Pairing Cancelled message when trying Fitness+ with Apple TV? Check these tips

Pairing Cancelled message Apple Fitness plus

Apple’s new studio-style workouts via Fitness+ service are loved by many who are trying it out.

However, many users have seen challenges when pairing their Apple Watch with their Apple TV to get Fitness+ going. Some users notice a Pairing Cancelled error message when trying to connect to their Apple TV.

When you try to connect your Apple Watch to the fitness app, you see the prompt “Who’s working out?” Once you select your Apple Watch from the choices, you get the following error … “Pairing canceled” immediately.

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If you are experiencing this, you are not alone. Many users see this issue. 

Pairing Cancelled message with Apple Fitness plus, How to Fix Pairing Canceled Message Apple Fitness+

Here are a few things that you can check if you are having this issue.

First, if you tuck your Apple TV in a cabinet, it may not be able to connect with your Apple Watch. Try opening your cabinet or placing your Apple TV on top of the cabinet and pair again.

What’s worked for most folks is resetting both your Apple TV and iPhone.

Also, make sure you completed Home Setup. Go to Settings > AirPlay > HomeKit and start or finish setting it up!

You need to have the Home app installed on your iPhone to pair your Apple Watch to your Apple TV. iPhone Home app

So, if your iPhone doesn’t have the Home App, go to the App Store and install it. Then, try pairing your watch to your Apple TV.

If you did those steps, here are some additional tips!

Check your OS versions and update, if available. update Apple TV tvOS in setting menu

  • Ensure that all your devices are updated to the latest OS versions–so watchOS, iOS, and tvOS.
  • The minimum OS requirement is your iPhone on 14.3 and your watch running 7.2, and your Apple TV 4k using tvOS 14.3
  • Restart all the devices following the software update.

Make your watch is close to your Apple TV unit.

  • When trying to pair your Apple Watch to your Apple TV, try to bring your wrist closer to the Apple TV setup box and see if the Pairing works.

Set a new default user on your Apple TV

Other users tried setting up a new default user on their Apple TV and found that the pairing canceled message disappears.

  • Delete the current default user from your Apple TV
  • Add a new default user using your iPhone’s proximity setup method.

Log out and in of your Apple ID & iCloud account on your Apple TV.

  • Logging out of iCloud on the Apple TV
  • Restart your Apple TV by unplugging it, waiting 20 seconds, and plugging it back in
  • Log back into your Apple ID & iCloud account.
  • Open the Fitness app on your Apple TV and try to pair again.

Look at your Home setup on your Apple TV

You need to have completed the Home Setup on your Apple TV for the pairing to work successfully.

  1. Check the ‘Home’ setup on your Apple TV.
  2. On the Apple TV, go to Settings > AirPlay and HomeKit. Airplay and Homekit setting on Apple TV
  3. If you see Finish Home Set Up.
    1. Pair your iPhone with your Apple TV.
    2. Once paired, add your Apple TV to the Home app and finish setting up My Home.
  4. If you already set up My Home, select Room, change its name, and see if your iPhone pairs up with your Apple TV.
  5. Try starting the Fitness+ app once this is done and see if you can pair your Apple Watch.

Restart or force restart your Watch, Apple TV, and Phone.

  • Restart your Apple Watch, Apple TV, and your iPhone by powering them off, waiting 20 seconds, then powering your iPhone on, then after it’s on, power your watch back on, and finally turn on your Apple TV.
  • To restart Apple TV, go to Settings > System System settings in Apple TV menu
  • Choose Restart or unplug, wait 20 seconds, and plug back in to restart. Apple TV restart in system settings

If a restart doesn’t work, try a forced restart on your Apple Watch, iPhone, and Apple TV.

  • For the watch, press and hold both the side button and digital crown for at least 10
  • For iPhone, press and immediately release the volume up button, press and quickly release the volume down button, and finally press and hold the side button. When the Apple logo appears on your iPhone, release the side button.
  • For Apple TV, press and hold the Menu and Home buttons on the Siri Remote until your Apple TV status light blinks rapidly. how to force restart your Apple TV

Reset your Apple TV

One suggestion that seems to work for some users is to perform a reset. This process removes all data on your Apple TV.

