When you’re on the move, having a smart watch is a fun and useful way to access certain features of your smartphone without having to take it out of your pocket, such as paying for items or tracking your steps. If you’re wondering how to pair an Apple Watch to your iPhone, we have you covered with our step-by-step guide.

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Before you start

Before pairing and setting up your Apple Watch, make sure that:

• Your iPhone has been updated to the latest version of iOS
o Go to Settings > General > Software Update
• It is connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile network e.g., 3G/4G/5G

WiFi Connectivity

1 – Switch on your Apple Watch

The first thing to do is turn on your Apple Watch. Press and hold the side button for a few seconds until you see the pairing screen, which will ask you to place it close to your iPhone.

Tap Continue when prompted to progress to the next stage.

Switch on Apple Watch using the side button

2 – Select ‘Set Up for Myself’

You will now be asked to choose between pairing for yourself, or a family member. Select ‘Set Up for Myself’ and open your iPhone’s camera app.

The next step will require you to scan the animation that appears on your Apple Watch’s screen. Hold the watch in front of the camera until a new screen appears. If you can’t use your iPhone’s camera, tap the option that says ‘Pair Manually’ and follow the steps.

You’ll see another animation once this has been done successfully.

Pair Apple Watch using iPhone camera

3 – Set up your passcode and customise settings

It’s time to set up your Apple Watch passcode and adjust any additional settings. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted, at which point you can create a passcode for unlocking your Apple Watch.

From here you can also adjust text size, add your date of birth, and other information like height for fitness tracking.

Choose to create a passcode for Apple Watch

4 – Finish syncing the devices

You’ll know the syncing process has finished when you see the watch face. Make sure to keep your devices close together while they are syncing, otherwise the setup might be disrupted. During this time, you can tap ‘Get to Know Your Watch’ and learn some useful tips for getting the most from your device.

Sync Apple Watch to iPhone

5 – Enable Activation Lock

Once your watch and iPhone are paired, you can enhance their security with features found within the Apple Watch app.

Activation Lock is one such feature, and it prevents someone from unpairing your watch should they steal it or it is lost. To check if it’s enabled, open the Apple Watch app, go to ‘All Watches’ and find your device. Tap the yellow I button and scroll down to the bottom; you’ll see ‘Find My Apple Watch’ if Activation Lock is active.

Enable Activation Lock

Common pairing problems

Scanning the animation with my camera doesn’t work

If using your iPhone camera to scan the animation fails to work, select the ‘Pair Apple Watch Manually’ option.

I see the watch face when trying to pair

Seeing the watch face at the pairing stage means your watch is already synced with another device.

Check the Apple Watch app on any iPhones you or your family members own, and look to see if your watch is paired to one. Go to ‘All Watches’, find your watch from the options and select ‘Unpair Apple Watch’.

Apple Watch settings in Apple Watch app

After following these steps, your Apple Watch is now connected and ready to go. If you want to give your iPhone an extra layer of protection, check out our rundown of the top cases you can buy.

FAQs

Can I unpair an Apple Watch without my iPhone?

It’s possible to unpair your Apple Watch via iCloud. Log in with your Apple ID, go to Settings and then My Devices. Here, you can unpair a watch without the need for your iPhone.

How do I resync my Apple Watch?

It’s easy to reset your Apple Watch’s sync status:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Under My Watch, tap General
  3. Select Reset > Reset Sync Data