Ready to switch from your Series 4 or another Apple Watch to your new Series 5? Read along for how to upgrade to your new Apple Watch without losing data from watchOS 6.

Apple Watch backups are a bit trickier than iPhone backups. That’s because they happen automatically and are saved on the iPhone your Apple Watch is paired with but there’s no place in Settings to manually back up your Apple Watch or see when the last auto backup happened.

If you’re already running watchOS 6 on your current Apple Watch, the situation is a bit more complicated because that means you’re also running iOS 13 on your current iPhone.

If you’re upgrading to an iPhone 11, you’ll want to handle that first.

Note: If you’re running watchOS 5 on your current Apple Watch, read along with our specific guide for how to upgrade to a new watch without losing data below.

How to upgrade to your new Apple Watch without losing data from watchOS 6

Option 1

  1. If you’re also upgrading your iPhone, make sure to set that up first
  2. Since you’re probably coming from the iOS 13.1 beta you’ll need to set your new iPhone up as new, install the iOS 13.1 beta profile, reset your iPhone, set it up again, then restore from your backup
  3. Open the Watch app on iPhone to start the pairing process
  4. Power on your new Apple Watch and look for the pairing sphere code, follow the prompts
  5. When asked, choose to restore your new Apple Watch from a backup and choose the most recent one
  6. If you’re not seeing a backup available from your most recent iPhone backup, follow along with option 2 below

Option 2

Because an Apple Watch backup doesn’t happen with every iCloud or iTunes backup with your iPhone, you may want to force an Apple Watch backup.

  1. Keep your paired Apple Watch and current iPhone close together
  2. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  3. Tap your watch at the top, then tap the “i” on the right side
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch (during the unpairing process your Apple Watch will do a fresh backup to your iPhone)
  5. Follow the prompts to unpair your current Watch
  6. Do a fresh iCloud or iTunes backup on your current iPhone
  7. Now restore your new iPhone with the latest backup
  8. Open the Watch app on your new iPhone to start the pairing process
  9. Power on your new Apple Watch and look for the pairing sphere code, follow the prompts
  10. When asked, choose to restore your new Apple Watch from a backup and choose the most recent one

Here’s how the unpairing process looks to force an Apple Watch backup:

How to upgrade to new Apple Watch without losing data

You can leave your existing Apple Watch paired with your iPhone and pair your new watch as a second watch. Just tap your current watch in the Watch app, then the “i” then “Pair New Watch” as seen above.

For more help with getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how-to guide as well as the following articles:

Spigen iPhone 11 case


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