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.

If your watch is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data

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. Learn how to set up a cellular connection.

A Wi-Fi or cellular connection lets your Apple Watch do the following things, even if your iPhone isn't with you.1


Use Siri to get directions, send iMessages and more.

Phone app

Make and answer phone calls.2

If you can't connect to Wi-Fi, a cellular network or your iPhone

When your Apple Watch is disconnected — for example, if you're hiking in an area that doesn't have Wi-Fi or cellular signal, or your iPhone is turned off — you can still do these things.

Clock, Alarm, Timer and Stopwatch apps

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

Photos app

Display photos from synced photo albums.

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

Wallet app

Make purchases with Apple Pay

Record thoughts and ideas.

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Streaming music and podcasts is available on Apple Watch Series 3 and later and Apple Watch SE.

4. For GPS accuracy when you walk, run or cycle outdoors, select the appropriate Workout and bring your iPhone. For GPS accuracy, you can also calibrate your Apple Watch. Apple Watch Series 2 and later and Apple Watch SE have built-in GPS that allows you to get more accurate distance and speed information during an outdoor workout without your paired iPhone. 

5. The Compass app is available on Apple Watch Series 5 and later and Apple Watch SE.

Published Date: