Use your Apple Watch when your iPhone isn't nearby

Learn what you can do with your Apple Watch when you haven't got you iPhone with you.

When your iPhone is off or out of range, your Apple Watch can use a Wi-Fi network to send and receive data. Your watch can also connect to a cellular network if it's a cellular model. And if you've set up an Apple Watch for a family member, they can use a cellular or Wi-Fi connection with their watch.

When your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi icon  appears in Control Centre. When it's connected to cellular, the cellular icon appears.

If your Apple Watch is in Low Power Mode

When your Apple Watch is in Low Power Mode, several features are turned off or modified, which can affect some of the apps listed here.

  • Wi-Fi and mobile data will be turned off when your iPhone isn't nearby, until you open and use an app that requires a network connection.

  • Incoming phone calls will be sent to voicemail when your iPhone isn't nearby, and outgoing calls may take longer to make.

  • Background heart rate measurements, background blood oxygen measurements and heart rate alerts will be turned off.

If your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data

With a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, your Apple Watch can do the following things, even if your iPhone isn't with you.


Make and answer phone calls.1


Use Siri to get directions, send iMessages and more.

If your Apple Watch can't connect to Wi-Fi, mobile data or your iPhone

When your Apple Watch is disconnected — for example, if you're hiking in an area without Wi-Fi or mobile data signal, or your iPhone is turned off — you can still do these things.


See the time and use the Alarm, Timer and Stopwatch apps.


Display photos from synced photo albums.


Play music, podcasts or audiobooks that you've synced to your watch.

Not all features are available on all Apple Watch models. Also, not all features are available in all countries or regions.

1. If you're using Wi-Fi and want to call a phone number, make sure that Wi-Fi calling is turned on for your Apple Watch. Otherwise, try making a FaceTime audio call.

2. To receive SMS, MMS or push notifications from third-party apps on your cellular Apple Watch, your paired iPhone must be turned on and connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network, but it doesn't need to be nearby. You also need to be signed in to iMessage on your iPhone to use Messages on your watch.

3. For better GPS accuracy during an outdoor workout without your paired iPhone, you can calibrate your Apple Watch.

Published Date: