How to Restore Apple Watch Using Your iPhone

Whether you're a strong believer in the Right to Repair or love to "tinker" with your stuff, chances are you'll appreciate the ability to restore a bricked Apple Watch using your iPhone. Yes, you read that right ! With the introduction of iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, you can fix your bricked Apple Watch without having to send it to Apple. This is another fairly gentle step in the direction of the right to repair following the recent launch of the Self-Service Repair program. If you are curious to learn more about this brand new Apple Watch recovery feature, head over to the jump to learn how to restore Apple Watch with iPhone.

How to Restore Your Bricked Apple Watch with iPhone

Don't confuse this new Apple Watch recovery feature with the normal Apple Watch reset process that we've all been using for years. It is specially designed to deal with a bricked Apple Watch, which mainly happens when a software update gets interrupted or fails. When this happens, you may see a red exclamation point icon on Apple Watch .

Prior to the release of this device recovery feature, Apple Watch users had to visit an Apple repair center to have the smartwatch repaired. And in areas without authorized service providers, they would have to send their watches in for repair. With the implementation of this recovery function, you can repair your watch yourself at home.

Which Apple Watch and iPhone models support the new Apple Watch Recovery feature?

At the time of writing, Apple has not disclosed any details about the compatibility of the device. In a recently published article , the Cupertino giant only indicates the requirement for watchOS 8.5 and iOS 15.4 or later. If so, the following devices may support this feature:

Supported Apple Watch Models

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple WatchSE
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7

Supported iPhone Models

  • iPhone SE 2 and 3
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, XS Max and XR
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Set Up Your iPhone to Restore Bricked Apple Watch

To get started, check off the essential requirements.

1. Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 15.4 or later

Make sure your iPhone is unlocked and running iOS 15.4 or later. If you haven't updated your device yet, go to the Settings app -> General -> Software update then do the necessary.

2. Connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi connection

Another essential requirement that you check off a lot is to make sure that your iPhone is connected to a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection. Apple recommends using the 2.4 GHz network instead of 5 GHz. In addition, it is also recommended to avoid using 802.1X or captive Wi-Fi networks.

Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wi-Fi i. Then connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Connect to a Wi-Fi network

3. Your iPhone must have Bluetooth enabled

Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone. Head to the Settings app on your iPhone -> Bluetooth then enable the toggle.

Enable Bluetooth on iPhone

Steps to restore your dead Apple Watch with iPhone

Once you have checked the basic requirements, follow the steps below to restore your watchOS device.

1. First of all, place your iPhone near the Apple Watch you want to restore.

2. Now connect the magnetic charger to a power source and then place your Apple Watch on the charger.

3. Next, double click on the side button which is just below the Digital Crown of your Apple Watch.

Press the side button on the Apple Watch

4. Then a pop-up window will appear on your iPhone saying something like this, “Recover Apple Watch. There is an issue with this Apple Watch that requires it to be updated or restored. Now tap Continue on the pop-up window, then follow the onscreen instructions to restore your Apple Watch.

Restore Apple Watch Using iPhone
Image courtesy: Apple

Unable to restore your Apple Watch using iPhone? Try These Fixes

If you are unable to restore your bricked Apple Watch with your iPhone, try the following solutions.

1. Double click the side button and try again

If a red exclamation point appears on your Apple Watch, double-click the side button, then repeat the same steps (mentioned above) to restore your wearable device.

Double click the side button and try again
Image courtesy: Apple

2. Enable/disable Wi-Fi

If you cannot restore your watchOS device using iPhone, disable/enable Wi-Fi. The sloppy Wi-Fi connection may prevent the restore process from working normally.

  • Open the Settings app on your device and tap Wifi . Now turn off the toggle next to Wi-Fi.
Disable the toggle next to WiFi
  • Next, restart your iPhone . After your device restarts, go back to the Wi-Fi setting and turn it back on.

Now try restoring your smartwatch to check if the problem is gone.

3. Forget the Wi-Fi network, restart your router and reconnect to the network

If your Wi-Fi connection is still not up to par, forget the Wi-Fi network and reconnect to it.

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone -> Wi-Fi -> "i" button next to a Wi-Fi network.
launch the Settings app and press the i button
  • Now tap Forget this network and confirm. After that, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network.
Tap Forget this network and tap Forget again to confirm

4. Enable/disable Bluetooth

Since Bluetooth is an important component to restore the dead Apple Watch, try turning it off/on.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone ->Bluetooth then disable the toggle.
Disable Bluetooth
  • Now restart your iOS device . Once the device restarts, enable Bluetooth.

5. Reset Network Settings

No solution yet? If you still can't restore your watchOS device, try resetting network settings. Keep in mind that it will delete all existing network settings and restore them to default.

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone -> General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset.
Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Next, tap on Reset Network Settings and confirm.
Tap Reset Network Settings and confirm

Contact Apple Support if nothing works

If your Apple Watch still cannot be recovered using iPhone, it would be best to contact Apple Support without delay . You may need to visit an Apple Authorized Service Center or mail your Apple Watch for repair.

Fix your dead Apple Watch by restoring it with the iPhone

This is how this official Apple Watch recovery feature works. From what I can tell, this is going to be very useful for many users and deserves to be on the top Apple Watch tips. Besides, it will also increase the repairability of the iWatch. What do you think of this brand new watchOS feature? Share your feedback with us using the comment section below.