Setting up your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is more than just a timepiece. It's a personal device that connects you to the world, monitors your health, manages your schedule, and so much more. It has become the gold standard for wrist tech – bringing the latest features to your fingertips.

But when you get an Apple Watch, pulling it out of the box and setting it up can feel a bitoverwhelming. There are so many apps, settings, and features to explore.

Which is why we've created this comprehensive guide for setting up your Apple Watch! We'll take you step-by-step through the process, from unboxing to getting connected to all the latest features.

Before You Start

Before embarking on your Apple Watch setup journey, make sure you have the following:

  • An iPhone 6s or later with the latest version of iOS
  • Your Apple ID and password
  • A stable Wi-Fi connection
  • The latest version of the Apple Watch app on your iPhone

Why are these elements essential? Simply put, Apple has designed its products to work best when the software is up-to-date and you're connected. If any of these elements are missing, you may not be able to access all of the features available on your Apple Watch.

So once you have everything in place, it’s time to begin!


Pairing Your Apple Watch

The first step is to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone. This is where the magic happens. For instance, you can receive and make phone calls, sync music, access your contacts, view notifications, use apps, track your activity levels, and much more!

However, pairing your Apple Watch can be a bit confusing the first time you try. Here's a quick guide to help you get started:

  1. Start by turning on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Tap 'Start Pairing' on your iPhone, and hold your iPhone over the animation on your Apple Watch.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted on your iPhone.
  5. Tap 'Agree' to the Terms and Conditions on both devices.

Now that you have everything set up, you can start making the most of your Apple Watch!

Configuring Basic Settings

Once your watch is paired, it's time to configure some basic settings.

Choosing the Wrist and Orientation

An essential part of the setup process is to decide which wrist you will wear your Apple Watch on and whether the Digital Crown should be on the left or right side.

  1. To do this, open the Settings app on your watch and select 'General'.
  2. Tap 'Orientation' and then select either 'Left Wrist' or 'Right Wrist'.
  3. After making your selection, you can adjust the Digital Crown to be on either side.
  4. Tap 'Done' when finished.

It’s important to set your Apple Watch to the wrist you will most often use to ensure the most accurate activity tracking.

Adjusting Text Size and Brightness

Another key setting you'll want to adjust is the brightness of your watch display and text size.

  1. Open the Settings app on your watch again and select 'Brightness & Text Size'
  2. Drag the slider to adjust the brightness from dim to bright, depending on how you prefer it.
  3. Tap 'Text Size' and use the plus and minus buttons to choose the font size you prefer.
  4. Once finished, tap 'Done' to save your changes.

Now that you've adjusted the brightness and text size of your Apple Watch, you can easily see notifications, messages, and more on your wrist!

Setting Your Passcode

The last step in setting up your watch is adding a passcode for added security. While not required, a passcode can help protect your personal information and data.

  1. Open the Settings app on your watch and select 'Passcode'
  2. Tap 'Enable Passcode' and enter a new passcode
  3. Re-enter your passcode to confirm it
  4. Once you've set up your passcode, tap 'OK' to save it

Now that you've set up your passcode, you can rest assured that your Apple Watch is secure from unwanted access.


Installing Apps

After configuring your basic settings, you can start installing apps.

During setup, you'll be asked if you want to install all available apps or choose later. If you choose to install all apps, every app from your iPhone with a watch equivalent will install. If you prefer, you can manually install apps from your iPhone via the Watch app at any time.

Don’t worry if you accidentally choose the wrong option during the initial setup. You can always go back to it at any time by opening the Watch app on your iPhone and selecting ‘App Store’ from the list. From there, you can browse and install apps just like you would on your phone.

Setting Up Features

Now the fun stuff - the features! 

Depending on what you want your Apple Watch to do, there will be a handful of features you should configure immediately. Things like the ECG or Emergency SOS are especially important to set up so they work when needed.

Watch Face

The first thing to do is customize your watch face. This will serve as the main screen of your Apple Watch and you’ll be looking at it most of the time, so make sure it’s something that you like! To change your watch face, press firmly on the current one to bring up a list of options. From there, choose any design you like and customize it to your liking.


Once you have the face set up, add any complications that you want to appear on the watch face. 

Complications are small widgets that are displayed on the watch face and provide quick access to apps or features like weather, battery life, calendar events, or stock prices. You can customize these as desired during setup.

Activity and Workout

Your Apple Watch is an excellent fitness companion. During setup, you'll be asked to set up the Activity app, which monitors your daily movement. You can also set up the Workout app to track specific workouts.

Activity Sharing

The Activity Sharing feature lets you share your fitness goals and achievements with friends or family members who also have Apple Watches. You can keep tabs on each other's progress and challenge one another to stay on track with your fitness goals.

Apple Pay

You can set up Apple Pay to make secure purchases directly from your wrist. Add your credit or debit card during setup or via the Watch app on your iPhone. Once connected, you can use Apple Pay for payments at participating retailers.


Siri, your virtual assistant, can be set up to perform tasks or fetch information via voice commands. Make sure to enable 'Hey Siri' during setup. It may feel strange at first (Star Trek, anyone?) but you'll soon become accustomed to it.

Apple Music and Podcasts

You can stream music or podcasts directly from your wrist with Apple Music or the Podcast app. The audio quality isn't quite as good as a pair of headphones, but it's great for staying connected while exercising or running errands.

Emergency SOS

Emergency SOS is an essential safety feature that lets you call for help quickly. You can set it up during the initial setup or in the Watch app under Emergency SOS. When activated, it will call emergency services automatically if you press and hold the side button. It also sends an alert to your designated contacts with your current location.

Keep Your Apple Watch Updated & Upgrade with TekReplay

Properly setting up your Apple Watch is key to unlocking its full potential. We hope this guide has provided you with helpful insights to make the process seamless. Once your setup is complete, don't forget to keep exploring and customizing your Apple Watch to suit your needs best.

If you don't have an Apple Watch yet or are considering an upgrade, check out TekReplay's wide selection of refurbished and pre-loved Apple Watches here. Experience the best of technology at a fraction of the cost with TekReplay - your go-to destination for all things tech. 

Plus, our world-class customer service ensures you get the support and advice you need when shopping online. Shop with us today!

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