You can set up and manage Apple Watch for someone who doesn’t have their own iPhone— your school-aged child or parent, for example. To do so, you must be the family organizer or parent/guardian in your Family Sharing group.
The iPhone you use to initially pair and set up the Apple Watch must be within normal Bluetooth range (about 33 feet or 10 meters) of the Apple Watch to manage settings and update the software. The person you set up Apple Watch for must be part of your Family Sharing group and have a cellular-capable Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 4 or later. (Your family member’s watch doesn’t have to use the same cellular carrier as the iPhone you manage it with.) See the iPhone User Guide for information about setting up Family Sharing.
Note: Family setup is not available in all regions.
Using the Apple Watch app and Screen Time on your iPhone, you can manage the following:
Note: An Apple Watch set up for a family member is limited in some of its interactions with the iPhone used to set it up. For example, you can’t unlock a paired iPhone from an Apple Watch you set up for a family member, nor can you hand off tasks from the managed Apple Watch to the iPhone. If you delete an app from an Apple Watch set up for a family member, it’s not also removed from the iPhone used to set it up.
Setting up an Apple Watch for a family member is similar to setting up a watch for yourself. Before you pair and set up a watch for your family member, erase the watch to ensure that it doesn’t have any content.
General: Check for updates, change language and region, and reset Apple Watch.
Cellular: Set up cellular if you haven’t. See Add Apple Watch to your cellular plan.
Accessibility: Configure accessibility settings.
Emergency SOS: Turn on or off the option to hold the side button to call emergency services, and add and change emergency contacts.
Schooltime: Set up a Schooltime schedule. See Get started with Schooltime.
Screen Time: Manage parental controls, get insights about your family member’s screen time, and set limits.
Activity: Manage a fitness experience made for younger users.
App Store: Allow automatic downloads and updates.
Contacts: Choose trusted contacts.
Find My: Choose notification settings.
Handwashing: Manage restrictions, and turn the handwashing timer on or off.
Health: Add or edit health details and Medical ID, view the health data (with the proper permissions and settings) of the person who uses the managed Apple Watch, request to share health data, and choose to stop receiving health data.
Heart: View the heart data (with the proper permissions and settings) of the person who uses the managed Apple Watch, including heart rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and walking heart rate average.
Mail & Calendar: Add a family member’s Gmail account and turn Gmail mail, contacts, and calendars on or off. Also choose how often Apple Watch fetches calendar updates.
Messages: Choose dictation options, and edit smart replies.
Noise: Turn Environmental Sound Measurements on or off, and set the noise threshold.
Photos: Select a photo album from the iPhone used to manage the watch, and choose the number of photos Apple Watch can display.
Wallet & Apple Pay: Set up Apple Cash and Express Transit cards.
Workout: Choose a workout view.
Use Screen Time to configure controls for a family member’s Apple Watch. With Screen Time you can schedule time away from the screen, and limit both contacts and the apps your family member can use to communicate with those contacts. You can also impose limits on iTunes Store and app purchases, explicit content, and location information.
To set up Screen Time, follow these steps:
On this screen you can also see a Screen Time activity report for your family member’s watch.
Alternatively, you can open the Settings app on your iPhone, tap Screen Time, tap your family member’s name under the Family heading, then choose a setting.
On a managed Apple Watch, you need to upgrade your iCloud reminders to take advantage of additional Siri interactions, have the ability to create all-day reminders (reminders set to a specific day, but not a specific time), and join lists shared by others. If you haven’t yet upgraded your reminders, do the following:
On a managed Apple Watch, reminders created outside a specific list appear in the default list.
Schooltime limits Apple Watch features during school hours, allowing a family member to focus.
Your family member can temporarily exit Schooltime—to check their activity rings, for example.
Tap the display, turn the Digital Crown, then tap Exit.
If you exit Schooltime during scheduled hours, the Schooltime watch face returns when you lower your wrist. During non-scheduled hours, Schooltime remains inactive until the next scheduled start time, or until you tap in Control Center
When your family member exits Schooltime, you receive a report that tells you the time they exited and for how long. To see the report, follow these steps:
The report also appears on the Apple Watch. To see it, open the Settings app on the Apple Watch, then tap Schooltime.
Schooltime turns on again when the display goes to sleep.
Tip: When Schooltime isn’t active, your family member can turn it on—for example, if they’ve joined an after-school study group that falls outside scheduled hours and don’t want to be distracted. Just touch and hold the bottom of the screen, swipe up, and tap in Control Center. To exit Schooltime, turn the Digital Crown. Schooltime will turn on again when it’s scheduled or turned on in Control Center.
If you’re part of a Family Sharing group that has an Apple Music family subscription, you can listen to Apple Music on your managed Apple Watch as long as you have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
Use the music controls in the Music app and Now Playing app to play and choose music. To learn how to add or remove music on your Apple Watch, see Add music and Remove music.
After setting up daily activity goals, you can see how active your family member was each day. With your family member’s permission, you can also view their health information.
For children with a managed Apple Watch, move goals are based on move minutes instead of active calories. The exercise goal focuses on minutes of brisk activity (such as running, jumping, and playing), and outdoor run, walk, and cycle workouts are tailored to children under 13.
If you manage an Apple Watch for a family member, you can change from an under-13 to over-13 fitness experience, regardless of the family member’s actual age.
The family member can also do this on their Apple Watch by opening the Settings app on their Apple Watch, tapping Activity, then turning “Under 13 years old” on or off.
You can view activity information by day, week, month, or year.
See health information
If your family member has allowed you to, you can see additional information about their activity as well as body measurement, hearing health, and heart rate information.
If you didn’t enter your family member’s health details during setup, follow these steps:
You can see health details and Medical ID on the iPhone used to manage the Apple Watch and on the watch.
If you’re the organizer for a Family Sharing group, you can set up Apple Cash so the children and teens in your family group can use their Apple Watch to make purchases and send and receive money in Messages. You can even limit who your child can send money to, get notified when they make transactions, and lock their account.
Note: Apple Cash isn’t available in all regions and is supported on iPhone SE and iPhone 6 and later. See the iPhone User Guide for details on using Apple Pay and Apple Cash.
Set up Apple Cash Family
To set up Apple Cash Family, you must be the family organizer, and the family members you want to set up Apple Cash for must be under the age of 18.
Tap Lock Apple Cash to prevent the family member from making payments with Apple Pay or sending and receiving money in the Messages app.
To see a family member’s transactions, tap Transactions on this screen, or open the Wallet app on your iPhone, then tap your Apple Cash card. Your family member’s transactions appear under Latest Transactions and when you tap Transactions in [year].
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