black aluminum case Apple Watch with black Sport Band beside space gray iPhone X turned on

Apple Watch Not Pairing to New Phone: Troubleshooting Guide

Having trouble pairing your Apple Watch with a new iPhone? Ensure both devices are updated to the latest software versions. This often resolves pairing conflicts. Keeping your Apple Watch and iPhone close together during the pairing process is also essential.

If your watch isn’t connecting, try restarting both devices. Press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button on your Watch until it restarts. Likewise, reboot your iPhone. Properly setting up your iPhone is crucial—choose to restore from an iCloud backup to make this process seamless.

For persistent issues, unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone first. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select the watch you want to unpair. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to reset and re-pair your Watch to the new iPhone.

Troubleshooting Your Apple Watch Pairing Problems

Common Causes and Solutions

Several factors can prevent your Apple Watch from pairing with your new phone. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

  • Software Update Required: Ensure both your iPhone and Apple Watch have the latest software updates. Outdated software can cause compatibility issues.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Interference: Turn off other Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks nearby to minimize interference during pairing. Check your iPhone’s Control Center to ensure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled.
  • Apple Watch Still Paired to Old Phone: If your watch was previously paired with another phone, you’ll need to unpair it before pairing with the new one. Go to the Watch app on your old phone, tap on your watch, and select “Unpair Apple Watch.”
  • Airplane Mode: Make sure Airplane Mode is disabled on both devices, as it can interfere with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Distance and Obstructions: Keep your iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other during pairing, and avoid obstacles like walls or metal objects that can weaken the Bluetooth signal.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

If the basic steps don’t work, try these more advanced solutions:

  • Restart Both Devices: Restarting your iPhone and Apple Watch can often resolve minor glitches that may be hindering the pairing process.
  • Reset Network Settings: On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will erase saved Wi-Fi networks and passwords, so be sure to have them handy for reconnection.
  • Reset Apple Watch: As a last resort, you can reset your Apple Watch to factory settings. Remember, this will erase all data on the watch, so back it up beforehand if possible.

Table: Troubleshooting Steps at a Glance

IssueSolution
Software OutdatedUpdate iPhone and Apple Watch software
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi InterferenceDisable other Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks
Watch Paired to Old PhoneUnpair from old phone in the Watch app
Airplane Mode EnabledDisable Airplane Mode on both devices
Distance/ObstructionsKeep devices close and remove obstacles
Minor GlitchesRestart both devices
Network Settings IssuesReset network settings on iPhone
Persistent IssuesReset Apple Watch to factory settings (back up data first)

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure both devices have the latest updates.
  • Restart both the Apple Watch and iPhone if pairing issues persist.
  • Unpair from the old iPhone before pairing with the new one.

Preparing to Pair Your Apple Watch with a New iPhone

First, ensure both your Apple Watch and new iPhone are updated to the latest versions of their operating systems. Update your iPhone to the newest iOS and your Apple Watch to the recent watchOS. This is crucial for compatibility.

Next, back up your old iPhone to iCloud. Open Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup, then tap Back Up Now. Ensure you’ve backed up your data recently.

Now, unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone. Open the Watch app on your old iPhone. Go to the My Watch tab, tap on your watch at the top, then tap the i icon. Select Unpair Apple Watch.

If you already have your new iPhone, restore it from the iCloud backup. During setup, select “Restore from iCloud Backup” when prompted. This ensures your apps and settings transfer over accurately.

Once your new iPhone is ready, make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled. Open Settings, ensure Bluetooth is on, then go to Wi-Fi and connect to a network.

Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo. Keep your Apple Watch close to your new iPhone.

On your iPhone, open the Watch app. Tap Start Pairing. Hold your iPhone over the animation that appears on your Apple Watch. You can also manually pair by selecting Pair Apple Watch Manually on your iPhone.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. When prompted, restore from a backup to get your apps and settings back. Make sure both devices remain close together during this process. This ensures a seamless transfer of your Apple ID and other settings.

Your Apple Watch should now be ready to use with your new iPhone.

