Whether you’ve just received the recently released Apple Watch Series 2 or you’ve picked up a more affordable Apple Watch Series 1, you’ll need to set up your device before you can start chatting with Siri and getting Twitter notifications on your wrist.
Fortunately, Apple Watch setup is a painless process — but you’ll want to set aside a few minutes with a fully charged iPhone before you get started. Make sure your devices are also close to each other: it makes syncing easier and faster.
We’ll walk you through the steps below. Questions? Let us know in the comments.
Apple Watch Setup With iPhone
Make sure you have an iPhone 5 or later that is running the latest version of iOS. (Android users, check out our review of the Huawei Watch instead.) Your Bluetooth should be on, and your phone should be connected to WiFi or your cell network.
For the sake of avoiding frustrations, it’s best to set up Apple Watch with a fully charged phone.
- Press and hold the side button on the Apple Watch to turn it on.
- Choose a language and region on your device.
- On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app. Tap “Start pairing” on both your phone and your watch.
- Hold your iPhone over your Apple Watch. Center the watch’s animation in the viewfinder on your screen.
- Choose “Set up as new Apple Watch” when your iPhone prompts you. Only choose “Restore from backup” if you’ve set up your Apple Watch before.
- Select which wrist you’ll wear the Apple Watch on (you can change this later).
- Read/skim through the Terms and Conditions. Tap “Agree.”
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password. You’ll be prompted to create a passcode for your Apple Watch, which you’ll use for features like Apple Pay.
From here, you can set up the Activity app and SOS feature, adjust your settings, and sync all your iPhone apps that have Apple Watch capabilities.
But really, the best part of setting up the Apple Watch is exploring all the watch faces. Force touch the watch face on your screen and swipe left and right until you find one you like. (We’re partial to the Mickey Mouse face.)
Apple Watch Setup Without iPhone
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to set up your Apple Watch without an iPhone. In theory, you can set up the watch using someone else’s iPhone and then have them disable all their iPhone’s notifications and settings — but why?
When the paired iPhone is out of range, you can still use several Apple Watch applications. You can play synced music, monitor your activity and heart rate, use Apple Pay and Passbook, view up to 500 photos, and set alarms and timers.
But without its iPhone tether, the Apple Watch becomes a lot less exciting. For the price, you’re better off investing in a device that operates just fine without a smartphone, like a Fitbit Charge 2.
What do you think of your Apple Watch? Tell us about it in the comments below.