Whether you're getting a new watch or switching iPhones, at some point of Apple Watch ownership, you may need to back up and restore your watch preferences. This how-to walks you through how to back up your watch software to your iPhone, and then restore the backup to a new watch.
Backing up your Apple Watch
By default, when you have a paired Apple Watch with your iPhone, your watch will automatically be backed up when you back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes, and will include the following data on the watch:
- App-specific information
- General system settings
- Health and fitness data
- Language settings
- Mail, Calendar, Stocks, and Weather settings
- Time Zone
Your backups will be missing the following data:
- Bluetooth pairings
- Credit or debit cards used for Apple Pay on your Apple Watch
- Passcode for your Apple Watch
- Music playlists synced to your Apple Watch
In addition, whenever you unpair your watch from your iPhone, another backup will be made during the process.
Restoring your Apple Watch
When you are ready to set up another watch or pair your watch with another phone, you'll need to unpair the watch. Follow these steps:
- Open the Watch app.
- Navigate to Apple Watch.
- Click the Unpair Apple Watch button.
To restore from a backup, open the Watch app and begin the pairing process. When you get to the Your Apple Watch is Paired step (Figure A), follow these steps:
- Select Restore from Backup.
- On the following screen, select the backup that you would like to restore to your Apple Watch.
- Complete the on-screen instructions for the remaining setup options.
When completed, your Apple Watch settings, apps, and more will be restored to the hardware, leaving you in the same state as the previous settings on your Apple Watch (Figure B).
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Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.