The 6 things you should do first with the Microsoft Band 2

So we've just shown you how to pair the Microsoft Band 2 with Windows 10 Mobile. You can use it right away after pairing, but we recommend doing a few things first for a better experience. You should do these six things with the Microsoft Band 2 immediately.

1. Enable Watch mode when you hold up your Microsoft Band 2. On your Band, go to Settings (gear icon), then Watch mode (clock icon). Tap the off button and change it to Rotate On. The Band 2 will ask how you wear it. For example, I've selected left arm and inside the wrist.

2. Enable Auto brightness. On your Band, go to Settings (gear icon), then Tools (another gear icon). Change the Brightness from the default Medium to Auto Set.

3. Change the color and wallpaper. On your phone, open the Microsoft Health app, tap the hamburger menu, and select Personalize Band. You can change the theme color and wallpaper from this page. There are currently 180 combinations to choose from.

4. Enable or disable tiles. On your phone, open the Microsoft Health app, tap the hamburger menu, and select Manage Tiles. Use the sliders to enable or disable tiles for your Band 2. It looks like you're allowed to have a maximum of 13 tiles. For example, I've disabled Golf and Guided Workouts, while enabling Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and Notification Center.

5. Rearrange tiles. Now that you've enabled and disabled tiles on your Band 2, you should rearrange them to your preference. On your phone, open the Microsoft Health app, tap the hamburger button, and select Manage Tiles. Tap Rearrange the tiles on Band's Start strip. Drag the tiles to change the order. Drag the tiles you use more frequently towards the left for quicker access.

6. Place the charger in the bathroom. I've found the best time to charge the Microsoft Band 2 is when I shower, so having the charger in the bathroom made sense. I don't want to charge it at night since I want to track my sleep. Let us know if you like this idea, too.

So these are the six things we recommend you should do with the Microsoft Band 2. Do you agree with the list? Are there additional things we should've mentioned too? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

