'Why isn't my Apple Watch pairing?': 5 ways to fix your Apple Watch and iPhone when they aren't connecting

Qi Heng/Visual China Group via Getty ImagesHere are the best ways to fix an Apple Watch that isn’t pairing with your iPhone.


An Apple Watch that isn’t paired to an iPhone is greatly diminished in its capacities.

If your smartwatch is not pairing with your smartphone, you’ll want to connect it as soon as possible.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $US399 at Best Buy)

iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Best Buy)


Why your Apple Watch isn’t pairing with your iPhone, and how to fix it

AppleIf the watch is not paired to your phone, it will display a red iPhone image at the top left of its screen.

The good news is that – in most cases – Apple Watch pairing issues can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Here are the best ways to address the connectivity failure between your two devices, from the simplest to most complex methods.


Move your phone closer to your watch

ChinaFotoPress / Getty ImagesIf your iPhone isn’t close to your Apple Watch, the devices may have difficulty connecting.

There’s a chance your phone is simply too far away from your Apple Watch, or that it’s in a bag or drawer that is blocking clear signal.

Because the watch and phone pair via Bluetooth, proximity is key. So get them closer together and see if that alleviates the issue.


Check the settings on your phone and watch

Abigail Abesamis/Business InsiderOpen Settings on your Apple Watch and make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on.

If your phone has its Bluetooth turned off – or if either of the devices are in Aeroplane Mode – they won’t be able to pair up. Make sure all settings are set properly to facilitate the connection.


Turn your devices off and on again

AppleFirst turn your phone on and off, and if that fixes the issue, no need to restart the Apple Watch.

To turn off your iPhone, hold down the side lock button until the “slide to power off” toggle appears, then slide it to power the phone off. Hold the side button again to turn the phone back on.

You can shut down your Apple Watch by holding down the side button (not the crown) and then swiping to power off. Press and hold the side button again to turn the watch back on.


Reset your iPhone’s network settings

Kelly Laffey/Business InsiderTry resetting your network settings.

To reset your iPhone’s network settings, open the Settings app, then scroll to General.

In General, find Reset, then hit Reset Network Settings and enter your password to confirm the move. Now try to re-pair the watch.


Reset your Apple Watch

Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderMake sure you backup your Apple Watch before resetting it.

Still having issues? Then it’s time to reset that watch. This fix should resolve the pairing issue, but it will wipe saved data off the watch, so you should back it up before doing so.

In the watch’s Settings app, choose General, then Reset, and then hit Erase All Content and Settings.

Then in the Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch, and tap the information button beside the watch and choose Unpair Apple Watch.

Now everything should be just like new, and you’ll be able to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone.

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