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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

The life cycle of Apple Watch backups

Apple Watch

I recently had to go back to my Series 5 Apple Watch after my Series 6 met an untimely end when I slid down a waterfall at a state park on family vacation. I was fine, but my watch’s glass face met an underwater rock, and uhhh… it did not survive.

When I got home, I grabbed my Series 5 off the shelf, knowing I didn’t have time to deal with having my Series 6 repaired and didn’t want to be without an Apple Watch, as I’ve recently begun using the watch in a major way after we spent some time apart.

Getting my old Series 5 back up and running was a real journey.

First, I had to unpair the shattered Series 6 from my iPhone. While its display was a loss, my watch was still functional enough for this process to take place. Unpairing is an important step when changing Apple Watches, as that is when a backup is made of the device.…

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