Ok so I’ve come across a really annoying ‘feature’ with the Apple Watch today. I recently smashed my iPhone and got it replaced yesterday. After successfully restoring the new one from a backup I noticed part way through the day today that the watch wasn’t updating anymore. I figured I just needed to re-pair it in the apple watch app.
Upon opening the Apple Watch app it asks you to point the camera at the screen of the watch to pair it but nothing happens. It also pops up with a warning saying this phone hasn’t been sync’d with a watch before and I need to go to General>Reset on the Watch. Now that sounded crazy… erase my watch so I can re-pair it? Like most people in other posts I’ve found in the apple forums etc. I felt this didn’t seem like it was going to help and I’d just end up having to restore all the watch settings. Eventually after restarting the watch and trying to pair many times I gave up and just reset the watch.
To my surprise once I reset the watch and was presented with the pairing screen I was given the option to restore the Apple Watch backup from my phone. It seems that it’s stored on the phone and was re-stored to the phone as part of the phone restore. Unfortunately the messages in the app make no mention of this and it seems like it’s just going to erase the watch. So if you are wondering how to re-pair your watch if you’ve received a replacement iPhone and restored it from your recent backup then you can safely reset the watch and you will be offered the option to restore it from the backup on the phone when you re-pair it.
Apparently the items that will not be restored are: Credit Cards / Apple Pay setup and Synced playlists and some other obvious items potentially bluetooth pairings with other medical devices, etc. These are never backed up so you just lose them and have to re-setup if you replace your iPhone.