Steps to Pair Apple Watch to New iPhone


  1. Ensure Updates: Make sure both your Apple Watch and new iPhone have the latest software updates. Update your devices if needed.



  2. Prepare Devices: Put your Apple Watch on your wrist. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.



  3. Open App: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Tap Start Pairing.



  4. Pairing Screen: Hold your iPhone near the Apple Watch. Wait for the pairing animation. Tap Continue on your iPhone’s screen.



  5. Viewfinder: Align your Apple Watch within the iPhone’s viewfinder. This pairs the devices.



  6. Set Up: Choose Set Up for Myself. Follow prompts to restore from a backup or set up as a new watch.



  7. Passcode: Enter your Apple Watch passcode. This secures your watch.



  8. Select Settings: Choose your settings. Customize notifications, messages, and apps.



  9. Wait: Let the devices sync. The watch face will appear with notifications.



  10. Complete: Once synced, your Apple Watch is connected. You’ll receive notifications and messages.


If pairing fails, ensure your devices are close together and updated. Restart both by pressing the side button and digital crown on your Apple Watch and the power button on your iPhone. Try pairing again.

For more help, visit Apple Support.

These steps ensure a smooth pairing process and allow your new iPhone and Apple Watch to stay connected.

Troubleshooting Pairing Issues

If your Apple Watch isn’t pairing with your new iPhone, try these steps.

1. Make sure both devices are updated.
Ensure your Apple Watch and iPhone have the latest software updates. Keeping them updated is essential for compatibility.

2. Check your connection settings.
Verify that Bluetooth is enabled and Airplane Mode is off. Open the Control Center on your iPhone to check this.

3. Restart both devices.
Sometimes a simple restart can solve many issues. Restart your Apple Watch by holding the side button until you see the Power Off slider. Slide it, wait for the screen to go dark, then turn it back on by pressing the side button again. Restart your iPhone as well.

4. Reset network settings on your iPhone.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This can resolve issues with the connection.

5. Unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch.
Open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to the My Watch tab, and tap All Watches. Tap the “i” button next to your watch and select Unpair Apple Watch. Confirm the action and wait for it to complete. Then, try pairing your watch again.

6. Erase your Apple Watch.
If unpairing doesn’t work, you may need to erase your Apple Watch. On your watch, press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button until the watch restarts. Tap Reset when prompted.

7. Check for Activation Lock.
Ensure your Apple Watch isn’t locked. If it is, you might need to sign into your iCloud account to unlock it.

8. Contact Apple Support.
If none of these steps work, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about unpairing, pairing, and troubleshooting your Apple Watch when connecting to a new iPhone.

How do I unpair my Apple Watch from my current phone?

To unpair, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap the “My Watch” tab and then “All Watches.” Select the watch you want to unpair by tapping the info button next to it. Choose “Unpair Apple Watch” and confirm the action.

What are the steps to pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone?

Start by setting up your new iPhone. On the Apps & Data screen, choose to restore from an iCloud backup. Once your iPhone setup is complete, your Apple Watch will prompt you to pair it with the new iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions.

What should I do if my Apple Watch won’t pair after a reset?

Ensure your Apple Watch is on its charger during the pairing process. Check both devices have sufficient battery. If issues persist, consider unpairing and erasing your Apple Watch, then set it up as a new device.

Why is my Apple Watch unable to connect, and how can I fix it?

Ensure your Apple Watch and iPhone are close together. Check Airplane Mode is off, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on. Open Control Center to verify these settings. If you see the Airplane Mode icon on your watch, turn it off to restore connection.

How can I put my Apple Watch into pairing mode?

Press and hold the Digital Crown and side button until your watch restarts. After it restarts, press and hold the Digital Crown again until you see the pairing screen. Then, follow the steps to pair.

How can I resync my Apple Watch to my iPhone without having to reset it?

Make sure both devices are in range and verify your settings. If syncing issues continue, open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to General, and select “Reset Sync Data.” This can often resolve syncing problems without needing a full reset.