How to Pair Android Wear Watches to New Phones without Factory Resetting

Android Wear as a smartwatch operating system is not without its faults, but sadly while the more tech enthusiastic are likely to use it, the same people are also likely to install custom ROMs on their phones. This in most cases means having to wipe your smartwatch every time you switch to another flavor of Android on your device. There is, however, a simple way to bypass setting up your smartwatch from scratch when you buy a new smartphone or flash a new custom ROM on your device. This method does not require root on either the phone or watch, but it does require a few Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) commands. This has been tested on the Huawei Watch on Android Wear 1.5 and Android Wear 2.0, however it should also work to pair Android Wear watches with any new smartphone. If for some reason your watch is already rooted, you can ignore this tutorial and simply use the Reset Wear Client to pair Android Wear without factory resetting directly from your smartwatch.

Pair Android Wear to New/Same Phone Without Wiping

First, you will need to download the ADB tools. I personally use the “Minimal ADB and Fastboot Kit” found right here on XDA, but you are welcome to use the official binaries from Google if you wish. Next, you will need to enable ADB debugging on your smartwatch (both wired or over WiFi debugging are fine, though I find WiFi more convenient). This is enabled through Developer options on your smartwatch, which you will also need to enable. To do this, simply go to Settings → system → about  on your watch and tap the field labeled “Build number” until you see a  toast message stating “you are now a developer”.

Android Wear Reconnect without Factory Reset

Once you have followed these steps, you’re ready to begin!

Enabling ADB debugging

Open Developer options and enable “ADB debugging” or “Debug over wifi” if you wish to do it wirelessly. The process to sync Android Wear to your smartphone will work fine both ways, but they require slightly different commands.

Android Wear Reconnect no Factory Reset

Initial setup to sync Android Wear will require a different command whether you are doing it over WiFi or not. Please open adb tools, either by searching adb in your Windows search bar or navigating to the folder containing adb, holding shift then right clicking and selecting “open command window here”. Then enter the below commands.

Over WiFi

In my case, I would type:

adb connect

To connect to my Android Wear watch. The IP address you need to enter is located under “Debug over WiFi”, as shown in the screenshot above. Accept the prompt on the watch allowing the computer to debug. If successful, it will simply go back to the command prompt where you can type. There is now text output.


Substantially easier in commands, simply connect your device to your computer and type:

adb devices

If your device shows up, you’re fine. Make sure you accepted the prompt on your watch to allow it to debug.

Sending the Commands

To continue on, first disable Bluetooth on your phone and then on your computer type:

adb shell “pm clear && reboot”

Your watch will reboot, but no Android Wear factory reset will occur. When it boots back up it should no longer show a crossed out cloud icon indicating that it can’t connect to your phone. You will now want to install the Android Wear app on your phone (if you don’t already have it), but don’t enable Bluetooth yet.

Next, connect to the smartwatch via ADB again with the exact same steps as before. This time however, the command you want to run is:

adb shell “am start -a android.bluetooth.adapter.action.REQUEST_DISCOVERABLE”

And then on your watch allow it to be discoverable to other devices so you can sync Android Wear with the smartphone. You may now connect to Android Wear from your smartphone by opening the Wear app, enable Bluetooth, and search for devices. Your Android Watch should show up and your phone will sync with it. If the app hangs on “Checking for updates”, simply restart the app and it should begin to connect to Android Wear.


The simple explanation as to why this works is that all smartphone-smartwatch pairing data is contained in Google Play Services. This data is phone-specific as the keys are stored in the Play Services data located on the smartwatch. This is the reason why you can’t simply Titanium Backup the Android Wear application from your smartphone, because the keys you need are stored on the smartwatch. When you try to pair a new phone (or have installed a new custom ROM and the watch thinks it’s a new phone), the keys are normally wiped through an Android Wear factory reset.

The only way to get around this is to instead wipe the key data which allows you to pair Android Wear with a new device without factory resetting as the keys that pair it to your phone are also cleared. We then request the smartwatch’s Bluetooth to be made discoverable via an intent sent through adb, which creates the prompt you see that needs to be accepted. This means your phone can now find your watch and then create new pairing keys with the device.

The Asus ZenWatch 2 (49mm) is Finally Getting Android Wear 2.0

After months and months of waiting, the Android Wear 2.0 update is finally starting to roll out to the Asus ZenWatch 2 (at least the 1.63-inch variant).

This news comes by way of an update to the Android Wear Help Forum in Google’s official Product Forums, and users on Reddit and Google+ have confirmed the update as well.

At this time, it appears that only the 1.63-inch (49mm) version of the ZenWatch 2 is being updated to Android Wear 2.0. A smaller 45mm model was released alongside the larger 49mm one, but an exact date as to when it will be getting the AW 2.0 love is unknown.

