When it comes to smart watches, the Apple Watch is arguably one of the best options out there today. Despite also being one of the most expensive options, the Apple Watch and its variants are researched and developed with the Apple brand and its penchant for innovation and adaptability, built with the highest-quality materials and premium finishes, and designed from the ground up for seamless performance and connectivity within the Apple ecosystem. Pairing your iPhone to your Apple Watch is a breeze and a half, but because of certain design decisions and security features, you’ll have to take a few extra steps in case you want to pair your Apple Watch to a new iPhone.
In case you’ve upgraded to a new iPhone, lost your old one, or lost access to the device your Apple Watch is currently paired with, pairing your Apple Watch to another iPhone can be easy – or it can be a headache. That’s why we’ve come up with this straightforward guide, so it can be easy and hassle-free, minus the headache.
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Can I Pair My Apple to Two iPhones At Once?
The short answer is: no, you can’t.
Before we get started on how to pair your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, it’s important to note that the entire reason behind this process is because of a design decision in the Apple Watch that restricts it from being paired to more than one iPhone at a time. That means if you’ve paired your Apple Watch to an iPhone, you won’t be able to pair it to any other device until you’ve severed any existing connection.
Although it seems counter-intuitive, this design decision was made primarily for performance and security. Since one of the main benefits of the Apple Watch is that it can track a lot of your activities in real-time – from your vitals, to your location (if allowed), and more – being able to stream data constantly to a single device allows it to better serve its purpose. Allowing the Apple Watch to pair to multiple devices simultaneously could end up problematic, both in terms of performance (due to hardware and connectivity limitations), and security.
How to Pair Your Apple Watch to Your New iPhone
Now that we’ve settled that bit of business, let’s get down to our short and simple step-by-step approach on how to pair your Apple Watch to your new iPhone. Depending on your circumstances – if you’re having trouble pairing your Apple Watch (i.e. it gets stuck), or if you’ve lost (or lost access to) to the iPhone that your Apple Watch was originally paired to – then you’ll have to take a few specific measures to get your Apple Watch up and running with your new iPhone.
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What You’ll Need
If you’re looking to pair your new (or old) Apple Watch to a new iPhone, you’re going to need to be ready with a few things going forward. Make sure you have:
- Access to Your Apple ID
For security reasons, Apple designed the Apple Watch pairing process to be tied directly to your Apple ID. If you want to be able to erase, pair, or switch your Apple Watch, then you’ll need to have your Apple ID and password ready. You’ll use these to login to your Apple ID and turn off Activation Lock, the safety feature that keeps Apple Watch from pairing with just anybody.
- Access to Wi-Fi (or any kind of internet connection)
Since the security measures in place are all performed server-side with the help of authentication with your Apple ID and password, you’ll need to make sure that both the old iPhone (the one currently paired to the Apple Watch) and your new iPhone (the one you want to pair it to) are both connected to the internet, either via Wi-Fi or via cellular data or hotspot.
- At least 50% Battery Charge on the Apple Watch and the new iPhone
Another added measure for safety and stability, Apple doesn’t let you pair the Apple Watch to a new device unless both the Apple Watch and the iPhone have at least 50% battery remaining. This measure is put in place for stability reasons – not having enough power during the pairing process could lead to bugs and faults which may end up causing some headaches down the line, so Apple thought it’d be a good idea to not even make that possible.
- Access to Your Apple Watch
Of course, as a final security measure, you’ll also need to have access to your Apple Watch – which means you need to know the passcode to unlock it. Although it seems like a little overkill, Apple added this measure in place to make sure that Apple Watch passcode knowledge (and physical access) were necessary before any pairing can take place.
Pairing Your Apple Watch to a New iPhone
Now that you have everything you need to get started, you can follow this step by step guide on how to pair your Apple Watch to your new iPhone, provided that you still have access to your old one. If you don’t, skip this part and move on to the section where we talk about how to do the same thing if you lost access to your old phone.
Image from Apple Support
- Make sure your old iPhone is up-to-date
In order to avoid issues with compatibility or data not being received properly, make sure that you update your old iPhone to the latest stable version of iOS. Make sure it’s charged, too, before you start the process.
- Make sure your Apple Watch is up-to-date
For the same reasons mentioned in step one, make sure your Apple Watch is updated with the latest firmware – watchOS – to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
- Check Health & Activity Settings on Your Phone or Computer
The Apple Watch runs primarily on Apple’s health services, so before you begin, check your iCloud settings – either on your iPhone or on a computer, wherever you can login to iCloud – and make sure that Health is turned on. You can do so by going to Settings > Your Account > iCloud and look for the switch labeled “Health”.
- Backup Your Old iPhone
When you un-pair an Apple Watch, it automatically gets erased – again, for security reasons – so if you have your Apple Watch set up exactly how you want it, make sure to backup your old iPhone. This process also backs up anything stored on the Apple Watch that it’s currently paired to.
- Set up your new iPhone
During your new iPhone setup, you’ll receive a prompt that asks whether or not you want to restore data from a backup. You can either use an iCloud backup or an iTunes backup, move data from an Android device, or start fresh without transferring any data onto your new iPhone. To set it up properly for your Apple Watch, make sure you select the most recent backup that you have just made on your old iPhone. (Note: if you don’t update your Apple Watch or your old iPhone to the latest version beforehand, you might not see the backup listed).
- Open the Apple Watch app
Once your new iPhone is setup, pair it the same way you normally would. Open the Apple Watch app, turn your Apple Watch on, put your devices together, and follow the installation steps to get your Apple Watch setup and paired.
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If You Lost Your Old iPhone
If you lost your old iPhone – either you physically lost it or you no longer have access to it for one reason or another – then don’t worry! There’s a simple process that accommodates your situation. Without access to the old iPhone, however, you might not have your Apple Watch working exactly the you way you want it right away – the process erases all locally-stored Apple Watch data like workouts, activity data, personal settings, etc. – but you’ll be able to pair it with your new iPhone without any problem. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Open your Apple Watch
- Tap Settings
- Tap General
- Tap Reset
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings
- Confirm Reset
Once you’ve erased your Apple Watch, you can follow the same procedure as if you didn’t starting by setting up your new iPhone – except this time you can choose to use a previous restore point (which might not even be possible unless your old iPhone is up-to-date), or choose not to transfer data and just setup the Apple Watch as new.
The Apple Watch is designed for seamless use and effortless connectivity with other devices in the Apple ecosystem, particularly the iPhone line of Apple smartphones. With that, pairing your Apple Watch to a new iPhone is already a simple and straightforward process, but we hope we’ve made it even easier with our step-by-step guide with all the information you need to make the switch seamlessly and hassle-free.