Do you want to protect the precious fitness data on your smartwatch, not to mention the music, apps, and settings? Read on to find out how to back up Apple Watch.
Apple Watch backup is relatively simple, and it is certainly a good idea to save all stored data. If your watch breaks or gets damaged, it would be a nasty surprise to find out that all your personal data has also been lost.
There is only one complicated aspect of the process, which concerns the filing of Health and Activity data. For legal reasons,
Apple allows Apple Watch to be backed up just for you if you remember to encrypt it first. But we’ll get there in a little while.
Here’s the simplest part: Apple Watch constantly and automatically backs up to your iPhone companion, and it’s easy to restore your iPhone backup if the Apple Watch is reset for any reason.
For the most part, nothing needs to be done: backups occur automatically and without any user action. The only way we know to manually activate a backup copy is to cancel the pairing of the Apple Watch from the iPhone, a process that causes a backup to be created on the phone (if it is in the Bluetooth distance), but that does even a clock reset – so don’t do it lightly.
If you are concerned that the iPhone itself will be deleted or lost, we assure you that all Apple Watch data (with the exception of health and activity data) is backed up each time the iPhone is backed up.
You must remember that the Apple Watch in this phase of its evolution is in many respects an accessory of the iPhone rather than a real standalone product (we hope that Apple Watch 4 can exist without being tied to an iPhone, but this is just an impossible dream at this point) and therefore everything that is on it is also stored on the iPhone.
The backup of the Apple watch includes all settings (including the app layout of the main screen), app data, music tracks/playlists, and photos. Note that it does not include the credit and debit cards used in Apple Pay, nor does it include the watch’s access code.
How to restore an Apple Watch backup
After making sure that your iPhone data has been saved to iCloud or an encrypted iTunes backup, unpair the Apple Watch – which will create a new backup on the iPhone, as we have said – and then reconnect it and set it. Make sure you select “Restore from backup” instead of “Configure as new Apple Watch”; after this operation, you can set it normally.
How to backup fitness, health and activity data
This is very important: Apple can only back up health / medical / fitness data if it has been encrypted.
When backing up iPhone to iTunes, remember to choose the encrypted option. If you perform an unencrypted backup, all your exercise results data and running times on Apple Watch will be lost. (Even an iCloud backup will be fine – it’s just the unencrypted iTunes backup to cause the problem).
The backup of encrypted iTunes can be created in the same way as an unencrypted backup, automatically or manually, only with the encryption option selected. The first time you do it, there will be one more step where you have to select a password. Don’t forget it! Even Apple won’t know the password, so you won’t be able to recover it.
Help! I lost Apple Watch Activity data!
You have made an unencrypted backup of your Apple Watch and when you move from one iPhone to another and then go to pair the device with the new iPhone, you will find that all the data related to the activity had disappeared. In this case, don’t panic: there is a solution.
The data of the physical exercises are however stored on the old iPhone … presuming that it has not yet canceled it. Clean the new iPhone, create another backup of the old iPhone (and remember to encrypt it this time), restore the new iPhone from that backup, delete the Apple Watch and pair it with the new iPhone. After all that, you will find out that the badges and execution times are all back.