If you just got your Apple Watch, congratulations on owning a truly awesome device that will have your traditional timepiece cowering in fear. Before we start the setup process, I hope you’ve taken some of our recommendations on what to do before you get your watch. If not, it’s still worth checking out, as some of the tips might improve your overall experience with Apple Watch. Once you’ve finished unboxing your precious, it’s time to setup and pair Apple Watch with your iPhone. While it isn’t necessary to have a full charge, you should consider charging it prior to beginning this process. If you can’t wait, that’s understandable. It ships with plenty of juice for setup and beyond, so let’s get started.

Set up Apple Watch

What You’ll Need: The Basics

  • An iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8.2 or later.
  • The entire process takes roughly 15 minutes. This might be longer depending on apps you’re installing.

1. Place Apple Watch on your wrist
Secure your Apple Watch to your wrist using the included band. The Sport band has a diagram that details how the loop is attached. Note: For the purpose of this tutorial (and its photographs), we’re going to set up Apple Watch without being worn. Wearing it during setup isn’t necessarily a requirement.

2. Power on your Apple Watch
To turn on your Apple Watch, press and hold the side button for a second or two. You’ll be greeted by the familiar Apple logo as your watch springs to life.

3. Select your language
Using the side button, select your preferred language. To scroll through available selections, use the Digital Crown.

Select language

4. Pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone
Both your iPhone and Apple Watch should be display buttons to Start Pairing. Tap on each to begin the process.

Pair Apple Watch with iPhone

Now, you’ll be asked to hold up the camera on your iPhone and align the rectangle outline in the viewfinder with your new Apple Watch.

Pair using camera viewfinder

When completed, you’ll see a message that your Apple Watch is paired.

Apple Watch paired

How to Set Up Apple Watch

1. Set Your Wrist Preference
With the pairing process completed, the next step is to complete the setup. On the iPhone app, tap on Set up Apple Watch. You’ll be asked a series of questions. The first question asks which wrist do you wear Apple Watch. If you are right-handed, you’ll typically wear the watch on your left wrist. This will allow you to easily manipulate the side button and digital crown using your right hand. Lefties will use the watch on their right wrist.

wrist preference

The Apple Watch orients based upon its position, so it will work naturally if you are left handed. Next, you’ll have to agree to a lengthy terms and conditions. Tap agree, twice.

2. Apple ID Password
Next up, you”ll need to enter your Apple ID password. A key feature of Apple Watch is Digital Touch, which enables features like Apple Pay. Enter your passwrod and tap ‘Next’. Your iPhone will verify your Apple ID and Password.

Apple ID

3. Location Services
Location Services allows watch faces, Maps and other apps to gather and use data indicating your approximate location. If you have Location Services enabled on your iPhone, it will be enabled on Apple Watch. When finished, tap ‘Ok’.

Location services

4. Siri
Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, place calls and more. This screen confirms that you have Siri enabled on iPhone, so it follows, it will be enabled on Apple Watch. Tap ‘Ok’.


5. Diagnostics
You can help Apple improve its products and services by automatically sending diagnostic and usage data. If you have Diagnostics enabled on your iPhone, it will be enabled on Apple Watch. Tap ‘Ok’.


6. Apple Watch Passcode
Like your iPhone, you can set a secure password. You have the option to set either a simple passcode or long passcode. When you remove Apple Watch from your wrist, it will be locked and require a passcode. Once it’s on your wrist, it no longer requires a passcode. The interesting part here is that up until now, the setup was primarily on the iPhone.

Create a passcode Apple Watch

When you set your passcode, you’ll use your Apple Watch to enter it. Finally, you’ll have the option to unlock your Apple Watch using your iPhone. By unlocking your iPhone, you will also unlock your watch.

7. Install Apps or Choose Later
You’ll have an option to install apps. This will install apps based on those apps you currently have installed on your iPhone and have Apple Watch apps. You can choose to install apps or choose later. As we’ve noted, for a number of reasons you might want to start off with the default apps, slowly adding those which improve your experience.

Install apps

8. Apple Watch Syncing
The Apple Watch will now start the process of syncing apps, settings and other pertinent information between your iPhone and your watch.

Apple Watch syncing

You can leave the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and continue about your business. Apple Watch will notify you when the setup has been completed. You’ll hear a chime, the apps will fade to the background and you’ll see the default watch face.

Apple Watch ready

Now it’s time to have some fun! And you have questions or just want to chat with other users, be sure to drop by and take part in our Apple Watch community.