Use Apple Watch without its paired iPhone

Three Apple Watch screens showing options for using the watch without the companion iPhone nearby: playing music, checking activity progress, and running—screen shows elapsed time of workout.

Although you need your iPhone nearby to do many things with Apple Watch, there are things you can do when you don’t have your iPhone with you or when it’s turned off:

  • Play music from a synced playlist on Apple Watch

  • Use the watch Clock icon, alarms Alarm icon, timers Timer icon, and the stopwatch Stopwatch icon

  • Track your activity with the Activity app Activity icon

  • Track workouts using the Workout app Workout icon

  • Display photos from synced photo albums in the Photos app Photos app icon

  • Make purchases with Apple Pay

Apple Watch uses Bluetooth® wireless technology to connect to its paired iPhone and uses the iPhone for many wireless functions. Apple Watch can’t configure Wi-Fi networks on its own, but it can connect to Wi-Fi networks you’ve set up or connected to using the paired iPhone.

If your Apple Watch is in range of a Wi-Fi network that iPhone has connected to before, you can still do the following (even if iPhone is turned off):

  • Use Siri

  • Send and receive Digital Touch messages

  • Send and receive messages using iMessage Messages icon

  • Make and receive phone calls Phone icon (if you have Wi-Fi calling enabled and you’re within range of a Wi-Fi network that your iPhone has connected to before).