This post highlights potential solutions to deal with Bluetooth pairing issues between the 3rd generation special edition iPhone and Apple Watch series 7. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone SE 3 won’t pair with Apple Watch 7.
Trying to pair your new iPhone SE 3 with your Apple Watch 7 but getting an error saying that your iPhone is unable to connect to the Apple Watch? This denotes a connection error that needs to be fixed. Find out what blocks the connection and how to fix it.
What causes Bluetooth pairing problems?
If notifications, calls or messages aren’t showing on your Apple Watch, this could potentially indicate that your iPhone and Apple Watch aren’t connected. It’s possible that your devices are disconnected or not paired.
An indication that your devices disconnect is the red iPhone or X icon showing up on your Apple Watch face.
To fix the error, you need to connect your Apple Watch and the iPhone again. When the green iPhone icon shows up on your Watch face, it means that both devices are connected.
If your Watch face still shows a red iPhone or X icon, it means that something is wrong and you need to do something to fix your Watch and your iPhone’s connection.
But before you begin troubleshooting, identifying the potential hindrances is recommended. This denotes the need for you to think of what has happened before the devices got disconnected.
Among the factors that you should consider ruling out are random software glitches that might have disrupted the Bluetooth connections on either devices, settings conflicts and sometimes, bad updates. Random network errors are also among the possible culprits as they too can interrupt existing wireless connections including Bluetooth.
Proximity and compatibility of the devices to pair are also among other basic things that you should consider looking into.
Outlined below are basic workarounds that can help eliminate common factors that can ruin Bluetooth connections with your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Try these methods before escalating the problem to Apple Support or heading to the Apple Genius bar.
Troubleshooting iPhone SE 3 that won’t pair with Apple Watch 7
Performing the following procedures requires both devices to have sufficient power or battery life. If necessary, charge your devices beforehand or keep them connected to the charger while troubleshooting.
Before ruling out software-related culprits, checking the basic Bluetooth connection requirements is recommended. These include the distance or proximity between your Apple Watch and iPhone SE 3. The typical Bluetooth pairing range is within 30 feet or less. In other words, your devices must stay within this proximity for them to be able to pair and sync.
Aside from distance, both the iPhone and your Apple Watch must also have Bluetooth enabled. Verify the Bluetooth status on both devices, if necessary. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be enabled on your iPhone to ensure successful pairing with your Apple Watch.
Once you’ve completed the first routine, you may go ahead and begin troubleshooting.
Solution #1: Restart your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Minor software glitches on either device that might have disrupted the pairing process are usually addressed by rebooting the system. Thus, restarting the iPhone and Apple Watch is the first recommendation.
- To restart/soft reset the iPhone SE 3, just press and hold the Side button on the top-right edge and then release when the Power off slider appears. Drag the Power Off slider to the right. Doing so powers off the device. After a few seconds, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.
- To restart the Apple Watch 7, press and hold the Side button until the Power off slider appears. Drag the Power Off slider to turn the watch off. After a few seconds, press and hold the Side button again and then release when the Apple logo appears on the watch.
Verify and ensure that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your devices and then retry pairing to see if it goes through.
Solution #2: Refresh Bluetooth connection on both devices.
Another simple tweak to eliminate random Bluetooth connection glitches in iOS and watchOS devices is to refresh the Bluetooth connection.
- To refresh Bluetooth connections on the iPhone SE 3, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu then toggle to turn the Bluetooth switch OFF and ON again.
- To refresh Bluetooth functions on the Apple Watch 7, navigate to the Watch face then press the Digital Crown to access the Apps screen. Tap on the Settings icon then tap Bluetooth. Finally, toggle the Bluetooth switch OFF and ON.
Wait for your Apple Watch to automatically scan and search for nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.
If your iPhone SE 3 shows up in the list of discoverable devices, pair it with your watch again to see if it’s already working.
Solution #3: Turn Airplane mode on and off.
