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

How To Fix “Apple Watch Couldn’t Pair With Your iPhone” Issue

The Apple Watch is a beautiful device, but only when it’s paired with your iPhone. Apple Watch pairing is without a doubt a quick and easy process that you should have no trouble with. For the most part, Apple makes it facile to pair the Watch with a new phone.

However, in some instances, users have run into issues. Therefore we’re going to go over some of the common problems when it comes to Apple Watch pairing and offer step-by-step solutions for each issue so you can get back to enjoying your new wearable device!

But first, let’s dig deeper into these issues, and then we’ll move on to pairing the apple watch with a new phone!

The Apple Watch and the iPhone are a match made in heaven! (Or not!)

The iPhone and Apple Watch were supposedly developed to work seamlessly in tandem to make the user’s life easier. But this is not really the case. The Watch and phone do not play together nicely (yet). So, how to pair an apple watch with a new phone?

When the Apple Watch was first released, it was clear that there were a few problems. Most of those issues have been fixed through software updates and the addition of new features. However, even with these updates, there are still a few things that can cause pain for the owners of both products.

Apple Watch Pairing Troubleshooting – Common Fixes!

When you pair Apple Watch with a new iPhone, you will see the Apple Watch screen showing the message “Pairing Failed.” This can be very frustrating and painful, especially when they are excited to play with it.

Here we will share some troubleshooting tips and solutions to help users solve this problem to enjoy using their Apple Watch.

When you try to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you can follow the below-mentioned steps to solve this problem.

Apple Watch Pairing Troubleshooting - Common Fixes!
  • The first thing to do is unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch again. You need to unplug the cable, unplug and plugin again, or restart your iPhone, iPad, and watch. Then go through the pairing process step by step again.
  • The second thing you should do is to check whether both devices (iPhone and Apple Watch) are in the range of each other or not. Move your iPhone and watch close together, then try again.
  •  If that doesn’t work, try restarting your watch and iPhone. After that, make sure both devices have enough battery life. 
  • Check the Bluetooth settings on both devices. This includes checking whether Bluetooth is enabled or not.

12 Ways To Fix a Pairing Failed with an Apple Watch!

Pairing an Apple Watch with a new iPhone isn’t always smooth sailing. Here are 12 ways to fix pairing failed with an Apple Watch issue.

1. Check If Your Apple Watch Is Connected To Your iPhone

Check If Your Apple Watch Is Connected To Your iPhone

Have you ever wondered if your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone? If you’re not receiving notifications on the Watch or can’t sync it with the phone, then there is a high chance that they are not connected.

If this happens to you, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Start by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Then tap the My Watch tab and scroll down until you find the General option.
  3. Tap on General and then scroll down until you find the Bluetooth option. 
  4. After tapping on Bluetooth, it will show a list of connected devices that include your Apple watch ID.

This was the one way to check if our Apple watch and iPhone are paired or not. The second way is to swipe up on your Apple watch’s clock face display, which would bring the Watch’s control center to display.

Here you’d be able to determine whether the problem is with your Apple Watch or your iPhone. But HOW, you’d think, right?

There would be three instances:

Green Icon on the Upper Left Icon

If you see a green icon similar to an iPhone on the upper left corner of your Apple Watch, then consider it as a green signal that your Watch is connected to your iPhone! And the main culprit is yet to be caught.

Blue WiFi symbol

The second instance is when you see a blue WiFi symbol in the upper left corner of your Watch. This WiFi symbol would mean that your Watch has mutinied and tied a knot with some WiFi device. 

In this instance, you’d just need to tap on the WiFi button to disconnect it and then pair it with your iPhone.

Red Icon on the Upper Left Corner

The third instance involves a red iPhone-like icon on the upper left corner of your Watch’s screen. This signals that your iPhone is not in range, and you need to place it nearby to pair your devices.

2. Airplane Mode – A Problem?

Airplane Mode - A Problem?

Not getting any notifications on your Apple Watch? Then you might be in airplane mode. Airplane mode can cause you to miss out on all of the notifications you would otherwise get if your phone was turned on.

Keep in mind that Airplane mode is not the same as Do Not Disturb. Airplane mode disables the cellular connection, so it will still allow emails and other messages to come through, but Do Not Disturb requires you to turn off notifications from individual apps. To fix this problem, simply turn on cellular data for your Watch.

3. Watch Pairing Failed? – Reboot!

Watch Pairing Failed? - Reboot!

When you are unable to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone, there is only one way, i.e., to restart the iPhone!

However, if your Apple Watch won’t connect with your iPhone or shows an exclamation mark on an orange background, do the following. 

  • Turn off the Apple Watch. 
  • Hold down the side button on your watch for about 10 seconds. 
  • Your watch will power down. 
  • Then hold down the side button again for another 10 seconds. 
  • This will reset it. 
  • As soon as you can see the screen of the Apple Watch, try to pair it again.

4. Watch Reboot Didn’t Work? – Restart your iPhone!

Watch Reboot Didn’t Work? - Restart your iPhone!

There are a few things you should do if your Apple Watch fails to pair with your iPhone. One of them is to restart your iPhone. Restarts can help force the Apple Watch to re-pair with the phone.

