How to Fix Apple Watch Not Syncing with iPhone (2022)

Follow this troubleshooting guide if your Apple Watch is not pairing or syncing with your iPhone.

Have you noticed your Apple Watch isn't syncing with your iPhone? Whether your Apple Watch data is taking a long time to sync or isn't showing up at all, we'll walk you through the steps to troubleshoot the issue causing your Apple Watch to not sync with your iPhone. 

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First Steps to Diagnosing Why Apple Watch Is Not Syncing with iPhone

  • Check that Bluetooth is active on your Apple Watch and iPhone. The Apple Watch connects to the iPhone through a Bluetooth connection, so if it is switched off, your Watch will not sync properly. To check this, open the Settings app, tap Bluetooth, and make sure the Bluetooth toggle is enabled. 
  • Make sure your Apple Watch is not in Airplane Mode. When Airplane Mode is on, all wireless connections, including Bluetooth, are deactivated.
  • In your Apple Watch Control Center, confirm that your Apple Watch is still connected to your iPhone. If it is connected, you will see a green iPhone icon. If it is disconnected, you will see a red iPhone icon with a slash through it.

Related: How to See Steps on Apple Watch Face with a Step Counter App Complication

Troubleshooting Apple Watch Not Connecting to Your Phone

Even if your Apple Watch is not pairing or syncing with your iPhone, all hope is not lost! Below, we've compiled a list of common fixes that can help to solve the issue. 

Fix #1: Toggle Airplane Mode On & Off

Toggling Airplane Mode on and off on your Apple Watch and iPhone resets all connections to the devices, which may help re-establish the connection between your iPhone and the Apple Watch. 

  1. On your Apple Watch, swipe up on the watch face to access the Control Center.

    On your Apple Watch, swipe up from the watch face to bring up the Control Center.
  2. Tap the Airplane Mode button to enable Airplane Mode. 

    Tap the airplane icon to turn Airplane Mode on.
  3. On an iPhone without a Home button, swipe down from the upper-right corner of your screen to open the Control Center. On an older iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

    On your iPhone, drag down from the upper-right edge of your screen to open the Control Center.
  4. Tap the Airplane Mode button to enable Airplane Mode on your iPhone.

    Tap the Airplane icon in the upper left corner to turn Airplane Mode on.
  5. On your Apple Watch, tap the Airplane Mode button to turn it off.

    On your Apple Watch, toggle Airplane Mode off.
  6. On your iPhone, tap the Airplane Mode button to switch it off.

    On your iPhone, switch off Airplane Mode.

Once you've switched off Airplane Mode on both devices, wait a few seconds to see if the connection between the devices is restored. If not, continue to the other solutions below. 

Fix #2: Restart Your Apple Watch & iPhone

For more Apple Watch tips, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter. Restarting devices is a common solution for fixing software bugs, connection issues, and other problems. If you're not sure how to restart your devices, follow the steps below to restart your Apple Watch and iPhone. 

  1. On your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button until the power options menu appears.

    On your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button until the power options menu appears.
  2. Slide the toggle to power down your Apple Watch.

    Slide the toggle to power down your Watch.
  3. On your iPhone, press and hold the power button and volume down button until the power options menu appears.

    On your iPhone, press and hold the power button and volume down button until the power options menu appears.
  4. Slide the toggle to power down your iPhone.

    Slide the toggle to power down your iPhone.
  5. To restart your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  6. To restart your iPhone, press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears.

Fix #3: Reset Sync Data

This is a quick and easy solution that should help fix any Apple Watch sync issues that you are experiencing.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.

    On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Tap General.

    Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.

    Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Sync Data. This will erase any synced data on your Apple Watch and resync it with your phone.

    Tap Reset Sync Data.

Fix #4: Check Both Your iPhone & Apple Watch for Software Updates

Software updates often resolve bugs and software glitches. For this reason, it is important to keep your devices updated to the latest software. Sometimes your Apple Watch and iPhone simply need to be on the latest software to ensure they stay connected and sync properly. Here's how to check for software updates: 

  1. To check for iPhone software updates, open the Settings app.

    On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.

    Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

    Tap Software Update.
  4. If there is a new update available, tap Download and Install.

    If there is a new update available, tap Download and Install.
  5. To check for Apple Watch software updates, open the Watch app on your iPhone.

    On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  6. Tap General.

    Tap General.
  7. Tap Software Update.

    Tap Software Update.
  8. If there is a new Apple Watch update available, tap Download and Install.
  9. If the Apple Watch update requires an iPhone software update first, you will see the message below. Install the iPhone software update before updating your Apple Watch software. 

    If the update requires an iOS update first, you will see the message below.

Fix #5: Unpair & Re-pair Apple Watch

If your Apple Watch is still not syncing with your iPhone, you can unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch. This is the last solution that we recommend, as this process essentially factory resets your Watch. Before unpairing, your iPhone will automatically make a backup of your Watch, as this will completely erase all content and settings from your Watch. Here's how to unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Watch app.

    On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Tap All Watches.

    Tap All Watches.
  3. Tap the Info icon next to your Watch.

    Tap the i next to your Watch.
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.

    Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  5. Tap Unpair My Apple Watch to confirm that you want to unpair the Watch. 

    You will need to confirm that you want to unpair the Watch.
  6. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  7. Tap Unpair.

    Enter your Apple ID and password, and tap Unpair.
  8. The unpairing process will start and might take a few minutes.

    The unpairing process will start and might take a few minutes.
  9. To pair your Apple Watch, tap Start Pairing on the Watch app start screen.

    On the Watch app start screen, tap Start Pairing.
  10. On your Apple Watch, you’ll need to choose a language and your region and then tap Start Pairing.
  11. Line up your Apple Watch in the frame on your iPhone screen. Once your phone recognizes the pattern, it will pair with the Apple Watch.

    Line up your Apple Watch in the frame on your iPhone screen.
  12. Tap Restore from Backup.

    Tap Restore from a Backup.
  13. Tap the latest backup of your Watch data.

    Tap the latest backup of your watch.
  14. Tap Continue.

    Tap Continue.
  15. Your phone will connect to your Watch.

    Your phone will connect to your Watch.
  16. Tap Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions.

    Tap Agree.
  17. Continue through the Apple Watch setup process, following the prompts on your iPhone.
  18. At the end, your Watch will automatically begin syncing. This should restore the connection between your Watch and iPhone.

    At the end, your Watch will automatically begin syncing. This should restore the connection between your Watch and iPhone.

Hopefully, one of the above solutions worked for your and your Apple Watch is now syncing with your iPhone! If you are still experiencing problems, the next step would be to contact Apple support or visit a nearby Apple Store. Apple’s skilled professionals will be able to help pinpoint any issues that are not fixed by the solutions presented in this article.

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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a passionate writer and Apple enthusiast. When he’s not drafting iPhone Life articles, he prefers to spend his free time gaming with friends, watching anime with his wife, or playing with his three cats.