get used to typing on such a small interface.

Why Switch From Scribble to Keyboard on Apple Watch?

Making the switch from Scribble to the Keyboard function can offer several advantages, depending on your usage habits. For instance, if you often send longer messages or find the Scribble input process slow and cumbersome, the keyboard may offer a faster, more efficient method. Also, if you’re familiar with traditional QWERTY keyboard layouts, you may find the keyboard function more intuitive and easier to use.

The keyboard shines in situations where you need to send longer, more complex messages. For instance, if you need to respond to an email or message with more than a few words, the keyboard input can help you type faster. It also helps when precision is required, such as when entering a password or search terms.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Change Scribble to Keyboard on Apple Watch

Preparation Before the Switch

Before making the switch, ensure your Apple Watch is updated to watchOS 8 or later. This is because the keyboard function is not available on earlier versions of watchOS.

Detailed Steps to Switch from Scribble to Keyboard

  1. Open the messaging app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on the conversation where you want to reply.
  3. Tap on the text input field.
  4. The Scribble interface will appear by default.
  5. Scroll down using the Digital Crown or swipe down on the screen to reveal the keyboard option.
  6. Tap on the keyboard icon to switch from Scribble to the keyboard input method.

Checking If the Switch Was Successful

After following these steps, you should now see a mini keyboard on your Apple Watch screen when you tap the text input field. Now, you can either tap each letter to type or use the QuickPath feature by gliding your finger over the keys to form words.

Tips and Tricks for Using Keyboard on Apple Watch

How to Use Predictive Text and Auto-Correction Features

The keyboard on Apple Watch offers predictive text and auto-correction features to assist your typing. As you type, you’ll see word suggestions appear above the keyboard. You can tap a suggestion to add it to your text. The auto-correction feature automatically corrects misspelled words as you type, similar to how it works on an iPhone.

Ways to Type Faster and More Accurately on the Apple Watch Keyboard

Practicing typing on the small keyboard interface can help increase your typing speed and accuracy. You can also make use of the QuickPath feature, which lets you slide your finger from letter to letter without lifting it, forming a word in one swift motion.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Switching from Scribble to Keyboard

What to Do if the Keyboard Doesn’t Appear

If the keyboard doesn’t appear when you tap the text input field, check your watchOS version. The keyboard function is only available on watchOS 8 and later. Also, try restarting your Apple Watch.

What to Do if the Switch to Keyboard Is Not Saved

The Apple Watch will remember your last used input method. However, if it defaults back to Scribble, you can switch to the keyboard again following the steps mentioned earlier.

FAQs: Changing Scribble to Keyboard on Apple Watch

Can You Switch Back from Keyboard to Scribble on Apple Watch?

Yes, you can switch back from the keyboard to Scribble on your Apple Watch. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the messaging app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on the conversation where you want to reply.
  3. Tap on the text input field.
  4. The keyboard interface will appear by default if you have previously switched to the keyboard.
  5. Scroll down using the Digital Crown or swipe down on the screen to reveal the Scribble option.
  6. Tap on the Scribble icon to switch back to the Scribble input method.

By following these steps, you can seamlessly switch between the keyboard and Scribble depending on your preference and the specific needs of each conversation.

Is the Keyboard Function Available on All Apple Watch Models?

The keyboard function is available on Apple Watch models that are running watchOS 8 or later. If you have an earlier version of watchOS, the keyboard function may not be available. It’s important to ensure that your Apple Watch software is up to date to access the keyboard feature.

Do You Need a Specific Software Version to Use the Keyboard Function on Apple Watch?

Yes, you need to have watchOS 8 or a later version installed on your Apple Watch to use the keyboard function. Apple periodically releases software updates, so make sure to check for updates and install the latest version available to access the keyboard feature and other enhancements for your Apple Watch.

By staying up to date with the latest software versions, you can take advantage of new features, improvements, and bug fixes provided by Apple for an optimized user experience.


Choosing the right text input method on your Apple Watch can significantly impact how effectively you communicate using your device. Whether you’re a fan of the intuitive Scribble function or prefer the traditional keyboard layout, understanding how to switch between these two options allows for a personalized and streamlined user experience. Don’t hesitate to experiment with both input methods and discover which one best suits your needs.

Sherry's editorial journey seamlessly merges with her passion for horology at WatchReflect. As a seasoned editor and watch enthusiast, she curates insightful guides that cater to novices and connoisseurs alike. With a penchant for research and a flair for storytelling, Sherry transforms horological complexities into engaging narratives. Her mission is to illuminate the path for those navigating the multifaceted realm of timekeeping.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x