How to back up your Apple Watch

No one likes to lose data, so in this guide, we’re going to show you how to back up your Apple Watch, whether it be an Apple Watch Series 5, Series 4, or an older model. The best way to think about your Apple Watch is as an extension of your iPhone, rather than a completely separate device. This means that when you pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone, all the content from your watch will automatically go to your iPhone. Therefore, when you back up your iPhone, all your Apple Watch data will be backed up as well.

If you perform regular backups of your iPhone, then your Apple Watch data should already be backed up, but here’s how to make sure that it is. We’ll also show you how to restore it and explain what the backup does and doesn’t include.

How to back up the Apple Watch

iCloud Backup
Apple’s iCloud Backup process

The data on your Apple Watch will back up to your iPhone regularly, as long as the watch is in range. The process of unpairing an Apple Watch will also automatically create a backup. That way, when you pair that watch again, or a new watch, you can choose to restore the latest backup.

Steps to back up your Apple Watch

  1. First, be sure to have your device connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > [Your Name] > Backup.
  3. Tap iCloud Backup.

What if I get a new Apple Watch?

When you unpair the Apple Watch, it will automatically back up to your iPhone. When you get a new Apple Watch, follow these steps to restore from a backup:

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Choose Start Pairing.
  3. Choose Restore from a backup.

After that, just follow the on-screen prompts to agree to the terms, and sign in with your Apple ID.

What if I get a new iPhone?

Remember, your Apple Watch is an accessory to your iPhone. If your iPhone backup is up to date, then this will restore all the information for your Apple Watch. After your iPhone is restored from a backup, follow the steps above to pair the Apple Watch to your new iPhone.

Will the backup include everything?

The backup won’t include absolutely everything. It doesn’t include:

  • Bluetooth pairings
  • Credit or debit cards used for Apple Pay on the watch
  • The watch passcode
  • Messages

The backup does include:

  • App data for built-in apps like Mail, Calendar, Stocks, and Weather
  • Settings for built-in and third-party apps
  • Your home screen app layout
  • Clock face settings and customizations
  • Dock settings
  • General system settings
  • Health and fitness data history
  • Notification settings
  • Playlists, albums, and mixes that are synced
  • Siri voice feedback setting for Apple Watch Series 3 and later devices
  • Any synced photos under the My Watch > Photos > Synced Albums in your Apple Watch app
  • The time zone

Now that your data is safely backed up, check out our picks of the best Apple Watch apps and faces.

Editors' Recommendations