  • Restarting the iPhone can be done by going to Settings on the device and navigating to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. 
  • This will delete all stored data, so ensure you back up all your saved pictures and videos.
  • If a restart does not work, you should try Bluetooth resetting your phone as well as unpairing it from other devices before attempting to re-pair with the Apple Watch 

5. Update your iPhone’s Operating System

Update your iPhone's Operating System

When your Watch isn’t pairing with your iPhone, it’s time to update your operating system.

If you are having trouble pairing your Watch with the latest version of the iPhone, you should check to ensure that you are running at least iOS 12.3 on the phone. If it is not, then this could be the reason why the Watch is not connecting properly. You can update your operating system through settings on your phone or the App Store on a computer.

The first thing that may help is shutting down both devices and turning them back on. Sometimes this will solve an issue if there are any issues with Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity through restarting them both. If this doesn’t work, try doing a hard reset of both devices by holding down power and home buttons for 10 seconds and restarting afterward.

6. Tried Everything? – Clear your iPhone’s Network Settings

Tried Everything? - Clear your iPhone's Network Settings

Sometimes, even if your Watch is paired to your iPhone, it may not be able to connect to Apple’s servers. In such cases, the Network Settings on the iPhone must be cleared or restarted to make them work again.

If you are experiencing this problem, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Create a backup of your wits by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings on the device
  •  Go to Settings > General > Reset > Enter passcode, if needed
  • Enter passcode
  • If you have an iCloud account with Find My Friends turned on, turn off Find My Friends or disable location services for it.
  • Confirm with Reset Network Settings
  • Close Settings and open it again
  • Try to pair it with Apple Watch again.

7. Problem Persist? – Reset Watch

Problem Persist? - Reset Watch

If the Apple Watch is not paired with an iPhone, it will automatically search for a new connection. If it fails to find one, the Apple Watch will show the message “Pairing Failed.” Resetting the Watch triggers a factory reset, and the Apple Watch displays the “Connect to iPhone” screen again.

The process of resetting is both quick and simple. It can be performed by following these five easy steps:

  1. Tap on Settings on your watch
  2. Select General
  3. Select Reset
  4. Choose Erase All Content and Settings
  5. Confirm by selecting Erase All Content and Settings again
  6. If that doesn’t work, then the user should try resetting the iPhone.
  7. If the problem persists, then they should contact Apple Support.

8. Pair Devices without AppStore Login

Pair Devices without AppStore Login

Sometimes when you try to pair your Watch with your iPhone, the process fails and prompts them to enter their Apple ID and password. This is a very tedious task considering that people often lose track of their login details and forget what they did with them.

Now, if the “pairing failed” error pops up, you can try to unlock your phone without entering your App Store Login credentials by pressing the home button. From there, open Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. After this operation has been completed successfully, you will get a message that says, “Your iPhone has been reset.” You can then try pairing your device again without entering your App Store login credentials.

9. Try Removing your Apple Watch from iCloud Devices!

Try Removing your Apple Watch from iCloud Devices!

With the newest version of watchOS, Apple Watch is now more than ever integrated with our smartphone.

While many users are switching to the new update, they may have encountered pairing fails.

If you are experiencing pairing failures on your iPhone, follow the steps set out below:

  • The first thing you need to do is remove your Apple Watch from iCloud Devices
  • Log out from it and then go back in again. 
  • If that doesn’t work, try un-pairing your iPhone 
  • Restart your device while holding down both buttons for a few seconds. And pair your watch.

10. Disable iMessage to Fix the Issue!

Disable iMessage to Fix the Issue!

The first step is to press and hold the side button on the Apple Watch. This will power down the device.

Next, launch the Settings app on your iPhone. This can be done by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and tapping on the Settings icon. In this list, scroll down until you find FaceTime or Messages option.

Finally, tap on it and then toggle off iMessage from the menu that pops up at the top of your screen to disable it on your Apple Watch as well.

11. Nothing Worked? – Remove the Beta Profile from iPhone

Nothing Worked? - Remove the Beta Profile from iPhone

Apple has launched a Beta Profile for iOS devices to allow users to switch between different profiles. This is useful when, for instance, you have updated your Apple Watch software. The iPhone will remove the beta profile if it fails to sync with the Apple Watch.

To resolve this issue, try pairing the Watch again. If it still fails, follow these steps:

1) Open Settings

2) Tap General > Profiles > Device Management > Your device name > Remove Profile.

Update the Apple Watch OS to Fix the Pairing Issue!

Apple Watch users may not be able to update their watchOS when it becomes outdated. This is because when the Apple Watch is paired with the iPhone, it sends a notification that its software is outdated and there’s an update available for download. However, if the Apple Watch is not paired with an iPhone, no such notification will prompt the user to update its software.

Some possible solutions are: 

  1. Restarting both devices
  2. Restoring from a backup 
  3. Resetting all settings 
  4. Turning off Bluetooth on both devices
  5. Turning off Airplane mode on both devices
  6. Checking if it has been updated manually from the App Store
  7. Starting over from scratch by restoring from backup.

Final Words

If you’re struggling to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone, there are a few things you can try. Try the aforementioned steps in order, and hopefully, the pairing will work. We hope this guide has helped!

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.