The Apple Watch should be seen as an extension of the iPhone and not as a completely separate device. This means that pairing your Apple Watch with your iPhone automatically sends the contents of your Watch to your iPhone, so when you back up your iPhone, all of your Apple Watch data will also be backed up. In this guide, we’ll show you how to back up your Apple Watch, whether it’s an Apple Watch Series 6, Series 5, Series 4 or an older model.
If you regularly back up your iPhone, you should have already backed up your Apple Watch data. We’ll show you how to check, just in case. We’ll also explain how to restore it and give you an overview of what does and doesn’t get backed up.
How to back up your Apple Watch
As we just explained, since the Apple Watch backup comes with your iPhone, knowing how to back up to your connected device is actually the way to back up your smartwatch. Here are the steps for backing up your iPhone via iCloud and the next steps for backing up your Apple Watch.
1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
2. Click the section at the top that contains the Apple ID and iCloud settings.
3. Click on iCloud here and scroll down to iCloud Backup.
4. This will give you the option to enable iCloud auto backup – which we recommend – or you can manually back up your device at this point.
5. Once you’ve backed up your iPhone, the latest settings and data for your Apple Watch will be included in the backup.
How to restore your Apple Watch from a backup
If you have reset or unpaired your Apple Watch and want to pair it with your iPhone again, you can use a backup to set up your watch. You can choose from several recent backups, including one taken just after you unlocked your Watch. When you reconnect your Apple Watch, you can choose to reset your device from the beginning or reset it from a backup.
Select Restore from backup and select the backup you want to use. Once you’ve restored your Apple Watch, you’ll need to reconnect it to any Bluetooth devices, create a new password, and re-enable Apple Pay.
Setup your new Apple Watch from your old Apple Watch backup
That’s it! This is the moment. Now you can choose to reset from a backup and see your old watch in the options list. This will be a little slower than creating the new one, but we finally got it. Get on with your life with your shiny new Apple Watch and now you can get on with it.
All in all, it’s not a long process plus time, it’s just a frustrating journey. Ideally, Apple will allow you to show a backup on your first attempt and run a software update so the Watch is ready to accept the correct reset destination all over again.