  • I've been doing the charge when showering since band 1, works great
  • how long does it take to charge?
  • 30ish minutes
  • from 0% to 100%, about 2 hours. Super speedy. When you reach 80%, it needs to slow down so it dosen't overcharge and damage the battery. Happens on almost any device. 
  • everyone says charge while in the shower, but no one is saying how long does it take to fully charge, honestly i think charging it first thing when i reach office makes more sense. every morning at the office i have a couple of hours sitting.
  • 30 mins to 80% and then another 1.5 hours to do the final 20% is what the user guide says I think
  • I absolutely agree! At the moment, I'm charing my FitBit Charge HR every few days at the office, and I plan to do exactly the same when I switch to the Band 2. A bit more tricky on weekends, as it has to be charged more often, but the shower is probably a good second best solution, at least to get to the 80% after 30 minutes.
  • where do you charge it one the weekend?  
  • I also ordered a second charging cable. That should help, leave one in bathroom and keep one on my desk to charge while working or when travelling.
  • I don't know about putting the charger in the bathroom, but I'd charge it in the AM while I'm getting ready.
  • I charge it during my morning commute. I have a USB port in my car. Figure I am not doing any real activity and cannot look at it during the ride anyway.  
  • Step .5 Purchase Microsoft Complete. Step .7 Purchase and apply screen protector. Also, more frequently used tiles should be dragged to the LEFT, not the right. Other than those, I agree completely. ;)
  • Whoops meant to say left. Fixed! Thanks!
  • Will the Gorilla Glass need a protector? My Band screen is pristine because I had a protector, but my Lumia phones never need it.
  • They do sell them at the MS store but agree, probably don't need it.
  • Is the screen protector really necessary for this one? I know Band 1 would scrach up if you looked at it wrong. But none of my Band 1 screen protectors would last more than 3-4 weeks (corners peel away and it'd look bad). So I'm protector free so far on Band 2 with its gorilla glass. Still looking great after 4 days
  • Just have to wait untill middle of dec for my friend from the US to bring the band i ordered (which was delievered day 1)
  • Off: Windows Insider just updated, nothing in the store change log... New version is
  • Mark, If we all place our chargers in your bathroom, it'll be pretty busy in there...
  • Good one :-P
  • I was waiting for someone to say that.
  • I keep doing this and it's always reset the next time I look at it.
    Store employees said something about needing to buy it and display models not being mine, blah, blah... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No you just need to get a sharpie and write your name on it, that's how you save the settings.
  • For my band 1 i got a second cable to keep at my desk. When I am at my pc at work I plug it in to charge. I just got my band 2 today via ups so I will be ordering a second cable for this one also.
  • I haven't gotten a Band yet, but plan to. I had already figured on charging while showering. That's what I do with the Flex I have now.
  • How do you charge it in the bathroom?
  • You pay an electrician to come and plug the charger into the socket for you. (Don't know about the US but in the UK you're not allowed to do things like that... You can have a 110v shaver socket but nothing 240v, but hey what the government don't know can hurt them right?)
  • We have standard 120V outlets in bathrooms in the US. I think they all need to have a switch which automatically shuts the circuit off if the voltage gets too high.
  • I think what he mean't is that the Band only comes with a usb cord. There is no option to plug into a standard outlet!
  • That is true but there are tons of adapters, as well as wall outlets that have built in adapters that take literally 30 seconds to install.
  • Yes exactly, I was just wondering how Mark did this. They do sell outlets with USB ports to replace your outlets but there is also extensions you can buy which have USB outlets.
  • They make lectrical outlets with two regular plugs as well as one or two usb ports.  As far  as gfic you can have plugs with that function or you can have a gfci circuit breaker  to accomplish the protection.  The circuit breaker is the better solution.
  • Ya I had assumed it came with an actual adapter. Being that I don't have a computer, and the things with USB plugs are my TV and Xbox downstairs, it is a little unfortunate. My phone charger is not the kind where you can plug a USB cable into it, so I had that extra few dollar cost of buying one.
  • I just use my phones AC adapter. Take a few seconds to swap out the cable and voila, Band 2 "charging kit". I've even used my Motorola Turbo charger the time I've had to charge it since Friday. The Band would only charge to 99% according to the display while charging.
  • I never enable watch mode. It takes no effort to tap the power button to turn the screen on every now and then especially since keeping it off contributes positively to battery saving. I keep my power cable in my bedroom though since I worry about water getting into the cables. I did not know about auto brightness though. Thanks!
  • I agree that it saves power (I'd estimate 25% or about 1/2 day) buy turning this feature off. However, I think the added convenience is well worth it.
  • I definitely noticed the increased battery drain using the clock 'rotate on' feature. So I turned it off for about half a day, but missed the convenience so it's back to 'rotate on'. (This is after some 6 months of getting to the Band 1's clock by tapping the power button)
  • Seems like a good middle ground (rotate) I tried watch mode On with my Band1 for a day and turned it straight off again as it had a larger impact on battery than expected
  • I haven't tried rotate on for that very reason, the battery drain I assumed that came with it. It seems very convenient but after being trained with the Band 1 of pressing the power button, I've just carried that over. Plus I look at clocks everyday on my phone, laptop, cable guide, on the wall, microwave, etc.
