Un-pairing and re-pairing Apple Watch

While trying to troubleshoot the Thanksgiving activity fail I contacted Apple support and they suggested un-pairing and re-pairing the apple watch. This did not fix the problem, and the support person on the online chat at that point didn’t have any more ideas and wanted to set up an “RTA” (request for technical assistance) phone call. That’s way more effort than I’m willing to go through to try to figure this out.

Meanwhile, un-pairing and re-pairing is no fun. It takes forever, and I’ve had a number of problems since then.

  • Streaks stopped syncing to the watch. Now it shows a phone icon and says “Add a task to begin.” I tried to uninstall/reinstall it from the watch, which didn’t help. I bet uninstall/reinstall on the phone would fix it, but then I’d have to recreate all my tasks and schedules. (Update: This corrected itself after two days.)
  • Contrary to Apple’s documentation, my app layout was not preserved. Thumbs down.
  • Also worth mentioning that this process takes a long time. That’s because when you un-pair the entire watch is backed up to the phone.

Notifications on Apple Watch stop working

The other day I was messing around with my watch settings and I came across the setting to turn off passcode. If you have credit cards enabled in Apple Pay it will warn you that this setting will remove the cards from your watch. Disappointingly, no store I regularly shop at accepts Apple Pay, so this seemed worth trying out.

img_5865I turned it off and looked forward to putting my watch on the next morning without having to enter my 4-digit passcode. (I have the watch set to also unlock when I unlock my iPhone, but even that feels like a bit of a hurdle at 6 am.)

The next morning the watch sure enough was unlocked, but I soon felt something alarming: my pocket buzzing. Sure enough, my notifications were going to my iPhone, not the watch. Activity notifications showed up on the watch (they originate on the watch), but everything else was only on the phone, “No notifications” on the watch.

I hustled back over to the settings app and re-enabled passcode. I enabled a notification in Dark Sky for the next minute but nope–still on the phone. I Googled and tried every boneheaded suggestion I could find, but nothing made any difference. My favorite feature of the Apple watch was pooped.

This lasted for a full day and a half, until my iPhone again reminded me that update 10.0.2 was waiting for me. I installed the update and when the phone woke back up, the notifications were back to working on my watch. Huh? But also: hooray!

This fixes the problem for good—I can now turn off Passcode and notifications keep working, which is what I’m going with.