How to Switch Apple Watch to New iPhone

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Buying a new iPhone is exciting, and all you want to do is try out the new camera and the updated features. The last thing you want to do is worry about losing data when transferring your Apple Watch from an old iPhone to a new one. Just like your new iPhone, the Apple Watch is an extension of your connection to the world, and you want everything running smoothly. To make sure that happens, here is a quick guide on how to make sure your Apple Watch is transferred effortlessly to a new iPhone. 

Still Have Your Old iPhone?

Switching your Apple Watch to a new phone is undoubtedly easier if you still have both old and new iPhones available. Before you sync the Apple Watch to the new iPhone, there are a few steps you need to take to begin. Above all else, make sure your Apple Watch and iPhone are running the latest software. 

1. First, let’s back up your Apple Watch Health and Activity data by going to “Settings -> [your name] -> iCloud” and making sure that Health is on. (You should see a green label.) Note that for this step to work, you need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. 

Switch Apple Watch Iphone Icloud Data 1

2. The next step is to unpair your Apple Watch. To do that, open the Watch app on your iPhone, select “My Watch” at the bottom, and then click on “All Watches” at the top left of the screen. Tap on the “i” button and then select “Unpair Apple Watch”. 

Switch Apple Watch Iphone Unpair Watch

3. Ideally, if you place your newly unpaired Apple Watch near a new iPhone, it should automatically ask you to pair. In this instance, the iPhone should automatically start pairing. If it doesn’t, you can open up the watch app where the Watch is already recognized for pairing. Tap on “Start Pairing -> Set Up for Myself” and follow the onscreen instructions.

Switch Apple Watch Iphone Set Up Pair Screen

Do Not Have Old iPhone

If you have already traded in or sold your old iPhone, there is no cause for alarm. In the event you do not have the iPhone, the best way to switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone is to erase it and basically start over.

1. On the Apple Watch, head to “Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings.” If you have a password on your Apple Watch, it will ask for it here. 

Switch Apple Watch Iphone Erase Settings

2. Once the watch resets, you can set it up as new. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and begin the on-screen process of connecting your iPhone to the watch. You can tap on “Start Pairing -> Set Up for Myself” and hold your iPhone so it scans the animation on the Apple Watch screen. 

Switch Apple Watch Iphone Set Up Screen

3. Once the scan is complete, the Apple Watch and iPhone will walk you through the rest of the steps and pair the two devices. It’s also at this point that you will be able to select from a previous Apple Watch backup.

Note that in these steps it’s important to make sure both the Apple Watch and iPhone are up to date and on the most recent software. If they are not, there is a good chance you will not see your backup. You also will not see any previous Activity, Workouts or settings that you had previously. That means you will have to re-download all of your apps and set up the Watch as though it were the first time you used it. 

Now that you know how to switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, the rest of the setup is up to you. You can create a custom watchface or start a workout on your Apple Watch, or countless other things you can do as well.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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