How To Setup Your New Apple Watch


Whether you received an Apple Watch as a gift or purchased one for yourself, you’re still faced with the same task once you crack open the box: How to set it up. Getting your Apple Watch up and running can be done in just a few minutes, but there are a few steps involved to ensure you get everything connected appropriately and customized for your own personal needs. Here’s a crash course in how to make the magic happen:

Turn on Pairing

Your Apple Watch communicates with your iPhone over Bluetooth. That means you’ll need to make sure Bluetooth is on whenever you want to use the Apple Watch. You can power Bluetooth on quickly by swiping up from the bottom of your phone screen. The Bluetooth icon is the center one that looks like two triangles stacked on top of each other.

Open the Apple Watch App

If you have an iPhone running iOS 9, then the Apple Watch app will already be installed on your phone (It’s called just ‘Watch’). If you’re not running iOS 9, then you’ll want to go ahead and update your phone’s software before setting up your Apple Watch. You can do that by going into the Settings menu on your Apple Watch, and then selecting “General” followed by “Software Update.”

Within the Apple Watch app, you’ll want to select Start pairing, which will initiate the pairing process between your Watch and your phone. That essentially involves pointing the camera on your iPhone at your Watch so they can get to know each other. Even if you’ve never paired anything over Bluetooth before, it’s a pretty simple process and should happen pretty quickly.

If for some reason you’re somewhere where your camera is having trouble picking up the image, you can tap the i icon on your Watch to input the numerical code displayed on your phone. No matter which option you choose, you should be able to get everything connected in about a minute or two.

Start Setting Things Up

Once you’re all connected, the Apple Watch app will prompt you to finish the setup process. That includes entering your Apple ID and Password and selecting a passcode for using Apple Pay.

Get To Tweaking

By default, all of the notifications that appear on your iPhone will be pushed to your Apple Watch. For some people, that’s a great idea. For others, getting all those notifications can be a nightmare. Go into the “Notifications” menu within the Apple Watch app to pick and choose which apps you want to get messages from, and which ones you’d prefer to stay off your wrist.

Another tweak you’ll likely want to make quickly is the App Layout. Select that menu within the Apple Watch app to decide where you’d like certain apps displayed on your Apple Watch home screen. In general, it’s good to put apps you think you’ll use often, such as text messages and email, towards the center. However, as long as the organization you choose makes sense to you, then it’s perfect.

If you plan on initiating phone calls or texts from the watch, then you might also want to set up your favorites wheel with some of the people you contact most. Finding contact information on the Watch that isn’t in the wheel is certainly doable, but it’s a ton easier when you have quick-tap access to some of your faves.

That’s it! Any of your apps that have Apple Watch options will automagically appear on the Watch as well. If you’re looking for a few new favorites, check out our list of must-have apps for some suggestions on what to download first.