How to Set Up Apple Watch & Pair It with Your iPhone

Pair new Apple Watch with your phone, configure settings, and set goals.

New Apple Watch? We'll cover how to set up your Apple Watch, pair it with your iPhone, and configure the main settings and features. Let's unpack those Apple Watch boxes and get started! 

Related: How to Set Up & Use the ECG Feature on Your Apple Watch 

How to Pair Apple Watch with iPhone

Before getting started, make sure Bluetooth is enabled and your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. You can also check out how to put on your Apple Watch band. Here's how to pair your new Apple Watch to your iPhone.

  1. If you haven't already turned your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. 

    how to turn on apple watch
  2. If prompted, bring your iPhone closer to your Apple Watch. 

    how to pair apple watch
  3. Tap Continue.

    how to pair apple watch
  4. Bring your watch into view of the iPhone camera viewfinder.

    pair apple watch
  5. Tap Set Up Apple Watch.

    how to pair apple watch

You may need to wait for a couple of minutes while your iPhone connects to your Apple Watch. 

How to Set Up Your Apple Watch

Now that your Watch has been successfully paired to your iPhone, you're ready to configure your Apple Watch settings and set up some of the main functions, such as your Activity app goals. Let's complete the set up process: 

  1. Tap Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions.

    apple watch setup
  2. Tap Enable Route Tracking if you want to allow your Apple Watch to track workouts. 

    apple watch route tracking
  3. Tap OK to share your iPhone's settings with your Apple Watch.

    apple watch location services
  4. Tap Create a Passcode to set up a four-digit passcode to unlock your Apple Watch; tap Add a Long Passcode to add a longer password. 

    apple watch passcode
  5. Tap Set up Activity to begin setting up your Activity app goals. 

    apple watch fitness
  6. Tap Continue to set up Apple Pay on your watch; tap Set Up Later in the Apple Watch App if you want to skip this step. 

    apple watch apple pay
  7. Tap Install All if you want to automatically load Apple Watch-compatible apps from your iPhone; tap Choose Later to skip this step.

    apple watch apps

Pro Tip: Make sure to keep your Apple Watch udpated so that it's running at it's best abilities! If your Apple Watch won't update, follow these tips to fix it.

Now your Apple Watch is ready to go! If you want to further customize settings, the Watch app on your iPhone is where you'll manage your Apple Watch settings and features. You'll also find all of your workout activity in the Fitness app. To make the most of your Apple Watch, I also recommend customizing your Apple Watch Control Center and checking out this list of some of the best Apple Watch accessories we've come across.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.