Pairing Failed: Your Apple Watch Couldn’t Pair with Your iPhone [FIX]

You may fail to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone due to an outdated or corruptOS of your watch or your iPhone.  The affected user encounters the error when he tries to pair his watch and the iPhone for the first time.

The issue is reported to occur on all models of the Apple Watch and iPhone. Some users faced the issue after an update of the OS of the Apple Watch or iPhone while in others it started to occur after the replacement of the screen of the watch.

Fix Pairing Failed Your Apple Watch Couldn’t Pair with Your iPhone

Before moving on with the troubleshooting process to pair your Apple Watch with the iPhone, make sure the OS of your Apple Watch and iOS version of your phone is compatible. Moreover, try to manually pair your watch with the phone. Also, make sure there is no wireless/ Bluetooth interference near the watch or iPhone.

Solution 1: Restart the Watch and iPhone

The issue could be a temporary glitch in the communication/application modules of the devices. This can be cleared by restarting the Apple Watch and iPhone.

  1. On your Apple Watch, launch the Apps screen and tap on Settings.
    Open Settings of Apple Watch
  2. Now tap on Airplane Mode and then enable the Airplane Mode by toggling its switch to off position.
    Open Airplane Mode of the Apple Watch
  3. Then disable Airplane Mode and check if the pairing issue is resolved.
  4. If not, enable Airplane Mode and disable Bluetooth of your iPhone as well.
  5. Now power off your phone and then restart your Apple Watch.
  6. Wait for a few minutes before powering on your devices and disabling the Airplane modes. Now check if the issue is resolved.
  7. If not, connect your Watch to a Wi-Fi network (if it is on cellular) and then check if you can pair it with the iPhone.

Solution 2: Try to Pair Devices without AppStore Login

The Apple AppStore login is known to create issues in the pairing of the devices. In this case, pairing the devices without AppStore may bypass any potential bugs and solve the connectivity problem.

  1. Start the pairing of the devices by using the camera near the Apple Watch.
  2. When asked to enter the iTunes store password, tap on the skip button (near the bottom of the screen).
    Skip This Step for iTunes Store Login
  3. Then, on your iPhone, enter the other related features like Siri, etc.
  4. Now, wait for the completion of the pairing process to check if the pairing is operating fine between the devices.

Solution 3: Remove the Watch From the iCloud Devices

There is a bug that does not let a user pair the iPhone with an Apple Watch if the watch is already in the iCloud devices of the user. The same could be the reason for the current paring issue. In this context, removing the watch from the iCloud devices and then pairing the devices may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of your iPhone and then tap on your user name.
  2. Then scroll down and in the section of Apple Devices, tap on the problematic watch.
  3. Now tap on Remove from Account and then confirm to remove the watch from the account.
    Remove Device From the iPhone’s Settings
  4. Then check if the pairing issue is resolved.

Solution 4: Disable iMessages

iMessages is a good Apple service but has a known history of creating pairing issues for Apple Watch. The same could be the reason for the current pairing issue. In this scenario, disabling iMessages and then pairing the devices again may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of your phone and then tap on Messages.
  2. Now disable iMessage by toggling its switch to off position.
    Clicking on “Messages” and turning off “iMessage”
  3. Then check if the pairing between the devices is working fine.

Solution 5: Reset the Network Settings of Your iPhone to Defaults

You may also encounter the error under discussion if the network settings of your phone are misconfigured/corrupt. Here, resetting the network settings to the default values may solve the problem. This step will reset cellular settings, Wi-Fi settings, VPN and APN settings

  1. Open Settings of your phone and tap on General.
  2. Now tap on Reset and then tap on the option of Reset Network Settings.
    Clicking on the “Reset Network Settings” button
  3. Then try to pair the devices to check if the pairing issue is resolved.

Solution 6: Forget the Bluetooth Devices and Restart the Bluetooth

The pairing issue could be a result of a temporary glitch of the software/communication modules of Bluetooth technology. In this context, forgetting all the Bluetooth devices in the settings of your phone and re-enabling the Bluetooth of your iPhone may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of your iPhone and tap on Bluetooth.
  2. Now tap on the “i” icon next to the name of your Apple Watch.
  3. Then tap on Forget This Device and when prompted to confirm to forget the device.
    Forget the Bluetooth Devices
  4. Now repeat the process for all the paired Bluetooth devices (if feasible otherwise).
  5. Then disable the Bluetooth of your phone and restart your phone.
    Disable Bluetooth of iPhone
  6. Upon restart, enable Bluetooth of your phone and check if the pairing issue is resolved.
  7. If not, then repeat the above steps and then reset the network settings of your phone (as discussed in solution 5).
  8. Then try to pair your phone with the watch and check if the pairing problem is solved.

Solution 7: Remove the Beta Profile from iPhone

Apple releases the public beta to the beta testers to identify bugs in the iOS before launching a stable release of the iOS. You may encounter the error at hand if you are a beta tester of the iOS (most probably a bug is creating the issue). In this context, removing the beta profile of iOS may solve the problem.

  1. Launch Settings of your iPhone and then tap on General.
  2. Then tap on Profile.
    Open Profile in the iPhone’s Settings
  3. Now tap on the beta profile and then tap on Remove Profile.
    Remove Profile
  4. Then try to pair your iPhone with the watch to check if the pairing issue is resolved.

