'Why isn't my Apple Watch pairing?': 5 ways to fix your Apple Watch and iPhone when they aren't connecting

apple watch iphone

  • If your Apple Watch isn’t pairing with your iPhone, there are a number of ways you can fix the connection. 
  • First, make sure both devices have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and are in range of each other. 
  • Then, try restarting your Apple Watch and iPhone, as well as resetting your iPhone’s network settings. 
  • If all else fails, you can fully reset your Apple Watch, wiping your data and almost certainly allowing you to pair your iPhone again — just make sure you backup your watch before doing this. 
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An Apple Watch that isn’t paired to an iPhone is greatly diminished in its capacities. 

If your smartwatch is not pairing with your smartphone, you’ll want to connect it as soon as possible.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $399 at Best Buy)

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

SEE ALSO: The Apple Watch Series 5 is available now from Best Buy, Apple, and more for $399 and up

Why your Apple Watch isn’t pairing with your iPhone, and how to fix it

The good news is that — in most cases — Apple Watch pairing issues can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Here are the best ways to address the connectivity failure between your two devices, from the simplest to most complex methods. 

Move your phone closer to your watch

There’s a chance your phone is simply too far away from your Apple Watch, or that it’s in a bag or drawer that is blocking clear signal. 

Because the watch and phone pair via Bluetooth, proximity is key. So get them closer together and see if that alleviates the issue.

Check the settings on your phone and watch

If your phone has its Bluetooth turned off — or if either of the devices are in Airplane Mode — they won’t be able to pair up. Make sure all settings are set properly to facilitate the connection.

Turn your devices off and on again

To turn off your iPhone, hold down the side lock button until the “slide to power off” toggle appears, then slide it to power the phone off. Hold the side button again to turn the phone back on. 

You can shut down your Apple Watch by holding down the side button (not the crown) and then swiping to power off. Press and hold the side button again to turn the watch back on.

Reset your iPhone’s network settings

To reset your iPhone’s network settings, open the Settings app, then scroll to General. 

In General, find Reset, then hit Reset Network Settings and enter your password to confirm the move. Now try to re-pair the watch.

Reset your Apple Watch

Still having issues? Then it’s time to reset that watch. This fix should resolve the pairing issue, but it will wipe saved data off the watch, so you should back it up before doing so. 

In the watch’s Settings app, choose General, then Reset, and then hit Erase All Content and Settings.

Then in the Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch, and tap the information button beside the watch and choose Unpair Apple Watch.

Now everything should be just like new, and you’ll be able to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone. 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch

  • ‘Does the Apple Watch work without an iPhone?’: Yes, but its available features depend on your internet connection — here’s what you need to know

  • How to pair an Apple Watch with your iPhone

  • How to pair AirPods to your Apple Watch manually, if they didn’t automatically pair through your iPhone