How to ‘Connect’ Apple Watch to 5GHz WiFi Networks

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In an official support article about the Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities of the Apple Watch, Apple clearly states that the Watch won’t be able to connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi, or public networks requiring logins, subscriptions, or profiles. However, there’s an interesting workaround to get the Apple Watch to ‘connect’ to a 5GHz Wi-Fi network via the iPhone (via Reddit).

To achieve this, simple follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Switch off the Apple Watch.

Step 2:

Now forget the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi connections on the iPhone and also turn off Bluetooth.

Step 3:

Connect the iPhone to the 2.4Ghz network, and then turn on Bluetooth.

Step 4:

Turn on the Apple Watch, which will cause it to connect with the iPhone and connect to the 2.4Ghz network using the iPhone credentials.

Step 5:

Now turn off Bluetooth on the iPhone and test that Siri still works on the Watch or send an iMessage to test. Once done, turn Bluetooth back on on the iPhone.

Step 6:

Forget the 2.4Ghz network on the iPhone and connect it to 5Ghz network.

Step 7:

Finally, check that with Bluetooth on iPhone turned off, Siri / iMessage still work on the Apple Watch and that the Watch MAC address appears in router attached devices list (it only appears when Bluetooth on iPhone is switched off).

That’s it, your Apple Watch should now work seamlessly with your 5GHz WiFi network as well. Enjoy!

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  • John-Paul Bonadonna

    Is the benefit here that the watch can be outside of the bluetooth range of the phone yet still have connectivity?

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    Yes but some Apple Watch (AW) apps still require the iPhone because it needs the associated app. Also, if you do not download some of your music to the AW then you also will need the iPhone to play music or those not on your AW. Am I making sense?

  • Roy DonovN

    how do i know if my watch is using my works wifi or phones 3g

  • raslucas

    I believe Apple is preferring 2.4Ghz because of battery life reasons, at least in the short term. It’s not like an ?watch would need much more than 65 mbps for anything anyways. 5Ghz uses more battery.

  • The workaround here lets your Apple Wartch still have extended wifi range outside Bluetooth and still work. But since 5GHz is not supported in Apple Watch, it will only connect to whatever wifi your iPhone is on. This allows you to “connect” aka get your Watch to work when iPhone is connected to a 5GHz network.

  • Yeah that’s a good point too.

  • Chrome262

    if its using the phone then its using whatever the phone is connected to, if its connected to a wife network then that is the default

  • Adrian

    This trick doesn’t work on v1.0.1