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How to set up your new Apple Watch the right way

New Apple Watch? Congratulations! Whether you got the Series 5 with its always-on screen, or snagged a bargain with the still-useful Series 3, you might be wondering how to get it set up. After all, the Watch is unlike any other Apple device, both in its dependence on your iPhone, and in the way it works.

The good thing is, Apple has made it really, really easy to get things up and running. Let’s take a look.

Grab your iPhone

The first step is to put on your new Apple Watch, then switch it on by pressing and holding the side button. When it’s on, bring it new your iPhone. Just like setting up a new Apple Pencil, or a pair of AirPods, the iPhone will detect your new Watch, and pop a panel up on the screen automatically. Tap Continue on this panel.

Just like setting up a new iPhone.
Just like setting up a new iPhone.
Photo: Apple


Now, just like setting up a new iPhone, the Apple Watch will show an animation on its screen. Point your iPhone’s camera at this cloud of pixels, and the two devices will pair.

Set up or Restore

The next step depends on whether or not you’ve ever used an Apple Watch before. If not, then you will set tip the Watch as new. If you have, you can also choose to restore from a backup.

This is also the part where you sign in to iCloud using your Apple ID. Our own Graham Bower, resident Apple Watch expert, says that your Apple Watch should automatically sign in to your Apple ID. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to do it from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Add a passcode

Set a passcode.
Set a passcode.
Photo: Apple


A passcode keeps your Apple Watch safe. You don’t have to have one, but if you want to use your Apple Watch for Apple Pay, then you have to. It’s also just good practice, considering how much of your biometric data your Watch will hold.

Set up your Apple Watch

Now, you can configure your settings. Some settings are shared with your iPhone. “If you turned on Find my iPhone, Location Services, Wi-Fi Calling, and Diagnostics for your iPhone,” says Apple, “these settings automatically turn on for your Apple Watch.”

And if you use Siri, you’ll have to have it turned on on your iPhone, too.

Add apps and sync

This shouldn't take long…
This shouldn’t take long…
Photo: Apple

We’re almost there. The final part is to choose which apps you want to install on your Apple Watch. This is taken care of, like most Apple Watch setup, from the comfort of the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. You can choose to send all apps, or just pick the ones you want to install. Either way, those apps will be sent to the Watch, and then the iPhone and the Watch will sync, making sure that the Watch has all the latest data.

Go for a walk

What are you waiting for? The whole point of the Apple Watch is that its with you, all the time. Go for a walk, and make a start on closing those rings. Or, if you don’t dig on that whole exercise thing, you can read our guide to customizing your Apple Watch, from the comfort of your favorite armchair.


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84 reviews

This makes the 3d case I’ve bought for my X. It’s still too new for me to say it delivers on what’s promised. That said, I wonder why no case maker designs 1 with vent holes to dissipate the heat these devices give off, especially for men who carry their phones in their pants pocket. It gets warm there.

The case has thoughtful design touches like raised “nubs” at the corners of the backside. Not only does it protect the camera it should reduce scuffing. The case should keep its crystal clear shine for several months to come.

Apple Watch band leather hybrid

I like Mira leather band very much. It is non generic and looks good. It meets my needs.

Canceled my order

My order was canceled after the case which was the wrong size. I had to pay $11.00 to return the case then your company canceled my order. The same day my brand new iPhone X managed to crack the back of the phone. for the most part I’m very unhappy but thanks for asking. If there were less stars the one I would have chose it.

Hi Ryan, I am sorry you feel this way, I know we were communicating through email but I did not get a response from my last email. I understand you placed an order for the incorrect case and as the other case you required was more expensive, we refunded you for the case that needed to be returned so the correct case could be purchased. I am very sorry you feel you did not receive the best customer service and help.
Elegant Apple watch bracelet

Finally a company has made a dressy looking, sparkling style band bracelet for the newest Apple watch! I would have given 5 starts except that the metal portion should have been longer for my wrist. I am not petite with tiny hands but tall with a larger wrist, so it looks a bit short! A longer bracelet option would be appreciated. Otherwise, I love it!! Just found it among my news stories by accident.
The finish is excellent, the color great and larger stones with more sparkle in the future would be nice too.