Solution 8: Update the iOS

Apple updates the iOS to improve performance by patching known bugs and add new features. You may fail to pair your Apple Watch with the iPhone is the iOS of your phone is an outdated one. In this scenario, updating the iOS of your phone to the latest build may solve the problem because there will be no compatibility issues. Before proceeding, make sure your watch will be compatible with the updated OS of your iPhone.

  1. Create a backup of your phone.
  2. Put your phone on charging and connect to a Wi-Fi network. You can use a data plan but check the size of the download.
  3. Launch Settings of your phone and then open General.
    Open General Settings of iPhone
  4. Now tap on Software Update and install the update (if an update is available).
    Tap on Software Update
  5. Then check if you can pair your devices.

If not, we can try enabling Beta version (you can skip this part if you do not want to avail Beta services). Open the page of the Apple Beta program in a web browser and log in using your Apple ID. Proceed with caution because you are becoming a beta tester of the OS and the OS may be unstable/buggy for some users.

  1. Then click on Enroll your iOS device and follow the prompts to enroll the device.
    Enroll Your iOS Device in Beta Program
  2. Now, on your iPhone, open the Apple Beta profile page and then download/install the configuration profile.
  3. Wait for 5 minutes and then repeat steps 3 to 4 to update the software of your phone to the latest beta.
  4. Now try to pair the Apple Watch and your iPhone to check if the devices are pairing fine.

Solution 9: Update the WatchOS of Your Apple Watch

The OS of your Apple Watch is updated continuously to improve performance. You may encounter the error under discussion if the OS of your watch is outdated and is hence having issues when connecting to a latest iOS system in your iPhone. In this case, updating the OS of your watch to the latest build may solve the problem. Before proceeding, make sure your phone will support the updated OS of the Watch by looking at compatible devices.

  1. Update the iOS of your phone (as discussed in solution 8).
  2. Put your watch on charging (start the update process when the watch is at least 50% charged).
  3. Now connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network.
  4. Then open Settings of your Apple Watch and tap on the option of General.
  5. Now tap on Software Update and then install the update (if an OS update is available).
    Tap on Software Update in General Settings of the Apple Watch
  6. After updating the OS of your watch, check if the Watch can pair with the phone.
  7. If not, then try to update the OS of your watch to beta and then check if the pairing issue is resolved.
  8. If you cannot update the WatchOS using your iPhone, then try with the iPhone of your family/friend to make sure that the software version is not a problem.

Solution 10: Reset the OS of Your Apple Watch to Factory Defaults

This error might also occur if the OS of your Watch is corrupt or is missing modules that cannot be repaired. In this case, resetting the OS of your Apple Watch to the factory defaults may solve the problem. You may lose the un-synced data.

  1. Unpair your watch and iPhone. Exit the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  2. Open Settings of your Apple Watch and tap on the option of General. If your watch is not in operable condition, then you may have to hard reset your watch.
  3. Now tap on Reset and then tap on Erase All Content and Settings (you may have to keep or remove your cellular plan).
  4. Then tap on Erase All to confirm.
    Erase All Settings of Your Apple Watch
  5. After resetting the Apple Watch, try to set up the watch as new.
    Set Up as New Apple Watch
  6. Now restart your phone and then check if you can pair the Watch with the iPhone.
  7. If not, repeat steps 1 to 5 but use the Restore from Backup.
  8. Now restart your iPhone and then check if the pairing issue is resolved.
  9. If not, repeat the above steps and at the starting screen of your watch, choose the language as Chinese (you can change the language later on) and then try to pair the devices.
    Select Language as Chinese in the Apple Watch

Solution 11: Reset iPhone to Factory Defaults

If nothing has helped you so far, then most probably, the OS of your iPhone is corrupt and is the root cause of the issue. In this scenario, resetting the iPhone to the factory defaults may solve the problem.

  1. Create a backup of your iPhone either by iTunes or iCloud.
  2. Then launch Settings of your iPhone and tap on General.
  3. Now open Reset and then tap on Erase All Content and Settings (you may get a prompt to perform an iCloud backup and if you want to, then tap on Back Up and Then Erase).
    Erase All Content and Settings
  4. To confirm the reset of your option, you may have to enter your passcode/ password of your Apple ID.
  5. Then wait for the completion of the reset process of your iPhone.
  6. Then set up the phone as a new and check if you can pair it with your watch.
    Clicking on the “Set up as New” option
  7. If so, then repeat steps 2 to 5 to reset your phone.
  8. Now restore your iPhone from the backup (either iCloud or iTunes) and hopefully, you can pair the watch with your iPhone.

If you are still encountering the issue, try to downgrade the iOS of your phone and OS of your watch (you may have to send your watch to Apple to downgrade its OS). Then check if the issue is resolved. If even then the Apple Watch is not pairing, then most probably the unit itself is faulty (especially if it cannot be paired with any other phone) and you should ask for a replacement of the watch from the vendor (if under warranty).

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Pairing Failed: Your Apple Watch Couldn’t Pair with Your iPhone [FIX]

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