Apple Watch and iPhone are made for each other and both are designed to enhance the other’s features. No matter which Apple Watch model you own – the new Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE, last year’s Apple Watch Series 5, Series 4 or even an older model – you need to set it up with your iPhone.
Setting up your Apple Watch to work with your iPhone is just the beginning. For more ways to take advantage of your watch, take a look at our guides that cover the top 30 Apple Watch tips, the best Apple Watch faces, and the best Apple Watch apps, which promise to make your watch equally integrated into your life as your phone.
How to pair an Apple Watch
Before you begin, make sure that both your Apple Watch and your iPhone are up to date with the latest version of their respective operating systems. Right now it would be iOS 14 and WatchOS 7. Also make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your phone, as it is the primary connection point. Finally, make sure both the watch and the phone are fully charged or plug them in to top up the charge when pairing. The pairing process is virtually identical in iOS 13 and WatchOS 6 and iOS 14 and WatchOS 7.
- You can use the latest WatchOS 7 with any generation of Apple Watch and pair it with any iPhone 6S or later running iOS 14. The installation assistants on your iPhone and Apple Watch work together to help you pair and configure from Apple Watch.
- Start by attaching the watch to your wrist, then press and hold the side button (the one under the Digital Crown) until you see the Apple logo appear.
- Move your iPhone near your Apple Watch and observe the welcome pair screen on your iPhone and press Continue.
- Simply launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and press Pair new watch.
- Press Start pairing button and place your iPhone above the clock as quickly as possible so that your Apple Watch appears in the viewfinder. This pairs the devices and you will see a warning confirming the pairing.
- If you already had a clock paired on this unit, you may see a screen prompting you to either restore the clock from a backup or set it as a new clock.
- Tap the wrist that you will be wearing the watch on (left or right) and place the crown (upper or lower).
- Accept the terms and decide if you want to share information with Apple.
- Create or wait with a password. If you intend to use Apple Pay, you will need to set a password.
- Select whether you want to update the clock automatically or manually and whether you want to activate SOS and fall detection. If your Health app identifies you as 65 years of age or older, the fall detection feature is enabled by default.
- You can choose to install all apps when pairing or wait to choose which specific apps you want. You can always delete individual apps later.
- Wait a few minutes until the installation is complete and the two devices are synchronized, and when done, you will see a welcome screen.
- If your Apple Watch has cellular service, you can activate the mobile service on your Apple Watch now or later in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Even if mobile service is not available everywhere, your iPhone and Apple Watch must use the same mobile operator to set up and run it.
Pair several watches with your iPhone
You can pair more than one watch with your iPhone if you need to, but only one watch can be active on your phone at any one time. The WatchOS platform does not support carrying two watches at once and does not support simultaneous sharing of watches between multiple users. Not all carriers support multiple active mobile plans at the same time, so make sure your carrier supports the feature. The steps are very similar to the mating procedure above. There are slight differences between iOS 13 and WatchOS 6 and iOS 14 and WatchOS 7, including the ability to set separate watches for different family members.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and press My watch tab.
- Tap the clock at the top of the screen (iOS 13) or tap All watches button at the top of the screen (iOS 14).
- Tap Pair new watch (iOS 13) or Add clock (iOS 14).
- Follow the steps to pair your new watch and iPhone. You can set your watch as new or use a backup copy of your other watch, just as you could with the original pairing.
- Each watch has its own settings so you can customize them with different apps and faces. You can add an Apple Pay credit card to one watch but leave it from the other.
Switch between several clocks
You can only have one Apple Watch active at a time. To change the watch, remove your current watch, pair the other, then lift your wrist or move your arm. If you activate the Auto Switch control, which is displayed when you have two pairs connected, your iPhone automatically switches clocks when you do so. If you want to select when to switch, switch off Auto Switch instead of switching automatically.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and press My watch tab.
- Touch your Apple Watch and turn Auto switch on or off.
- If you turn off Auto Switch, you need to let your iPhone know which watch you want to use, then tap the watch at the top of the screen, then tap the watch you carry so that it appears next to it.
Family setting with WatchOS 7
With the new Family Setup feature, you can pair multiple watches for children as well as older family members into a single iPhone. You can manage every watch with the phone’s Apple Watch app. This feature works with iPhone 6S or later and Apple Watches Series 4 and later with WatchOS 7. The pairing process for each watch is about the same as for an individual user except when you choose which family member is associated with each watch and customizes items as location services, Siri, the Apple Cash family, iCloud messaging, health data, emergencies, emergency contacts, medical ID, activity, workout tracking, and photos.
Remove and unplug an Apple Watch
- To delete a watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and press My watch tab.
- Select an Apple Watch, tap the info icon.
- Press Lossa Apple Watch to disconnect it.
- Enter your Apple ID to remove the watch from your account.
Manage your Apple Watch
The first thing you want to do is create a dial you like. The best way to start setting up your dial selection is to use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Everything you do here is automatically synchronized with your watch in real time. Go to Face Gallery where you can start editing and adding as many faces as you want.
Now that you know how to pair and set up your Apple Watch, you can read our guide on how to back up your Apple Watch to make sure you do not have to set it up from scratch in the future.