How to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone
Follow these simple steps to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone
16 Sep 2021
Pairing a new Apple Watch with your iPhone
This guide will help you pair the latest Apple devices, along with older models. You can use it for any Apple from Series 4, with iPhone 6s or later, as long as it's running iOS 14 (Apple's latest mobile operating system).
If you’ve already connected your Apple Watch and want to transfer it to a different iPhone, skip down to the next set of steps.
Before you start, make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. Then, you’ll need to turn Bluetooth on and make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once that’s done, you’re ready to pair:
- Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo, then let go and wait for it to boot up.
- You’ll see a message on your iPhone, “Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch”. Tap Continue. If you don’t see the message on your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap Start Pairing.
- Use your iPhone camera to centre the watch face on your iPhone, then wait for a message that says your Apple Watch is paired. If you can’t use your camera, you can tap Pair Apple Watch Manually and then follow the on-screen instructions.
- Choose Set up Apple Watch if this is your first one or Choose a backup if you’ve had one before. Choose Update your Apple watch to the latest version of watchOS if it pops up.
- Read through the Terms and Conditions and tap Agree, then tap Agree again to carry on.
- If you’re asked, type in your Apple ID password. If it doesn’t ask, you can do it later in the app: General > Apple ID password.
- You’ll be asked to turn on Activation Lock if you haven’t set up ‘Find My iPhone’. If you see the Activation Lock screen, then your Apple watch has already been linked to an Apple ID, and you’ll need to put in those details to set it up. (If you bought it from someone else, you might need to contact them to remove it).
- You’ll see which settings are being shared with your iPhone. Find my iPhone, Location Services, Wi-Fi Calling, and Diagnostics for your iPhone will all turn on automatically if they were already active on your iPhone.
- There are other settings you can choose, like Route Tracking and Siri. If Siri wasn’t set up on your iPhone already, it’ll turn on if you choose this option.
- If you don’t want to create a passcode you can Skip it, however you’ll need to set one up to use features like Apple Pay. To set one up, tap Create a Passcode or Add a Long Passcode, then type it in on the Apple Watch.
- Once this is done, you can set up Apple Pay by Adding a card.
- Some of your iPhone apps will work with your Apple Watch. Choose Install All to get everything that’s available or tap Choose Later to pick which ones you want.
- It might take some time to sync everything, depending on how much data you have. Keep the devices close together while it’s working, and you’ll hear a chime and feel a gentle tap from the watch when it’s done. Tap the Digital Crown and everything will now be paired and ready to use.
Transferring your Apple Watch to a new iPhone
To transfer your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, you’ll need:
- Your Apple ID and password
- Your old iPhone and the new iPhone, both connected to Wi-fi
- Make sure your Apple Watch and iPhone are at least 50% charged
- Your Passcode for the Apple Watch
If you don’t have the old iPhone, there are some different steps to follow.
If you have your old iPhone
Before you start, make sure both the old iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date. You might want to do the updates overnight, or wait until you have some time, because they can take a while to complete. Also, make sure both devices are at least 50% charged.
- Make sure all your old information is backed up. If you use iCloud to back up your data, go to Settings > ‘your name’ > iCloud and make sure that Health is turned If you use iTunes for your back-ups, you should encrypt your backup if you want to save Health and Activity data.
- Turn on your new iPhone and follow the instructions to set it up. When it asks if you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, choose the most recent one to restore everything. If your old iPhone and Apple Watch aren’t up to date, you won’t see your backup in the list.
- If you’re asked if you want to ‘Use your Apple Watch’ tap Continue. If it doesn’t ask, you can set it up manually.
- Keeping the watch and iPhone close together, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- If you’re asked to confirm that you want to use the watch, follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting it up. If your iPhone asks you to Start Pairing, skip back to the top and follow the instructions to set it up, so you can start using it with your new phone.
If you don’t have your old iPhone or you’ve erased/reset it
Even if you don’t have the old iPhone, it might still be paired with your Apple Watch. These steps will show you how to unpair it, so you can follow the steps at the beginning to set it up with your new iPhone.
- On the Apple Watch, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings.
- On your new iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and pair your watch.
You can try to restore any backups that you think might be from your old iPhone. If it’s not there, you will have to choose another backup, or set it up as new following the steps at the beginning.