About Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Apple Watch

Learn about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for your Apple Watch, and why you should use both.

To enjoy every feature on your Apple Watch, you need to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your paired iPhone. Swipe up on your iPhone to open Control Center. Then make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on.

Your Apple Watch uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to communicate with your paired iPhone, switching between connections as needed:

  • Your Apple Watch uses Bluetooth when your iPhone is near, which conserves power.  
  • If Bluetooth isn’t available, your Apple Watch will try to use Wi-Fi. For example, if compatible Wi-Fi is available and your iPhone isn't in Bluetooth range, your Apple Watch uses Wi-Fi.

Compatible Wi-Fi for Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch can connect to a Wi-Fi network: 

  • If your iPhone, while connected to your watch with Bluetooth, has connected to the network before.
  • If the Wi-Fi network is 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz.

For example, your Apple Watch won't connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi or public networks that require logins, subscriptions, or profiles. When your Apple Watch connects to a compatible Wi-Fi network instead of your iPhone connection, Green cloud icon appears in the Control Center.

Check the connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone

There are two ways to check the connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone:

  • If you see red Disconnected icon on the watch face, you don't have a connection.
  • Swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center, which shows if your devices are connected. You can also tap  iPhone icon. If connected, your iPhone should make a "ping" sound.

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