Apple Watch Not Pairing with iPhone? How to Fix It

Apple Watch and iPhone are a match made in heaven. But there comes a time when they don’t get along, and you might be asking, “Why isn’t my Apple Watch pairing?”. Well, if your watch isn’t connecting, there are some possible solutions that you can try and get your Apple Watch paired with iPhone.

  1. Check your Apple Watch’s Connection
  2. Check your Apple Watch and iPhone Settings
  3. Restart your iPhone and Apple Watch
  4. Check for Software Updates
  5. Reset iPhone Network Settings
  6. Reset Your Apple Watch

1. Check your Apple Watch’s Connection

You might not be receiving notifications, messages, or calls because the watch is disconnected. So, let’s first check the connection status on your Apple Watch.

  1. Swipe up on the Apple Watch screen to invoke the Control Center.
  2. You might see one of the following icons
    • The green iPhone icon  : This means your watch is connected to your iPhone.
    • The red iPhone icon  or the red X icon X icon:  The phone is disconnected from your watch.

Check Apple Watch Connection with iPhone

If you see the disconnected sign, bring both the devices close to each other. Recheck the connection; if they still don’t pair, try these next steps.

2. Check your Apple Watch and iPhone Settings.

Apple Watch and iPhone communicate with each other via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It might be the case that these settings are accidentally disabled in either of the devices. Run a thorough check to see if this is the culprit behind the Apple Watch, not pairing.

Airplane mode on Apple Watch – The mode disables all communications. Bring up the Control Centre and check if the Airplane icon is highlighted in orange. If yes, turn it off to re-establish the connection between your watch and iPhone.Open Control Center and Turn Off Airplane Mode on Apple Watch

WiFi on Apple Watch – When the WiFi icon in the Control Center is blue, the watch is connected to a network. In case your Apple Watch is not connected, tap on that WiFi symbol and initiate pairing with the iPhone.Enable WiFi on Apple Watch

Airplane mode on iPhone – Access the Control Center on your iPhone and see if the Airplane icon is orange; disable Airplane mode if it’s active.

Disable Airplane Mode from Control Center on iPhone

Bluetooth on iPhone – An essential tool for pairing Apple Watch and iPhone. Ensure that the Bluetooth icon in the Control Center is highlighted in blue.

Open Control Center and Turn ON Bluetooth on iPhone

Note: Sometimes, a simple reset of these network settings could resolve the pairing issue. Before we move on, turn the Airplane Mode On and Off on both iPhone and Apple Watch to see if the connection is established.

3. Restart your iPhone and Apple Watch

Now that all the necessary checks are done, it’s time for the most common troubleshooting trick, restart. Force restart your iPhone and reboot your Apple Watch to reset and probably remove the glitch that might be stopping the devices from pairing.

4. Check for Software Updates

The reason behind the issue might be some bug in the iOS or watchOS. Since Apple is great at catching and correcting such issues with the latest updates, the next step is Software Updates.

Check out our complete guide to update your iPhone and then updating your Apple Watch to the latest OS as well.

5. Reset iPhone Network Settings

iPhone usually stores all the information about connected networks for a smoother reconnection next time. However, this data could get corrupted at times preventing the Apple Watch from connecting to iPhone.

It is wise to note that this action will also erase all your network passwords. So first, save all those passwords in the Notes app and then Reset Network Settings on your iPhone.

  1. Launch Settings and tap on General on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Reset from the bottom.open settings tap on general and then tap reset on iphone
  3. Here, select Reset Network Settings and enter your lock screen passcode to complete the process.reset network settings on iphone

Probably, when you reconnect your iPhone to the network, your Apple Watch might not face any trouble pairing with the phone.

6. Reset Your Apple Watch

Facing the issue still? Then it’s time to go for the nuclear option, completely reset your Apple Watch, and reconnect it to your iPhone. There are two methods to reset your smartwatch:

Directly Reset Apple Watch

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and tap on General.
  2. Scroll down and select Reset.open settings tap on general then tap on reset on apple watch
  3. Now, tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
  4. Finally, tap on Erase All to confirm the action.erase all content and settings on apple watch

Reset Your Apple Watch from iPhone

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone and tap on the My Watch tab from the bottom menu.
  2. Tap on General and then Reset.open watch app tap on general and then tap on reset in my watch tab on iphone
  3. Select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings and then tap on it again to confirm the action. Enter the password if prompted.erase apple watch content and settings to reset apple watch password on iphone

Once your Apple Watch is restored to factory default settings, set up the watch again. Hopefully, the pairing issue is finally resolved. If none of the solutions not works, you will have to contact Apple Support and rely on them to resolve the issue.

Signing off

While Apple has introduced Family Setup, which enables pairing multiple Apple Watches to one iPhone, you still need an iPhone! As long as this dependence is there, you need to pair your watch with the phone for various reasons.

And if a pairing issue arises, you can fix that with our troubleshooting guide. So keep this page bookmarked for future references as well.

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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.