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Apple Watch Not Syncing With iPhone? Easy FIXES

apple watch not syncing with iphone

The Apple Watch and the iPhone need to sync together to deliver multiple functionalities of the iPhone without the need to actually look at the phone itself.

But in order to do so, you need to pair them to allow you to leverage your Apple Watch’s features to its maximum potential.

Unfortunately, many users run into the issue of the Apple Watch and the iPhone not syncing, resulting in missing notifications, missed messages, and delays of updates.

It should be frustrating when you encounter syncing problems. Fortunately, the solutions are generally simple and highly effective, not to mention that most of them take mere seconds to apply.

So how would one fix the Apple Watch not syncing with the iPhone? Let’s quickly explore some methods.

Fixing Apple Watch Not Syncing Issues

Here are all the troubleshooting tips that will help you fix your Apple Watch syncing issues. These tips will be similar to the tips when fixing iMessage not syncing with iCloud.

  1. Keep Watch and iPhone in Range
  2. Have an Active Bluetooth and Internet Connection
  3. Restart Apple Watch and iPhone
  4. Update iOS
  5. Reset Network Settings
  6. Restore Apple Watch to Factory Settings

Keep Watch and iPhone in Range

Because the watch and the phone are paired, they rely on constant contact with one another, leveraging Bluetooth technology to communicate.

While Bluetooth is powerful and effective, its range has its limits. So if the iPhone and the watch are too far from one another, their pairing may break.

It will reconnect again when they are closer. But once the pairing link is severed, the Apple Watch will not be able to sync to your iPhone at all.

Have an Active Bluetooth and Internet Connection

Sometimes you may want your watch to keep quiet for a while, such as when you’re watching your favorite show or trying to concentrate on a work project.

Some people use these times to sever the link between the iPhone and the Apple Watch by toggling Airplane Mode on or turning the Bluetooth off.

Because we use Bluetooth functionality to pair with other devices which automatically connect, users sometimes shut that functionality off just to keep it from connecting to things they don’t want to pair with at the moment.

Sometimes these options don’t revert back to their previous settings. So it’s important to check the Apple Watch’s Settings to assure that Airplane Mode is off and Bluetooth is on.

Restart Apple Watch and iPhone

Turning things off and on again may sound cliche, but it actually resolves tons of common problems with electronics of every type.

This is also the case with the iPhone and the Apple Watch. If the two are not syncing, power down the watch and restart it.

You can restart the watch by holding down the side button (not the crown button) until a slide appears to permit a way to power the watch off.

Sliding it to the right will shut the watch off, then holding the side button down again will turn the watch back on. 

To turn off your iPhone, hold the lock button on the side down until a toggle slide appears to power the phone off. Holding the side button down again after shutting off will turn the phone back on.

The steps might be different depending on your iPhone model. We’ve got a useful guide that will show you how to restart an iPhone regardless of the model.

Update iOS 

Operating system updates pack the latest fixes for troublesome issues that are reported to and resolved by iOS and watchOS developers.

Such issues may include syncing problems between the phone and the watch. Both the phone and the watch may have software updates ready to apply so you will need to check both.

If an update is necessary, you can download it from the Software Update section on the General tab in the iPhone Settings. 

After the phone’s updates are current, access the Watch app and then navigate to the My Watch tab, tap on the General tab and check for an update indicator next to the Software Update listing.

You can download the update here after authentication with the iCloud password. When the watch is updating, make sure it has over 50% of charge or place it on its charger to make sure the battery does not drain during the process.

Updates can be battery intensive so it’s important to assure that the device has ample charge.

Reset Sync Data

If your Apple Watch still isn’t syncing with your iPhone, you can use the force sync method.

reset sync data
Reset Sync Data on Apple Watch. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor
  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Make sure you’re on the General tab, tap General
  3. Next, scroll down and tap Reset at the end of the screen.
  4. Tap the Reset Sync Data option.

This will clear the cache data on your Apple Watch and force the watch to re-sync with your iPhone.

Reset Network Settings

A slightly more drastic solution that you can perform if others fail to work is to resolve any lingering networking issues.

By accessing the General tab in your phone’s Settings, you can apply the Reset option, then choose Reset Network Settings.

Once you’ve reset the network settings, you can pair the watch with the phone again, and the two should sync together successfully.

Restore Apple Watch to Factory Settings

This is a step that you should seldom need to take. But if your watch is relatively new and nothing that you cannot part with is at play, restoring it to factory settings is also an option.

This is a great fix for your Apple Watch syncing problems. The step-by-step instructions in this guide will show you how to restore your Apple Watch.

After you’ve reset your Apple Watch to factory settings, you can set up the watch as if it was brand new.

Conclusion

It is highly likely that one of these quick and simple will address the problem. Most of the time it’s a simple matter of device proximity or internet connectivity, and only sometimes do the troubleshooting measures need to go beyond that. One of the above suggestions, we hope, has fixed this simple, yet annoying issue.