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, appears in the Control Center.
Check the connection between your devices
There are two ways to check the connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone:
- If you see or 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 . If connected, your iPhone should make a "ping" sound.
Use a cellular network
With Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) and a cellular connection, you can make calls and use data or apps when you don’t have your iPhone or Wi-Fi. Learn how to add your Apple Watch to your cellular plan.
To check your signal strength, swipe up to open Control Center.
The Cellular button turns green when you have a connection. The green dots show the signal strength.
The Cellular button turns white when your cellular plan is active, but your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone or Wi-Fi.
To turn cellular on or off, swipe up to open Control Center, tap , then turn off Cellular.
Some apps might not update without a connection to your iPhone.
Disconnect from Wi-Fi on Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)
On Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) only, you can disconnect from Wi-Fi networks.
Swipe up to open Control Center and tap . The icon will dim and your device will disconnect from any network that you're connected to. After you disconnect, your Apple Watch won't automatically re-join the Wi-Fi network that you disconnected from until you do one of these things:
- You turn on Wi-Fi in Control Center.
- You walk or drive to a new location.
- It's 5:00 a.m. local time.
- You restart your device.