Can You Use An Apple Watch Series 7 Without Cell Service? Yes!

So you’ve got this brand new Apple Watch and you want to either gift it to someone or simply avoid the line charges with it – what to do? Welp, first thing is to call the carrier to ensure you aren’t being charge for cellular services. Quite often there is a line charge associated with the watch if you are wanting to use it in stand-alone mode (this is where you can make and receive phone calls and texts when away from your phone). If you are like me you almost never find yourself without your cellphone, so it makes it hard to justify paying for an extra line when you virtually never need it and even less often use it. Sometimes this extra line of service is impractical or simply unwanted. While you will still be responsible for any charges associated for the hardware often you can save on the $15+ “add a line” charge by just using the watch in Bluetooth only companion mode. The catch here would be to ensure that the line isn’t required for any promotional discounts associated with the watch itself. If so you might find yourself being charged more for the watch than the original extra line fee. … but to answer the question can you use the watch with out a line – absolutely.


While Apple support has an excellent setup guide, it doesn’t explicitly tell you the watch can be used without cellular service. For the watch to work in companion mode it has to be paired anyway. You merely have to be sure to skip the cellular setup. Pairing is simple, but you can only pair one watch at a time to your iPhone. Before beginning make sure your iPhone has the latest iOS software update installed (currently 15.3.1). Once you are updated merely do the following in order:

  • On the phone you are wanting to pair your watch with turn Bluetooth on.
  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Make sure your iPhone and Watch are next to one another.
  • Tap “Start Pairing” on the iPhone
  • When prompted select “Setup for Myself” and follow the prompts.
  • You will have to agree to the “Terms and Conditions” to proceed.
  • Sign in with the same Apple ID you use on your iPhone.
  • You will be given the option to turn Siri on or off (you can go back and repair the watch if you need to change this later).
  • There will be some basic settings for the watch to configure:
    • Workout Route.
    • Shared Settings.
    • Screen font size.
    • Create a passcode (and decide whether it will unlock with your iPhone).
    • Setup Apple Pay (you can set this up later in the Apple Watch app as well).
    • Review the Emergency SOS information.
  • Skip the step that prompts you to “Set up Cellular”.
  • Tap “Continue” on the Watch Faces prompt.
  • Select “Install All” to sync your iPhone apps that work with your Apple Watch (or you can choose later to sync your mail, contacts and messages).

Once you hear the “chime” you should be good to go. It is important to keep the phone and watch close together during this whole process. Do note that any functions that require cellular connectivity will not work, and you will need to be within Bluetooth range for synced functions to work.

If you have any problems or issues your carrier should be willing to assist you, or you should be able to contact Apple Support for assistance as well.

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