Watch woes (backups)

The good news: My new Apple Watch arrived today!

The not so good news: For the second time in as many months, unpairing the watch from my phone did not result in a backup showing up on the phone, so when I went to restore my new watch from the backup that I’d expected to see, there were only very old backups available. Is this new and expected behaviour? (probably not)

Question: Is there any way to initiate a backup and verify that it actually happened?

The same thing happened to me. I could only see backups from 2016-2018. I unpaired and forced a backup and tried again and was confronted with the same problem. I just set it up as new.

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That’s what I ended up doing too. Oddly enough, I set up my son’s watch (my old Series 4 that I’d just replaced), upgrading him from a Series 2 and his backup happened as it was supposed to.

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Hmmm…I wonder if it is series 7 specific. My watch is also not showing under “unlock with this Mac” either which is odd. The setting in system preferences only lists my old watches. Are you having this issue too?

Thankfully unlocking my Macs is working, as is unlocking my phone while masked. I may try unpairing and pairing this watch just to find out if it continues to not work for me. The only thing that I really lose is the customizations for my faces, which are a pain to redo, but not terrible.

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It’s possible that your new watch came with an older version of watchOS than what was installed on your old watch (example: 8.0.1 on new watch, 8.1 on old watch). This is the reason you’re only seeing older backups, as the new watch can only be restored from a compatible watchOS version. If this is what happened, you would need to set up your new watch as “new,” update it to the version of watchOS running on your old watch, erase it, and restore it from your most recent backups, which should now appear on the list.


Good point! If I get brave, I’ll test that theory tomorrow :slight_smile:

Thanks. This is a promising solution.

It has been a while but, I was finally able to test this theory. Unpairing and erasing the watch allowed me to restore from a normal back up (not the really old backups that I mention above). So, that allowed me to restore my watch from the most recent backup. However, the watch still did not show under the “unlock my computer with my Apple Watch” setting. But, after about a week or two of not working, my Mac suddenly started unlocking using my watch. I believe that the idea above did fix it although the fix was not immediate. Thanks @Ricardo_M!

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