How to Pair Apple Watch to New Phone (watchOS 9)

Learn how to pair an Apple Watch to a new phone by unpairing the watch, backing up its data, and re-pairing it to your new iPhone without data loss.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Pairing an Apple Watch the first time is self-explanatory, but there are extra steps to take to re-pair your watch with a new phone. I’ll walk you through unpairing your Apple Watch from your original device and backing it up safely, then I’ll teach you how to connect your Apple Watch to your new phone.

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How to Pair Apple Watch to New Phone

Now, let's pair your Apple Watch with your new iPhone. All you need to do is open the Watch app and follow the instructions to customize notifications, settings, and features such as Workout tracking. Here's how to pair the Apple Watch:

  1. Unpair your Apple Watch from your old phone.

    Unpair your Apple Watch from your old phone.
  2. Open the Watch app on your new iPhone.

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

    Tap Start Pairing.
  4. Tap Set Up for Myself.

    Tap Set Up for Myself.
  5. Hold your Apple Watch up to the Camera as instructed. If nothing happens after a few seconds, tap Pair Apple Watch Manually and follow the on-screen instructions.

    Hold your Apple Watch up to the Camera as instructed.
  6. As long as you created the iCloud backup of your iPhone correctly, you will see the option to Restore from Backup; tap it. If you select Set Up as New Apple Watch, you will not retain your previously used settings and will start set up from scratch. If you don't see the Restore from Backup option, then there may be an issue with your iPhone backup.

     Restore from Backup, tap it
  7. Select the correct backup by tapping it. You can refer to the Apple Watch model and the time of the latest backup if you aren't sure which to select.

    Select the correct backup by tapping it.
  8. Tap Continue.

    Tap Continue.
  9. After a few minutes, tap Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions. If you tap Disagree you will not be able to proceed with the pairing.

    After a few minutes, tap Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions.
  10. Next, you'll be opted to create a passcode. While you can skip this step by selecting Don't Add Passcode, I highly recommend creating one. To create a four-digit passcode, tap Create a Passcode. For a longer passcode, tap Add a Long Passcode. I prefer to create a regular four-digit passcode, although a longer one can be more secure (but harder to remember.)

    To create a four digit passcode, tap Create a Psscode.
  11. Create a passcode by tapping the digits on your Apple Watch.

    Create a Passcode by tapping the digits on your Apple Watch.
  12. You'll be asked to re-enter the code to confirm it.

    You'll be asked to re-enter the code to confirm it.
  13. Next, you'll be walked through some basic setup steps, you can tap Set Up Later in the Apple Watch App to skip these for now. I'll opt to skip these for the purpose of this tutorial; however, I like to complete the setup properly because I tend to get lazy to set it up later on, and I prefer the simple steps during the initial setup. Keep tapping Continue until all setup steps are complete.

    Next, you'll be walked through some basic set up steps, you can tap Set Up Later in the Apple Watch App to skip these for now.

If you experience your Apple Watch not pairing to your new phone, check out these troubleshooting tips. If you are interested in more tips on iPhone settings, iCloud backups, Apple Watch use, and more, you'll enjoy our Tip of the Day Newsletter.

Related: 12 Ways to Save Apple Watch Battery Life

How to Unpair Apple Watch from Old Phone

Before you can pair your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, you must first unpair it from the original phone it is paired to. The good news is that the steps below will automatically back up your Apple Watch, so you won't lose any data or skip a beat once you pair it to your new phone.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

    Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom of the screen.

    Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select All Watches in the upper-left corner.

    Select All Watches in the upper-left corner.
  4. Tap on the info icon (the letter "i" with a circle around it).

    Tap on the info icon (the letter "i" with a circle around it).
  5. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.

    Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  6. Tap Unpair [Your Name]'s Apple Watch to confirm and create a backup of the latest data.

    Tap Unpair [Your] Apple Watch to confirm and create a backup of the latest data.
  7. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Unpair.

    Enter your Apple ID password and tap Unpair.
  8. You will see this screen until the unpairing is complete.

    Unpair your Apple Watch from your old phone.

Next, create an iCloud backup of your old iPhone then transfer that content to your new iPhone.

Ta-da! You’ve paired your Apple Watch with a new iPhone! Do you often misplace your iPhone? If so, a fun tip is that you can actually find your lost iPhone using your Apple Watch

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Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.