How to change Apple ID on Apple Watch During the Initial Pairing? [Solved]

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I have, over the years, tested a lot of smartwatches, but I have always been reluctant to use an Apple Watch… primarily because of the awful battery. Somehow, I decided that it was time to cross that bridge and bought an Apple Watch SE.

I naively thought that setting it up would be a piece of cake! Big mistake! I wasted 3 hours trying to change the Apple ID that was wrongly recognized during the setup process.

Like me, you have been using Apple products for a long time, and you may have multiple Apple IDs that you may not even remember. Unfortunately, this happened during my brand new Apple Watch Setup process.

I know you are not interested in me complaining, and you want to get to the answer right away. I understand. Let’s go right to it:

 So here is what I found after fiddling for a couple of hours.

When pairing your watch with your iPhone, the Apple Watch App will look for the Apple ID associated with the Message app. If you use a different Apple ID on your Apple Account, the watch will use the one associated with the messaging apps.

You will not even be asked for your current Apple ID. Instead, the old Apple ID associated with iMessage will be used. So how do you fix that? Let me tell you what I did and what worked.

  1. I started by logging out of my Apple ID account. Doing so is easy, get into your iPhone Setting and sign out from iCloud.
  2. Then I went to the settings app again, in the Messaging App, and tapped on “Send & Receive.” Instead of linking it to my Phone number, I added my current Apple ID to be allowed to receive iMessage. I tapped on my phone number to break the link between the phone number and the old Apple ID.
  3. The next step is to repeat the Process with the FaceTime App.
  4. Don’t forget to press for a couple of seconds on the side button of your Apple Watch to unpair Apple Watch and reset everything to the factory settings.
  5. I then started the Apple Watch-iPhone pairing process one more time, but this time from scratch.
  6. The new Apple ID email associated with your Messaging app appeared instead of the old Apple ID. The final step is just to enter the password.
  7. Once the paired iPhone appropriately recognizes the Apple Watch, go back into the settings and log back to your iCloud account.

The Process may sound complicated, but it is not. The key points are to log out from everything and ensure that your messaging app is associated with your Apple ID account and not with your phone number.

We hope that this little trick will simplify the life of users who, just like me, have multiple apple IDs that will ultimately confuse the devices. But, as with many things in life, it sometimes helps to start again from a clean slate.