Apple Watch Restore Process Is Broken

The Apple Watch restore process is broken. Here is my recent ugly experience.

Since Apple released ECG in Canada a few weeks ago, I wanted to test the feature on my Apple Watch. The problem is because I’m using watchOS 6 beta, the icon didn’t show up as expected. Even setting things up in the Health app didn’t bring it on. The documented solution on the internet is to unpair your Apple Watch then repair it with your iPhone. This is what I did and the results are messy.

Great Experience Bad Results

First, the process of unpairing and reparing the Apple Watch is very well presented. But, when selecting the backup from which to restore the Apple Watch settings and data, I found out that there was one backup dating back from 2016 (here is the process to remove old backups). Obviously, I selected the once that was created by the unpairing process. The restore process took about 15 minutes. Once done, I went directly to try the ECG feature. As expected, the ECG icon was there but all others icon position were reset. The ECG worked flawlessly. And it is pretty cool.

The list of things that didn’t make it from the restore process is long. I lost my voice recordings. They never transfer to my iPhone, the iCloud syncing being broken. Many apps didn’t work like Waterminder. I lost all my watch face configurations. This is the worst part because I had many of them configured to my liking. A few apps were not reinstalled. I had to re-enable the unlock feature on my iMac. And as documented, I had to re-enter my credit cards to enable Apple Pay.

As you can see, the experience is not what it should be. I’m not sure it is all related to being on beta versions of watchOS and iOS. While searching for solutions to my issues, the restore process seems broken even of iOS 12 and watchOS 5. I’ll wait for final releases this fall before spending the time to reconfigure everything to my taste.

[Updated #1]: My synced music playlists we’re lost too. Same for my synced photo album. Many apps never got re-installed. What a messy experience.

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