How to Set Up Your Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Get up and running fast with your new watch

What to Know

  • Charge your watch, then push the power/home button until it turns on.
  • Install the Galaxy Wearable app, tap Start, and follow the on-screen prompts. 

This article explains how to set up and use a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, including basic controls and settings.

How do I set up my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4?

To set up your Galaxy Watch 4, you need to install the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone. Galaxy Wearable is an app from Samsung used to set up and control all Samsung wearables like the Galaxy Watch series and Galaxy Buds. With that app installed, you can turn the watch on and then follow the prompts that you see on your phone. The setup process is performed entirely in the app, and the app also allows you to manage your watch after you set it up.

Here’s how to set up a Galaxy Watch 4:

  1. Charge the watch if necessary.

    A Galaxy Watch 4 on its charger.

    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

    The Galaxy Watch 4 comes with a low level of charge. It’s usually enough to get through the setup process, but you may need to charge yours first.

  2. Press and hold the Power/Home button on the watch until it turns on.

    The power/home button (on the right) on a Galaxy Watch 4.

    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

  3. Install the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone if you haven’t already done so.

  4. Open the Galaxy Wearable app, and tap Start.

  5. Tap one of the device location options.

    Installing the Galaxy Wearable app from Google Play.

    You don't have to allow location access, but if you tap Deny, many features, like local weather, won’t function or display correctly.

  6. Tap Allow to allow the watch to make and manage calls.

  7. Tap Galaxy Watch4 when it appears in the list of available devices.

  8. Check the code on the watch and the code on your phone, and tap Pair if they match.

    Pairing a Galaxy Watch 4 in the Galaxy Wearable app.

    Tap the check box if you want to be able to view contacts and call history on the watch.

  9. Tap OK.

    Google Play will automatically open to the Galaxy Watch4 Plugin.

  10. Wait for the installation to complete, then return to the Galaxy Wearable app.

  11. Tap Install.

  12. In the Galaxy Wearable app, tap Sign in.

    Installing the Galaxy Watch 4 plugin for the Galaxy Wearable app.

    You don't need to sign in to use your watch, but you won’t have access to the listed features if you skip this step.

  13. Enter your Samsung login information and tap Sign in.

    Don’t have a Samsung account? Tap Create account or Continue with Google, follow the on-screen prompts, and then proceed to the next step.

  14. Tap Continue.

  15. Tap Agree.

    Samsung account sign-in steps through the Galaxy Wearable app.
  16. Tap OK.

  17. Tap Allow if you want the watch to be able to display your contacts.

  18. Tap Allow if you want to view your calendar on the watch.

    Galaxy Watch 4 Plugin contacts and calendar permissions in the Galaxy Wearable app.
  19. Tap Allow if you want to be able to view call logs on the watch.

  20. Tap Allow to be able to view and listen to media through the watch.

    This option is necessary if you want to pair earbuds to your watch.

  21. Tap Allow if you want to be able to send and receive SMS messages through the watch.

    Galaxy Watch 4 Plugin permissions for phone calls, media files, and text messages.
  22. Tap Allow.

    If you tap Deny, certain watch functions, like answering calls, will not work or be available.

  23. Tap Continue.

  24. Wait for the app to configure your watch.

    The Galaxy Watch 4 Plugin configuring a Galaxy 4 smartwatch in the Galaxy Wearable app.
  25. Verify that you’re using the correct Google account, and tap Continue.

  26. Tap Copy.

  27. Tap Next to restore settings from a previous watch, or Skip if you’ve never had a Samsung watch before.

    Linking a new Galaxy Watch 4 to a Google account and restoring from a backup in the Galaxy Wearable app.
  28. Tap Next.

  29. Wait for the setup process to finish.

  30. When the Galaxy Wearable home screen loads on your phone, your watch has been set up and is ready to use.

    Final setup steps to configure a Galaxy Watch 4 in the Galaxy Wearable app.

How to Pair a Galaxy Watch 4 With a Smartphone

The only way to pair a Galaxy Watch 4 with a smartphone is by using the Galaxy Wearable app, as described in the previous section. If the watch has previously been used with a different phone, then you need to factory reset it before you can pair it to your phone.

You can also factory reset your watch and reconnect it using the process described in the previous section if you’re experiencing an issue where the watch no longer connects with your phone and seems like it needs to be paired again.

How to Download Apps for a Galaxy Watch 4

Galaxy Watch 4 uses WearOS, which means you can download apps for your Galaxy Watch 4 through Google Play on your phone or through Google Play directly on your watch. When you use your phone, the process is the same as downloading an app for your phone with one additional step. The process is similar if you want to use your watch.

Here’s how to download apps for a Galaxy Watch 4 using your phone:

  1. Open Google Play on your phone, and search for an app.

    If you tap the Watch toggle, you’ll only see apps that are watch-compatible.

  2. On the store page for the app, tap the down arrow on the Install button.

  3. Make sure that the Samsung Watch box is checked.

  4. Tap Install.

How to Get Apps Directly On a Galaxy Watch 4

Here's how to download apps for a Galaxy Watch 4 directly on the watch:

  1. Swipe up to view your apps.

  2. Tap the Google Play icon.

  3. Search for an app by tapping the magnifying glass, or tap a category.

  4. Tap the app you want.

  5. Tap Install.

  6. The app will download and install on your watch.

How to Use a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Galaxy Watch 4 relies primarily on its touchscreen, but it also supports a couple of gesture controls. You can enable and disable gesture controls to your liking.