Performing the Airplane mode trick can also help fix the problem should the underlying cause be attributed to random wireless connection errors on either device.
- To do so, toggle the Airplane mode switch on both the iPhone and your Apple Watch to enable it for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The Airplane mode icon will appear on the status bar of your iPhone when it’s enabled. After the elapsed time, toggle the Airplane Mode switch on both devices again to turn the feature off. The Airplane mode icon on the status bar will disappear.
Alternatively, you can open Control Center on your iPhone and then tap the Airplane mode icon on and off.
This trick will give a simultaneous restart and refresh to all wireless connectivity features on your Apple Watch and iPhone, clearing out any transpiring flaws that might have ruined the normal Bluetooth pairing procedure.
Solution #4: Reset network settings.
Resorting to iOS resets is usually considered among the last options when dealing with complex system errors that could not be rectified by the prior methods.
Should you wish to troubleshoot further, the next option you can try is resetting the network settings on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
This will delete all current network configurations including network settings conflicts that are causing the problem. It does not delete any information from the internal storage so you won’t lose any of your downloaded apps and saved files.
- To reset network settings on the iPhone SE 3, just head over to Settings-> General-> Transfer or Reset iPhone-> Reset menu and then tap Reset network settings on the next screen. Enter your device passcode if prompted to continue. Read the warning message and then tap Reset settings to confirm.
The network settings reset will immediately instigate followed by an automatic system reboot. After the phone reboots, you will need to re-enable Wi-Fi to reconnect to the network and likewise turn on Bluetooth to make your iPhone visible to your Apple Watch.
Solution #5: Reset all settings.
If resetting the iPhone’s network settings doesn’t solve the problem, restoring the default system settings via iOS reset all settings command can be considered as the next option.
This reset deletes all custom network settings, apps settings, preferences and permissions, and then restores the default values and options. Unlike a factory reset, resetting all settings does not delete any user data so all your downloads and saved documents are safe.
- To reset all settings on the iPhone SE 3, just head over to Settings-> General-> Transfer or Reset iPhone-> Reset and then tap Reset all settings on the succeeding menu. Read the reset details on the next screen and then tap Reset settings to confirm.
The entire reset process should only take a few seconds. After the reset, the phone reboots on its own and then loads up the default system configurations. This means the need for you to re-enable necessary features that are disabled by default including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You will also need to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone like the first time.
Still unable to pair your iPhone and Apple Watch 7?
The above solutions are usually good enough to rule out common software-related factors that might have hindered pairing procedure with your iPhone and Apple Watch.
If you’re getting an error message that says the iPhone is unable to connect to the Apple Watch and/or a clock face is displayed on your Apple Watch, it could be because the watch is already paired with another iPhone. This means you will need to unpair or erase the Apple Watch so that you can set up a new connection with your iPhone SE 3.
- To do this, just open the Watch app on your iPhone and then tap the My Watch tab. At the top of the screen, tap All Watches and then tap the information (i) icon next to the watch that you’d like to unpair. Tap Unpair Apple Watch on the following screen and then tap Unpair again to confirm.
Wait for your watch to unpair and after that you can pair it with your iPhone SE 3.
Meanwhile, if the Apple Watch is currently paired with another iPhone and you don’t have that phone already, you will need to erase the Apple Watch instead of unpairing it.
If Activation Lock is enabled on the Apple Watch, it means the need for you to enter the Apple ID and password that was used when you set it up.
- To erase the Apple Watch, just open the Settings app on your watch and then go to General-> Reset menu. Tap the option to Erase All Content and Settings and then tap Erase again to confirm.
After erasing the watch, try pairing it with your iPhone SE 3 and see if it’s already working.
Seek More Help
At this point, you may contact Apple Support to escalate the problem and seek further assistance. This is highly recommended if the pairing error instigated from a recent software update as it could be due to some unforeseen software bug that requires a dedicated patch.
Taking your device to the nearest Apple Genius bar can also be regarded among the last options should you suspect that hardware damage is present on either device.
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