How to Pair Your Apple Watch in 4 Easy Steps [With Pictures]

Just got your brand-new Apple Watch? While it is a great product on its own, to unlock its full potential it is necessary to pair it with your iPhone. By pairing it, you get a ton more features and much more overall control over your device.

Thankfully, Apple provides a seamless and easy pairing process. In this guide, we will take you through the whats, hows, and whys of pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone.

Apple Watch Series 9

What is Meant by Pairing?

Pairing two devices means making a wireless connection between them, allowing them to communicate freely. It is also the case when it comes to pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone.

But unlike regular pairing, the Apple Watch connects and synchronizes with your iPhone like an extension allowing you to perform almost all functionalities of an iPhone from your wrist.

Reason For Pairing Your Apple Watch

Even though you can use the core features of the Apple Watch without ever pairing it to your iPhone, when you do pair it, you get access to several features that are not present in the standalone watch. Here’s a list of key advantages of pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone.

  1. Message and Call Notifications: Pairing the Apple Watch with your iPhone allows you to read, and respond to text messages without taking out your phone.
  2. Voice Assistant: Your iPhone’s Siri can be integrated with your Apple Watch allowing it to take commands directly from your wrists.
  3. Find My Feature: Find My feature can be used from your iPhone to locate your Apple Watch when it’s lost or stolen.
  4. Wallet and Apple Pay: Even though you manage your payment cards from your iPhone, the smartwatch allows you to purchase and make transactions directly with Apple Pay.
  5. Photo Viewing: The photos in your iPhone’s camera can be viewed and managed directly from your watch.
  6. Quick Access to Information: You can receive relevant information and notifications like weather, news, etc.
  7. Backups and Restorations: The data on your Apple Watch can be erased, backed up, and restored from your iPhone in case of any issues with your watch.

4 Steps to Pair Your Apple Watch

Pairing your Apple Watch is like a walk in the park. With these simple and easy-to-follow steps, it is nearly impossible to get stuck.

Before You Begin

  • You need to pair your watch with an iPhone XS or later with iOS 17 or higher to use your Apple Watch Series 4 or newer with watchOS 10.
  • Make sure the iPhone is updated to the latest version of iOS.
  • Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on your iPhone, and that it’s connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

Step 1: Preparing The Watch

To prepare the Apple Watch for pairing, follow these steps,

  1. Turn your Apple Watch on by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo.
    Press and hold the side button
  2. Move your iPhone closer to your Apple Watch.
    Bring iPhone close to Apple Watch
  3. Wait for the Apple Watch pairing screen to appear on your iPhone and tap Continue.
    Tap on Continue

This will automatically open the Watch app, or you can just open the app yourself and tap on Pair new watch. Whatever path you decide to take the next steps will remain the same.

Step 2: Setup And Pairing

When pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone you’ll have the option to either set it for yourself or for a family member, let’s look at both of them individually:

⤷ Set Up for Myself

To set your Apple Watch for yourself follow these steps carefully:

  1. First of all, tap on Set Up for Myself.
    Tap on Set Up for Myself
  2. When asked, position your iPhone so that your Apple Watch appears in the camera view.

    Hold the Apple Watch up to the camera
  3. If this is your first Apple Watch, then tap Set Up As New Apple Watch and skip the next part.
    Press Set Up as New Apple Watch
  4. But if you’ve set up another Apple Watch with your current iPhone in the past then, tap on the Restore From a Backup button and select your old Apple Watch to transfer data.
    Restore from Backup | ITJungles
  5. Once you are done, simply select a few settings like terms and conditions, wrist preference, text size, passcode details, cellular network, etc. (You can also change these settings after you’ve set up your Apple Watch)
    Select preference settings

⤷ Set Up for a Family Member

You can also add a family member’s watch to your iPhone. For Apple Watch owners with children, this allows them to restrict specific activities while giving them the basic features of an Apple Watch. To set it up follow these steps,

  1. Tap on Set Up For A Family Member.
    Setup for a Family Member
  2. Press continue and place your iPhone so that the watch appears in the viewfinder.
    Hold your Apple Watch up to the camera
  3. Tap on Set Up Apple Watch.
    Press Set Up Apple Watch
  4. Agree to the terms and conditions and customize the basic features like text size, color, etc.
    Accept the terms and conditions
  5. Set up a passcode for the watch.
    Create a Passcode
  6. Next, add a family member that will use the watch. If you want to add a new member, simply select the Add Family Member option and enter their details.
    Select or add a family member
  7. Now you can set up a number of features like, Apple Cash Family, School times, Location sharing, etc.
    Apple Cash Family feature

Images sourced from Max Tech.

Step 3: Activating Cellular Network

Although your cellular service will automatically set up during the initial process, you can also change it later in the Watch app on your iPhone.

Activating a cellular network allows your Apple Watch to make calls, send messages, etc. even when your iPhone is not close to it.

It’s important to remember that for this to work, your iPhone and Apple Watch must use the same cellular carrier. An exception is a watch set up for someone else in your Family Sharing group.

Step 4: Keeping The Devices Close

You are almost done now. Just wait for a while as the iPhone synchronizes with the Apple Watch. Once they are done and the watch is ready to use, your Apple Watch will show the watch’s face.

Synchronization Process

To learn more about your Apple Watch while syncing, tap Get to Know Your Watch. Here you can learn what’s new, view Apple Watch tips, and read the user guide on your iPhone.

Pairing Issues?

If you see a watch face when you’re trying to pair, then it means that your Apple Watch is already paired with an iPhone. You need to first erase all Apple Watch content from that iPhone and reset settings. We have a dedicated guide on how to reset an Apple Watch as well that you can check out.

If the camera doesn’t start the pairing process, you can try pairing it manually. For this, follow these instructions:

  1. Tap Pair Apple Watch Manually at the bottom of the iPhone screen.
    Press Pair Apple Watch Manually
  2. From here, keep your Apple Watch close to your iPhone and select it under the devices tab.
    Select your Apple Watch
  3. Next, type in the 6-digit code displayed on your Apple Watch. And that’s it!
    Type in the six-digit code

Images sourced from HowToiSolve.


In conclusion, not pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone can really limit its potential. The seamless pairing process provides extra features for the Apple Watch and adds an extra layer of protection to it. But if your Apple Watch isn’t pairing you can try the common fixes mentioned above. If your Apple Watch is still refusing to pair with your iPhone, you can always contact Apple Support for further assistance.


Can I Pair My Apple Watch With Multiple iPhones?

Unfortunately, the Apple Watch is designed to be paired with a single iPhone at a time. If you wish to pair it with another iPhone, you’ll need to unpair it from the current one and then set it up with the new device.

What Happens If I lose My Paired iPhone Or It Gets Stolen?

In such an unfortunate event, your Apple Watch can still be useful. You can use the Find My feature on your iPhone or via iCloud to locate your missing watch.

Is It Possible To Use My Apple Watch Without An iPhone Nearby?

Yes, you can use some functions of an Apple Watch that does not have cellular connectivity without a nearby iPhone, but certain features like message notifications, Apple Pay transactions, etc rely on the connection with your iPhone.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.