How To Connect Your Apple Watch To A New iPhone

It’s not uncommon to upgrade an iPhone every few years. These devices don’t last forever, after all. But when it comes time to make the switch, how can you connect your Apple Watch to the new phone?

To connect your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, you first need to update and backup both devices. From there, you can restore the backup onto your new iPhone and set it up. When the phone asks if you want to use your Apple Watch, hit ‘Continue’ and follow the prompts.

Connecting a new iPhone to an Apple Watch is a fairly straightforward process, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Let’s take a closer look at the steps you need to take, so that you won’t face any obstacles along the way.

How Do You Connect an Apple Watch to a New iPhone?

Close up of hands with smart phone and watch

Connecting an Apple Watch (on Amazon) and transferring the data to a new iPhone is a breeze. You’ll need the following to start:

  • Your Apple ID and password (this lets you disable the Activation Lock)
  • Your old and new iPhone with WiFi connections enabled
  • Your Apple Watch and iPhone must be charged to at least 50%
  • Your Apple Watch password (this is in case you forgot your password)

Now that you have the necessary components, you can start connecting your Apple Watch to a new iPhone.

Connecting an Apple Watch to a New iPhone

  1. Start on your old iPhone device. Update the software to the latest version of iOS. Afterward, check if your Apple Watch needs to be updated to the latest watchOS software version. Update your Apple Watch if required.

    Note: This step might seem redundant, but it’s essential to the process. Your new device will be using the latest software, so you need to update your old iPhone and Apple Watch to ensure the data transfer goes smoothly.
  2. Ensure that your old iPhone is syncing your Apple Watch Health and Activity information to iCloud. This step is essential to moving the data to your new device. To do this, go to Settings > (Your Name) > iCloud and ensure the Health slider is toggled on or green.
  3. Now, back up your old iPhone data to a Mac, PC, or iCloud. You can back up your data in iCloud by selecting ‘Back Up Now‘ in the settings.

    Note: If you opt for a Mac or PC backup, ensure you select the option to encrypt the backup. If you don’t encrypt the backup, your Health and Activity data will not be saved, and it won’t transfer to your new device.
  4. Set up your new iPhone as you normally would, and choose to restore the backup you created in Step 3.
  5. When your iPhone prompts if you want to use your Apple Watch, click ‘Continue.’

    Note: If you don’t see this option, you’ll need to unpair your Apple Watch from your old device, pair it to your new iPhone, and restore the data from your backup.
  6. Grab your new iPhone and Apple Watch and place them near each other. On your iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app. Follow the onscreen prompts to finish pairing the devices. You might need to unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone beforehand.

How to Unpair Your Watch From Your Current Device

You might need to unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone to pair it to a new device. Thankfully, your old iPhone will automatically create a backup of your Apple Watch data when you follow the steps below.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the ‘My Watch‘ section at the bottom of the app.
  3. Click ‘All Watches‘ near the upper left-hand corner.
  4. Click on the info icon (the letter “i” in a circle).
  5. Hit the ‘Unpair Apple Watch‘ option.
  6. Click ‘Unpair Apple Watch‘ to confirm your choices and create a backup of your data.

If you don’t have your old iPhone, you can still unpair your Apple Watch without an iPhone. Check out our other guide to learn how to do it.

Note:¬†You’ll need to create an iCloud backup of your old iPhone data and transfer it to your new device. You can create an iCloud backup by selecting ‘Back Up Now‘ in the settings.

Can You Keep Your Apple Watch Data When Pairing With a New Device?

Yes, it’s entirely possible to keep your Apple Watch data when pairing a new device. Your Apple Watch information is automatically backed up to the iPhone it’s paired with, as long as they’re nearby.

When you unpair an Apple Watch from an iPhone, the watch data is backed up to the iPhone, and your latest data is archived. You can access the backed-up Apple Watch information on your new device when you set up a new iPhone or if you need to restore your previous data.

You’ll need to back up your iPhone data to iCloud, Mac, or PC. The iPhone backup will include your Apple Watch information. When you set up a new iPhone and restore the backup, your latest Apple Watch save is restored.

How to Troubleshoot Pairing Issues

Woman holding a blank screen phone and a laptop and put a smart watch

There are several troubleshooting methods you can use if you’re experiencing pairing issues with your Apple Watch and iPhone.

Make Sure Your Apple Watch and iPhone Are in Range

The Apple Watch and iPhone use Bluetooth technology to communicate, meaning they need to be in close range with one another to stay paired. You might run into pairing issues if either 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 pairing issues.

You Don’t Have an Active Bluetooth and Internet Connection

You might turn off Bluetooth features or enable Airplane Mode in certain situations. The Apple Watch and iPhone will encounter pairing issues if you forget to turn these settings back on, as they rely on Bluetooth communication to function properly. Ensure the Bluetooth and internet connections are enabled to prevent pairing issues.

You Need to Update iOS

It’s important 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 a 50% charge, as updates can be battery intensive.