When your iPhone contacts aren’t syncing between devices, be it an Apple Watch or a Mac, information is no longer accessible.

Many people have an issue with their iCloud sync. Occasionally, contacts list just disappear or were never there in the first place. I recently have that problem on my Apple Watch.

Two words to describe the situation earlier:

Annoying and Waste of time

You don’t have to go through this. Below are some possible solutions to fix the contacts syncing issue with Apple Watch. Each part is not in order so if at some point it doesn’t work, move on to the next one or the one after that.


Always Start with Restart

For the most part, this seems to be the best solution.

To restart your Apple Watch, do this:

  1. Press and hold the side button until the Power Off slider popup
  2. Swipe the slider to the right entirely
  3. To turn it back on, just press and hold the side button again

When you start seeing the Apple logo, let go of it. If the watch isn’t responding, force restart it.

Check for Connectivity

If the contacts are not showing on your Apple Watch at all, it might be that both devices are not connected to each other. To double check, access the Settings glance by swiping up on the watch face.

Now look for Connected with a green phone icon. It’s also recommended to turn off Airplane Mode in this situation.

Reset Sync Data


And here it comes, our last solution to this problem. At this point, I guess that nothing has helped you. But don’t worry because we got one more workaround to try.

  1. Go on your iPhone, go to the Watch app
  2. Tap on My Watch > General > Reset
  3. Choose Reset Sync Data.

You won’t see any changes, but don’t do anything yet. The operation is running in the background so wait patiently. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes.

Contacts Pictures Disappear

  1. Login to the iCloud on your computer
  2. Check that your Contacts have sync to iCloud, if not, allow it to do so
  3. On iPhone, go to Settings > iCloud > Turn off Contacts and delete them from iPhone
  4. Now turn both devices off and turn on your iPhone first
  5. Once your Apple Watch and iPhone are turned back On, go to the iCloud options again and toggle On for Contacts

All you have to do now is wait for the two devices to reconnect and let the data sync up.


The issue appeared on my Apple Watch once, and all I had to do was restarting the device. That fixed the problem right away. I hope it goes well for you, too.

Quick reminder: Don’t forget to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone.

  • N. A. Burke

    Thanks very much for this info. It is accurate and it works.

    • John

      Awesome. Thanks for letting us know.

  • simon

    The Reset Sync Data one worked s treat for me.
    I had an issue with a new watch and iPhone 6, all patched up, and SOME of the contacts, but only some, would show the number instead of the contact name, other contacts showed fine. This wasn’t specific to contacts having Apple devices or not.
    Did the resync thing and a couple of minutes later, the name info was showing correctly.
    A little surprised to find that tapping the option in the watch app on the ‘phone didn’t give me any clues that it was doing anything !
    Very many thanks for sharing the information, much appreciated

  • EP

    Not much information on Apple forum as expected. This solved my issue right away.

  • Debra

    My contacts and my favorites all of a sudden are not synced with my phone. I tried all the above and no luck. Strange thing is my calls are synced. Seems I started having issues when the update came out for the watch. Now every time charge my watch it gets really hot. And now it’s not syncing. Time to make an appointment.

  • Robert

    None of the above works for me on my watch series 1. Al of my contacts are stil missing. I guess I have to unpair and pair with my iPhone for the 3rd time.

  • Atallah

    Reset Sync Data.
    Worked for me
    Thanks a lot

  • Megan

    Whoop Whoop! Reset Sync Data was the trick for me 🙂

  • Elena

    Did not work on my new series 2 🙁 Tried over and over again. What to do?

  • Ricco

    wow…. the “Reset Sync Data” option did it…. yeah it would be nice to know something is happening and be patient once the Reset Sync Data is pressed!!!!

  • John

    Tried first few recommendations and problem persisted.Turned on Wi-Fi and that solved it. Thanks!

  • Motown

    None of the above worked for me, but unpairing and repairing did! So happy, and there’s a backup saved so you don’t have to redo your settings (maybe you guys knew that but I wasn’t sure, so it was a second-to-last resort before a full factory reset).

  • Jorsh

    I tried this a couple times, but it did not work. Then I put my watch on charge, unlocked it, and did the reset sync. It worked.