apple watch series 4 in pairing mode.

If you’ve finally given into the wearables trend and purchased an Apple Watch, you probably can’t wait to test out its features. But first you need to pair it to your iPhone. We are here to help with step by step instructions and troubleshooting options. Let’s get started!

To begin, you will need an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or later installed. If for some reason you’ve postponed updating your device, you will need to do so before attempting to pair your new Apple Watch. Once that is out of the way and both devices are switched on, here is what you need to do:

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth turned on.
  • Keep the devices close to each other throughout the whole setup process.
  • Once your Apple Watch is turned on, you will receive an automatic prompt on your iPhone asking you to set up the watch. Simply press continue. If the prompt does not appear, you can open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone instead and select Pair New Watch.
  • A screen with a viewfinder should appear. Hold your Apple Watch up and align it carefully with the viewfinder window.
Apple Watch and iPhone in pairing mode
  • After a short period of time a message confirming the pairing should appear on screen.
  • From there you can tap Set Up Apple Watch on the bottom of the screen to set up your preferences. Accept the Terms and Conditions (preferably after reading them).
  • You can then enable and disable workout route tracking, set up a passcode so you can use Apple Pay and much more.
  • Once you’ve chosen all your preferences, your Apple Watch will need a couple of minutes to sync. You will receive a chime alert when it’s done.
  • You should now be able to enjoy all the features your new Apple Watch has to offer.

Pairing an old Apple Watch to a new phone and troubleshooting

Unfortunately, things don’t always go smoothly, so if the above steps for pairing an Apple Watch to a phone haven’t worked for you, there are a couple of things you can try. If you’ve bought a refurbished or second-hand Apple Watch, for example, the previous owner might have not factory reset it properly. You can reset it yourself by going to the Watch settings, then General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Once you’ve done this, simply restart the pairing process described above.

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If you’ve had your Apple Watch for a while but you’ve recently bought a new iPhone, however, you shouldn’t rush to factory reset your watch. You can save all your settings and pair it to your new iPhone by using iCloud to back up the iPhone currently paired to your Apple Watch. Then, when setting up your new phone, on the Apps & Data screen, you can simply select Restore from an iCloud Backup. Once your setup is complete you should receive a prompt on your Apple Watch to pair it to your new iPhone. Tap OK and enter your passcode, if you have one. You should then be able to use your old watch with your new phone without any issues.

Unpairing your Apple Watch

If any problems do arise, however, unpairing and repairing your Apple Watch often solves a lot of them:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  • Tap My Watch, then find the watch you would like to unpair.
  • Tap on the “i” symbol next to the watch and then select Unpair Apple Watch.

Pairing to other devices

If you don’t own an iPhone but are partial to iPads, we are sorry to say that currently Apple Watches cannot be paired with Apple’s popular tablets. Of course, this might change in the future, and if it does, we will be sure to let you know.

Android fans might also be asking themselves if their smartphones are compatible with Apple’s wearable. The short answer is no, not really. Apple’s product ecosystem has never been known for its openness. There currently are some workarounds if you want to pair your Android device with an Apple Watch, but functionality remains extremely limited. If you want to save yourself a lot of frustration, we recommend checking out other Android compatible smartwatches or fitness bands instead.

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These are our tips on how to pair your Apple Watch. Have tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments.