Home / Tech / How to backup an Apple Watch and restore its data after you unpair it from an iPhone

How to backup an Apple Watch and restore its data after you unpair it from an iPhone

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  • Your Apple Watch will automatically backup its data when it’s connected to its companion iPhone.
  • The backup will save the majority of your data but will not save Bluetooth pairings, credit or debit cards saved in Apple Pay, or the passcode for your watch.
  • If you’ve reset your Apple Watch, you’ll be given the option to restore it to a previous backup saved on your iPhone.
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Good news! Apple makes it super easy to back up your Apple Watch — because it does it automatically. Whenever your watch is connected to your iPhone, it’s syncing your data and saving it to your phone. You don’t have to turn on any extra settings. As long as your Apple Watch is charged and connected to your iPhone it will be synced.

However, if you ever lose your iPhone or the data on it, everything is gone. So to fully backup your data, you’ll need to make sure that the data on your iPhone is backed up as well, to iCloud or iTunes. If you don’t know how to do that you can follow the steps in our iPhone backup guide.

If you’re still slightly confused, the questions and answers below should clear up any remaining queries you might have.

What will be included in an Apple Watch backup

Your Apple Watch will back up most of your data, including the following:

  • Your clock face with any customizations.
  • The watch home screen app layout.
  • App specific settings and data — these will be bundled into your iPhone backup, so make sure you’ve got all of your apps set to backup to iCloud or iTunes.
  • Dock settings.
  • System settings, including your watch brightness, haptic settings, and time zone.
  • Notification settings.
  • Your health and fitness data, which will be added to your Health app on the paired iPhone.
  • Any music and photo albums that are synced to your iPhone.
  • Siri settings (if you have an Apple Watch 3 or newer).

What’s not included in an Apple Watch backup

The following won’t be included in your Apple Watch backup and will have to be set up again, even if you restore your watch from a backup:

  • Bluetooth pairings.
  • Credit or debit cards stored in Apple Pay.
  • Your Apple Watch’s passcode.

How to restore an Apple Watch from a backup

If you’ve reset or unpaired your Apple Watch and want to re-pair it to your iPhone, you can set the device up using a previous backup. You’ll have the choice of several backups, including the one your Watch saved to your iPhone just before you unpaired it. If you need help, go through the setup steps that can be found in our Apple Watch pairing guide.

Once you’ve paired your Apple Watch, you’ll be given the option to set up the device as a new watch or restore it from backup — see step 5 in our guide.


Select “Restore from Backup” and choose the backup you want to be used for your Apple Watch.


This will let you skip many of the remaining setup steps, but you’ll still have to set up your Apple Pay and Passcode again.

Once you’ve restored your Apple Watch you’ll have to re-pair it with any Bluetooth devices, because this information is not included in your backup.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to silence your Apple Watch in four different ways

  • How to reset your Apple Watch and unpair it from an iPhone

  • How to update your Apple Watch and get the device’s latest features

  • How to tell if your Apple Watch is waterproof or water-resistant, and to what extent

SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches you can buy

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