Why Apple Watch Isn’t Syncing With iPhone and How to Fix It

The Apple Watch and iPhone go together like peanut butter and jelly. Each device allows the other a wide array of features, tools, and settings. Unfortunately, Apple users can run into syncing issues that cause missed notifications and delays.

Your Apple Watch and iPhone might not sync due to proximity, Bluetooth interference, or software issues. You can resolve minor errors by ensuring your devices are close together, updating the software, and rebooting. You can also restore the watch to factory settings or force data to sync.

Don’t panic if your Apple Watch and iPhone aren’t in sync. Syncing issues are a common experience, but are easy to resolve. Let’s take a look at how your Apple Watch and iPhone might fall out of sync and how to troubleshoot the problem.

Why Isn’t Your Apple Watch Syncing With Your iPhone?

Woman using smart watch in coffee shop

The Apple Watch needs to sync with your iPhone if you want to get the most out of the two devices. Unfortunately, the Apple Watch and iPhone can run into syncing issues and cause missed notifications or delays. Here are some reasons why this happens:

Your Apple Watch and iPhone Aren’t in Range

The Apple Watch and iPhone use Bluetooth technology to communicate, meaning they need to be within close range of one another to stay paired. You might run into syncing issues if your iPhone or Watch is too far from the other.

Although the devices will reconnect when they’re in range, they won’t be in sync when out of range. Ensure your Apple Watch and iPhone are near one another to avoid syncing issues.

You Don’t Have an Active Bluetooth and Internet Connection

You might have turned off Bluetooth features or enabled Airplane Mode. The Apple Watch and iPhone will encounter syncing issues if you forget to turn these settings back on, as they rely on Bluetooth communication.

Ensure both your Bluetooth and internet connections are enabled to prevent syncing issues.

You Need to Restart Your Apple Watch and iPhone

“Have you tried turning it on and off again?” Although the advice might seem tired, there’s a reason it’s repeated so often. Restarting your devices can resolve minor issues and bugs, including syncing errors. Be sure to restart your Apple Watch by holding down the side buttons until a prompt appears to power down the Watch.

You can shut down your iPhone by holding the lock button on the side until a prompt appears to power down the device. That being said, these steps might vary slightly depending on your iPhone and Apple Watch models.

You Need to Update iOS

It’s essential to keep your operating system up to date to resolve minor errors and bugs. Your Apple Watch and iPhone might not be syncing due to outdated iOS software. Each device may need a separate software update, so you’ll need to check both.

You can download an iOS update on your iPhone from the Software Update tab located in the General section of your iPhone Settings. Once the software is updated, you can go to the Watch app and navigate toward the My Watch section. Select the General tab and search for an update notification next to the Software Update entry.

You can install the update with authentication using your iCloud password. You might want to place your Apple Watch on the charger or ensure it has at least a 50% charge, as updates can be battery intensive.

You Might Need to Reset the Network Settings

You might need to reset the network settings to correct syncing issues. Doing this is a more intensive solution that should be saved for when the troubleshooting methods above don’t work.

Navigate to the General tab in your iPhone Settings. Select the Reset option and then click Reset Network Settings. You’ll need to repair the Apple Watch and iPhone after the network has been reset. Afterward, your syncing issues should be resolved.

Restore Apple Watch to Factory Settings

As a last resort, you can restore your Apple Watch to the default factory settings. This usually can resolve most syncing issues. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the My Watch section and select “All Watches” near the top left.
  3. Select the info button aside from the Watch you want to reset.
  4. Select “Unpair Apple Watch,” select your watch to move forward.
  5. Enter your Apple ID passcode to disable any Activation Locks if prompted.
  6. Once the Watch is unpaired, follow the Start Pairing prompt .

Note: Your iPhone will create an automatic backup of the Apple Watch before deleting all its data, settings, and media. You can use this backup later on to restore the Apple Watch. The Activation Lock is removed, so you can sell, loan, or repair your Apple Watch.

How to Force Data Sync With Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch and iPhone should be in sync if you have Bluetooth and WiFi enabled. However, there are situations where the Apple Watch won’t sync health, activity, or other information.

Thankfully, you can force the two devices to sync by resetting the sync data. But you’ll need to ensure all the connections between the two devices are enabled beforehand.

Step 1: Open the Control Center

The first step is to launch the Control Center on your iPhone. You can do so by swiping down from the top-right corner of your device. For older iPhone models, swipe upward from the bottom of the device to launch the Control Center.

Step 2: Ensure Toggles Are Enabled

Next, you’ll want to ensure both “Bluetooth” and “WiFi” toggles are enabled from the Toggles menu in the Control Center. Now that you know the connections are secure, you can utilize the force sync method if your issue isn’t resolved.

Step 3: Launch the Watch App

Now you can launch the Watch app on your iPhone. You can use the built-in Spotlight Search feature if you can’t locate the app on your iPhone.

Step 4: Go to the General Menu and Reset

From the Watch app, navigate towards the My Watch section and click the General tab. Swipe down towards the bottom of the screen and click the Reset button.

Step 5: Reset Sync Data

A menu should appear after you click the Reset button. Select “Reset Sync Data.”

Now your iPhone will delete all contacts, calendar data, and sync settings on your Apple Watch. The sync process will restart once the process is finished. This should resolve any health and activity syncing issues, alongside errors with third-party software.

How to Unpair and Repair Your Apple Watch

Woman using smart digital watch and mobile phone

Your last resort is to unpair and repair your Apple Watch if you’re still encountering syncing errors. Here’s how to unpair and repair your Apple Watch:

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. From the Watch app, navigate towards the My Watch section and click the General tab.
  3. Swipe down towards the bottom of the screen and click the Reset menu.
  4. Select “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings.”
  5. A pop-up menu should appear, prompting you to confirm your choices.
  6. Once the process is finished, pair your two devices using the Watch app.

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