How to Fix “Fossil Watch Won’t Pair With new Phone”

Fossil watch won’t pair with a new phone? Don’t worry. Your new phone isn’t necessarily faulty. In fact, the chances are that the WearOS app is to blame and that you’ll be able to fix the issue by following a few simple steps.

It seems to be a common issue that plenty of people have experienced before. So, we are here to help you solve it.

Related:

And with all that said, let us get right into it!

Fossil Watch won’t pair with a new Phone? Try rebooting it

As we mentioned above, it’s not necessarily the phone itself or the watch that’s at fault. The chances are that your phone’s operating system, WearOS app, or both are not working as intended.

Sometimes, an easy way to get around such issues is simply turning your phone off and on. And while the exact process can differ from device to device, more often than not, all you have to do is:

  1. Hold down the power button or for iPhone, the power button and volume up buttons.
  2. For iPhone, slide to power off. For Android, select “Restart” or “Reboot” and confirm restart Apple and Android devices including iPhone with slide to power off
  3. Wait until your phone boots again
  4. Then try pairing the watch again

This requires nothing more than the press of a button. So, worst-case scenario, you lose a minute of your life while waiting for the phone to boot up again.

And if it doesn’t work, move on to the next possible solution.

Factory Reset your Fossil Watch

Another common solution is performing a factory reset on the Fossil Watch and then replacing it with your new phone.

This is going to delete all of your watch’s settings and preferences – which means that you’ll have to set up everything again from scratch. But, hey, if that makes your watch work once again, we’d say that’s a small price to pay.

To perform a factory reset on Fossil watches:

  1. Go to your Settings through the app menu and choose System.wearOS Fossil System Settings
  2. Tap Disconnect & Reset and confirm wearOS Fossil smartwatch disconnect and reset options in Settings app System settings
  3. Go to your phone’s Bluetooth settings
  4. Select your watch
  5. Remove it from the list of Bluetooth devices (Either by “Remove,” “Forget This Device,” or anything similar) iPhone bluetooth forget this device
  6. Then pair your watch with the phone as you did at the beginning

If it doesn’t work the first time, try it again once or twice again.

There have been plenty of reports from users that they had to do it 3 times or even more before their watch decided to work normally again.

Fossil Watch won’t pair with your new Phone? Maybe you are doing it wrong

Everything we’ve mentioned until now was assuming that you are doing everything correctly and that your app or OS are bugged. However, there is also a chance that you are the one who’s doing something wrong and that the watch/app/OS are all working just fine.

So, here are some things that you may have missed.

1: WearOS Needs to have the Appropriate Permissions

Smartwatches are very intrusive by design. Smartwatch apps generally ask permission to get access to calls, notifications, location, recording, text messages, calls, and a lot of other stuff.

Not granting one of these permissions may render your watch unusable until you give it access again. So, if you think you accidentally or purposefully refused to give the required permission to your watch through the WearOS app, you’ll then have to go back to your phone’s settings and give WearOS access to whatever it needs.

The exact process can slightly differ depending on the phone that you are using. To do it on stock Android 10:

  • System settings
  • Apps & notifications
  • See all apps
  • Wear OS
  • Permissions

Then give it access to everything it needs.

Fossil Watch Won't Pair With new Phone

If you can’t find the permissions through the same steps, we showcased above. This means that you are on a different Android version or skin. So, just Google “How to change app permissions on (your device).”

2: Make Sure that Bluetooth is Enabled

Smartwatches, including Fossil, need Bluetooth connectivity to communicate with a smartphone. Otherwise, they just aren’t going to work to their full potential. 

WearOS should prompt you to enable Bluetooth if it’s disabled.

But, if it doesn’t, you can enable it on Apple device via Settings > Bluetooth or on Android by going to:

  • Settings
  • Connected Devices
  • Connection preferences
  • Bluetooth
  • On

Fossil Watch Won't Pair With new Phone

Of course, there is always the option of activating it through the taskbar’s Quick Settings. And the same goes for iPhones. But, again, you’ll have a rough time making WearOS work with an iOS device.

3: Other Possible Mistakes

  1. You need the latest WearOS app. Make sure it’s installed, or the watch won’t pair/work properly
  2. Make sure that the watch is within a reasonable distance to your smartphone. Bluetooth can’t reach very far, so the watch won’t be able to pair if it’s out of range
  3. The watch may still be paired with your old phone. Unpair it or turn the old phone off, then try pairing it with your new smartphone again
  4. Your watch is out of battery. Make sure that it is charged
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Is your Fossil smartwatch not pairing with your iPhone?

Unfortunately, if you are on an iPhone, the WearOS app on iOS is an extreme mess with nothing but bugs. And it rarely ever seems to work as it should.

So, in that case, it’s not you – it’s the app.

Try these steps to get your Fossil wearOS smartwatch pairing to your iPhone

  1. Uninstall the wearOS app
  2. Turn Bluetooth off, then turn your iPhone off. Wait 20-30 seconds, then power back up
  3. Open the App Store and reinstall the wearOS app
  4. After installing the app, turn Bluetooth back on
  5. Open the wearOS app and try to connect your watchReset and disconnect Fossil smartwatch

If these steps don’t work, factory reset your Fossil via Settings > System > Disconnect & Reset. Then repeat these steps.

Summary

And that’s about it for now. Hopefully, this guide helped you solve the problem. If not, give us a few more details in the comments, and the MyHealthyApple team may be able to help you or reach out to Fossil tech support for the best advice.

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ever since my early teenage days, I have long been passionate about all-things-tech and long-distance running. After graduating from high school and finishing my military duties, I immediately started working as a writer in 2016, and to this day, I still share my passion with everyone online.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have a fossil sport and I’m trying to connect it to a new phone (a moto one, running Android 10). I have done the “disconnect and reset” on my watch multiple times and it won’t finish connecting. It finds the watch in the Wear OS app, the codes match, and they pair, but after a few minutes of ‘setting up my watch’ it says that it “couldn’t update watch” try again.
    I have tried uninstalling the app, going it an granting it all permissions, clearing the cache, restarting phone and watch all multiple times and it still does the same thing. Help!

  2. Fossil Julianna HR 2679 connected to my iPhone 8 fine.

    I upgraded to iPhone 12 and it worked for a couple of months and then abruptly stopped connecting.

    I spent weeks looking for an answer. I sent it to Fossil. They sent it back saying it was fine.

    Have let it sit for about 4 months hoping an update for IOS or Wear OS would fix something. Just tried again. It gets all the way to Pair and then gives me the message – make sure watch and phone are close together, forget the watch in Bluetooth (it hasn’t been there for months), toggle Bluetooth off and on. I’ve done this about 50 times (at least). So disappointed. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Bre,

      Oh, that sounds awful! First make sure that your iPhone’s BT list does not show your watch–if it does, tap it and choose to forget it. Then, move on to the next suggestion:

      Have you deleted the wearOS app altogether from your iPhone 12 and then reinstalled it? Press and hold the app and choose Remove. Then turn off Bluetooth and power off your iPhone. Let your phone sit for 20 seconds, then power back up. Open the App Store and download wearOS again. Once installed, restart your iPhone again. Open the wearOS app and try connecting to your Fossil watch–it should show a message that it needs to turn on Bluetooth.

      If it still doesn’t work, factory reset your Fossil watch, then run through those steps again. To reset, on the watch open Settings > System > Disconnect & reset.

  3. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your site.

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