How to Pair the Apple Watch with an iPhone

The Apple Watch requires an iPhone for setup, management, and for many of its main functions. The Apple Watch and iPhone communicate mainly via Bluetooth and need to be as close as possible to pair, even though the Apple Watch can also communicate with an iPhone via Wi-Fi. However, communicating via Wi-Fi will require more power than communicating via Bluetooth, and battery runtime will be shorter. That’s why the Apple Watch uses Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi whenever possible. In fact, Bluetooth has an effective range of up to around 30 feet, depending on how many obstacles are in the way.

How to Pair the Apple Watch with an iPhone

To set up the Apple Watch, users must run the Apple Watch app on their iPhone, starting with an iPhone 5 or later and running iOS 8.2 or a later version. The device must be connected to a Wi-Fi network, a cellular network, or both. Bluetooth must also be enabled. Generally, the pairing and setup process can take up to ten minutes. During this time, the iPhone must have a moderate amount of battery power and be connected to its charger.

To pair an Apple Watch with your iPhone, press and hold the side button on the watch until the Apple logo appears on the display. The Apple Watch powers on and the details appear on the screen. As soon as you tap the screen, the Start Pairing screen appears.

  • On the iPhone, press Home and tap the Apple Watch icon.
  • The Apple Watch app opens and the Start Pairing screen appears.
  • Tap Start pairing on both the iPhone and on the Apple Watch. (If the Apple Watch icon does not appear, check your iOS: Tap Settings, tap General, then tap Software update to check for the latest version.) The Apple Watch displays a changing pattern, and the Apple Watch app will then prompt you to hold the Apple Watch up to the camera. Hold it up to the camera, aligning the screen with the yellow viewfinder line.

You must sign in using your Apple ID, the online identifier that Apple uses for its services, such as iCloud and the App store. Obviously, you must provide the correct username and password. If you have applied for the two-step verification security feature for your Apple ID, choose the verified device on which to receive a one-time security code and enter it on your iPhone to complete the verification for your Apple Watch.

  • Tap Set Up Apple Watch, and then tap Left or Right, as need, when the Wrist Preference screen appears.
  • Next, you’ll see the Terms and Condition screen. To proceed, tap Agree. You’ll see the Terms and Conditions dialog box, and when you tap Agree again, the Apple ID screen will appear. Next, tap Enter Password and type the password.
  • Tap Next. The Apple Watch will then verify your Apple ID. The Two-Step Verification screen appears, however, if you have not enabled the two-step verification for your Apple ID, this screen will not appear, thus just tap OK.
  • If the two-step verification has been enabled, tap the device you will use for verification in the Verify With list.
  • Tap Send to see the Sending screen and the Verification Code dialog on the device you chose, showing a four-digit number for verifying your account. On the iPhone, the Enter Code screen appears. Next, type the verification code. You’ll see the Location Services screen, explaining what Location Services performs, whether it is enabled on the iPhone, and how you can enable or disable it. Tap OK.
  • When you tap OK, the Siri screen appears. You can then read about what Siri does, whether it is enabled on the iPhone, and how you can enable or disable Siri.
  • Tap OK. The Diagnostic screen appears, explaining the purpose of sending diagnostics and usage data to Apple, whether sending the data is enabled on the iPhone, and how you can enable or disable it.
  • Tap Automatically Send or Don’t Send, as needed. If you tap Automatically Send on the Diagnostic screen, the Share Diagnostics & Usage? dialog box may open, warning you that sharing diagnostics and usage data for the Apple Watch also means sharing data for the paired iPhone. Tap OK to proceed.
  • The Apple Watch Passcode screen will appear. Now, tap Create a Passcode. You can tap Add a Long Passcode to create a longer passcode, or you can tap Don’t Add Passcode. In this case, you’ll set up your Apple Watch without a passcode. It is not recommended to set up your Apple Watch without a passcode unless you are setting up the Apple Watch for demonstration purposes, and the device contains no sensitive data whatsoever.
  • The Enter New Passcode screen appears, and you can now type the passcode you want to create, and re-enter the New Passcode when the device demands it.
  • Retype the password to confirm your action. On the iPhone, the Unlock Apple Watch with iPhone screen will appear. The Apple Watch will prompt you to choose whether to unlock the Apple Watch with your iPhone. Tap Yes or No, as you prefer.
  • On the iPhone, the Install Available Apps screen will appear. Tap Install All to install all the apps now, or tap Choose Later to choose apps individually later.
    When the Apple Watch Is Syncing screen appears, it means the device is syncing with the iPhone. When the sync finishes, the Apple Watch Is Ready screen appears on the iPhone.

Important: You can tap Pair Apple Watch Manually if you cannot get the automatic pairing to work.

To pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone manually, tap Pair Apple Watch Manually on your iPhone. Next, tap Info on the Apple Watch. Now you will see the watch name on the screen. On your iPhone, tap this name in the Devices list. Next, the Apple Watch will display a six-digit code. On your iPhone, type this code at the prompt. You’ll see the Your Apple Watch Is Paired screen. Now you can restore your Apple Watch from backup.

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