  • For me, the convenience of being able to glance a my wrist without needing to do anything else to see the time more than makes up for having to charge it daily. I wouldn't want a watch that makes me manipulate it; at that point I'd just get my phone out. It would be nice to have the rotate mode but I'm still on band 1.
  • Watch mode this time around is much better IMO. Just a black background with white text so very low power similar to Glance or the Moto X display.
  • I agree Kevin!
  • I activate waatch mode while  I charging so I can see how its charging.  In my experience with version 1 it charges  to 60 quickly  20 mins or so then dawdles for a while  to 80 then hangs about 40 minutes  showing 80 and then  poof its at 100.
  • Yup, with the first Band, it would shoot up to 80 really quick, then take it's sweet time to get to 100. With the Band 2, it'll still shoot to 80 fast but MS has updated it to be increments of 1 instead of 10 and won't slow down between 80 and 100 anymore.
  • Great info.
  • Only charger I have is by the sink. Splash, not waterproof lol.
  • How many € cost the cheapest Microsoft band?
  • This is strange, WMPowerUse* wrote a similar article and twenty minuts later you guys wrote much the same article, Interesting.
  • Maybe it's some kind of conspiracy, please investigate for my peace of mind.
  • Has anyone used the new Band with the GPS for long runs or rides greater than 3hrs?   Can you resume a workout that has been ended by mistake?
  • Haven't used the GPS but I did do a bike ride and was able to pause it. After a while it prompted me whether I wanted to resume or to continue pausing.
  • It is less likely than Gen 1 to end a GPS workout by mistake because you have to swipe right and tap "end" on Band 2. I haven't tried a long workout. If you want to extend the hours on a long GPS workout, turn off rotate, turn off bluetooth, increase the interval for notification of duration/distance/ave speed split, and keep it turned off after each notification. I haven't tried this with Ban 2. Will get the chance for a 2-3 hour bike ride on Wed. I'll try it with a full charge and the above max battery strategy enabled and report findings.
  • Never thought about charging while in the shower but it's a great idea
  • I agree that it saves power (I'd estimate 25% or about 1/2 day) by turning this feature off. However, I think the added convenience is well worth it.
  • I find that rotate mode is a good balance though. Depending how often you check the time. I noticed normal arm movements can cause it to flash up
  • These are all great and exactly what I did when I got mine. #7 is go to the Microsoft band SDK site and great your own webtile app from an RSS feed and install it on your band. I did CBS sports fantasy football but as I'm writing this I realize I should go do the same for windows central. No coding necessary. The hardest part was finding an image with a transparency and resizing them, but that's relatively easy.
  • I love my band 2, but have a huge gripe. Notifications don't sync. So if I cheat on phone, still on band. Clear in band, still on phone. Plus for emails, it's not actually my inbox. I know it's supposed to be a w10m like actionable notification center, I was just expecting a little more.
  • Hopefully the app Clear My Band will be updated. Presently won't load in WM10. But just a tap cleared all notifications when it did.
  • I don't want to do that. I'm ok with my battery life at a day of it was more useful. I can't even use my band to silence an incoming phone call
  • I am a big fan of 3rd party apps. Which work and which don't out of the box? For example, I use Pimp My Band. I also use a Notes app to send my train seat to my Band. Beats taking the phone out to find a screen shot. That is the first tile on my Band now.
  • I use Pimp My Band.  It currently doesn't work.  I'm hopeful on an update quick, but I'm pretty sure the developer would have only gotten their band on Friday, just like the rest of us.
  • Pimp my Band has worked for me to install the wall paper I had on Gen 1 and to display a live tile on my windows phone showing the battery level on my lumia 1020 with WP 8.1.
  • W10M gives an error message when it first loads. :(
  • #1 Did that, then turned it off as I watched my band flash up the time every time I was doing any work on Saturday. #2 Did that, then set it to High because the screen isn't visible in daylight with auto turned on. #3 Waiting on pins and needles till Pimp my Band gets updated. Got so spoiled having my own wallpaper. I don't understand why MS can't update their app to allow custom setting  
  • I sit on my bum all day at work, best time for me to charge...while I get fat and die...t, lol an old Robbie Coltrane classic! =[~)
  • 1st thing you should do is return it and wait until they can come up with a better design that doesn't have a god awful buckle/clasp 
  • It's not that bad, the worst part is the space it creates around the rigid points. Should be like some braclets, not on top, but side by side.
  • I love the clasp.  It is solid.  I bought my wife a Garmin and one night it was simply gone while walking out of a theater.  That is the result of most clasps.  On Fitbit, you need a Charge HR to get a decent clasp, or the Surge.  On others, there is no decent option, and they seem to disappear quite easily.  
  • Nice article! As a new owner, would have loved this when I received my band 2 on Friday. As it was, I puzzled out most of these on my own. Really a huge fan of the device!
  • The other option is to put the charger next to your computer.  Then plug it in while in a longer stretch of work.  You're not moving anyway so it works out fine.
  • Even easier, most computers have front Usb ports.
  • disable golf and workout settings?  are you insane?  What's more fun than hitting the ball, cusing a few times, find the ball and repeat the whole thing over and over again!!!!
  • I'd love to see an article on making this work with My Fitness Pal.  The normal integration path between that app and fitness trackers is to obtain calorie burn info from the device, and return calories consumed for comparison.  Since we have no manual way of entering activity into Microsoft Health, I use MFP to add activities undertaken when I don't wear the band ( ie. working in the garden, painting the house, construction, etc ).  These all have calorie consumed values.  Those entries into MFP do not find their way back to Microsoft Health.  I also use a Fitbit Aria scale and it automatically feeds to MFP.  However, that doesn't allow input from the Band for calories burned input.  The Fitbit integration in these areas is pretty solid, and MFP is a great supplement for Microsoft Health, if it were working correctly.  It provides the input of info that doesn't need to be duplicated in the Health app.    
