1. How to pair Wear OS 3 watches with a new phone
  2. Restore a backup or transfer settings with Wear OS 4

How to set up your Wear OS 3 watch with a new phone

Or restore a backup and transfer settings if you have a Wear OS 4 device
Wareable Wear OS transfer watch
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The steps required to set up your Wear OS 3 smartwatch with a new phone aren't immediately obvious - and things are also slightly different for those with Wear OS 4 devices. 

For those running the older software, you'll be required to disconnect and reset your watch before pairing it to a new phone, given that it can only connect to one handset at a time. 

If you have a Wear OS 4 model like the Google Pixel Watch 2, though, you can restore from a backup and connect to a new phone without losing all your data. 

Below, we'll be running through the steps required to achieve both.


How to pair Wear OS 3 watches with a new phone

Wareableset up wear os watch new phone

As we say, the fact that you're only able to connect to one phone at a time means that you'll be required to disconnect and reset your device before pairing it to a different phone. 

You'll also need to disconnect from your existing phone's Bluetooth settings before getting started on the steps below. Just remember that resetting your watch to factory settings erases all apps and settings, too.

To disconnect and reset your Wear OS 3 watch

1. On your Wear OS device, find the 'Settings' app and scroll down to 'System'.

2. From here, select 'Disconnect and reset' or 'Unpair with phone'. 

3. Once you've read the warnings about what you'll lose, confirm the choice by tapping 'Done'.

4. Next, move over to your phone and ensure the watch's companion app is downloaded.

5. Follow the instructions on your smartwatch and pair it with your new phone.

Restore a backup or transfer settings with Wear OS 4

WareableWear OS set up with new phone

Losing all your data, settings and apps can be a real nuisance when pairing to a new phone, which is why it's so handy that you can restore a backup or transfer your watch's data in Wear OS 4.

If you're planning on either of these options, you'll want to ensure a recent backup is running on your smartwatch by heading to 'System' within the Settings app and scrolling down to 'Backup'. 

Here, you'll be able to see when your data was last backed up - and it's likely that this is fairly recent if you set the feature up during the initial setup. 

Next, you can disconnect and reset by following the steps above and, crucially, choosing 'Restore from backup' after pairing your watch with a new phone.

Or you can simply head to 'System' in the Settings app, find 'Transfer watch', and follow the on-screen steps, which include confirming your Google account is the same on your new device.

Transferring watch settings is a much better option for those simply pairing to a new phone, whereas watch backups really come into their own when retaining settings and data between different watches.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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