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How To Fix Apple Watch Not Connecting To Your iPhone

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Connecting To Your iPhone

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Connecting To Your iPhone

Apple products are intended to “simply work,” but as an iPhone owner will tell you, this isn’t always the case. This is especially true of the Apple Watch, which can stop syncing with your iPhone at any time. Fortunately, the solution is simple.

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Connecting To Your iPhone

The “iPhone not connected” indicator at the top of the Watch face is the most obvious evidence that your Watch isn’t cooperating. It’s a red icon in the shape of an iPhone with a line across it that appears when your iPhone is out of range of your Watch. It can appear when they’re very close to each other.

You’ll also notice issues with services that rely on your iPhone, such as push notifications or internet-based requests (weather, news, and so on). Because issues will most likely affect all apps and connections, if you’re getting Messages but not Facebook notifications, it’s more than likely an app-specific problem (check your notification settings).


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When the “not connected” symbol is missing or your iPhone lists your Apple Watch as a connected device under Settings > Bluetooth, the problem can become even more perplexing. If you’ve noticed the problem, trust your instincts and try some of the solutions listed below.

Restart or Unpair and Pair Your Watch to Fix

The old “if in doubt, turn it off and on again” trick rears its head again here with one caveat: the order in which you turn things on.

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While a simple restart should fix the issue, give yourself the best chances of success by first turning off the Apple Watch by holding the side button (not the digital crown) and then moving the “Power Off” slider.

Power Off Apple Watch

Next, turn off your iPhone. Now boot the iPhone by holding the power button until you see the Apple logo and wait. Let the iPhone boot fully and unlock it so that you see the Home screen. Now boot the Watch by holding the side button and waiting.

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With a bit of luck, your Watch will now be paired with your iPhone. You can test this by launching an app or using a face complication that relies on the internet. If things aren’t working or you still see the red “iPhone not connected” symbol, you may need to re-pair your Watch to get things working again.

Apple Watch Weather app

Be aware that you may lose Activity data that has been saved to your Watch (workouts, active energy burned, stand hours, and so on) that has not been pushed to your iPhone. Historic workout and activity data will not be lost, since it is stored on your iPhone and backed up to iCloud.

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Connecting To Your iPhone

To unpair, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap on the My Watch tab followed by All Watches. Tap the “i” button next to the Watch you want to unpair and tap Unpair Apple Watch. If you have a cellular Watch you can choose to keep (recommended) or remove your data plan in the next step. Finally, confirm that you want to unpair your Watch, and your iPhone will attempt to make a backup (probably unsuccessfully).

Unpair Apple Watch using iPhone Watch app

You’ll now need to set up your Watch again by holding it near your iPhone and following the on-screen prompts.

No Luck? Consider Erasing Your Watch

If your Watch is still not working correctly, you can erase it. On your Watch head to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. After confirming with your passcode, tap Erase All and your Watch will be reset to an “as new” state. You will lose everything on the watch, including any Music you have synced, Watch faces you have saved, and Activity data that has not yet been transferred to an iPhone.

Erase Apple Watch

You can now set up your Watch again by holding it near your iPhone and following the prompts. This should hopefully fix any issues you have getting your iPhone and Apple Watch to communicate. Now check out these 20 Apple Watch tips and tricks to master your wearable.

If for some reason you’re still having connectivity problems, that may be a sign it’s time to upgrade to a new Apple Watch.


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