How to fix issues connecting to the server during Apple Watch setup

There was a problem connecting to the server Apple Watch

Have you ever received the error message “there was a problem connecting to the server” during the Apple Watch setup process? This error may occur when you try to log in to Messages.

The problem with this error is that there’s no way to bypass it from the Apple Watch app. Thankfully, however, there is a way to get past this error so that you can complete the Apple Watch initial setup process.

To get past this error and continue with the Apple Watch setup, close the the Apple Watch app, and open the stock Settings app. From there, open the Messages panel, and disable iMessage.

Disable iMessage Apple Watch Setup

Once iMessage is disabled, resume the Apple Watch setup process, and it should allow you to bypass the Messages login requirement altogether since it’s no longer enabled. Once you complete the setup process, you can go back into the stock Settings app and enable iMessage again.

That’s all there is to it. It’s a frustrating and ambiguous message for sure, but it’s easily fixed by simply following these steps.

Have you encountered this “connecting to server” error before while setting up your Apple Watch?