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What to do when your Apple Watch won't pair to your phone

Apple Watch connecting to phone

Your Apple Watch® is packed with cool features that can make your life more convenient. But if your device isn't properly pairing with your iPhone®, it can be incredibly frustrating.

At Asurion, we troubleshoot your tech so you can focus on what's important. From what to do if your Apple Watch won't turn on to what you can do if your MacBook Pro is flickering, we've got your back. Here's what to do if your Apple Watch isn't pairing with your phone.

Check your iPhone Settings

Certain settings needs to be on or off in order for pairing to work.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Make sure Airplane Mode is turned off.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, and see if it gives you the option of pairing with your Apple Watch.

Update the software on your iPhone

Your phone may not be connecting to your Apple Watch because you're running old software or in the middle of an update. To update your software, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update. If you have an update available, you'll have the option to install it.

Try manually pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone

During the pairing process, the first thing you may see on your Apple Watch is an image that you need to align with and scan using the camera on the iPhone.

If that's not working, select Pair Apple Watch Manually and follow the onscreen prompts to connect your devices.

Reset the network settings on your iPhone

Your iPhone uses your network and Bluetooth® to connect to your Apple Watch. If your devices aren't pairing, it may be that you've accidentally changed your network settings. If that's the case, resetting them may solve your problem. Here's how:

  1. Head to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Reset>Reset Network Settings.

Force Restart your Apple Watch

Forcing your device to restart causes the setup assistant on your Apple Watch and the operating system on your iPhone to communicate with each other properly.

To complete a forced restart, press and hold both the Digital Crown and the Side button on your watch until you see the Apple® logo. Then try and pair your devices again.

Unpair your Apple Watch from old iPhone

If you see neither an image or the option to Pair Manually on your Apple Watch, this may mean your device is paired to an old iPhone.

To unpair from an old iPhone:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on the old iPhone.
  2. Tap All Watches.
  3. Tap “i" next to the Apple Watch you want to unpair and select Unpair Apple Watch.

In the case you don't have access to that phone, you can unpair it, and reset it from the Apple Watch directly.

  1. Press the Digital crown on the Apple Watch.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Tap General and Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings > Erase All. This will reset the Apple Watch only and won't affect the phone currently paired to it.

Your electronics go everywhere. They need protection that keeps up.

For less than $1 per day, protect thousands of dollars' worth of tech in your home—including your smartwatch—with the Asurion Home+® protection plan. From cracked screens  to battery issues and liquid spills, Asurion Home+ protects your wearable tech from life's unexpected oops moments with fast repairs from trusted experts, whenever you need them.  To learn more, visit

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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