  • I turned on auto brightness after your post! There are a few apps I don't seem to use either so I'll change that soon. I charge in my room when I shower and when I sit and play games & work. Don't need to track that lol
  • I charge mine when I'm in the car, to and fro from work and all errands in between, worked great for band 1, expecting the same if not better charge performance.
  • Shouldnt's #3 just be Get Fanband?
  • What about Unicode support?
  • If you had a Band 1, then upgraded to Band 2, delete the Band 1 in your phones Bluetooth Settings. Then Pimp My Band will work. Other apps too.
  • I charge while showering but I leave the charger in the bedroom, where I get dressed, putting the Band on after I've finished the hygiene and grooming work. Slightly longer charge time that way.
  • Pimp and Fan Band will hopefully update to use entire screen on Band 2.
  • I think everyone should set their brightness to low. unfortunately, battery life is horrible as it is. even worse when watch mode is always on---something I did on my band 1 and it lasted way longer
  • I was wondering in case we may scratch the silver buckle, maybe it's a good idea to put clear sellotape over it. A diy protector. Thoughts?
  • I like all the suggestions and have done them all. One note for people is one of the reasons the default background color is black that this is the uses less energy when the display is on. OLED displays only consume power for the part of the screen that is illuminated. That said, I have my background blue with a swirl pattern cause it looks so much better! I love showing it to people.
  • Great tips! Missed auto brightness, will try. Also I like the tip for charging at shower time. Been trying to do this at me desk but have forgotten twice already.
  • Hi, anyone else having trouble with Cortana voice integration working with Win10 phone build 10581 and band 2? I can't get it connect saying it has a problem with phone/bluetooth but everything else works and syncs. Curious if anyone else has the problem as msft feedback and insiders hub didn't turn anything up.
  • Not just B2...B1 has had issues on the insider build for a while now.
  • I installed my Band 1 to the latest Insider mobile update.  Once I turned on Hey Cortana on the phone, and trained it, then it responded to the Band.  HOWEVER, it was very sporadic, and sometimes worked, though most of the time it failed with "server" issues.  Since this was the first time they have turned the feature back on, I believe we will possibly see improvements in future releases.
  • Just opened mine. The metal scuffs really easy (against the same metal at least). The clasp already looks like ive had it for a while with marks trying to get the clasp together. Oh well.
  • Loved the list, but, can't help noticing they are virtually the same steps I take currently with my B1. The sensors are virtually identical between the band 1 & 2. No change in battery life...just materials from what I've seen, so, what is stopping Band 1 from running the different features of the 2 (rotate to wake, alarms, etc). Am I the only one with the question? "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
  • Mark, does Auto Brightness affect battery life as much as it was said to affect the battery on the original Band? I didn't use Auto Brightness on the original Band due to being advised that the battery would take a noticeable hit. Also, what f-stop are you using in your photos for this article. I recently purchased a Sony 50mm f/1.8 Prime lens and it does an amazing job! I can't even imagine having a lens with a greater aperature! Thanks for the article.
  • How long does it take to shower!! XD
  • During shower, yes. In the bathroom, no. You don't want to expose electronics to vapor routinely.
  • I prefer to keep the charger at work so when I am sitting at the computer it's getting charged.
  • be sure to remove it while fapping, or it messes up all your stats!  take my word for it.
  • So where can I get the cool logo coffee cup?
  • My Band 2 arrived today! Oh Joy!   I am certainly impressed with changes and after taking my original Band off, the difference is night and day! Some things not noted before, just small, nice details: Charging is more granular. It was 59% coming out of teh box and now showing 64% with just a few minutes charging. Before, on some things (desktop) it might show 10% but the Band was showing 15%. Never any more closely monitored. two-step to step through the screens. With Auto Rotate on, a single click brings up the Home tile. Another click darkens the screen, but another click brings it to the clock mode. Many more choices in settings allowing much greater control over the device. I have not even put it on my writs yet, but while writing this, I see it is now 70% charged. After sleeping, I usually sync with my PC if less than 80% I am always confident even iwth the first Band going out with 70-80%   Going through your videos and pages to complete setting up, but even without wearing it yet, I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of this ne Band!
  • Thank you very much for the wonderful tips, not only in this article, but all the articles you write. All the information your staff and forum members have contributed, providing information from their trials and tribulations, have been informative and a tremendous help to me this year, as well as others, I'm sure. My wife purchased the Band 2 for me this Christmas. Using your guide I have been able to set it up and pair it to my 950XL this morning, with no issues. I am glad she waited purchasing the Band 2 until now. Not only is it useful, but very nice looking. I look forward to the coming year, reading whatever new articles you post here, as well as the additional musings from other Forum Members. I wish you all a Happy New Year and a enjoyable holiday with your family and friends.  
  •   Thank you for your interst in band 2  Have heard about the new charger for band 2 ? it is great!!!