Thu. May 19th, 2022

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A hassle-free backup and restore process is one of the key benefits of Apple’s ecosystem, and so is the Apple Watch: If you switch from an older model to a new one, you can easily restore all your surfaces and data. But the process of backing up your Apple Watch is a little different than other Apple devices.

How to back up your Apple Watch data

As long as your iPhone and Apple Watch are close together, your data is automatically backed up and stored on your iPhone (it’s a little harder to find them, but we’ll talk about it soon). The next time you back up your iPhone to your computer or to iCloud, your Apple Watch data is automatically included in the backup.

To ensure that the latest Apple Watch data is backed up to your iPhone, you can remove the pair between the watch from your phone. When you turn off the clock, all its data is automatically backed up to your iPhone.

Your Apple Watch backup contains all your surfaces and the order in which you have arranged them, the home screen app layout, settings for all apps, preferences such as Imperial or Metric devices, all your settings (sound, notifications, dock preferences, etc.), health and fitness data (including sleep settings) and a few other important settings. When you restore from an Apple Watch backup, the software and data will essentially look exactly like your old watch.

Some things are not included in your Apple Watch backup, e.g. Notifications (only if you have not enabled iCloud backup for the Messaging app on iPhone), debit or credit cards used for Apple Pay on the watch, the password for your Apple Watch, and paired Bluetooth devices. For most people, these things will take about five minutes to set up and they should not be a major concern.

Where are my Apple Watch backups?

Image for the article titled How to back up (and restore) the data on your Apple Watch

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Since the Apple Watch backup process is not conventional, it can be a bit difficult to find these backups. However, all Apple Watch backups are stored on your iPhone so you can go to Settings> General> iPhone storage> Clock. If you cannot find “Watch” under iPhone Storage, press blue magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner, and search for Watch. Press Watch and you will be able to see all your Apple Watch backups. You can swipe left on one of the backups to reveal the Delete button to remove older backups.

How to Restore an Apple Watch Backup

Image for the article titled How to back up (and restore) the data on your Apple Watch

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

To restore backed up data on a new Apple Watch, select an option during the initial setup process. Take your Apple Watch near your iPhone, open the Watch app, and press Start mating. Now follow the on-screen instructions until you are asked if you want to restore from a backup. Press Restore from backup, then select the correct backup and press Continue.

That’s just about all you need to do. Your iPhone and Apple Watch take care of the rest, and once the process is complete, you will find that all of your data and settings have been transferred to the new watch.

However, there is one important footnote here that some users need: Sometimes you may not see the latest backup when trying to restore from an Apple Watch backup. This happens if your new Apple Watch has an older version of watchOS compared to your previous one. We recently removed an Apple Watch running watchOS 8 and switched to a new one that came with watchOS 7.5.

In this case, just go ahead and configure it as a new Apple Watch first. Then open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to General> Software Update and update the clock to the latest version of the operating system. Once done, remove the pair between the clock, configure it again, and you will find your most recent backup in the list when you choose to restore. Once the recovery process is complete, you can enjoy your new Apple Watch with all the tweaks you’ve made over the years.


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