  1. Unplug the box from a power source, wait 20 seconds, then and plug it back in.
  2. Go to Settings > System > Reset.
  3. Choose Reset and Update. Apple TV reset and update your Apple TV
  4. Wait until the Reset process finishes, and then log back with your Apple ID.
  5. On your Apple TV, open the Fitness app.
  6. Bring your Apple Watch close to the Apple TV unit.
  7. Wait for your Apple TV to detect your Apple Watch and start the pairing process.

Try to connect an HDMI cable from your iPad

For users who don’t have the Apple TV or continue to have problems, you can hardwire an iPad (with a USB-C port) to your TV using a USB-C to HDMI cable and follow your Apple Fitness+ routines.

AirPlay is currently NOT supported for Fitness+.

  • If you try to mirror, you may hear some sound from the app, but the video doesn’t pipe in.

Fitness+ App cannot find Apple Watch.

This is another issue that some users found when trying to use the new Apple Fitness+ app and their Apple Watch. This is relatively easy to fix. 

  1. On your watch, tap on Settings  > Bluetooth.
  2. Toggle the Bluetooth setting to OFF.
  3. Please wait for a few seconds and then toggle it back to ON.
  4. You should be able to restart your Fitness+ class without this issue bothering you anymore.

We hope that you were able to fix this Pairing canceled annoyance and enjoy your Fitness+ experience.

Family member Apple Watch not recognized for Fitness+ on Apple TV

As an organizer for the family plan with Fitness Plus, I didn’t get the pairing canceled message and connected my Apple Watch with my Apple TV and launch Fitness+ with ease.

However, after adding family members to Fitness+, it appeared that they were having challenges in launching Fitness+.

For some reason, their Apple watch never shows up on the Apple TV prompt when Fitness+ is launched.

When clicking to add a watch, it prompts that the action is confirmed on their Apple Watch, but the prompt never appears on their watch.

What eventually worked is to make sure that they hold their Apple Watch close to the Apple TV box. When the Apple Watch is close to the Apple TV, you will see a screen requesting to connect with the PIN.

No amount of resetting the devices or sign-out and sign-in of the iCloud account on the devices helped. 

The only way was to bring the Apple Watch close to the Apple TV.


We hope that these tips were helpful.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you were able to address this issue using another tip or trick. We would love to hear from you.


  1. We discovered that you need to have the Apple TV box with a line of sight. It wasn’t picking up my watch with it tucked out of sight. A shame since we had figured out a way to hide all cords and distractions around the wall mounted TV.

    • Hi Suzyanneau,

      Thank you for this tip—that does appear to be an issue when pairing with the Apple TV and Apple Watch!

      And yes, that is a shame given your setup.

  2. Great article. Hope it worked for others but not for me. Tried every step. Surely apple Apple will fix this very soon. If I can pair a Microsoft product easily with a 3rd party product it is amazing that I cannot pair two Apple products that need to be paired.

  3. Just chatted with Apple Support since my last comment–no resolution.

    I have an appt tomorrow morning with a senior tech. I’m so excited!

    The workout is still jumping through the hoops to get it working.

    • Hi Haymoose,

      Sorry that you still have the pairing canceled message.

      If you have an opportunity, please let us and our readers know if something works for you after speaking with the Apple Senior Tech. We’ll add it into the article to help others with the same issues.

      Thank you!

  4. No luck on my end after all the steps. My only hope is to wait for an eventual update. No timeline is aware of so could be months or wait for TVOS 15….

    • Assuming you checked your Home setup on Apple TV. We think that a new update should be here soon via iOS 14.3.1 in a week or two. This issue is happening to many users and some are able to move past it by completely resetting their device and then pairing (which is a pain in itself).


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