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How to Reset the Apple Watch: The Ultimate Guide

Mar 28,2024 | Suitisbest Sport Bands

Calling all Apple Watch enthusiasts! Are you facing a technical hiccup? Or preparing to pass on the watch to a lucky new owner? For whatever reason you’re clicking on this article, knowing how to reset an Apple Watch is a skill worth mastering. In this guide, I’ll show you the process of resetting your Apple Watch, so your watch can stay in top-notch shape without any glitch or get a seamless transition to its next adventure.


Why to Reset the Apple Watch

Before guiding you through how to reset Apple Watch, let's understand why you might want to do it in the first place. There are two common scenarios: technical problems and transferring ownership.

Resetting your Apple Watch is one of a technical fix, yet the last option you should resort to, just like eating broccoli when all other snacks have disappeared. If you suspect that the mischievous software is causing the trouble, a reset might just do the trick. However, keep in mind that it will wipe everything clean, so make sure to back up your data before taking the plunge.

Now, if you're parting ways with your beloved wrist companion and handing it over to someone else, resetting becomes imperative. We wouldn't want your personal data to fall into the wrong hands, would we?


How to Reset Apple Watch

You have two options for resetting your Apple Watch: using your iPhone or solely relying on the Apple watch itself. Either is quick and simple. Yet, the former is always most recommended, let’s see why below.

If you're troubleshooting a technical problem, we highly suggest backing up your Apple Watch beforehand through your iPhone. This ensures that you can easily restore your apps and data later on.

However, if you intend to sell or give away the Apple Watch, we strongly advise using the "with iPhone" method. This approach disables the Activation Lock on the watch, enabling the new user to seamlessly pair it with their iPhone. It's an essential step to ensure a smooth transition for the next owner.

If your phone is broken, lost, or stolen you won't be able to access it, luckily, there's an alternative and you can unpair directly from your Apple Watch, though the downsides are doing this. Check out them in METHOD 2.


Before Resetting: Back up your data (optional but recommended)

This step holds significant importance if you're experiencing a technical issue with your Apple Watch and plan to continue using it. However, if you intend to sell or give away the device, this step may not be necessary.

To complete a backup of your Apple Watch, you actually need to back up through the iPhone. Whether you choose to create a local backup on your Mac or PC or utilize Apple's iCloud service, both options will encompass a backup of any synchronized apps and data.

Please note that certain data, such as your Apple Watch passcode, will not be included in the backup. For more information, refer to our FAQ section below.


Detailed Steps: How to Reset Apple Watch


To reset your Apple Watch using the iPhone, make sure you have both devices within arm's reach and close to each other.

Step 1: Access the Watch app on iPhone

Once they're cozy, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Navigate your way to the [My Watch] tab down the page.

Step 2: Select the specific Apple Watch

Now, tap on the [All Watches] option up at the top, and choose the specific Apple Watch you want to reset. Once you find it, tap on the "i" in a circle icon. (It's not an emoji for Apple's secret society, but rather the gateway to the info and settings page for your Apple Watch.)

Step 3: Unpair Apple Watch

Take a deep breath and prepare to unpair your Apple watch. But wait! If you made a backup, make sure it's finished. This is your chance to save your precious apps and data from digital oblivion. Once you've double-checked, tap on [Unpair Apple Watch] and brace yourself for the final process.

Now, depending on the type of watch you have, you might encounter some different options.

  • For GPS-only models, enter your Apple ID password to disable the activation lock and complete the unpairing process.
  • If you own a GPS+Cellular model, you'll face the decision of keeping or removing your watch's active cellular plan. If you're planning to keep the watch and it's just a technical hiccup, keep the plan. But if you're passing it on, say goodbye to the plan and enter your Apple ID password to disable the activation lock.



If your iPhone is not accessible, you can still perform a reset directly on your Apple Watch. However, there are a few drawbacks. First, you won't be able to complete a final backup without your iPhone. Second, you can't disable Activation Lock without first unpairing your watch from the iPhone.


How to reset the Apple watch directly through smartwatch?

If you still want to proceed, the Reset option awaits you within the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Just tap on [Settings] - [General] - [Reset]. Yeh! You've unlocked the secret passage.

Once you're inside, you'll see the [Erase All Content and Settings] button, which is the point of no return. Prepare yourself for the warning message that says "Erasing will not remove Activation Lock." Sounds ominous, right? This is your reminder to follow Method 1 and unpair your Apple Watch from the iPhone to disable Activation Lock before erasing it.

Now, you may need to enter your password. And if you have a GPS+Cellular model, you'll have one more choice—whether or not to keep your plan. Choose wisely, my friend, based on your intentions. Finally, tap on [Erase All], and your Apple Watch will bid farewell to its past and be reborn with factory settings, ready for a new realm.



Here are some questions you may ask apart from how to reset Apple Watch. Check them out:

1. Will I lose my data if I reset my Apple Watch?

Ah, the eternal question. The answer is, it depends. Your data on the Apple Watch itself will vanish into thin air. However, if you have a backup of the iPhone it was connected to, most of the data will be saved. Except for a few things, like Bluetooth pairings, Apple Pay cards, and the passcode, which you'll need to reconfigure manually. Oh, and don't forget your messages if you're not signed in to iCloud. So, proceed with caution and be prepared for some manual labor.

2. When should I reset my Apple Watch?

Reset your Apple Watch when encountering technical issues that persist after troubleshooting. It's also essential to reset before transferring ownership, ensuring privacy and ease of use for the new owner.

3. What's the difference between resetting and unpairing an Apple Watch?

Unpairing involves disabling Activation Lock and disconnecting the Apple Watch from the iPhone. It's a necessary step whenever you're transferring the watch to a new owner. Resetting includes unpairing and restoring the watch to factory settings. While you can reset the Apple Watch without unpairing, unpairing cannot be done without resetting it.


Now you've mastered how to factory reset Apple Watch. Whether you're tackling technical woes or ensuring a smooth transition for a new owner, you're now equipped with the knowledge of how to unpair Apple Watch. So go forth, reset with confidence, and let your Apple Watch shine anew!