How To Restore Apple Watch From Backup

by Barbara Wilson

Restoring an Apple Watch from a backup is a crucial process that ensures your data and settings are preserved and transferred seamlessly. Whether you’re upgrading to a new model or simply need to reset your device, understanding the backup and restoration process is essential. This guide will cover the importance of backups, what data is included, what is not included, how to back up your Apple Watch, the recovery process, and troubleshooting tips.


Importance of Backup

Apple Watch Automatic Backup

Apple Watch automatically backs up its data to the paired iPhone, ensuring that your settings, apps, and data are safe. This process occurs whenever the Apple Watch and iPhone are within range of each other, and the iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi. The backup includes essential information, such as app data, settings, and health data, ensuring that you can restore your Apple Watch to its previous state if needed.


Why Regular Backup is Important

Regular backups are vital for several reasons:

  • Data Security: Regular backups protect your data from being lost in case of device malfunction, accidental deletion, or loss of the device.
  • Ease of Upgrade: When upgrading to a new Apple Watch, a recent backup allows you to transfer your data and settings seamlessly, making the transition smooth and hassle-free.
  • Recovery from Issues: If your Apple Watch encounters issues requiring a reset, having a recent backup ensures that you can quickly restore your watch to its previous state without losing important information.

What to Back Up

When backing up your Apple Watch, the following data and settings are included:

  • Application Data: Data from installed apps, including preferences and saved states.
  • Screen Layout: The arrangement of apps and complications on the watch face.
  • Clock Face Settings: Custom watch face configurations, including chosen complications.
  • System Settings: General settings such as notifications, brightness, and sound preferences.
  • Health and Fitness Data: Workouts, activity achievements, and health data collected by the watch.

What is Not Included in the Backup

Certain information is not included in the Apple Watch backup due to security and privacy reasons:

  • Bluetooth Pairing Information: Connections to Bluetooth devices like headphones and speakers need to be re-paired after restoration.
  • Credit or Debit Card Information for Apple Pay: For security reasons, your card information is not backed up. You will need to re-enter your card details after restoring your watch.
  • Apple Watch Passcode: The passcode used to unlock your Apple Watch is not included in the backup. You will need to set a new passcode during the setup process.

How to Back Up

Backing Up Apple Watch via iPhone

Backing up your Apple Watch is straightforward, as it is integrated into the backup process of your paired iPhone.

  • Ensure Both Devices are Connected: Make sure your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, and both devices are within range of each other.
  • Check iCloud Backup Settings: On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Ensure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  • Manually Trigger a Backup: If you want to ensure that a backup is performed immediately, you can manually trigger an iCloud backup. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now.

Backing Up via Encrypted Computer

Alternatively, you can back up your Apple Watch via an encrypted backup on your computer. This method includes more data, such as saved passwords and health data.

  • Connect Your iPhone to a Computer: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.
  • Open Finder or iTunes: Open Finder (on macOS Catalina and later) or iTunes (on earlier macOS versions and Windows).
  • Select Your iPhone: In Finder, select your iPhone under Locations. In iTunes, click the device icon in the upper-left corner.
  • Enable Encrypted Backup: Check the box for “Encrypt local backup” and create a password.
  • Back Up Now: Click “Back Up Now” to create an encrypted backup of your iPhone, which includes Apple Watch data.

Recovery Process

Restoring your Apple Watch from a backup involves several steps to ensure all your data and settings are transferred correctly.

  • Unpair Your Apple Watch: On your iPhone, open the Watch app, go to the My Watch tab, and tap your watch at the top of the screen. Tap the “i” icon next to your watch, then tap “Unpair Apple Watch”. This process automatically creates a backup.
  • Set Up Your New Apple Watch: Turn on your new Apple Watch and hold it close to your iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your devices.
  • Restore from Backup: During the setup process, when prompted, select “Restore from Backup”. Choose the most recent backup from the list provided.
  • Complete Setup: Follow the remaining on-screen instructions to complete the setup of your Apple Watch. Enter your Apple ID password, set a passcode, and re-pair any Bluetooth devices.

See Also: How To Turn On Apple Watch From Power Reserve


If you encounter issues during the recovery process, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Common Issues and Solutions

  • Backup Not Found: Ensure that your iPhone was recently backed up and that the backup includes Apple Watch data. Check your iCloud or computer backup settings.
  • Restore Failed: Restart both your Apple Watch and iPhone, and try the restoration process again.
  • Missing Data: Verify that the backup was created while the Apple Watch was paired with your iPhone. Some data may not be included if the backup was incomplete or interrupted.

Contacting Apple Support

If you continue to experience problems, contact Apple Support for assistance. They can help diagnose the issue and provide solutions specific to your situation.


Backing up and restoring your Apple Watch is a vital process to ensure your data and settings are preserved. Regular backups protect against data loss, make upgrading to a new watch easier, and aid in recovering from issues. Understanding what is included and not included in backups, how to back up via iPhone or computer, and following the recovery steps ensures a seamless experience. If you encounter problems, basic troubleshooting or contacting Apple Support can help resolve any issues.


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