Back up your Apple Watch

Learn how your Apple Watch data is backed up and what the backup includes.

How Apple Watch backs up your data

Your Apple Watch data is backed up to the iPhone that it's paired with.* This happens automatically as long as your iPhone and Apple Watch are near each other, so you don't need to do anything to keep your watch backed up.

When you unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone, the watch is backed up completely to your iPhone to make sure that the latest data is saved. You can use the backed-up Apple Watch data on your iPhone if you ever need to restore your Apple Watch, or when you set up a new Apple Watch.

When you back up your iPhone to iCloud or your computer, your iPhone backup includes your Apple Watch data. This means that when you set up a new iPhone and restore it from backup, your latest Apple Watch data is also restored.

Here's what your Apple Watch backup includes

  • App-specific data (for built-in apps) and settings (for built-in and third-party apps). For example, Maps, distance, units, and your settings for Mail, Calendar, Stocks, and Weather.

  • App layout on the Home screen

  • Clock face settings, including your current watch face, customizations, and order

  • General system settings, such as brightness, sound, and haptic settings

  • Health and Fitness data, such as history, awards, Workout and Activity calibration data from your Apple Watch, and user-entered data (To back up Health and Fitness data, you need to use iCloud or an encrypted backup on your computer.)

  • Notification settings

  • Playlists, albums, and mixes that are synced to your Apple Watch, and your Music settings

  • The Siri Voice Feedback setting that controls when Siri speaks

  • Synced photo album (To see which album syncs, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then tap Photos > Sync Album.)

  • Time Zone

Here's what your Apple Watch backup doesn't include

  • Bluetooth pairings

  • Credit or debit cards that are used for Apple Pay on your Apple Watch

  • Passcode for your Apple Watch

  • Messages*

* If your devices use iCloud and Messages in iCloud, your iMessages and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages are automatically stored in iCloud.

If you set up the watch for a family member

An Apple Watch that you set up for a family member using Apple Watch for Kids (formerly known as Family Setup) backs up directly to the family member’s iCloud account. Backups happen automatically when the watch is connected to power and a Wi-Fi network.

To turn off iCloud backups for that watch, open the Settings app on the managed Apple Watch, go to [account name] > iCloud > iCloud Backups, then turn off iCloud Backups.

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