How to Get Apple Watch to Warn If You Forget Your iPhone

by Barbara Wilson

The Apple Watch, a remarkable piece of wearable technology, is not only a stylish accessory but also a smart companion that seamlessly integrates with your iPhone. Among its many capabilities, one standout feature is its ability to alert you if you accidentally leave your iPhone behind. This ingenious function can save you from the inconvenience and worry of forgetting your iPhone, a device that has become an integral part of modern life. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of setting up your Apple Watch to serve as a guardian for your iPhone, ensuring you never inadvertently leave it behind again.


1. Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Bluetooth Connection: To establish a seamless connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone, you need to ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. Bluetooth serves as the primary communication channel, allowing them to stay connected.


Wi-Fi Connection: In addition to Bluetooth, it’s crucial to have Wi-Fi enabled on your iPhone and ensure it’s connected to a network. Wi-Fi plays a pivotal role in maintaining a connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone, even when they are not within direct Bluetooth range. This capability is particularly useful in larger environments or multi-story buildings where you might move out of Bluetooth range but remain connected via Wi-Fi.


2. Activate “Unlock with iPhone”

Access Watch App on iPhone: Open the Watch app on your iPhone to access the settings related to your Apple Watch.


Go to Passcode: Within the Watch app, navigate to the “Passcode” section, which deals with security and authentication settings.

Enable “Unlock with iPhone”: Inside the “Passcode” section, you’ll find an option labeled “Unlock with iPhone.” Activate this feature by toggling the switch to the “on” position. What this clever feature does is quite convenient – it allows your Apple Watch to automatically unlock when you unlock your paired iPhone. This means you don’t need to enter a passcode on your Watch as long as your iPhone is nearby, streamlining the authentication process.

3. Enable “Mirror iPhone” for Alerts

Access Watch App on iPhone: Once again, open the Watch app on your iPhone. This app serves as the control center for all things related to your Apple Watch.

Go to General: Within the Watch app, locate and select the “General” option. This section houses various settings that affect how your Apple Watch interacts with your iPhone.

Select “Mirror iPhone Alerts”: In the “General” section, you’ll encounter an option named “Mirror iPhone.” Activate this option by toggling it to the “on” position. What this setting accomplishes is ensuring that alerts and notifications you receive on your iPhone are mirrored on your Apple Watch. This synchronization ensures you’re always in the loop, even when your iPhone is in your bag or pocket.

4. Customize Notification Settings

Access Watch App on iPhone: For a personalized touch, return to the Watch app on your iPhone.

Go to Notifications: Within the Watch app, navigate to the “Notifications” section. Here, you’ll encounter a comprehensive list of all the apps on your iPhone that can send notifications.

Adjust Notification Settings: This is where the power of customization comes into play. Review and fine-tune the notification settings for individual apps. This customization grants you control over which notifications are sent to your Apple Watch. You can prioritize and fine-tune which apps and alerts are essential, preventing unnecessary distractions while ensuring you’re alerted to critical information.

5. Enable “Find My iPhone” Feature

Access Watch App on iPhone: The Watch app on your iPhone is the gateway to configuring essential features. Open it once more.

Go to Find My: Inside the Watch app, find and select the “Find My” option. This is where you can activate the “Find My iPhone” feature, adding an extra layer of security and control.

Enable “Find My iPhone”: Activate the “Find My iPhone” feature by toggling the switch to the “on” position. Once activated, this feature empowers you to locate your iPhone using your Apple Watch when it’s nearby. It’s a useful safety net in case you misplace your iPhone within your home or office. By accessing the Find My app on your Watch, you can pinpoint the location of your iPhone, making it easier to recover.

6. Use Third-Party Apps

Install Third-Party Apps: While Apple Watch offers an array of built-in features, its potential extends even further with third-party apps. Explore the App Store on your Apple Watch and iPhone to discover third-party apps designed to enhance your experience and help you keep track of your iPhone.

Set Up Apps: After installing third-party apps like “Lookout” or “Don’t Leave It!”, take the time to configure them according to your preferences. These apps provide additional features and alerts when your iPhone and Apple Watch are separated. For example, they can trigger alarms or send notifications when the connection between the two devices is lost beyond a certain distance. By leveraging these apps, you can add an extra layer of protection and customization to your iPhone tracking capabilities.

7. Apple Watch Separation Alerts

How It Works: The magic behind the Apple Watch’s ability to warn you if you forget your iPhone lies in its sophisticated sensors. The Watch employs a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and onboard sensors to detect the distance between itself and your paired iPhone. This smart technology continuously monitors the proximity of the two devices. When they move out of the predefined range, an alert is triggered on your Apple Watch.

Alert Types: To cater to individual preferences and situations, Apple offers flexibility in alert types. You can choose your preferred method of notification. Depending on your preference, you can opt for a gentle tap on your wrist, an audible tone, or a combination of both as the alert when your Apple Watch detects that it has become separated from your iPhone. This customizable approach ensures that you’re alerted in a way that suits your needs and environment.


The modern era has seen the iPhone become an extension of ourselves, a device we rely on for communication, productivity, and entertainment. The prospect of leaving it behind can be a source of frustration and anxiety. However, with the guidance of your trusty Apple Watch, such incidents can become a thing of the past. By ensuring your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections are active, enabling the convenient “Unlock with iPhone” and “Mirror iPhone Alerts” features, fine-tuning your notification settings, and exploring third-party apps, you create a robust and reliable connection between your devices. Furthermore, the “Find My iPhone” feature serves as an invaluable safety net, allowing you to track down your iPhone using your Apple Watch when it’s in close proximity, easing the worry of misplacing it.

Remember that the Apple Watch’s capabilities extend beyond just notifications. It’s a versatile and powerful device that can enhance your daily life in numerous ways, from fitness tracking to managing your schedule. With these steps in place, your Apple Watch becomes not just a timepiece but a vigilant guardian of your iPhone, ensuring you never inadvertently leave it behind again. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your Apple Watch has your back when it comes to keeping track of your iPhone in the hustle and bustle of modern life.


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