The Top 11 Best Uses for Old Apple Watches

This isn’t a terrible time to update to a new model as Apple just unveiled its greatest smartwatch overhaul in years. Both literally and metaphorically. However, regardless of whether you choose the tough and pricey Apple Watch Ultra. The more understated Apple Watch Series 8, or the low-cost Apple Watch SE. Your previous wristwatch will be left without a defined function.The Top 11 Best Uses for Old Apple Watches.

Selling or trading in your old Apple Watch will be a no-brainer if you ever need additional cash. Apple goods often retain their value better than rival devices when they are sold used, so you should be able to receive at least something for it.

However, you do have other choices, such as converting it into a specialized music player or sleep tracker. Passing it down to a kid or grandmother, or keeping it in a drawer as a backup.

We’ve put up a variety of suggestions to make your old Apple Watch into something you’ll want to keep around. From the useful to the bizarre.

Specialized sleep monitor

Apple has recently enhanced its wearable with knowledge on your sleeping patterns. Using your old Watch as a specialized sleep tracker is one of the finest applications for it.

With the release of watchOS 7. The 2020 software from Apple, sleep monitoring became a formal priority of the wristwatch platform. The 2022 update to Apple’s watchOS, watchOS 9, expands on that by adding sleep-stage monitoring.

The only drawback to Apple’s excellent sleep-tracking device is that you’ll need time during the day to charge it. You can charge your new Apple Watch over night while your old, semi-retired one monitors your sleeping patterns by repurposing it as a specialized sleep tracker.

You must first confirm that Apple’s auto-switch option is enabled for this to function.

On your iPhone, open your Apple Watch app.


Select All Watches from the top menu.


Activate the Auto Switch toggle.


This option automatically alternates between the old and new Apple Watches depending on which one is on your wrist. You may then switch effortlessly between your new daylight model and your old nighttime model.

The hour before bedtime:

Swiping up from the bottom of the screen on the Watch will bring up the Control Center.
To put anything into sleep focus, tap the moon symbol.


The Apple Watch will then continue to monitor your sleep duration and phases automatically throughout the night.

Then, when you awaken. You can see your sleep information in the Health app on your associated iPhone. The Sleep app on your Apple Watch.

Use it for dirty jobs or swimming.

All Apple Watches in Series 2 and beyond are secure to immerse in shallow water and track swimming. However, some of the most fashionable Apple Watch bands, particularly leather ones, aren’t waterproof.

Therefore, you may leave a water-resistant band on the previous model and keep it for swimming. Rather than switching bands each time you go for a swim in the pool.

Following a swimming workout:

  • the Apple Watch’s Workout app should be opened.
  • Swim in a pool or open water by scrolling down.
  • To begin a workout, tap.

The Watch will lock while you’re swimming to avoid unintentional screen touches. Holding down the Digital Crown after your exercise ends will unlock it. It will emit a sound from the Watch’s speakers that causes water to spew out.

Another option is to keep your old Apple Watch on hand for rough or dirty activities that might otherwise put your pricey new watch in danger of becoming damaged. Rock climbing, off-road mountain riding, and working in environments like factories or construction sites may all benefit from this method.

iPod micro

Additionally, you may use an outdated Apple Watch only for playing music. When you fill the old model’s internal storage with music and playlists and don’t use it for anything else. You have a contemporary version of Apple’s long-since-retired iPod series.

Offline music from streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer may be stored on the Apple Watch. Additionally, you may transfer your audio files to the Watch using the Music app’s sync function without having an Apple Music membership.

Using your iPhone, you can stream music to your Apple Watch:

  • On your iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app.
  • Select My Watch, then Music.
  • Select Add Music from the Playlists & Albums section.
  • Choose the songs you wish to play on your Apple Watch.
  • In order to immediately add music to your Apple Watch from the Watch:

Get your Apple Watch and launch the Music app.

  • Select Search or Listen Now, then look for the desired song on the Watch.
  • Tap an album or playlist, then choose Add to Library from the More menu.
  • Select Download after tapping the More button a second time to download it for offline listening.
  • Once the Apple Watch is plugged in and connects to both power and WiFi, the music syncs to the device via either method. Don’t be shocked if it takes some time even then.

