Resetting an Apple Watch can be useful if an error occurs or if you’re handing it over to a new owner. Fortunately, the procedure is not as scary as it sounds. You can reset the Apple Watch whether or not your iPhone is present, although you’ll want to take some precautions first. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to reset an Apple Watch.
Before you reset
It is easy to backup the Apple Watch, so you don’t have to worry about losing basic functions like your fitness data, app layout and settings. Content automatically backs up your paired iPhone, even when you unpair your watch. As long as you’ve been around your phone recently, you can recover your watch data and mostly pick up where you left off.
However, not everything is transferred. Apple Watch backups do not include Apple Pay cards, Bluetooth pairings, messages, or third-party app data. You want to make sure that your app data has its own backup (usually via the cloud), that your messages are stored on your iPhone, and that you are willing to add maps and Bluetooth devices. Once you are prepared, you can seriously reset the Apple Watch.
Unplug and reset the Apple Watch
Having your iPhone handy, you can unpair and reset your Apple Watch in one easy process.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- Go to the My watch tab and tap your watch.
- Tap the information button (“i”) next to the watch on the next screen.
- Tap Unlink Apple Watch.
- If you have a cellular data model, you will be asked if you want to keep your cellular plan. If you delete the subscription, you may also need to contact your carrier to cancel the service.
- Tap again to confirm. You may need to enter your Apple ID to turn off Activation Lock.
- If you need to set up an Apple Watch, the Start Pairing screen is displayed.
How to reset your Apple Watch without an iPhone
Don’t worry if you don’t have your iPhone with you. You can still reset your Apple Watch yourself. The steps are even easier, although the Activation Lock is not removed. If you transfer the watch to another user, you must first unpair your iPhone.
- On your Apple Watch, tap Settings> General> Reset> Erase All Content and Settings.
- If you have a watch with cellular data, you will be asked if you want to keep your cellular plan. Again, you may also need to contact your carrier to cancel the service.
- Tap Erase everything to confirm and reset your watch.
And with that, your watch will be reset. It really is that simple!