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How to load music on to an Apple Watch

Use your Apple Watch for rocking out—no phone required.

What You Need:

  • Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch charger
  • iPhone with music on it

Time Needed

5 minutes




  1. Put your Apple Watch on its charger.
  2. Double-check to make sure Bluetooth on your phone is active (you can do it via Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your iPhone screen).
  3. In the Watch app on your phone, go to the tab that says "My Watch."
  4. Go to the Music settings, where you'll see the playlists available for syncing to your Watch.
  5. Tap the playlists you'd like to sync to your Watch, and they'll start transferring.
  6. On your watch, open up the Music app.
  7. Do a Force Touch (a hard press on the touchscreen) and press the button that says "Source."
  8. Switch the source to "Apple Watch" to make sure the music is coming from your Watch, not your iPhone.

What many Apple Watch owners don't know is that the Watch can still do a bunch of things without the assistance of an iPhone. One of those things happens to be playing music—each Apple Watch has a small cache of storage where you can store playlists.

If you have Bluetooth headphones, Apple Watch can pump tunes straight to your ears, no phone required. This is perfect for running, for instance, where you might not want to carry a phone.

Unfortunately, the process is far from intuitive. But if you want to be able to leave your iPhone at home every once in a while, we'll walk you through the steps.

1. Make sure Apple Watch is on its charger.

Apple Watch can't start syncing music from your iPhone without being on its charger. Make sure the magnetic dock is plugged into an appropriate USB port on a charger or computer, and that your Watch is getting the power it needs to sync.

2. Double-check Bluetooth is active.

On your iPhone, go to the Settings app and make sure your Bluetooth is on. The Apple Watch needs Bluetooth to communicate with your iPhone.

3. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone.

Inside the dedicated Watch app on your phone, make your way to the "My Watch" pane. The button to switch to that page is on the bottom of the screen.

4.Make your way to the Music settings.

Inside the "My Watch" section, there are options for all the Watch's key features in a big long list. Find the Music settings and tap it.

5.Tap the playlists you want to transfer to your Watch.

You should see a list of all the playlists you have on your iPhone. If you want to make a new playlist, you can do so in the Music app on your phone. Tap ones you want to sync. They'll start syncing as soon as they're tapped.

Apple Watch Music Source
Credit: Apple Inc.

6.Open up the Music app on your Apple Watch.

Now that your watch has some music synced on it, you want to make sure that your Watch isn't accidentally playing music from your phone. Do a force touch (a harder-than-usual tap on the touch screen) and two buttons will pop up over the Music app. Select the option to play music from your Watch.

That's it! You're playing music straight from your Watch, no phone required. All you need is a pair of Bluetooth headphones that are connected to your Watch, and you're ready to take your Watch out solo!

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