How to Pair an Apple Watch without an Update: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pairing an Apple Watch without an update is a straightforward process that requires you to have your iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other. Turn on your Apple Watch and place it next to your iPhone. A pairing screen should appear on your iPhone. Tap “Continue” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the pairing process without updating.

After you complete the pairing process, your Apple Watch will be ready to use with your iPhone. You’ll be able to access all the features and functions of your watch, customize its settings, and start tracking your daily activities and workouts.


The Apple Watch is a marvel of modern technology, a compact powerhouse strapped to your wrist, offering a slew of features, from fitness tracking to receiving notifications. But before you can start exploring this tech wonderland, you need to pair it with your trusty iPhone. Now, here’s the catch – what if you’re itching to pair your new Apple Watch but don’t want to update it just yet? Maybe you’re wary of new software bugs, or perhaps you’re just not ready to part with the current version you’re on. Whatever the reason, the good news is that you can absolutely pair your Apple Watch without updating it.

This topic is crucial because it ensures you have control over your device updates, especially if you have concerns about the newer versions or simply prefer the current one. It’s particularly relevant to first-time Apple Watch users who want to hit the ground running as soon as they unbox their device. It’s also pertinent to those who may not have immediate access to Wi-Fi for updating or are conscious about the potential bugs and glitches that can sometimes accompany new software updates.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Pair an Apple Watch without an Update

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone without initiating an update.

Step 1: Turn on Your Apple Watch

Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch until the Apple logo appears.

Turning on your Apple Watch is the first step in the pairing process. Make sure your watch is charged enough to go through the setup. If it’s new, it should have enough charge, but if it’s been sitting in a drawer for a while, you might want to plug it in first.

Step 2: Open the Watch App on Your iPhone

Locate and open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

The Watch app is pre-installed on all iPhones, and it’s your hub for all things Apple Watch. Opening the app will begin the process of pairing your devices.

Step 3: Start the Pairing Process

Tap “Start Pairing” on your iPhone and hold your phone over the animation that appears on your Apple Watch.

The pairing process involves a cool bit of tech wizardry where your iPhone’s camera reads a dynamic pattern that shows up on your Apple Watch. This is how your iPhone knows which watch to connect to.

Step 4: Set Up as New or Restore from Backup

Choose whether to set up your Apple Watch as a new device or restore it from a backup.

If this is your first Apple Watch, you’ll want to set it up as a new device. If you’re upgrading or switching watches, you might want to restore from a backup to keep all your settings and preferences.

Step 5: Skip the Update

When prompted for an update, choose “Set Up as New Apple Watch” or “Restore from Backup” without updating.

Here’s where you need to pay attention. The instinct might be to just go with the flow and hit update, but resist! Look for the option to skip the update and proceed with the setup.


Control over updatesChoosing when to update your Apple Watch gives you control and allows you to wait for feedback on new updates before committing.
Quick setupBy skipping the update, you can start using your Apple Watch right away without waiting for the update to download and install.
Avoid potential bugsNew updates can sometimes introduce bugs or glitches, so pairing without an update can help you avoid these issues.


Missing out on featuresNot updating means you won’t have access to the latest features and improvements that come with the new software.
Security risksUpdates often include security patches, so not updating could leave your device vulnerable to threats.
Compatibility issuesSome apps and features may require the latest software version to work correctly, so you might encounter compatibility problems.

Additional Information

When it comes to pairing your Apple Watch without an update, it’s important to note that while the process is relatively simple, there could be some trade-offs. Yes, you get to skip the wait time and potential bugs, but you might also miss out on some cool new features and vital security updates. It’s all about weighing your priorities and making the choice that’s right for you.

Another tip to keep in mind is that even if you decide not to update during the initial pairing process, you can always update your Apple Watch later when you’re ready. Just go into the Settings app on your watch, tap General, then Software Update, and you can download and install the latest version.

Lastly, remember that your Apple Watch and iPhone need to be compatible. Make sure your iPhone is running an iOS version that supports your Apple Watch model. You wouldn’t want to go through the process only to find out they can’t communicate with each other.


  1. Turn on Your Apple Watch
  2. Open the Watch App on Your iPhone
  3. Start the Pairing Process
  4. Set Up as New or Restore from Backup
  5. Skip the Update

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I update my Apple Watch later if I skip the update during pairing?

Yes, you can update your Apple Watch at any time after pairing by going to the Settings app on your watch, tapping on General, then Software Update.

Will my Apple Watch work properly if I don’t update it?

Your Apple Watch should work properly without the update, but you might not have access to the latest features and security patches.

How do I know if my iPhone is compatible with my Apple Watch?

Check Apple’s official website for a list of iPhone models compatible with your Apple Watch version.

What happens if I change my mind and want to update during the pairing process?

If you decide you want to update during the pairing process, you can simply follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the latest software version.

Can I pair my Apple Watch with more than one iPhone?

No, an Apple Watch can only be paired with one iPhone at a time. If you want to switch to a different iPhone, you’ll need to unpair it from the current one first.


Pairing an Apple Watch without an update is a nifty little trick that puts you in the driver’s seat. It’s all about personal preference and what works best for you. Whether you’re giddy to get going with your new gadget or just a tad cautious about the latest software, the choice is yours.

Remember, technology is meant to serve us, not the other way around. So, go ahead and pair that Apple Watch without an update. Embrace the freedom. And when you’re ready for those new features and updates, they’ll be waiting for you. Happy ticking!