How to Fix Apple Watch Bluetooth Not Connecting Problems

Bluetooth has got to be one of the most important features of the Apple Watch beside Wi-Fi. This functionality allows you to pair the smartwatch with your iPhone and take advantage of all the features it has to offer.

When you purchase a brand new Apple Watch for the first time, it doesn’t automatically connect to your iPhone. You will need to turn on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or even both for data including applications from your iPhone to be synced with your Apple Watch.

The use of Bluetooth doesn’t stop there. You can also pair your Apple Watch to an accessory such as a wireless headphone or speaker. This way leaving your phone behind isn’t that bad anymore. While Apple recommends that these two features should be enabled, sometimes Wi-Fi isn’t always available. Therefore, Bluetooth is the only thing that keeps the connection between your iPhone and Apple Watch stable.

If Bluetooth Is Not Working on Your Apple Watch

While Wi-Fi can be limited in certain areas, Bluetooth is accessible everywhere. You can still use your Apple Watch even when it’s not connected to an internet connection. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t always work. Some people have reported poor connectivity problems, and the majority aims toward the Activity app.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to fix this issue so that you don’t lose connection with whatever device or accessory your Apple Watch is connected to.

Let’s first start with some basic troubleshooting tips:

  • Unpair the Apple Watch then re-pair it
  • Reset Bluetooth connection by turning it off and then back on
  • Update your Apple Watch to the latest watchOS version

If you have tried those three simple solutions and it still doesn’t work, keep on reading…

Reset Apple Watch Settings

We wrote an article on how to hard reset and factory reset your Apple Watch. So far, I think putting the device back to its factory settings seems very helpful.

To do so on your Apple Watch:

  1. On your watch, open the Settings app
  2. Go to the General > Reset
  3. Then tap Erase All Content and Settings

Note: You should backup your device before resetting.

Turn on AirPlane Mode

Removing everything (data and settings) from an Apple Watch can be a hassle, especially for beginners. If you don’t want to do that, there is another way to reestablish the Bluetooth connection.

We’re going to turn on AirPlane mode:

  1. First, you want to swipe up from your Apple Watch screen
  2. Swipe right until you see Control Center
  3. Tap on the AirPlane Mode icon to turn it on

In addition to turning off Bluetooth, Airplane mode also disables Wi-Fi and cellular data on your iPhone and Apple Watch. You should leave this feature on for a few minutes. After that, swipe up from the Control Center to turn it off.

Restart your Apple Watch

Last but not least, a quick restart can often fix a lot of minor problems on any smartphone or smartwatch.

To restart your Apple Watch:

  1. Press and hold the side button until you see the “Power Off” slider
  2. Tap and drag it to the right
  3. Once the screen is black, press and hold the side button until you see an Apple logo

This is something that not a lot of users are having trouble with. In most cases, a quick restart or unpairing will get the Bluetooth feature on your Apple Watch to connect again.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Leave a Comment

  1. I had a problem with iPhone and watch in my BMW on at the same time won’t work! And messes it up was wondering if the new series fixed that

  2. I was in Target today and noticed that my AW was not getting Phone or Text notifications, but my iPhone was. Any idea why this could have happened? My husband said that sometimes the Bluetooth connection might be weak if the wireless of the store is not strong. Any one experience something like this?

  3. Does your watch drain your phone battery when connected to Bluetooth? And do you need to connect it to Bluetooth all day?

  4. Anyone else have problem of when enter their car watch disconnect from phone and only way to get it to reconnect is to turn off bluetooth on phone then turn back on… I have this issue no matter if get into my Audi or NY wifes Jeep

    • Hello,
      Yes I have been having this problem since I got the Apple Watch, which has now been two days.
      I called Apple Support and he guided me through one step and was suppose to call back and never did, so I am still having the problem.

  5. I want to get the Apple Watch series 2 but want to use it for swimming with some Bluetooth headphones. Without spending a tiny fortune can anyone recommend any?

  6. my watch never seems to be connected to wifi..followed the steps I googled and when I turned OFF bluetooth it connected wifi but since i never turn it off wifi it seems like a useless feature to me when I’m home ..does anyone use the wifi and is it only when bluetooth is off

    • The WiFi feature works when the watch and phone are separated. In normal use you have both with you so you are within Bluetooth range and that is the preferred connection method. However, say you leave your phone downstairs and go upstairs out of Bluetooth range and get a call. The watch will use the WiFi to connect to the phone and you can take the call as normal on your watch.

  7. I am not able to connect my I Watch 3 with 6s it’s showing couldn’t maintain wireless connection and it start unpairing the Watch after tht if I try again it shows make sure ur your I phone is connected to wifi or mobile data and ur Bluetooth is on

    Please help me out

  8. I have a series 3 I am trying to connect a micro bluetooth speaker but when I tap bluetooth, it states that it is searching for device and never stops searching. iWatch connect to iphone 6 just fine. Speaker connects to iphone 6 just fine. But iwatch cannot connect to speaker. I have turned on and off Aiprplane mode. I have powered off and on the iWatch. Any other suggestions to get iWatch to connect to bluetooth device?

  9. Am having the same problem with my Apple watch and iPhone 8+. Bluetooth keeps searching. Took it over to the “Genius Bar” today at Apple and they could not find the problem. Was there 1.5 hours. They wanted to send it back somewhere for overhaul, but I know that if it cannot be fixed at the store by Apple staff, it’s probably can’t be fixed. I’ll just do without the activity app sending data to my iPhone. I can input the data manually to my computer.


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