Forgot Apple Watch Passcode? Here’s How to Reset Your Apple Watch

Forgot Apple Watch Passcode? Here’s How to Reset Your Apple Watch

How to Reset Apple Watch Without iPhone

If you are out of range of your iPhone, you can reset your Apple Watch with a few simple taps. It is required that you place your Apple Watch on its charger while you complete the following steps:

  • Press and hold the side button (highlighted below on your Apple Watch) until you see the power button icon in the upper right corner of the display, then let go of the side button. If you have an Apple Watch Ultra, be sure not to press the Action Button by accident since doing so will override this workflow.
Apple Watch Side Button2
  • Press and hold the Digital Crown circled below until you see onscreen text that reads “Erase all content and settings”
Apple Watch Digital Crown
  • Tap the button labeled “Reset” twice to confirm that you would like to reset your Apple Watch. After your Apple Watch restarts, you can attempt to pair it to your iPhone again.

How to Reset Apple Watch With iPhone

You can use your iPhone to remotely reset your Apple Watch to factory settings and unpair it from your iPhone as long as both devices are within range of each other. This is the method that you should use if you plan to pass your Apple Watch on to a different owner. Here is how to do it:

  • With your Apple Watch placed close to or alongside your iPhone, open the Watch app on your iPhone.
Apple Watch App
  • Tap the “My Watch” tab highlighted below.
Apple Watch My Watch Tab
  • Tap on the menu item labeled “General”.
Apple Watch General Tab 1
  • Scroll all of the way down to the bottom of the list of menu items and tap on the option titled “Reset”.
Apple Watch Reset
  • Tap on the “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings” button.
Apple Watch Erase
  • Confirm this action by selecting “Erase All Content and Settings” from the bottom of the screen. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password to confirm this action.
Apple Watch Erase Confirm

How to Restore From a Backup on Apple Watch

After you erase and unpair your Apple Watch, you need to pair it to your iPhone again. Here is how to get paired up again without losing the data that you had on your Apple Watch before you erased it.

  • To pair, hold your iPhone close to your Apple Watch and then press “Continue” on your iPhone.
Apple Watch Continue Pair
Image source: Apple
  • After you have finished pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you will reach a screen that gives you the option to set up your Apple Watch as new, or restore all of your data from a previous backup. Select “Restore from Backup” to restore your data. On newer versions of iOS and watchOS, your Apple Watch will automatically restore from a backup.
Apple Watch Iphone Back Up

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any extra steps to take if I plan to sell, give away, or trade in my Apple Watch?

No. However, be sure to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings using your iPhone, since erasing your Apple Watch using watchOS will not unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone. Erasing and unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone removes Activation Lock, a feature that prevents lost or stolen Apple devices from being paired to a new owner without the original owner’s Apple ID password.

How do I backup my Apple Watch?

Your Apple Watch automatically backs up to your iPhone when both devices are near each other. If you choose to erase and unpair your Apple Watch, your data is automatically backed up to your iPhone before the actual restore process begins, in order to ensure that your backup includes the latest information.

If I restore my Apple Watch from a backup, will I lose any data?

Yes. For security reasons credit or debit cards stored in the Wallet app, bluetooth pairing data, and of course your passcode, are not included in Apple Watch backups. Conversations from the Messages app are also unretrievable unless you use iCloud and have Messages in the Cloud enabled on your iPhone. All other data, including watch faces will be available after you restore from backup.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank.

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