How to Backup Your Apple Watch

It's not the most straightforward process, but it's still worth doing

Apple Watch How to Backup Cloud

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Your Apple Watch is no exception when it comes to backups, holding a lot of data you'd probably like to keep available. Whether you're upgrading to a new watch or want to make sure your Health app data is saved, here's how to backup your Apple Watch and make sure you're preserving your data.

What Apple Watch Data Is Backed Up?

As it turns out, your Apple Watch is regularly sharing data with your iPhone. All of the data Apple Watch syncs with your phone is automatically added to the information backed up when your phone performs a backup. This information includes:

  • App-specific data (for built-in apps) and settings (for built-in and third-party apps). That includes settings in Maps, distance, units, and preferred settings for Mail, Calendar, Stocks and weather
  • The app layout you've created on your Home screen
  • Clock face settings and your current watch face 
  • Dock settings, including the sorting order 
  • System settings including brightness, sound, and haptic settings
  • Health and Fitness data from your Apple Watch, and user-entered data
  • Notification settings
  • Playlists, albums, and mixes that are synced to your Apple Watch
  • Music settings
  • The Siri Voice Feedback setting for Apple Watch Series 3 or later 
  • Synced photo album
  • Time Zone

In order to backup Health App data, due to personal sensitivity, you'll need to use iCloud or an encrypted iTunes backup.

Seems like good things to keep track of, right? The only information not backed up from your Apple Watch are Bluetooth pairings, any cards tied to Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, and your passcode. So basically, a backup will keep everything you'll need to pair an Apple Watch and restore your previous settings.

How to Backup Apple Watch

There isn't an independent backup function for Apple Watch, but you can trigger a backup in two ways:

  • Ensure your iPhone is in range of your Apple Watch and you're connected via either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This will enable your Apple Watch to automatically sync with your iPhone, and all Apple Watch data will be included in your next iPhone backup.

This process doesn't just throw your Apple Watch data into the cloud with everything else on your iPhone. Your watch data is saved all together, so you can pair a watch based on the backup file.

  • Un-pair your Apple Watch. Doing so will trigger a sync of the data before the watch is wiped and returned to factory settings.

Regardless of the method you choose, your Apple Watch data depends on the ability of your iPhone to perform a successful backup. If your iPhone is completing backups each night, and your Apple Watch is paired to your iPhone, your data should be backed up and ready to go.