How to pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone

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Aina Prat Blasi
@ainapratblasi

It's easy to connect the Apple Watch to a new iPhone. It's always exciting to have a new iPhone. But if you already have an Apple Watch that you want to pair with the new iPhone, you need to follow the right set of steps to make sure you don't lose any data. Here's how to pair Apple Watch with a new iPhone.


How to pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone

Start with the old iPhone you are replacing. On that phone, first update it to the latest version of iOS. When finished, check if your Apple Watch needs to be updated to the latest version of watchOS. If so, please upgrade.



This might seem pointless, but it's not. Your new iPhone will be running the latest operating system, so you need to update both the old iPhone and the watch to make sure all data is transferred correctly and the installation goes smoothly.

Make sure your old iPhone is syncing Apple Watch health and activity data to iCloud. This is the key to transferring data to your new iPhone.


Do this by going to Settings> [your name]> iCloud and make sure the Health slider is set to on / green.

Backup your old iPhone to a Mac or PC, or backup your old iPhone to iCloud, as you like.

If you are using a Mac or PC, be sure to select the option to encrypt the backup. If you don't, your health and activity data won't be backed up and won't be transferred to your new iPhone. I don't think you want to lose all that data!



Set up your new iPhone and choose to restore the backup you made in the previous step.


When the iPhone asks if you want to use the Apple Watch, tap Continue.

If this option is not presented to you, you will need to unpair the Apple Watch from your old iPhone, pair it with your new phone, and then restore the watch data from the backup.


Put the new iPhone and your Apple Watch close to each other. On iPhone, open the Apple Watch app.

  • If the iPhone asks you to confirm that you want to use the watch, follow the onscreen instructions.
  • If the iPhone asks you to start pairing the watch, first unpair it from the old one and then continue.

How to pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone if you don't have your old iPhone

If you no longer have access to your old iPhone, or if you have already wiped the iPhone or factory reset, your Apple Watch may still be paired with the old iPhone. To pair Apple Watch with your new iPhone, follow these steps:

  • To pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone, clear the data on your Apple Watch. On your watch, go to Settings> General> Reset> Erase All Content and Settings. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Set up your new iPhone, if you haven't already.
  • Pair the watch with your new iPhone.
  • Restore the watch from a backup when you are shown the choice. If you don't have a backup, you will have to set up the watch as new and you will lose your data (unless you have backed up to iCloud, ie. In that case, as long as you are registered in the same iCloud account as the old iPhone, should be synchronized).

Depending on how much iCloud data needs to be synced with your new iPhone and watch, it may take hours or even days for the data to appear.



What to do if health and activity data are missing

If you've set up your Apple Watch with a new iPhone, you want to make sure all your health and activity data is there. After all, you don't want to waste months or even years of your health and training data! If your health and activity data is missing, you have a few options.


If you backup this data to iCloud

Make sure your new iPhone is connected to the iCloud account you use on your watch and old iPhone. Next, make sure the Health slider is set to on / green in Settings > [your name]> iCloud. Then, connect it to Wi-Fi. This will start the process of synchronizing data from iCloud to the phone. Depending on the amount of data, this could take minutes or days.

If you have a backup of your old iPhone

Try to restore it to the new iPhone. Remember, the backup must be encrypted or it won't include health and activity data. If you still have the old iPhone, you can make a new backup and then restore it.

If you haven't backed up your data to iCloud or you don't have your old iPhone

Unfortunately you will not be able to recover your data and will have to start from scratch.


Further Reading:

  • How to update your Apple Watch
  • How to pair Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch
  • Discover Apple's latest wearable, the Apple Watch Series 5
  • How to Watch YouTube Videos on Apple Watch
  • How to pair an Apple Watch with an Android phone
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