How to transfer data from an Apple Watch to a new iPhone

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If you have luckily been an owner of a new iPhone XS or XS Max or you are planning to pick up the upcoming iPhone XR, you may wonder about the current data on your Apple Watch. In this post, we’ll help you move data on your current wearable to your new iPhone XS, XS Max or even iPhone XR.

How to prepare for moving to a new iPhone

You should note that there is currently no way to manually back up your Apple Watch to iCloud. That’s because Apple Watch backups cannot back up at all. Your Apple Watch borrows most of the data from its paired iPhone, so the data will be all saved to iCloud or iTunes backup.

All health and app data gathered to your iPhone when you connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi will also be synced on your Watch. However, you cannot choose when you sync that information as the process happens in the background if you do not manually unpair your Watch, which then automatically syncs the latest data to your iPhone.

When moving the existing Apple Watch to your new iPhone, here are two ways to prepare.

iCloud and Automatic Setup

From iOS 11.2, you can use the Automatic Setup feature to transfer both your iPhone backup and your Watch to a new iPhone without the need for unparing and repairing. However, you should ensure that your Watch and iPhone are moved over properly:

  • Your Watch must be up-to-date. You need to turn on iCloud Health sync
  • Back up data of your existing iPhone before you transfer to your new iPhone


If your iPhone is running lower iOS 11.2 and you don’t restore your new iPhone from old iPhone’s backup, the best way to move your Watch is forcing a backup. You do this with ease just by unpairing your watch from your old iPhone.

How to switch your Watch to your new iPhone

Depending on the method that you use to set up your new iPhone, you’ll follow slightly different steps for setting up your Apple Watch.

Automatic Setup method:


  • If your iPhone is running iOS 11.2 or later, you need to establish Automatic Setup option first.
  • When you set up your new iPhone, there will be a prompt saying “Do you want to use ‘(name of your Watch)’ with this iPhone?” Simply tap on Continue to do so.

Unpair/repair method:


  1. First, ensure that you have already unpaired your Watch from your existing iPhone.
  2. Now, set up your new iPhone from an iCloud or iTunes backup or as new.
  3. Once you have completed the setup process, launch the Watch app on your iPhone. (You can also take your Watch near your iPhone to open up an interface, which will automatically open the Watch app.)
  4. Set up your Watch as new or restore it from an existing backup.

 How to switch Apple Watch’s LTE account to a new iPhone

You are using an LTE Apple Watch, and you might have a cellular plan attached to your iPhone’s account. However, you should not have to move the plan over when moving your Watch to your new iPhone. Simply follow the above steps above, and you should be done. The is because your phone number and plan still remain, even when you switch to a new iPhone.

If you switch carrier along with your new iPhone, you will need to check with your new carrier for the simplest way. Most likely, you have to the following steps:

  1. Cancel the existing plan on your Watch by contacting your current carrier. However, don’t cancel your iPhone plan yet.
  2. Follow new carrier’s instructions to set up your new plan and transferring your old phone number over.
  3. Follow the above steps to set up your Apple Watch.
  4. Finally, add a new cellular account to your Watch.


How to switch Apple Watch to a new iPhone without backup

If you are thinking of setting up as new on your new iPhone without a backup, there are two options for you.

Option 1:

If you don’t care much about your Health data, then you can set up as new on both devices. However, all your downloaded apps and health data, like saved workouts, GPS routes, heart rate data, etc will be lost.

Option 2:

If you want to keep your Health data, you can then move it to a clean iPhone and Apple Watch, but your iPhone must be running iOS 11.2 and later and you have to use iCloud. To do this, you have to toggle the Health switch on in Settings > iCloud. If you have a lot of Health data, you need to wait for a while until everything syncs. So, you should make sure so not to delete your old iPhone before the process is completed.

After your Health information has successfully been synced, simply follow the below steps to set up your Apple Watch:

  1. Unpair your watch by following the unpair/repair instructions above
  2. After you have finished setting up your iPhone, launch the Watch app. (You can also put your Apple Watch near your iPhone to bring up an interface, which will automatically open the Watch app.)
  3. Now, you need to set up and pair your Watch with your new iPhone. We are now showing you steps to set up your Watch with your iPhone as new.
  • After you have paired your Watch with your iPhone successfully, just tap on Set Up as New on your Apple Watch.
  • Tap on Left or Right to let Apple Watch know which wrist you wear it.
  • Agree to the WatchOS Terms and Conditions and confirm it once again.
  • Enter your Apple ID to set up Activation Lock and Find My iPhone features.
  • Tap OK to prove that you understand Shared Settings for iPhone and Apple Watch.
  • Create a passcode for your Apple Watch.
  • If you have an Apple Watch with LTE service, you can choose if you want to Set Up Cellular on your Watch.
  • Tap Install All to install the available watchOS apps on your iPhone.
  • Allow your Watch to sync with your iPhone. Once done, your Apple Watch is now ready to roll.

That’s how to transfer your data from an Apple Watch to a new iPhone XS, XS Max or XR. If you have any question, let’s know in the comment below.

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