Here's what you need
- 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 per cent charged
- Your Apple Watch passcode (get help if you forget 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 to the newest version of iOS that's available.* You should also update your Apple Watch. It can take from several minutes up to an hour for the update process to be completed. You might want to update overnight or wait until you have time, and make sure that both of your devices are charged.
* You may see that your iPhone is up to date on its current version, but there's an update available. For example, even if your iPhone is up to date and running the latest version of iOS 14, there may be an option to update to iOS 15.
Check your Health and Activity settings
Back up your old iPhone
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; if they aren't, you might not see your backup in the list.
If your iPhone asks if you want to use your Apple Watch, tap Continue. If it doesn't ask, 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.
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.
After setup, you can start using your Apple Watch with your new iPhone.
Need more help?
Follow the steps below for your situation.
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:
- Erase your Apple Watch.
- Set up your new iPhone and sign in to iCloud. If you've already set up and signed in, skip this step.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your new iPhone, then pair your watch with your new iPhone.
- Try to restore from a backup. Make sure that your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date; if they aren’t, you might not see your backup in the list. You will lose Activity, Workouts or settings on your watch that has 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.
- Follow the onscreen steps to finish setting up.
- 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 Apple Watch is stuck while pairing
If your Apple Watch gets stuck at the black screen that shows the white Apple logo, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time until your watch restarts. Then release the Digital Crown and side button.
- After your watch restarts, firmly press the screen or press and hold the Digital Crown.
- Tap Reset.
- After your watch resets, you can pair it with your iPhone. Bring your iPhone near your watch, then follow the onscreen instructions.
If your iPhone doesn't ask if you want to use your Apple Watch during setup
If you transferred your content to your new iPhone using your computer, but 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 a computer backup of your old iPhone. If you have your old iPhone and didn't erase it, make a new iCloud backup or encrypted computer 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 a computer, 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.