Switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone

When you're ready to get a new iPhone, you can transfer your Apple Watch from your old iPhone to your new one. 

Here's what you need to switch

  • Your Apple ID and password (so you can turn off Activation Lock)
  • Your old and new iPhone both need to be connected to Wi-Fi
  • Your Apple Watch and iPhone both need to be at least 50% charged
  • Your Apple Watch passcode (get help if you forgot your passcode)

If you don't have your old iPhone, you need to use different steps. Choose an option below. 

If you have your old iPhone

Use these steps to back up your Apple Watch before pairing with your new iPhone. 

Update your old iPhone

Before you switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, update your old iPhone and update your Apple Watch. It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete. You might want to update overnight or wait until you have time, and make sure that both your devices are charged.

Apple Watch app showing one available software update.

 

Check your Health and Activity settings

If you back up using iCloud, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and make sure that Health is on.

If you back up using iTunes, encrypt your backup to save your Health and Activity content.

iCloud doesn't store your Activity Sharing data.

iCloud settings on iPhone X.

Back up your old iPhone

Use these steps to back up your old iPhone in iCloud or iTunes. Your iPhone also backs up your Apple Watch. Learn what's backed up

 

Set up your new iPhone

Set up your new iPhone. When asked if you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, choose your most recent backup to restore your data from your old device to your new device. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date, otherwise you might not see your backup in the list. 

If your iPhone asks if you want to use your Apple Watch, tap Continue. If you're not asked, you can still set up your Apple Watch manually in the next step. Get help if your iPhone doesn't ask if you want to use your Apple Watch.

Apps & Data option on iPhone X.

Open the Apple Watch app on your new iPhone

Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close together. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

If your iPhone asks you to confirm that you want to use your watch, follow the onscreen steps to finish setting up.

If your iPhone asks you to Start Pairing, unpair your Apple Watch, so you can set it up

After setup, you can start using your Apple Watch with your new iPhone. 

 

Get help

Follow the steps below for your question. 

If you don't have your old iPhone or you erased it

Your Apple Watch might still be paired with your old iPhone. Use the steps below to unpair:

  1. Erase your Apple Watch
  2. Set up your new iPhone and sign in to iCloud. If you've already set up and signed in, skip this step.
  3. Open the Apple Watch app on your new iPhone, then pair your watch with your new iPhone.
  4. Try to restore from a backup. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date, otherwise you might not see your backup in the list. You will lose Activity, Workouts, or settings on your watch that changed between the last backup and now. If you use iCloud in iOS 11 and later, Health and Activity data is stored in iCloud and automatically kept up to date on devices where you're signed in with the same Apple ID. 
    • If you’re asked to restore from a watch backup, select the most recent backup. 
    • If you don't have a backup, you need to set up your Apple Watch as new. 
  5. Follow the onscreen steps to finish setting up.
  6. Start using your Apple Watch with your new iPhone. You might need to wait a few days for all your iCloud data to appear.

iCloud doesn't store your Activity Sharing data.

If you have your old iPhone and you didn't erase it

Unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone. Then choose one of these options depending on when you set up your new iPhone:

  • If you just restored your new iPhone from a recent backup, pair your devices. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date, otherwise you might not see your backup in the list. When you're asked, restore from a watch backup. Your recent Activity, Workouts, or settings content might be lost depending on how old the backup is.
  • If your iPhone backup is several days or weeks old and you want to preserve as much content as possible, erase your new iPhone. Then transfer the content from your old iPhone to your new iPhone. You might lose some of the content on your new iPhone. Remember to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again.  

If your iPhone doesn't ask if you want to use your Apple Watch during setup

Unpair your Apple Watch from your old iPhone, then pair it with your new iPhone. When asked, restore your Apple Watch from a backup. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date, otherwise you might not see your backup in the list. 

If you transferred your content to your new iPhone using iTunes, but my Health and Activity content is missing?

If you use iCloud to keep Health up to date on your old iPhone, your data will automatically update on your new iPhone whenever you're connected to Wi-Fi and signed in to iCloud. On your old iPhone and your new one, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and make sure that Health is on.

If you don't use iCloud, you can try to restore from an iTunes backup of your old iPhone. If you have your old iPhone and didn't erase it, make a new iCloud backup or encrypted iTunes backup. Then erase your new iPhone and restore it from the new backup. Remember to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again. If you use iTunes, make sure that you encrypt your backup.

If you don't have your old iPhone or you can't back it up, you can't recover your Health and Activity content.

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