You can instantly link the Apple Watch to Apple AirPods. Other wireless headphones and earbuds when it’s time to listen. After pairing the headphones, launch your preferred music app on the Apple Watch. Choose a track to listen to, and take pleasure in your improvised “iPod tiny.”

And if you want to experiment with a different design for your Apple Watch that focuses on music.

Getting an adapter that turns your previous model into a pocket watch is a great choice.

Give it to your child.

For kids or other family members, Apple allows you set up a cellular Apple Watch.

Family Setup enables you to configure your child’s Watch using your iPhone, so they don’t require a phone. You may additionally set limitations to prevent material at certain times. Assign them fitness objectives, or track their whereabouts via the Find My app on Apple devices.

Keep in mind that Apple Watches that just have GPS (those without a red ring on the Digital Crown) are ineligible for Family Setup. For this to function, you must have a cellular Apple Watch (red ring on the Digital Crown) and an active carrier plan.

To start the Apple Watch’s Family Setup for a child:

  • the old Apple Watch should be factory reset.
  • Bring the old Watch near to your iPhone after it’s finished.
  • Select “Set up for a family member” when the setup pop-up opens on your phone.
  • The procedure is then made easy by Apple’s onscreen instructions. You may create an Apple ID (needed) for your youngster during setup if they don’t already have one.

Give it to an elderly loved one

The Apple Watch has capabilities like fall detection and abnormal heart rhythms that potentially save lives. These might be particularly useful for older family members. Fall detection and ECG measures are supported by all Apple Watch Series 4 and subsequent models, including the Apple Watch SE.

With the help of the Family Setup instructions we discussed in the last section. You may configure the Watch for an elderly family member. Bring the Apple Watch near to your iPhone, do a factory reset. Then choose “Set up for a family member” and follow the on-screen directions. You may create an Apple ID for an elderly loved one here if they don’t already have one.

To activate alerts for irregular heartbeat:

  • On the linked iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app.
  • Tap Heart as you go down.
  • Under the Low and High Heart rates choices, choose the lowest and highest heart rates.
  • In the same area, turn on the Irregular Rhythm option.


How to configure fall detection:

  • On your iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app.
  • Tap the Emergency SOS section once you scroll down.
  • Turn on the Fall Detection setting.

Nightstand clock

Your Apple Watch enters Nightstand Mode and shows a clock interface when you place it on its charger. You may also use your old Watch as a desk clock by leaving it on its charger.

You might also use this little Watch clock to monitor the weather or the results of sporting events. However, it is more difficult since it requires disabling wrist detection and passcode protection. We don’t advise keeping an unlocked Apple Watch connected to your Apple ID lying about, not even at home.

However, you may get around this if your previous Apple Watch is a cellular model by utilizing a different Apple ID account. (Geo-only models won’t be able to utilize this since Family Setup is not supported.)

  • Add a new (fake) Apple ID to your existing Apple ID’s family sharing.
  • Reset the old Apple Watch to factory settings if you haven’t previously.
  • Bring the old Apple Watch close to your iPhone, and when the pop-up menu displays, choose “Set up for a family member.”
  • Continued directions should be followed.
  • Choose “Don’t add passcode” when prompted to create a passcode.
  • Select “Add new family member” and enter the fictitious Apple ID you made when it asks you to select the family member for the Watch.

Make cautious not to link your new Apple ID to any sensitive personal data. You may use a virtual credit card from Privacy.com for payments that has a low balance. In this manner, it wouldn’t go very far even if someone attempted to use it for shopping.

You and your family may check the weather or sports without entering a password after doing these steps. Additionally, because you’re using a fake Apple account, no private information should be disclosed.

Test new applications in beta

The Apple Beta Software Program enables anybody to test-drive early versions of that year’s upgrade in the months before its yearly release. Unfortunately, downloading iOS beta software on an Apple Watch is riskier than doing so on an iPhone.

This is so that users can’t downgrade from a watchOS beta to the most recent (stable) version of the operating system.

Keep your previous Apple Watch around to beta-test the yearly software update if you don’t have any other uses for it.

