How to Back Up Data on Your Apple Watch
Your data is automatically backed up and stored on your iPhone as long as your iPhone and Apple Watch are near each other (finding them is a little more difficult, but we’ll get to that later). The data on your Apple Watch will be automatically backed up the next time you back up your iPhone to your computer or to iCloud.
You can unpair the watch from the phone to ensure that the most recent Apple Watch data is backed up to your iPhone. All of the data on the watch is automatically backed up to your iPhone when you unpair it.
All of your watch faces and the order in which you’ve arranged them, the home screen app layout, settings for all apps, preferences such as imperial or metric units, all of your settings (sound, notifications, dock preferences, and so on), health and fitness data (including sleep settings), and a few other important settings are all included in your Apple Watch backup. When you restore from an Apple Watch backup, the software and data will appear to be identical to what was on your old watch.
Messages (only if you haven’t enabled iCloud backup for the Messages app on iPhone), debit or credit cards used for Apple Pay on the watch, the Apple Watch passcode, and paired Bluetooth devices aren’t included in your Apple Watch backup. These things should only take about five minutes to set up for most people and shouldn’t be a major concern.
Where are my Apple Watch backups?
Because the Apple Watch backup process isn’t standard, it can be difficult to locate those backups. However, all Apple Watch backups are stored on your iPhone, so go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Watch to access them. If you can’t find “Watch” under iPhone Storage, search for it using the blue magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner. You can see all of your Apple Watch backups by tapping Watch. If you want to delete older backups, swipe left on any of the backups to reveal the Delete button.
How to restore an Apple Watch backup
You’ll have to choose an option during the initial set up process to restore backed up data on a new Apple Watch. Bring your iPhone close to your Apple Watch, open the Watch app, and tap Start Pairing. Follow the on-screen prompts until you’re prompted to restore from a backup. Select the correct backup and tap Continue after tapping Restore from Backup.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. The rest will be handled by your iPhone and Apple Watch, and when it’s finished, you’ll notice that all of your data and settings have been transferred to the new watch.
However, there is an important footnote that some users will require: When trying to restore from an Apple Watch backup, you may not see the most recent backup. If your new Apple Watch has an older version of watchOS than your previous one, this will happen. We recently switched from an Apple Watch running watchOS 8 to a new one that came with watchOS 7.5.
Just go ahead and set it up as a new Apple Watch in this case. Then, on your iPhone, open the Watch app and go to General > Software Update to update the watch to the most recent version of the OS. After that, unpair the watch, re-pair it, and when you choose to restore, you’ll see your most recent backup in the list. You can now enjoy your new Apple Watch with all of the customizations you’ve made over the years once the restore process is complete.