How to pair an Apple Watch to a new phone without the old phone?

connecting Apple Watch to new iPhone, no old phone needed for syncing
  Reading time 9 minutes

Before we begin, it’s crucial to ensure that your Apple Watch is compatible with the new iPhone. Compatibility is generally straightforward with Apple devices, as Apple Watches typically work with iPhones that are newer than the old one you’ve just upgraded from.

  1. Update to the latest iOS and watchOS: On your new iPhone, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘General,’ and select ‘Software Update’ to download the latest iOS. For your Apple Watch, you will need to have access to an older iPhone to update the watchOS, which can be a bit tricky if you don’t have the older phone anymore. If possible, borrow another iPhone to pair and update your watch before connecting it to the newer phone.
  2. Charged and Ready: Both your new iPhone and Apple Watch should be charged adequately before you get started. A charge of at least 50% is recommended to ensure that the devices do not power off mid-process, which can cause complications.
Step-by-step pairing new phone with Apple Watch without the old device

The Pairing Process

So, you have your Apple Watch and your new iPhone ready. How do you get started with the pairing process if your older iPhone is no longer in the picture? Here’s what you need to know:

Using iCloud Backup for a seamless transition

Ideally, you will have backed up your older iPhone to iCloud before moving to your newer device. iCloud backups can store your watch apps and settings, making the transition to a new phone much simpler.

1Ensure your old iPhone was backed up to iCloud with your Apple Watch data included.
2On the new iPhone, log in to iCloud during the initial setup and choose to restore from a backup.
3Once your new iPhone has pulled in the data from iCloud, open the ‘Watch’ app to begin the pairing process with the Apple Watch.

Starting fresh: Pairing without the old phone

If you’ve not done so, or if the iCloud backup does not exist, you’ll need to set up your Apple Watch as new. This means any data on the watch that wasn’t backed up will be lost.

  1. Reset your Apple Watch: On your Apple Watch, go to ‘Settings,’ tap on ‘General,’ scroll down, and tap on ‘Reset,’ then tapping ‘Erase All Content and Settings.’ This will erase all data from your Apple Watch, preparing it for a fresh start.
  2. Pair to your new iPhone: Once the Apple Watch is reset, open the ‘Watch’ app on the new iPhone. Follow the prompts to start pairing. Simply hold the Apple Watch up to the camera, aligning it with the viewfinder on the iPhone’s screen, or manually pair the devices by selecting ‘Pair Apple Watch Manually’ and entering the code shown on your watch.

The manual method may be necessary if the devices are not connecting via the automatic process.

Troubleshooting Common Pairing Issues

What do you do if you’re facing issues during the pairing process? Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Ensure that both devices are close to each other and have Bluetooth turned on.
  • Restart both your Apple Watch and new iPhone and try pairing again.
  • If your Apple Watch still isn’t pairing, check that it’s not already connected to another device. If it is, you will need to reset it before you can pair it with your new phone.
  • Make sure your new iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and is logged into iCloud.

The above suggestions should resolve most connectivity issues, but if you’re still having trouble, it’s worthwhile to consult Apple Support for personal assistance.

Quick guide to link Apple Watch with new phone, old phone not required

Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Apple Watch Experience

Fiddling with new gadgets can be as frustrating as it is exciting, but with a few tips and tricks, you can transform your pairing woes into an optimized experience. First, familiarize yourself with Watch settings. Dive into the companion app on your newer phone and explore the plethora of available customization options.

The path to a well-tailored Apple Watch experience is paved with patience and a willingness to explore. Whether adjusting notifications, customizing the watch face, or organizing watch apps, the more you tinker, the better your experience will become.

Customizing Watch Settings Post-Pairing

  1. Selecting Your Watch Faces: Personalize your Apple Watch by pressing firmly on the display to switch between watch faces. You can swipe to your favorite one and customize it further by tapping ‘Edit’. This allows you to adjust colors, design elements, and complications for quick access to apps.
  2. Arranging Your Apps: Keep your most-used apps within easy reach. On your new iPhone, open the Watch app and go to the ‘App Layout’ to rearrange the icons as you see fit. It’ll save you time and enhance your user experience.

Managing notifications is equally important. Your Apple Watch is designed to keep you informed without pulling out your phone. Tailor your notification preferences in the Watch app to ensure you only receive alerts that are crucial to you. This will keep your wrist from constantly buzzing with non-essential updates.

Recommendations for New Apple Watch Users

  1. Health and Fitness Tracking: Apple Watches are renowned for their health and fitness tracking abilities. Take full advantage of features like the Activity rings, Workout app, and Heart Rate monitor to support your health goals.
  2. Apple Pay: Set up Apple Pay for convenient, contactless payments. You’ll find this feature incredibly handy for quick transactions without needing your iPhone or wallet.

Don’t forget to delve into the vast selection of apps available for the Apple Watch. From productivity boosters to entertainment options, you’ll find apps tailored for the watch’s unique interface that can enrich your daily life.

Process of setting up Apple Watch with new iPhone, old phone absent.


Pairing your Apple Watch with a new iPhone without your old phone might seem like a challenge, but following these steps will help you establish a new connection easily. Remember to keep both devices charged, update them to their latest software versions, and have your Apple ID ready. If you’ve readied an iCloud backup, the transition should be smooth. Otherwise, a fresh start will do the trick. Once paired, customize your watch to reflect your personal tastes and dive into the features and apps that make the Apple Watch such an indispensable tool for day-to-day efficiency and health management.


Q1: What should I do if my Apple Watch will not pair with my new iPhone?

A1: Make sure both devices are charged, in close proximity, and with Bluetooth enabled. Restart both your Apple Watch and new iPhone. If the issue persists, consider erasing your Apple Watch and setting it up as new.

Q2: Will I lose my data from the Apple Watch if I don’t have a backup and need to pair it with a new iPhone?

A2: Yes, if you have to reset your Apple Watch to pair with a new phone and do not have an iCloud backup, any unsaved data will be lost.

Q3: Can I use my Apple Watch with more than one iPhone?

A3: The Apple Watch is designed to be paired with only one iPhone at a time. To use it with a different iPhone, you’ll need to unpair it from the current one and then pair it with the new one.

Q4: How can I ensure that my Apple Watch is backed up?

A4: Your Apple Watch data is included in your iPhone’s iCloud backup. To ensure your data is up to date, regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud.

Q5: What features should I explore first as a new Apple Watch user?

A5: Start with the basics like customizing watch faces and setting up notifications. Then, explore the fitness tracking features, set up Apple Pay, and download useful apps to enhance your Apple Watch experience.