How to Reconnect Apple Watch to iPhone.
The red phone icon (or X icon) at the top of the Apple Watch screen means the watch isn’t connected to your iPhone. Therefore, when the icon appears on the screen, your Apple Watch will not receive call or message notifications from your iPhone.
How you reconnect your Apple Watch to iPhone depends on the reason for the disconnect. We’ll show you 11 different ways to make the iPhone icon green again on Apple Watch.
Note. The troubleshooting steps in this article apply to all Apple Watch series.
1. Bring Your Apple Watch and iPhone Closer
Apple Watch may lose connection with iPhone if both devices are far apart. Apple recommends that you keep your Apple Watch or other Bluetooth accessories within 10 meters of your iPhone. Before you do anything, bring your Apple Watch and paired iPhone closer and wait a few seconds.
Check your watch face, Control Center, or Settings menu for a green iPhone icon. You can also check if your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected from your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.
Go to Settings > Bluetooth and check your Apple Watch connection status.
2. Keep Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular Data Turned On
Your Apple Watch connects to your paired iPhone via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is the primary means of communication when your iPhone is near your Apple Watch. Wi-Fi is only used when Bluetooth is unavailable or your iPhone is out of Bluetooth range.
Open the Apple Watch Settings app, tap Bluetooth, scroll down and turn Bluetooth on.
You also need to enable Bluetooth on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn on Bluetooth.
Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn on Wi-Fi on your Apple Watch.
Or, swipe up on the Apple Watch face and tap the Wi-Fi icon.
Cellular Apple Watch models can connect to a paired iPhone via cellular data. If Bluetooth and Wi-Fi aren’t available, adding the watch to your iPhone’s cellular plan might fix the connection problem.
Refer to this Apple Support document to learn how to add your Apple Watch to your cellular plan. Also check with your carrier to see if they provide cellular service for Apple Watch.
3. Re-enable Bluetooth on iPhone
Turn off Bluetooth on iPhone and turn it back on. This will update your device’s Bluetooth and possibly reconnect your Apple Watch.
Go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth. Wait 10-30 seconds and turn it back on.
Remember to move your Apple Watch and iPhone closer to establish a connection.
4. Disable Airplane Mode on Your Watch
Airplane mode can turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Apple Watch. Putting your Apple Watch into Airplane Mode can disconnect the device from your iPhone. Your iPhone may lose connection with your Apple Watch if you turn on Airplane Mode on your watch.
Go to Settings > Airplane Mode on your Apple Watch and make sure Airplane mode is turned off.
Or, swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch face to open Control Center. Tap the orange airplane icon to disable airplane mode.
Also, change your watch settings so that Airplane Mode doesn’t turn off Bluetooth. This will prevent watchOS from disconnecting your Apple Watch from your iPhone when you enable Airplane Mode.
Go to Settings > Airplane Mode and turn on Bluetooth under Airplane Behavior.
5. Restart Your Watch
If the problem persists, turn off your Apple Watch and turn it back on. Press and hold the side button until the power off slider appears on the screen. Drag the slider and wait 30 seconds for your Apple Watch to turn off completely.
After that, press and hold the side button again to turn it back on. Release the side button when you see the Apple logo.
If your Apple Watch is not responding, force restart it. Press and hold the side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.
6. Reboot Your iPhone
If restarting your Apple Watch doesn’t solve the problem, try restarting your iPhone instead. Go to Settings > General > Power Off, drag the slider, and wait 30 seconds for your iPhone to turn off. Then press and hold the side button to turn your iPhone back on.
7. Update Your iPhone
This issue can also be due to bugs in your iPhone’s operating system. For example, some builds of iOS 14 had issues that caused Bluetooth devices to disconnect from time to time. Update your iPhone to iOS 15 or the latest operating system and check if that solves the problem. Don’t forget to turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices.
Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check if an iOS update is available for your iPhone. Click Download and Install to continue.
8. Update Your Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch may malfunction if its operating system is buggy or out of date. Install the latest version of watchOS on your watch and see if that solves the problem.
You can update your Apple Watch directly from the watch settings or through the Apple Watch app on iPhone. But since your iPhone and Apple Watch aren’t connected to each other, install the latest watchOS update directly on your Apple Watch. For detailed instructions, see our guide to updating your Apple Watch.
Press the Digital Crown to go to the main watch screen. Click the gear icon to open the Settings menu.Tap General.Select Software UpdateIf a watchOS update is available for your watch, scroll down and tap Download and install.< /li>
The software update may take from several minutes to several hours, depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi network. Check out this troubleshooting guide to fix stuck Apple Watch updates if the update is stuck.
9. Reset Network Settings
Performing a network reset can resolve Bluetooth connection issues on iPad and iPhone. Please note that this procedure also resets your iPhone’s Wi-Fi and Cellular settings.
If your iPhone is running iOS 15 or later, go to Settings > General > Transfer or reset iPhone > Reset > Reset network settings. Enter your password and select Reset Network Settings again.
For iOS 14 or earlier, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
10. Unpair Your Apple Watch
If these troubleshooting solutions don’t let you reconnect your Apple Watch and iPhone, unpair both devices and pair them from scratch. watchOS backs up your data every time you disconnect it from your iPhone so you don’t lose your data in the process.
Advice for professionals. To check your watch backup data on iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Watch. You will see a list of backup data; the one at the top is the most recent backup. You won’t find a backup listed if you’ve never disconnected it from your iPhone.
Hold your iPhone and Apple Watch closer and follow these steps to turn off both devices:
Open the Watch app on iPhone, go to the My Watch tab, and tap All Watches.Tap the information icon next to the watch.Tap Turn off Apple Watch.
For Apple Watch models with cellular, you’ll be prompted to keep or remove your cellular plan. Save your plan as you will pair your watch and iPhone again.
Tap Turn off [watch name] on your Apple Watch when prompted.Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn off.
When completed, bring your Apple Watch close to your iPhone and follow the on-screen instructions to pair both devices. Check out our guide to pairing your Apple Watch with a new phone if you don’t know how.
11. Erase Your Apple Watch
This operation will erase your Apple Watch data, restore it to factory defaults, and unpair it from your iPhone.
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, go to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings, and enter your password.
Can’t remember your Apple Watch password? Place the watch on the charger, then press and hold the side button until the power off slider appears. Once done, press and hold the Digital Crown and then tap Reset when prompted.
Connect your Apple Watch to your iPhone and restore its backup after the reset is complete.
Seek Technical Support
Contact Apple Support or visit your nearest Apple Store if your Apple Watch and iPhone won’t connect after trying these fixes.
How to Reconnect Apple Watch to iPhone
How to Reconnect Apple Watch to iPhone