How to use your Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby

If you don't have your iPhone with you, learn what you can still do with your Apple Watch. 

Control Center on Apple Watch showing a cellular connection.

If you set up cellular

If your iPhone and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) or Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) are both connected to a cellular network, your watch can do everything that it normally does, even if your iPhone isn't with you.1 When your watch connects to a cellular network, Green dots icon appears in Control Center.   

If your watch is connected to a cellular network, but your iPhone isn't nearby, your watch can do the same things that it can when using Wi-Fi. 

Learn how to set up cellular.

Control Center on Apple Watch showing a WiFi connection


If you have a Wi-Fi connection

When your iPhone is off or out of range, your Apple Watch can use Wi-Fi networks. When you connect to one of these Wi-Fi networks, Wi-Fi icon appears in Control Center. You can still do these things.

Use Siri to get directions, send iMessages, and more.

Messages app

Send and receive messages.1 

Phone app

Make and receive phone calls.2

Weather app

Check the current weather. 

Stocks app

Track your stocks.

Home app

Control your home. 

Find My Friends app

Use apps that support Wi-Fi.1 


Reminders app

Set reminders. 

Podcasts app

Listen to podcasts.

Music app

Stream music. 


Radio app

Listen to the radio.

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

When your Apple Watch is disconnected, you can still do these things. For example, you might be hiking in an area without Wi-Fi or cellular signal or your iPhone might be off.

Workout app

Track your workouts with the Workout app.3

Activity app

Track your goals with the Activity app.

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.

Wallet app

Make purchases with Apple Pay

Heart Rate app

Check your heart rate. 

Breathe app

Relax and breathe mindfully. 

Podcasts app

Listen to podcasts stored on your Apple Watch.

  1. To receive SMS, MMS, or push notifications from third-party apps on your Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) or Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), your paired iPhone must be powered on and connected to Wi-Fi or cellular, but it doesn't need to be nearby. You also need to be signed in to iMessage on your iPhone.
  2. If you're on 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. 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 or later has built-in GPS that allows you to get more accurate distance and speed information during an outdoor workout without your paired iPhone. 
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