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MTS Best Practices: Backing up your Watch

James Sorrenti

We love Apple devices because they “just work,” but for the times they don’t, having a dependable backup is important; Apple Watch is no different.

When to Backup

Preparing for a backup before you hope you had one.

The most common situations one should force a backup of their Apple Watch is when doing a software update, getting a new Apple Watch or new iPhone, or sending in your Apple Watch or iPhone for service.

How to Back Up

If you regularly backup your iPhone, you are also regularly backing up your Apple Watch. There are two ways to backup your iPhone: iCloud or to iTunes on your computer.


iCloud is a wonderful way to backup your iPhone wherever you may be, as long as your account is in good standing, and you have more than enough required storage. You can find out when the most recent iCloud backup was performed from your iPhone:

  1. Tap “Settings” on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your iCloud name at the top.
  3. Tap “iCloud”.
  4. Tap “iCloud Backup”. (Your backup should say “On”.)
  5. On the bottom of this screen, you will see “Last Backup:” and a date and time.


If this date and time is not very recent, you can force a backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone to its charger and connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap “Backup Now”.
  3. When the backup is complete, the “Last Backup:” should have today’s date and the time the backup completed.


You can backup your iPhone and Apple Watch onto iTunes on your computer, but to get the full benefit (and all your activity data) you must tell iTunes to encrypt your iPhone Backups:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via your Lightning cable.
  2. In iTunes, select your iPhone from the upper-left corner of the window.
  3. On the left, under Settings, select “Summary”.
  4. Select “Encrypt [device] backup” in Backups.
  5. Create (and do not forget) a password when asked.
  6. It will start backing up. Future backups will be encrypted as well.


If you will be parting with your Apple Watch (getting a new Apple Watch or sending yours away to service) you will want to force a backup and remove your personal data from the watch. Conveniently, these both happen when unpairing your Apple Watch.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select your Watch from the main screen.
  3. Tap the “i” next to your Watch.
  4. Tap “Unpair Apple Watch”.
  5. Follow onscreen instructions, may include authenticating with your Apple ID password.


What Remains

So you’ve backed up your Watch, and now after some event, you need to restore your Watch. That part is simple and built into the same pairing process you did when it was first set up. There are a few things that do not come along with the backup that you will have to set up again:

  1. Device Passcode
  2. Paired Bluetooth devices (e.g., headphones)
  3. Your debit/credit card used with Apple Pay

These things are left out for your security and because some are tied to the hardware of the device, not the software.


That’s it! You planned ahead and had your Apple Watch and iPhone backed up in an encrypted format that saved most of your data, and you were able to confidently use that backup to restore to your Apple Watch. Enjoy your watch with your data!

More info:

Apple’s support article on backing up Apple Watch:

Encrypted iTunes backups:

Differentiating iTunes and iCloud backups:

Unpairing Apple Watch:

Setting up Apple Watch:

Select Open Box Macs and iPads 20% off!

We are selling all Open Box 15-inch MacBook Pro, 27-inch iMacs  and 9.7-inch iPad Pros for 20% off their regular price.

Open box products were purchased and then returned. They have all been tested and restored to factory settings (when necessary).

Quantities are limited to items in stock.

See our specials page: Mike’s Specials

The iPhone was launched 10 years ago today: Mike’s Techs reminisce

Today, June 29th, marks 10 years since the original iPhone was launched. A few of us at Mike’s worked at Apple on launch day and more than a few of us waited in line to buy the iPhone. The team at Mike’s share their memories:

  • The touchscreen blew me away. Until then, touchscreens were horrible.
  • I wanted to keep the film on the phone as long as possible. The first person to call me couldn’t hear me. I thought I got a DOA device, but it was the film blocking the speaker.
  • Wait, we didn’t even get an App Store until 2 years later?! I forgot about that.
  • Launch day? I remember launch weekend! AT&T’s servers were not cooperating so I couldn’t activate or use my new iPhone for 2 days!
  • I had a perfectly good Motorola phone when the iPhone came out and being a very practical person I didn’t feel I could justify buying an iPhone. But I could only hold out a few weeks. I took my Motorola phone with me kayaking in the ocean and “Oh no it got destroyed!” and now I was free to buy an iPhone.
  • I was so excited when the price dropped. I ran to the Apple Store and was finally part of the cool kids in the office. I took a trip home a couple months later and I couldn’t believe how beautiful the pictures were. Having an easy way to read email was an unreal experience.
  • I remember I couldn’t even take my iPhone out when I was waiting in line at Starbucks because everybody around me wanted to see it!
  • I remember we had a lot of celebrities that day [at the Apple Store 5th Avenue].
  • I remember how much my hands hurt because we had to clap for what felt like hours.
  • What I mostly remember is the collective gasp when we first saw it in person. We were all hands on deck that day [at the Apple Store]. The store didn’t open until 6pm. All the windows were covered so all the people in line couldn’t see the setup. It was about 30 of us each assigned to set up an iPhone on the display tables. We had about 150 employees in that store and everyone was gathered around these 30 iPhones. We were not allowed to open the iPhone box or take the phone out until the order was given! We all held the box in silent anticipation…then got the okay to take the lid off our iPhone box. We all gasped so loud! Imagine 150 people gasping at once and just silent with awe. We had all waited 6 months to see the iPhone in person! And we got to see it, hold it, and play with it 2 hours before the rest of the world who was behind those covered windows. Granted, we got to play with it for maybe 5 minutes but it was a very cool and very Apple-geeky experience.
  • I remember we had our first cracked iPhone screen [at the Apple Store] not even 10 minutes after we opened the doors to start selling them. We just gave the poor guy a new iPhone.
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J B.'s Review J B.
5 Stars

I cannot tell you how impressed I was with these guys! I would give more stars if I could. They did what Apple said was impossible. They fixed my laptop...

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Katy K.'s Review Katy K.
5 Stars

Super satisfied with my experience at Mike's Tech Shop. Fixed my MacBook right on the spot. Thank you! I will be back! And recommend to my friends!

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