Apple Watch Family Setup is a convenient feature for families, allowing parents to set up an Apple Watch for children and older parents without the need for a paired iPhone, and control smartwatch usage.
There are a few caveats, and it doesn’t work with all models of Apple Watch, but here we explain everything you need to know about setting up the Apple Watch family.
What is Apple Watch Family Setup?
While at one time you could only set up an Apple Watch using an iPhone, that all changed with the introduction of Apple Watch Family Setup as part of watchOS 7 in 2020. The feature allows setting up an Apple Watch using a parent or guardian. The iPhone, and most importantly, allows the Apple Watch to operate independently of the parent’s iPhone thereafter.
The feature is ideal for families with children or older parents who want to stay connected; using built-in cellular connectivity, they get their own phone number and account to download apps, use FaceTime, Messages, Emergency SOS and, of course, call people.
There are also child-specific features, such as the ability to block use during school hours, location tracking, and limits on things like phone, FaceTime, messages, and contacts for kids. help to stay safe.
Above all, the parent or guardian will be able to control various factors of the experience directly from their iPhone.
This includes managing your child’s contacts and when they can access the watch, setting up blocks on certain Apple Watch apps, and in the case of older parents, you’ll receive a notification if the smartwatch detects that the wearer has fallen or reports an irregular situation. heartbeat.
In the US there is also a feature called Apple Cash Family which allows you to send money to children to spend on the Apple Watch using Apple Pay, with the ability to view purchases in Wallet on your iPhone .
Which Apple Watch models support Family Setup?
Family Setup is undoubtedly a handy feature, but there is a catch; it is not universally supported on all Apple Watch models.
Instead, Apple Watch Family Setup is only available on cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 7 or later. This is do not available on the budget Apple Watch Series 3.
The parent or guardian will also need an iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14 or later to set up the feature.
How to Set Up Family Setup on an Apple Watch
To use Family Setup on the Apple Watch, you’ll need a few things; your iPhone 6s or newer, an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer with cellular connectivity, an Apple ID for your child or older relative, and have already set up Family Sharing.
If you have already set up Family Sharing and you fair want to use Family Setup on an Apple Watch, continue to the next step.
Setting up Family Sharing
The first step is to set up Family Sharing on your iPhone or iPad, essentially linking family members’ Apple IDs into a single group in Apple’s ecosystem.
It comes with perks like split payments, subscriptions, iCloud storage and more, making it much easier for kids to use Apple devices while having strict restrictions on what they can and cannot do. can’t access.
For those new to the world of sharing the Apple ID feature, here’s how set up Family Sharing on an iPhone or iPad:
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app.
- Tap your name/Apple ID at the top of the Settings menu.
- Tap Set up Family Sharing.
- Tap Start.
- Select the feature(s) you want to share with your family, then tap continue.
- Select a shared payment method – this is the card that will be used by family members to buy apps, songs and more – and tap continue.
- Tap Invite family members.
- Enter your shared payment card security number if prompted, then tap Next.
- An iMessage window should appear with the link to the Family Sharing invitation. Add your family member’s name/number and press the send button to share the invitation.
- Tap Done and repeat the process for any other family members you want to invite.
Once the family member taps the link and accepts the invitation, they will be linked to your Apple ID.
Family Setup on Apple Watch
Once you’ve set up Family Sharing, you can now use Family Setup on the Apple Watch, provided it’s Series 4 or later with cellular connectivity as mentioned earlier. To set up Family Setup on Apple Watch, follow these steps:
- Ask your family member to put on their new Apple Watch and attach the band accordingly.
- Turn on the new Apple Watch by holding down the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
- Bring your iPhone close to the Apple Watch and wait for the pairing screen to appear. If not, make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on your phone. You can also go to the Apple Watch app > All Watches > Pair New Watch to start the setup process.
- Tap Set up for a family member, then tap Continue.
- Align your iPhone and the new Apple Watch so that your phone can scan the Apple Watch’s screen with its rear camera.
- Tap Set up Apple Watch and follow the onscreen instructions.
Once done, your child or elderly family member should be able to use the Apple Watch with all of the benefits we’ve outlined previously, including the ability to make calls, track location, and block usage for children during school hours.