Visit the Apple Public Beta website, sign in with your Apple ID, and register your old Apple Watch to participate. Your associated iPhone must also be running that year’s equivalent iOS beta in order to install watchOS beta software. (However, the stable software from last year may still be used with your new Apple Watch.)

The most recent beta software will only work with select older Apple Watch models. For instance, only the Apple Watch Series 4 and later are supported with the release of watchOS 9 (2022). Therefore, if you own a wearable that is more outdated than that, you’ll need to find another purpose for it.

To join, go to the Apple Public Beta website, log up with your Apple ID, and register your previous Apple Watch. In order to install watchOS beta software, your linked iPhone must also be running that year’s corresponding iOS beta. (However, your new Apple Watch may still be utilized with the reliable software from last year.)

Only certain older Apple Watch devices will function with the most current beta software. For instance, with the introduction of watchOS 9, only Apple Watch Series 4 and later are supported (2022). Therefore, you will need to find another use for a wearable if it is more antiquated than that.

Make it a specific Apple TV remote.

Another option if you have an Apple TV in your house is to use your old Apple Watch as the remote control for Apple’s streaming set-top box. Your home will have a backup control choice if you lose the Apple TV’s Siri Remote by keeping the old Watch around as a dedicated remote.

The Remote app for the Apple Watch is easy to use and mimics the buttons on the Siri Remote. Directional keys, select, back, and a TV/Control Center button are among them.

If you want your complete family to be able to use the specialized Apple Watch remote without having to input a password, do the following actions:

  • Add a new (fake) Apple ID to your existing Apple ID’s family sharing.
  • Reset the old Apple Watch to factory settings if you haven’t previously.
  • Bring the old Apple Watch close to your iPhone, and when the pop-up menu displays, choose “Set up for a family member.”
  • Continued directions should be followed.
  • Select “Don’t add passcode” when prompted to create a passcode.
  • Select “Add new family member” and enter the fictitious Apple ID you made when it asks you to select the family member for the Watch.

Put it in a backup location.

Keeping the old Apple Watch around provides you additional piece of mind in case your new one ever has hardware troubles.

You could value keeping the older model as a backup should you ever need to transport the newer device to an Apple Store for repairs. So keep the older model in a drawer. Pull it out sometimes for software updates and charging. Preserve it for a day when your new Watch goes missing from the Genius Bar.

You may perform the following if you need to swap between Apple Watches:

  • On the linked iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app.
  • Choose My Watches from the screen’s top menu.
  • Select the model that you wish to apply.
  • You may enable auto-selection on the same screen as well. You won’t need to manually swap between Apple Watches since this option recognizes which one is on your wrist.

Include a sleeve.

Twelve South, a well-known accessories company, sells an Apple Watch sleeve that you wear on your upper arm. When wearing the Watch on your wrist is not practical or acceptable. It can monitor your heart rate and other activities. You may avoid having to switch from the band to the sleeve (and back again). Every time you use your previous Apple Watch by keeping it for these occasions.

For activities when you are wearing equipment that makes it impossible to wear the Watch on your wrist, the sleeve may come in helpful. In addition, Twelve South claims that their sleeve provides more constant skin contact for heart rate than wrist usage.

Additionally, it includes a built-in bumper that offers additional physical protection while allowing you to utilize the touchscreen and Digital Crown of the Watch.

Sizes 40 mm, 41 mm, 44 mm, and 45 mm of the Apple Watch are available for the $39.99 ActionSleeve.

Donate, sell, recycle, or trade in

If none of these suggestions appeal to you, you may go back to the most straightforward option: trading in or selling your old Apple Watch. It’s simple to find out your old device’s current worth and list it for sale online using marketplaces like eBay and Swappa. As an alternative, you may advertise it locally using well-known websites like OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist. Best Buy and Apple both allow you to trade in your old gadget to reduce the cost of an updated model.

Make careful to detach from your current Apple Watch and factory reset it before trading, selling, or giving it away:

  • On the linked iPhone, launch the Apple Watch app.
  • Go to My Watches in the top menu.
  • Select All Watches.
  • the information button (an “i” inside a circle).
  • Select Apple Watch Unpair.
  • If it’s a cellular model, when it asks you to throughout the unpairing procedure, delete your cellular plan.

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