The Apple Watch is undoubtedly the best smartwatch available on the market today. Even those on Android have tried to figure out ways to use the Apple Watch, but have been unsuccessful so far. Unfortunately, for as wonderful and seamless as the Apple Watch experience is, there are quite a few limitations.
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One major limitation has just been solved with the release of iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5. You can finally restore your Apple Watch from iPhone, something that was not possible with previous releases.
How To Restore Apple Watch From iPhone
In the “old days”, if you had a major problem with your Apple Watch and couldn’t restore it, you had to take it to the Apple Store. Obviously, this isn’t a great solution as not everyone lives near an Apple Store, meaning that you would have to ship it off. Some users have found a new “Recover Apple Watch” animation, that offers the following description:
“There is a problem with this Apple Watch that requires it to be updated or restored”.
Others have found that you might see a red exclamation point appear on your Watch if something has gone awry. But gone are the days where you needed to reach out to Apple Support to try and get the problems fixed.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case as you can finally restore Apple Watch from iPhone yourself. Apple’s new support page does offer a few disclaimers, however, as your iPhone needs to be running iOS 15.4 or later, while the Apple Watch needs to be running at least watchOS 8.5.
- Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi with Bluetooth enabled, and unlock your iPhone.
- Put your Apple Watch on the charger.
- Double-click the Side button on your Apple Watch.
- Follow the on-screen steps that appear on your iPhone.
Once the on-screen steps have been completed from your iPhone, the Apple Watch should reboot. After it’s finished rebooting, you’ll be able to restore your Apple Watch from a backup.
Still Not Working?
The steps above should work for most people, but there will be times when something breaks in the process. You won’t completely brick your Apple Watch, but the red exclamation point might reappear, along with seeing the Recover Apple Watch prompt on your iPhone.
Apple states that if you are unable to restore Apple Watch from iPhone, then you will want to double-check your Wi-Fi connection. If you are connected to a 5GHz network, then switch to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. Additionally, you will not be able to restore the Watch if your iPhone is connected to a captive or 802.1X network. This shouldn’t be a problem most of the time, as these networks are usually found with public Wi-Fi networks.
Finally, if you go through the steps to restore Apple Watch from iPhone and the red exclamation point reappears, all hope is not lost. If this happens to you, simply double-click the Side button on your Apple Watch, and then try following the listed steps again.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.