How to Pair Wear OS Smartwatch with New Phone Without Factory Reset

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A Wear OS smartwatch can be a great companion for an Android smartphone. It can help you track your fitness level, respond to notifications, and even run apps. Although Wear OS hasn’t always been so intuitive, it’s gradually getting better. One thing about Wear OS smartwatches that’s always let down, though, is that you can’t pair them with a new phone without a factory reset.

At least not by default. This can be annoying because you wouldn’t want to lose all your data on the watch every time you switch to a new phone. It’s painful to set everything up from scratch. Fortunately, there is a small workaround for this problem. This trick will allow you to pair your Wear OS smartwatch with a new phone without factory reset.

What is the factory reset problem on Wear OS when pairing with a new phone

A Wear OS smartwatch pairs with the Wear OS app from the Google Play Store. This process is quite simple if you are pairing your smartwatch for the first time with a phone. The problem occurs when you switch to a phone.

wear os smartwatch

Wear OS does not allow you to pair the smartwatch with a new phone without resetting the smartwatch. Also, resetting the watch deletes all your watch faces, offline music, podcasts, settings, etc. And it is painful to download everything again.

Using this method will keep the data on your watch while allowing you to pair it with a new smartphone.

How to pair a Wear OS smartwatch with a new phone without resetting it

The trick is to unpair the smartwatch and clear data from Google Play Services. You can do this by using the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) on a computer. Things are a bit technical and it helps if you are familiar with the command prompt in Windows.

Establishment of AfDB

Step 1: Download the relevant ADB files depending on your computer’s operating system.

2nd step: Extract the ZIP file to a location of your choice. In Windows, hold down the Shift key and right-click on the extracted file, then select the “Open command window here” option. On Mac and Linux, open the terminal type in CD and press Enter to change the current directory. Then drag the folder you unzipped and drop it into the terminal window. You will now get a path to this folder in the terminal. Press Enter.

Terminal window to uninstall bloatware

Step 3: The next step is to enable ADB debugging on the watch. To do this, open the Settings app on your smartwatch.

Port operating system settings

Step 4: Scroll down to the System section and tap on it.

System Parameters

Step 5: Now tap About.

About the topic

Step 6: Scroll down until you find the build number. Tap it 7 times repeatedly to unlock developer options on your watch.

Build number on Wear OS smartwatch

Step 7: When you open the Settings app, you will now find Developer Options at the bottom of the page. Press it.

Developer Options

Step 8: Tap the toggle next to ADB debugging to turn it on. Tap the green tick when prompted to confirm.

Step 9: Scroll down slightly and also enable the toggle next to Debug over Wi-Fi.

Debug over Wi-Fi

Step 10: The watch may initially display a message saying Unavailable which will soon be replaced by a string of characters including the IP address. This means ADB over Wi-Fi has been enabled. Note the IP address displayed here. It will be something like:
192.168.1.325:5555.

Use ADB to unpair watch from old phone

Now that you have configured ADB on your computer and enabled ADB debugging via network on your smartwatch, we can move on to the main part of the tutorial.

Step 1: In the previously opened terminal window, type ./adb connect . Use the IP address you noted earlier. So the command would look like: ./adb connect 192.168.1.325:5555.

adb connection

2nd step: You will now see a prompt on your watch to allow ADB connection. Select OK.

select OK

Step 3: The terminal window now indicates that you are connected to the watch.

Connected to watch

Step 4: Enter the following command. If you see a success message in the terminal, your smartwatch will restart.

./adb shell “pm clear com.google.android.gms && reboot”

Restarting WearOS

Step 5: Once the smartwatch is back to working, let it rest for a few minutes, let it connect to your Wi-Fi network, and then reconnect it to ADB by repeating the steps above.

Step 6: Run the following command in the terminal to make your smartwatch discoverable on the new phone and hit enter.

./adb shell “am start -a android.bluetooth.adapter.action.REQUEST_DISCOVERABLE”

wear os pairing with new phone without reset

Step 7: Open the Wear OS app on your new smartphone and you can pair the smartwatch with your new phone.

That’s it. You have successfully paired your Wear OS smartwatch with a brand new phone without erasing any of the data.

Reconnect the watch without losing data

Save time and connect your smartwatch using this method mentioned above. Setting up a new device can take an unusual amount of time, especially on a platform like Wear OS. This is so you won’t have to customize everything again either.

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