How to Fix: iPhone Out of Date When Pairing Apple Watch

Written by Tijana - Reviewed by Ivana Gadgets / Apple iPhone

5 min read

The Apple ecosystem works flawlessly if you own multiple Apple products. Your MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch can be mutually linked and connected. This makes the entire experience with the technology you use on a daily basis more convenient, which is why so many people decide to switch to Apple products only.

The UX with Apple products is generally smooth and impressive, however, it often happens for some errors to pop up every once in a while, and they can surely get frustrating.

Connecting your iPhone to your Apple Watch is an option that has been available for quite some time now, and users love it.

It’s amazingly convenient, especially when you’re busy, and you can check your iPhone notifications quickly.

However, user complaints are being placed about the iPhone-Apple Watch pairing. Reportedly, users are being prompted by an error, “iPhone Out of Date - Your iPhone is out of date. Before you can pair it with your Apple Watch, you’ll have to update it to the latest version of iOS.

Unfortunately, once prompted by this error, the pairing process cannot be continued. Hence, troubleshooting and fixing this error is a must.

Also read: How to Fix: My Apple Watch Screen is Upside Down.

How do I fix the ‘iPhone out of date’ error?

Due to what the prompt says, the first thing you should try is updating the iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone, open the ‘Settings’ app, and open ‘General’.
  2. Scroll down, and tap on ‘Software Update’.
  3. If an update is available, tap on ‘Download and Install’. Depending on how big the update is, you might need to wait for 30 minutes before the process finishes.

Note: iPhone updates can also be done using your MacBook. Connect the iPhone to your laptop, and launch ‘Finder’ (older versions of the Mac operating system will need to open ‘iTunes’). Select the device, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’, and click on ‘Check for Update’. If an update is available, click ‘Update’.

If this hasn’t solved your problem and the prompt persists, while your iPhone says ‘Your software is up to date’, there are several fixing methods.

Important notes:

  • If you updated your Apple Watch, and it’s running on watchOS 6 and above, the Apple Watch will not be able to pair with iPhone 6 and earlier models.
  • Apple Watch Series 1 or later can be paired with iPhone 6s, and iOS 13 and later.
  • Downgrading the watchOS cannot be done.

Method 1: Restarting the iPhone

iPhone X/11 and later:

  1. Press and hold the side button and either volume button at the same time.
  2. When the ‘Power Off’ slider shows up, slide it to restart your iPhone.
  3. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo shows up to turn the iPhone back on.
  4. Try pairing the Apple Watch and the iPhone again.

Earlier iPhone models:

  1. Press and hold either the side button or the top button until the slider shows up.
  2. Slide it, and turn the iPhone back on by pressing the side/top button again.

Method 2: Force restarting the iPhone

iPhone 8 and later models:

  1. Press and release the volume up button, press and release the volume down button, and press and hold the power button. The iPhone will restart.

iPhone 7:

  1. Press and hold the top and volume down buttons until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6s:

  1. Press and hold the home and side buttons at the same time until you see the Apple logo.

Method 3: Restarting the Apple Watch

  1. Press and hold the side button until the ‘Power Off’ button shows up.
  2. Drag the ‘Power Off’ slider.
  3. After the Apple Watch is turned off, press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo shows up.

Method 4: Unpairing the Apple Watch

  1. On the iPhone, open the Watch app, and tap on my ‘My Watch’.
  2. Tap on the ‘i’ - info button.
  3. Tap on ‘Unpair Watch’.

Note: You might be prompted by a question if you want to keep your cellular plan, tap on ‘Yes’, since you will pair the Watch again.)

  1. Follow the rest instructions, and set up the Apple Watch again later.

Check out: How to Turn Off Alarm on Apple Watch.