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I just got a new Apple Watch Series 4, but I'm having some issues pairing to my iPhone (an iPhone 8 with up to date iOS).

When iPhone and Apple Watch are near each other, the pairing procedure starts on the iPhone. I can go through, alternatively, the pairing using the "holding the phone over the animation" or the one with manual code insert. After a few seconds on the following "pairing successful" screen, a popup message appears saying that communication between the devices wasn't stable and that I need to restart.

A couple of times I was able to select wrist and crown position, it started syncing but again failed after a couple of minutes of waiting.

I tried restarting the iPhone and the Apple watch, resetting network connections. This happens with Wi-Fi, Cellular and Bluetooth on, with or without Wi-Fi connected to a network.

One thing that I don't understand is why I can't pair using only cellular connection on? I tried moving outside the building, to stay outside the range of any known Wi-Fi access points. In that case, the pairing can't even start. The iPhone says I need to have a Cellular or Wi-Fi connection on (along with Bluetooth) but it appears that I can't do anything without Wi-Fi. The same happens if I turn Wi-Fi off.

What could be going wrong? How do I pair the Apple Watch to iPhone in such a scenario?

  • You need wifi and bluetooth for pairing to work. Also, be sure the Watch is on the charger the entire time. Perhaps your wifi network is not stable and doesn't stay connected to the devices long enough for it to complete. Try a different wifi network, if possible. Be sure to power cycle each device, too. – fsb Jul 1 at 11:17
  • Thanks @fsb, so it seems that Wi-Fi is mandatory. Company network may have restrictions. Anyway, the message is wrong on iPhone: it clearly states "make sure iPhone is connected to a cellular network or Wi-Fi and activate Bluetooth" – ccalboni Jul 1 at 11:23
  • Now that I think about it, maybe the message on the iPhone states that because on the other side there can be a cellular-connected Watch – ccalboni Jul 1 at 11:24
  • And thanks @Nimesh for fixing my question – ccalboni Jul 1 at 11:47

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