How to connect an apple watch to another phone

Pairing an Apple Watch to your iPhone has become a seamless process over the years. Apple has made it so all its devices recognize each other quickly to give customers a smooth user experience. Unpairing an Apple Watch can, however, present more challenges. So, we'll cover how to pair and unpair the right way.  

How to pair an Apple Watch

Before trying to pair your Apple Watch, it's a good idea to make sure your iPhone's iOS version is up to date by checking your settings. Once you've done that, ensure that Bluetooth is turned on and you're connected to a network: either Wi-Fi or cellular.

Step 1: Turn on your Apple Watch

Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing button on side

Make sure your Apple Watch is turned on and near your iPhone.

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Press and hold the side button on the Apple Watch to turn it on. A screen will appear showing the Apple Watch is in pairing mode and instructing you to bring it close to the iPhone you'd like to pair it with.

The screen on your Apple Watch indicates to hold it close to your iPhone during pairing mode

The screen on your Apple Watch indicates to hold it close to your iPhone during pairing mode

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Step 2: Hold iPhone close to Apple Watch until recognized

Hold iPhone close to Apple Watch until a message appears on your iPhone

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A message will come up on your iPhone when the smartphone recognizes the Apple Watch nearby. Just tap Continue.

Step 3: Tap set up for Myself

Step 3: Tap on Set up for Myself

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The option to set up for someone else, like a family member, is also available.

Step 4: Point camera at the animation on the Apple Watch

Step 4: Scan animation on Apple Watch

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An animation will appear on your Apple Watch that you must scan with your iPhone to complete the pairing process. If you can't use the camera for some reason, just tap set up manually and follow the prompts.

Apple Watch scanned on iPhone

Position the Apple Watch face so that the screen fits into the designated area

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Step 5: Wait until the Apple Watch is paired

Step 5: Wait until Watch is paired

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Once the Apple Watch and iPhone are paired, this screen will come up. Next, you'll be prompted to finish setting it up, which will allow you to customize your preferences, install new apps, and begin using your Apple Watch. 

How to unpair Apple Watch

How to unpair Apple Watch

Now, let's cover how to unpair your Apple Watch

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If you want to upgrade to a new Apple Watch and reset your current one before selling it or gifting it to someone else, you'll need to unpair it from your iPhone first. Failing to unpair your watch from your phone and simply restoring it to factory settings on the watch itself will trigger Activation Lock because your Apple ID and phone will still be associated with the watch (more details on this in the FAQ section below). This is a headache you don't want to deal with and totally did not happen to me once while exchanging an Apple Watch at Best Buy. 

To unpair your Apple Watch completely from your iPhone and Apple ID, you'll need to do it through your iPhone. 

Step 1: Place iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other

Hold Apple Watch close to iPhone

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Step 2: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone

Go into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone

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Step 3: Tap All Watches on the top left of your screen

Select All Watches

Select All Watches at the top left corner

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This will give you a snapshot of all the Apple Watches associated with your Apple ID. Find the one you'd like to unpair.

Step 4: Tap on the Info button next to the watch to unpair

Tap on Info button

Tap on the Info button to the right of your watch, this will let you access your options

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An info button will be visible on your iPhone, to the right of the Apple Watch you want to unpair.

Step 5: Tap unpair Apple Watch

Step 5: Select Unpair

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Step 6: Tap unpair again to confirm

Step 6: Confirm Unpair

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A confirmation will appear at the bottom of your screen, tap Unpair Apple Watch again.

Step 7: Enter Apple ID password and tap unpair again

Step 7: Enter Apple ID Password

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At this point, you'll need to enter your Apple ID password as a security measure to unlink your Apple Watch from it. 

Apple Watch is unpairing

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A backup of your Apple Watch data and settings will be created, which is helpful if you want to reset your Apple Watch and not lose your data or if you're upgrading to a new Apple Watch.


Activation lock is a security feature on your Apple Watch (and other Apple devices) that prevents someone from using your watch in the event it gets lost or stolen. If you do a factory reset on the Apple Watch itself, it will continue to be linked to your Apple ID and paired to your iPhone, so you want to unpair it from your iPhone itself to prevent this.

If you're upgrading to a newer Apple Watch, you'll need to unpair your old one from your iPhone, unless you decide to keep using both watches.

If you're ever in a situation where you need to unpair your Apple Watch but don't have your phone (if it was lost, stolen, etc.) to do so, you can simply go to iCloud and log in with your Apple ID, then go to Settings and remove your Apple Watch under My Devices. This will prevent Activation Lock just like the in-person unpairing process above.

How do I pair an already paired Apple Watch?

Apple Watch - Manually Pair.
On the Apple Watch, press and hold the. Side button. ... .
On your iPhone, tap the Watch app icon ..
Tap. ... .
Tap. ... .
On the Watch, tap the. ... .
On the iPhone, tap the Apple Watch that corresponds to the name displayed on your Apple Watch..
On the iPhone, enter the 6-digit code that is displayed on the Watch..

How do I unpair my Apple Watch without my old phone?

How to erase your Apple Watch if you don't have your iPhone. On your Apple Watch, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Type your password if prompted. For GPS + Cellular models, choose to keep or remove your cellular plan.

Why won't my Apple Watch connect to another phone?

If your phone has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned off — or if either of your devices are in Airplane Mode — they won't be able to pair. Make sure all settings are set properly to facilitate the connection. On the iPhone, you can quickly check this in the Control Center.

Can you pair same Apple Watch to 2 iPhones?

No - Apple Watch cannot be paired with more than one iPhone at a time, nor is it possible to conveniently switch from one iPhone to another (you would instead need to repeatedly unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch).