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How to use your Apple Watch with multiple iPhones

That doesn't mean you can't use your Apple Watch with multiple iPhones if you really want to, like your home and work iPhone, or yours and your significant other's iPhone. But it does mean it will take some work. In short, you'll need to pair, un-pair, and re-pair your Apple Watch every time you switch iPhones. Yeah, really. The good news is: we can walk you through it!

How to switch your Apple Watch from one iPhone to another

  1. Pair your first iPhone with your Apple Watch using the Apple Watch app.
  2. When you want to switch, un-pair your first iPhone, also using the Apple Watch app. (This will create a backup of your Apple Watch configuration and store it on your iPhone.)
  3. Pair your second iPhone with your Apple Watch.
  4. When you want to switch back, un-pair your second iPhone using the Apple Watch app.
  5. Re-pair your first iPhone, this time choosing Restore from backup to preserve as many of your settings and customizations as possible.

To continue switching between iPhones, repeat the process, un-parining and re-pairing each time

Note: Since Apple Watch backups are stored on the iPhone, any changes you make while using your first iPhone won't carry over to your second. If you want everything to be the same each time, you'll need to repeat any app or glance installations, and redo any configuration changes, every time you switch from one to the other.

Total pain, absolutely. That's why work arounds have the word work in them!

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

14 Comments
  • So it actually does not work...
  • Like I said in the article, Apple only supports one iPhone with one Apple Watch, so this is a work around for people who, knowing it's not supported, want to do it anyway.
  • You write a lot of crappy articles but this one must take the cake. Suggestions for your future articles:
    Breaking news #1: you can wear multiple pair of shoes but you have to take one pair off before putting the other one on....
    Breaking news #2:you can connect your bluetooth to multiple phones but you have to unpair and pair each time with each phone
    Breaking news #3, you can use your wired headphone with multiple phones but have to unplug from one phone to plug into another one.
  • You sure seemed to have spent quite a bit of time on a reply to an article you didn't care for.
  • We got asked how to do this by numerous people, which made it clear we needed to do an article. If it didn't appeal to you, that'd fine. Hopefully one of the many other articles we publish every day will.
  • Just wanted to say that I for one greatly appreciated this post. As you say a work around requires work, but it does expand my options as I change countries many times a year, and it takes three iPhones to juggle my travel efficiently.
  • LoL!!
    Hey, the guy was pretty funny, don't be angry, make him put a thing like this in every post you make and put it on display.
  • What an *******. I, for one, looked for this exact question, and was glad to find the article for me to read. What takes the cake is you taking the time to comment so negatively. It must be very lonely and dark in that basement you’re living in.
  • This won't work if you want to use Pay on the Watch. When you un-pair the watch you loose all your Pay cards and have to re add them manually, and based on recent experience some cards now require you to call them to activate Pay.
  • Nope, Apple Pay is one of the things you'll need to give up if you want to phone swap repeatedly.
  • I forgot that you still don't have Apple Pay in Canada so this isn't likely to be as big of an issue for you [Rene] yet.
  • No, but I have friends in the U.S. who are juggling multiple iPhones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and it's likely a pain point for them, so I'm hugely sympathetic.
  • For me it's very surprising, that Apple makes it also difficult to use two apple watches with one iPhone. From marketing point of view, they should make it as easy as possible to use more than one watch. I would love to use sport model during my active day time, and steel later at dinner or meetings, but with such a painful process of pairing watches I'm sticking with one.
  • Hello guys, I've been looking for ways to do this and you have all been really helpful, i decided it was time for me to try one of the only solutions I found and here's the results. I have an iphone 6s plus (private) and an iphone 6 (office), what happens is I turn my office phone off at nights and weekends since I don´t want to be bothered with work while I'm with my family, but I do some exercise and I'd like to use my apple watch to monitor my heart while I get out there. So, iphone 6s plus is a great deal of bulk to go cycling or running and I want to use the small iphone just to get Runtastic working and monitor with all the fancy sensors. So, no, i don´t need both phones connected to the iwatch all the time but i do ocasionally need to use it with the small factor. Well, not possible solution to do this quickly. What I have tried is to unpair my watch from my big iphone and pair it with the small one. Results were: 1. Unpair big iphone (13 minutes proccess)
    2. Pair with the small iphone (23 minutes proccess) so this is over half an hour each time i want to do this and this is not acceptable for me. What I ended doing was buying a hear monitoring band (ebay cheap one) to pair with the small iphone and leave my iwatch at home while running. Not the ideal solution but works for now. Not buying another watch just to make Apple Happy, enough apple products in my house haha. Hope it helps Have a great day!!