Photo from Brian Tran

Earlier this month, Asus said that the ZenWatch 2 would be updated to the latest Android Wear software at some point in August, so at least for the 49mm variant, the company is ahead of schedule. The ZenWatch 3 recently started getting the Android Wear 2.0 update last week, so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before the existing ZenWatch family is all up to speed.

The OTA update for Android Wear 2.0 for the 49mm ZenWatch 2 should be hitting your wrist soon, but if you don’t have a lot of patience, you can get the files you need to sideload it via the link below.

Source: Google Product Forums Instructions for sideloading Android Wear 2.0 on the ZenWatch 2

Android Wear 2.0 is Finally Making its Way to the Asus ZenWatch 3

Earlier this month, we received a statement from Asus saying that the ZenWatch 3 would finally see the update to Android Wear 2.0 at some point in July. Asus initially said that the ZenWatch 3 would be updated in Q2 of this year, but with the company failing on that previous promise, we weren’t all that sure what to think this time around.

Thankfully, Asus has followed through with its latest promise as we now have confirmation that the Android Wear 2.0 update is hitting ZenWatch 3 units.

The first reported instance of this update comes from Reddit user VGStarcall with a picture of their ZenWatch 3 running the latest version of Android Wear.

In addition to the general UI and performance tweaks that are to be expected with AW 2.0, VGStarcall also says that battery life has been improved and that you can now disable any pre-installed Asus apps/software.

As for the ZenWatch 2, we’re still waiting for Asus to come through on that one. Asus has previously said that the ZenWatch 2 will be updated to Android Wear 2.0 at some point in August, and when that update does eventually hit, we’ll be sure to let you all know.

Until then, if you’ve got a ZenWatch 3, be sure to head to your settings to see if there’s an OTA update waiting for you.

Source: /r/AndroidWear

ASUS ZenWatch 3 finally getting Android Wear 2.0 update

The ASUS ZenWatch 3 was promised the Android Wear 2.0 update in early Q2, but that time passed long ago. There was even an announcement that the update was rolling out, but the tweet was deleted.

Fortunately, the wait is finally over. ZenWatch 3 owners are finally receiving the Android Wear 2.0 update on their watches today, bringing them into the modern age of Android Wear. The update brings redesigned notifications closer to what you’d find on your phone, an app store on the watch itself, and more. Opinions are mixed on the update, but I find it to be an upgrade for the most part.

Check for updates in your settings and let us know if you get it! And if you’re waiting for the update for your older ZenWatch 2, you’re out of luck for now.

Some ZenWatch 3 users are seeing Android Wear 2.0 update (Update: ZenWatch 2, too!)

Update (7/19): If you happen to own an ASUS ZenWatch 2 and want to get your wrists on that fancy Android Wear 2.0 update, you’re in luck. That is, if you have the larger model.

A handful of users are claiming that Android Wear 2.0 is beginning to roll out to the 1.63-inch ZenWatch 2 in the United States. It looks like quite a few users are receiving their updates as we speak, so you likely won’t have to wait much longer if yours doesn’t have it yet. If you’d rather sideload the update, instructions can be found below.

Of course, we’ll let you know when we hear anything about the smaller ZenWatch 2.

Original post (7/12): According to some Reddit users, ASUS has officially started rolling out the Android Wear 2.0 update for the ZenWatch 3, as promised.

See also:
ASUS ZenWatch 3 review

ASUS ZenWatch 3 review

December 9, 2016

We know your pain: the waiting game continues for many smartwatch owners even after Google’s delayed launch of Android Wear 2.0. Just about a week ago, we looked at why the update is taking so long to reach older devices, including the ZenWatch 3. The Taiwanese company initially stated that its current flagship smartwatch as well as its predecessor would be getting Android Wear 2.0 in Q2 of 2017, but that failed to materialize (obviously).

Some users have received the official Android Wear 2.0, and it will reportedly allow users to completely remove all ASUS software.

ASUS then clarified that the update would be rolling out starting July 11 for the ZenWatch 3 and that the ZenWatch 2 would follow suit later in the summer, and it looks like this time, the company has decided to honor its promise: according to a Reddit user named VGStarcall, he was able to receive and install the official Android Wear 2.0 update on his ZenWatch 3, and what’s more, the update will allow users to completely remove all ASUS software.

Other Reddit users have confirmed that the update is indeed being rolled out, but as ASUS earlier pointed out, the update will happen in waves over the next week or so, meaning your watch might not necessarily get it today. If you are feeling impatient, however, you can sideload this OTA zip file captured by k3vink3vin on Reddit. For more information on that, head on over to the official thread.

Have you received your Android Wear 2.0 update yet? Let us know by leaving a comment below!