Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to pair and unpair your Apple Watch

With the Apple Watch 7 supposedly on the horizon alongside the latest iPhone, you may be considering upgrading your smartwatch. So, how do you connect it to your phone?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to pairing any Apple Watch from 2017 onward with your iPhone, as well as instructions on how to unpair your old Apple Watch once it’s time to replace it. 

How to pair and unpair your Apple Watch 

How to pair your Apple Watch 

To pair your Apple Watch, you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later running watchOS 7 and an iPhone 6s or later updated to iOS 14

Put the watch on your wrist. Then, simply follow the steps below: 

  • Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until the Apple logo appears.
pair Apple Watch start pairing
  • Hold your iPhone up to your watch and, when the pairing screen pops up, tap ‘Continue’. 
    • Alternatively, you can also connect your Apple Watch with your iPhone by opening the Apple Watch on your phone and tapping ‘Pair New Watch’. 
pair Apple Watch Set Up For Myself
  • Tap ‘Set Up for Myself’ and follow the instructions on-screen to pair the two devices.
pair Apple Watch hold it to the camera 1
pair Apple Watch hold it to the camera 2
  • Then, all you need to do is hold your iPhone so that your watch appears in the viewfinder and continue to follow the setup instructions on-screen.
pair Apple Watch Your Apple Watch Is Paired

So, what if your Apple Watch is having a hard time pairing? If you see a watch face when you’re trying to pair, it means your watch is already connected to another smartphone and you’ll need to reset your watch to pair it with another phone. 

How to unpair your Apple Watch

Whether you’ve upgraded your iPhone and need to connect your new device, or you’re selling your old Apple Watch to make some cash, there will probably come a time when you need to unpair your Apple Watch. 

This will erase all content and settings on your Apple Watch, so be warned. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Hold your iPhone near your Apple Watch 
  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone 
  • Head to the ‘My Watch’ tab 
  • Tap ‘All Watches’ 
unpair Apple Watch press i
  • Tap the ‘i’ icon next to the watch you want to unpair. 
unpair Apple Watch press Unpair Apple Watch
  • Tap ‘Unpair Apple Watch’. 
  • If you’re using a cellular model, you’ll be asked whether you want to keep your place – you should keep it if you’re planning to re-pair the devices. 
  • You then might be asked to disable Activation Lock, the feature that prevents anyone else from using your iPhone if it’s lost or stolen. 
  • Apple will back up your Watch’s content and settings to your iPhone before erasing them all.
unpair Apple Watch Unpairing Apple Watch

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words