How to save and back up your Health data on Apple Watch

If you're looking to move your health data from an old Apple Watch to a new one, you've got some choices to make.

When you're moving to a new new Apple Watch, one thing you need to keep an eye on is your health data. Because it's a very private set of information, data from the Health app hasn't always been included by default in iPhone backups made to iCloud and iTunes. This is important, because these iPhone backups contain the backup of your old Apple Watch that you're looking to move to your new watch.

These days, Health data is included in what is now an encrypted iCloud backup so you can restore it to your iPhone from Apple's cloud service, but some people still have issues with those, or don't back up to iCloud in the first place. But for those that don't use iCloud backups, or who seek different solutions, there are a couple of notable options out there for you.

How to create an encrypted backup of your iPhone or iPad with iTunes

While garden variety iTunes backups will keep an archive of most of your iPhone's data, you'll need an encrypted backup in order to save your health data.

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via USB.
  2. Open iTunes
  3. Click on the device icon in the tab bar.

    Open iTunes, click device icon

  4. Click Summary if you're not already in that section.

  5. Click the checkbox next to Encrypt iPhone/iPad backup. This will allow your Health data to be backed up.

    Click Summary, click encryption checkbox

  6. Back Up Now under Manually Back Up and Restore.

    Click Back Up Now

  7. After you make a backup, start the set up process for your new iPhone and choose Restore from Backup when you get to that screen.

How to use Health Data Importer to move health data to a new iPhone

If you want, you can export your data directly from the Health app, and with Health Data Importer, you can easily import exactly the data you want into the Health app on a new iPhone. You can get Health Data Importer on the App Store for $3.99

  1. Open the Health app on your current iPhone.
  2. Tap on the Health Data tab.
  3. Tap on the User icon in the upper-right corner.

    Open Health, tap Health Data, tap user icon

  4. Tap Export Health Data.

  5. Tap Export. This might take a few minutes.
  6. Save the final export to iCloud Drive.

    Tap Export Health Data, tap Export, save to iCloud Drive

  7. Set up your new iPhone to your liking.

  8. Open the Health app.
  9. Set up your basic information.
  10. Download Health Data Importer from the App Store.
  11. Open Health Data Importer.
  12. Tap Import.

    Download HDI, Open the app, tap Import

  13. Select export.zip in iCloud Drive.

  14. Select the individual sources you wish to import to your new iPhone, or Select All to move the whole Health backup to your new device.
  15. Tap Next.

    Select export file, choose sources, tap Next

  16. Tap Turn All Categories On on the Health Access prompt to allow the app to write to your Health repository.

  17. Tap Allow.
  18. Open the iCloud Drive app once Health Data Importer has finished its import.

    Turn on All Categories, tap Allow

  19. Tap Select in the upper right corner.

  20. Find and select the export.zip Health file.

    Tap Select, select export file

  21. Tap Delete in the lower right corner.

  22. Tap Delete from iCloud Drive.

    Tap Delete, confirm delete

What now?

Now that you've gotten your health data on to your new iPhone, it's time to set up your new Apple Watch. Be sure to follow our guide to restoring your Apple Watch from a backup.

Questions?

Have any questions about moving your health data from one iPhone to another? Let us know down in the comments.