How to pair your Apple Watch to iPhone 8 Plus if you’ve already wiped your old iPhone[tutorial]

This short tutorial provides the steps on how to fix an issue with one of our readers having an issue pairing her #iPhone8Plus with an Apple Watch. The solutions provided here are tailored for the specific circumstances this reader are experiencing so it’s not a complete guide on how to work around all Apple Watch connection issues.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Today’s problem: iPhone 8 Plus won’t pair with Apple Watch after old iPhone was wiped

So I bought the new iPhone 8 Plus, I did what T-mobile told and and erased my old iPhone 6 plus, as I was giving it to my husband to use, they did not tell me to pair my watch and they knew I had a iWatch. Now my watch won’t pair to my new iPhone 8 plus. What can I do? — Karen Tabone

Solution: Hi Karen. There are two possible scenarios in your Apple Watch (iWatch) right now: either it’s connected to your iPhone 8 but has unknown connectivity errors, or it’s simply not paired because it’s still tied to the old iPhone.

The easiest way to know if your Apple Watch is talking properly to your iPhone is by checking the connectivity icon (green box on top). If your watch shows a red box or a red X, that’s an indicator of an on-going connection issue.

How to connect your Apple Watch to your iPhone 8 Plus

To check your Apple Watch connection, kindly follow the steps below:

  1. Keep your Apple Watch and paired iPhone close together to make sure that they’re in range.
  2. On your iPhone, make sure that Airplane Mode is off and that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on. To check, swipe up to open Control Center.
  3. If you see airplane on your watch face, Airplane Mode is on. Swipe up to open Control Center, then turn Airplane Mode off.
  4. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone.

Unpair the devices, then re-pair them

If your Apple Watch is showing a green box on top but it’s still not getting notifications, messages, or calls, then there may be a connection issue going on. To fix the problem, you need to unpair, then re-pair the devices.

  1. On your Apple Watch, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then tap your watch at the top of the screen. Tap info icon next to the watch that you want to unpair, then tap Unpair Apple Watch. Tap again to confirm.
  3. Pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again.

Connect your Apple Watch to a new iPhone

Ideally, you’re supposed to create a back up of your old iPhone first either via iTunes or iCloud, then use that backup when setting up your new iPhone 8. Once you’ve done that, it’s just a matter or pairing your Apple Watch to your new iPhone 8 and everything should work fine. So, if you happen to create a backup of your iPhone 6 somewhere before wiping it, the only thing that you need to do now is to do a recovery in your iPhone 8 by using that backup. Use the links below on how to recover from a backup (the steps are generally the same for both iPhone 8 and X):

During the setup, make sure that you keep your Apple Watch close to your iPhone. When your iPhone asks if you want to use the Apple Watch, tap Continue.

If you wiped your old iPhone without creating a backup…

If you set your new iPhone 8 Plus as a new device without using your old backup, or if you did not have a backup at all, then the only way is to erase your Apple Watch and pair it with your new iPhone. Erasing your Apple Watch will, of course, delete your Activity, Workouts, or settings.

In order to erase your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. On your Apple Watch, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. For Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), choose to keep or remove your cellular plan.
    • If you want to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again, keep your plan.
    • If you don’t want to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again, remove your plan. If you aren’t going to pair with a different watch or iPhone, you might need to contact your carrier to cancel your cellular subscription.

Tap Erase All to confirm. This resets your Apple Watch to the factory settings.


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.