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Apple Watch Not Syncing Contacts? Here’s How to Fix It


I’ve had to deal with Apple Watch not syncing contacts twice. And I understand how frustrating it is to have to enter someone’s details manually.

But what causes the Apple Watch to fail to show contact names and what can you do to fix it?

Generally, your Apple Watch is not syncing contacts because Bluetooth connection is inactive, your contact option on iCloud is off, or you don’t have internet access. Possibly some of your contacts don’t have country codes or your setup may have developed a system glitch, hence the error.

I do understand that the convenience that Apple Watch brings to the table is insanely remarkable. You can make and receive calls from your wrist as long as you have your contact detailed synchronized.

So, if you’ve noticed that contact names are no longer showing on your smartwatch, continue reading to learn exactly how to fix the problem.

5 Reasons Why Your Apple Watch is Not Syncing Contacts

If you can’t see your iPhone’s contact on your Apple Watch, it’s likely because of one or many of the following reasons:

 Possible CauseProbable Solution
1.Apple Watch and iPhone OS are not up to date.Update watchOS and iOS operating systems to the latest version.  
2.Your Apple Watch or iPhone has a system glitch.  Restarting your iPhone or Apple Watch should help to fix the problem.  
3.It’s possible that iCloud is off.Toggle the contact switch in iCloud settings to resume syncing contacts.
5.You’ve turned off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi network.Ensure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi systems are active on your iPhone and Apple Watch. 

I don’t know about you, but I think Apple Watch not being able to synchronize contact is a problem you can fix in under 5 minutes.

Let me show you how.

How to Fix Apple Watch Not Syncing Contacts

I strongly recommend trying out the following solutions, mostly because they’re what have worked for me when my Apple Watch Series 6 couldn’t synccontacts from my iPhone.

1. Reset Sync Data

The first thing I did was to Reset Sync Data.

My contacts and calendar information disappeared from the watch for a few minutes. But then the watch rec-synced the data from my iPhone, and I had access to all contacts thereafter.

I strongly recommend that you do the same.

  • Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap My Watch tab.
  • Go to General
  • Scroll up and tap on the Reset option.
  • Tap Reset Sync Data.

And that’s it.

2. Update iOS and watchOS Operating Systems

The second thing I did was to ensure my Apple Watch Series 6 and iPhone’s operating systems are up to date.


If you read my Apple Watch troubleshooting guide, you’ll notice that I can’t stress enough just how important it is to update OS to the current release.

Old OS versions are bloated, filled with bugs and security issues, and tend to hinder optimal performance.

So check if there are new OS updates for your phone and watch, install these updates, and your Apple Watch won’t have a problem synchronizing your contacts.

For the Apple Watch:

  • Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap My Watch.
  • Choose General.
  • Tap Software Update.
  • Install the watchOS firmware updates (if there are any available).

For the iPhone:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Scroll up and select General.
  • Tap Software Update. 
  • Allow your iPhone to check if there is a new iOS update.
  • If there’s an update, tap Download and Install, and allow the phone to update.

Your iPhone should restart automatically after installing the updates.

3. Delete and Re-enter Missing Contacts

If you’ve noticed that only a few contacts are missing on your Apple Watch, you can delete and re-add them.

Let me say this:

The process of deleting and re-entering contacts is a manual one that takes time, but it can be an effective solution nonetheless. 

Here’s an easy walkthrough to follow:

  • Take note of the contacts not appearing on your Apple Watch.
  • Delete these contacts from your iPhone.
  • Now re-enter the details, making sure they’re correct before saving them to your iPhone’s contact book.
  • Restart your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Now, open the contacts app on your Apple Watch to see if the contacts that were missing are showing.

4. Configure iCloud Settings for Contacts

It’s possible that the iCloud setting for contacts is off on your smartphone, thus causing the sync issue on your Apple Watch.

To fix this:

  • Open the settings app on your iPhone. 
  • Tap your profile to access your Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases. 
  • Select iCloud.
  • Tap the toggle to get your contacts to sync to iCloud.

5. Enable Bluetooth and Connect to a Wi-Fi Network

You may be having a connection problem causing contacts not to show from your iPhone to your Apple Watch.

But you can fix this by enabling Bluetooth on both devices and connecting them to the same Wi-Fi network.

To enable Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone:

  • Tap Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap Wi-Fi and allow the device to search for the available networks.
  • Select the network you would like to join.
  • Enter the network’s password if prompted.

For Bluetooth:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap Bluetooth.
  • Turn Bluetooth on (if it’s currently off).

To enable Wi-Fi connection on your Apple Watch:

  • Press any button on the Apple Watch to wake up the screen.
  • Tap the Digital Crown to access the apps center.
  • Select Settings.
  • Scroll down until you see the Wi-Fi option.
  • Enable Wi-Fi.
  • Choose the network to which you would like to connect.
  • Enter the network’s password.

Don’t forget that your iPhone and Apple Watch have to be on the same Wi-Fi network for your contacts to synchronize properly.

For Bluetooth:

  • Press the Digital Crown.
  • Select the Settings app.
  • Tap Bluetooth.
  • Now tap the Bluetooth switch to turn on (if it’s off).

And that’s it.

6. Restart Your Apple Watch and iPhone

Sometimes the simplest solution to the problem of Apple Watch not syncing contacts is to restart the paired devices.

There may be apps conflicting in the background or excessively cached memory causing the iPhone and Apple Watch not to sync everything properly.

And more often than not, a soft restart is sufficient to fix the problem.

To restart the Apple Watch:

  • Press and hold the power button until the power slider appears.
  • Slide the power-off slider to the right to turn off the watch.
  • Wait 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo on the display.

For the iPhone:

  • Press and hold one of the volume buttons and power button until you see the power-off slider on the screen.
  • Drag the power-off slider to the right. 
  • Wait at most 30 seconds for your iPhone to turn off.
  • Now, press and hold the power (side) button until the Apple logo appears.

And that’s all there is to restarting your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Don’t forget to reconnect both devices to Wi-Fi and ensure you have them linked together via Bluetooth for contacts to synchronize smoothly.

7. Reset Your Apple Watch

I don’t usually recommend this option, and for a good reason. Resetting your Apple Watch means, you’re going to lose all your data, and you’re going to have to set up the smartwatch as if it were new.

Believe me, it’s a tedious process.

However, if all other solutions recommended in this guide don’t working, resetting the smartwatch is your only option (before contacting Apple’s customer support).

  • Go to Settings on your Apple Watch.
  • Tap the General option.
  • Again, Tap Reset and then Erase All Content and Settings.

The last step is to connect the watch to your smartphone so that your contacts can sync again. You can refer to the guide to set up Apple Watch to learn more.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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