The default settings cause the screen to turn off after a handful of seconds automatically, but you can turn it back on at any time by lifting your arm in a natural motion to look at the watch.

In addition to that gesture control, you can also activate the screen with a tap by following this process: swipe down > gear icon > Display > Touch screen to wake.


The touchscreen of the Galaxy Watch 4 works like the screen on your phone, in that you can tap things to interact with them. Some functions require you to press and hold, and pinch controls also work in certain apps to zoom in and out.

Here are the swipe controls that are available on the home screen:

  • Swipe down: Access the quick panel, which provides easy access to settings and other features.
  • Swipe up: Access your apps, including the Play Store that allows you to download new apps.
  • Swipe right: Access notifications. Additionally, you can tap a notification for more information.
  • Swipe left: Access your tiles.
  • Press and hold: Switch watch faces.

What is the Galaxy Watch 4 Quick Panel?

Galaxy Watch 4 has a quick panel, which you can access by swiping down on the main watch face. The quick panel provides easy access to a lot of useful settings and features. To navigate through the options, swipe right and left, and tap the option you want.

Here are the settings and features you’ll find in the Galaxy Watch 4 quick panel:

  • Bedtime mode: Disables most alerts on your watch, but your morning alarm will still go off if you have one set.
  • Power: Turn the watch off, and turn touch sensitivity on and off.
  • Settings: Access the watch settings.
  • Always on: Toggle the display to stay on all the time or time out when not in use.
  • Sound: Tap to toggle between mute, mute with vibration, or sound.
  • Flashlight: Illuminate the watch face with white light.
  • Do not disturb: Toggle do not disturb mode.
  • Brightness: Adjust the brightness of the display.
  • Power saving: Toggle power-saving mode.
  • Theater mode: Mutes notifications, disables the always-on display, and adjusts other settings to avoid causing a disturbance for the specified amount of time.
  • Wi-Fi: Toggles Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Water lock: Turns on the water lock, allowing you to swim while wearing the watch. To turn the water lock back off, press and hold the home button on the watch.
  • Airplane mode: Toggles airplane mode.
  • Bluetooth audio: Toggles Bluetooth on and off, allowing you to connect headphones or earbuds.
  • Find my phone: Rings your phone, allowing you to locate it.
  • Location: Toggle location services on and off.
  • Plus: Add additional options, including NFC and a touch sensitivity toggle.

How to Find Your Galaxy Watch 4

The Galaxy Wearable app has a feature that allows you to locate your watch if you misplace it by forcing the watch to play a loud tone. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone.

  2. Scroll down, and tap Find My Watch.

  3. Tap Start.

  4. When you find your watch, tap Stop.

How Do I Activate My Samsung Galaxy Watch 4?

If your Galaxy Watch 4 supports LTE, then you’ll see one extra step during the setup process. To activate your Galaxy Watch 4, you need to tap Next on the Mobile service for your watch screen. Then, after you finish setting up your watch, you can complete the activation through the Galaxy Wearable app.

Open the Wearable app, tap Watch Settings > Mobile Plans, and follow the prompts to finish your activation. For additional information, you can contact your mobile carrier.

The app will attempt to activate the watch on the same mobile service used by your phone. If your provider doesn't support the Galaxy Watch 4, it won't work. This option also isn't available if your watch doesn't support LTE.

Do I Have to Add a Line For a Samsung Smartwatch?

The Galaxy Watch 4 LTE version works with many different mobile carriers, and each one handles things their way. You will need to activate service for the watch through your carrier if you want to use the LTE feature, but whether or not you need to add a line depends on which carrier you use and what kind of plan you currently have.

The major carriers all have plans for the LTE version of the Galaxy Watch 4, but you should check with your carrier to see the available plans and costs before activating the service. Some carriers allow you to share a single phone number between your phone and your Galaxy Watch 4, in which case you likely won’t need to add a line, but there may still be an additional charge.

Do You Need a Plan For a Samsung Watch?

You don’t need a mobile plan for your watch unless you have the LTE version and want to use the watch without your phone. As long as your phone is nearby, your watch can connect to it through Bluetooth, allowing you to make and receive calls and texts using the phone’s plan. Your watch can also connect directly to Wi-Fi, which will enable you to use most of its features aside from sending and receiving calls.

The Wi-Fi connectivity feature is available in both the Bluetooth-only and LTE versions of the Galaxy Watch 4.

If you want to leave your phone behind and use your watch to make and receive calls and texts, you either need a separate plan or need to add the Galaxy Watch to your current account. The specifics vary between mobile carriers, so check with yours for additional details.

FAQ
  • How do I set up a Samsung Galaxy Watch?

    Set up your Samsung Galaxy Watch with the Galaxy Wear app if you have an iPhone and a model before the Galaxy Watch 4. On Android, use the Galaxy Wearable app. Through the app, find and pair your watch > allow permissions > or restore from a Samsung account backup.

  • How do I set up Samsung Pay on a Galaxy Watch?

    Tap the Samsung Pay app on your Galaxy Watch or hold the Back button for a couple of seconds to launch the app and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also add cards to your Samsung Pay account through the Galaxy Wearable app from the app page, settings area, or the home tab.

  • How do I set up Bixby for the first time on a Samsung Galaxy Watch?

    Select the Bixby app from the Apps screen or press the Home button twice to launch Bixby. Accept the permissions requests to allow the voice assistant to work on your device. Then follow the setup prompts on your watch to manage your Bixby preferences.

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