Apple Watches are handy tools that let you check your notifications and more without taking your iPhone out of your pocket. Of course, you may want to set a passcode to prevent others from accessing it without permission. Still, some people forget and lose access to the watch.
In this situation, you need to do a factory reset on your Apple Watch. Doing so will delete all data on it and make it like a new device again. Read on to learn how.
Oh no! you Forgot your Apple Watch passcode. What now?
The Apple Watch will turn off if you enter the wrong password too many times. Once that happens you won’t be able to get back in unless you do a factory reset. Fortunately, you can do it with or without a paired iPhone.
Without your iPhone
On the side of the Apple Watch is a button that you usually use to turn the watch off or signal an emergency. You will use it to start the reset process.
Apple recommends users plug the charger into the Apple Watch and keep it there throughout the process. Since factory reset can consume a lot of power, you don’t want the watch’s battery to suddenly run out. It can lead to data corruption.
- Keep your Apple Watch charged.
- Press and hold the side button until the “Disable” option appears.
- Do the same with the Digital Crown or Home Button.
- When “Erase all content and settings” appears, stop holding the Digital Crown.
- Select the option to reset and do it a second time.
- Wait for the factory reset process to complete.
- Reconnect your Apple Watch to your iPhone.
- Set and restore the settings when prompted.
After a factory reset, your Apple Watch contents and settings will be deleted. The activation lock will remain, but you can remove it by unpairing the watch first.
Before the data is deleted, Apple Watch backs up all recoverable data on your iPhone. For those who don’t pair their Apple Watches with iPhones, the data is backed up to iCloud instead.
Here is a list of all the data each backup contains.
- Home screen app layouts
- App data
- Dial Configurations
- Dock Settings
- General settings such as brightness and haptics
- Health and fitness data
- Notification Settings
- All music playlists and albums you’ve synced to Apple Watch
- Time zone of your choice
- All Siri Voice Feedback Settings
The following is not included in the backup.
- Credit or debit cards you’ve used on Apple Pay on the watch
- Message history
- List of previously paired Bluetooth devices
- The original Apple Watch passcode
These also apply if you are using an iPhone to do a factory reset.
With your iPhone
For those with a paired iPhone nearby, these instructions will help you do a factory reset. It’s much more convenient than manually pressing the buttons on your Apple Watch; the results are identical.
It is best to keep your Apple Watch charged during each step until the data is cleared.
- Place the Apple Watch and iPhone close to each other.
- Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Select ‘General’.
- Choose the “Reset” option.
- Tap “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings”.
- Tap the option to reset again.
- Enter your Apple ID password if necessary.
- Wait for the data to be deleted.
- Reset and restore your Apple Watch from the backup data.
Some people who own Apple Watches with GPS + Cellular have to choose between keeping or removing the cellular plan. This additional procedure takes place between steps 7 and 8.
Save the subscription if you want to keep the Apple Watch and iPhone paired. You must remove it if you do not intend to pair the two devices.
If you never pair another watch or iPhone, it’s best to contact your carrier and cancel the cellular plan. This way no more costs will be charged.
The Watch app allows users to re-enter the passcode if they have already disabled it. Of course, this only helps if you remember later.
It is crucial to remember that you can enable “Clear data” on your Apple Watch. After 10 failed attempts to enter the correct passcode, the data will be erased and you will need to restore the settings as you would after performing the steps above.
Can I reset? My Apple Watch passcode without reset?
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to access an Apple Watch if you’ve forgotten the password and don’t want to do a factory reset. The reasoning behind this strict protection is that you can initiate Apple Pay transactions on the Apple Watch. If someone steals your Apple Watch and can reset your passcode, they can easily use your credit or debit card.
That’s why you won’t be refunded any debit or credit cards you’ve previously used for Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. It is to prevent theft and keep your money safe.
Pair your Apple Watch with an iPhone
If you’re not sure how to pair an Apple Watch to your iPhone, check out the instructions below. After a factory reset, you should treat it like a new device until old data is recovered on the watch.
- Make sure the Apple Watch has some battery life left.
- Bring the iPhone near the Apple Watch.
- Tap “Continue” when the pairing screen appears.
- Select ‘Set up for myself’.
- Position your iPhone so the viewfinder can detect the Apple Watch.
- Tap “Set up Apple Watch”.
- Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions.
You can now set a new passcode and use your Apple Watch as before. Make sure not to forget this passcode, otherwise you will have to repeat the process.
What should I do if my Apple Watch won’t force restart?
You don’t have to panic if this happens. Try charging it first and see if anything changes. Or, if the battery is too hot, unplug the charger and leave it for an extended period of time while the heat dissipates.
You may need to do a factory reset if a forced reboot doesn’t help.
Let me in
Forgetting a passcode can happen to anyone, especially at a time when we have to remember so many. If Apple didn’t force users to factory reset when they forget their watch passcode, your sensitive information could be at risk. It only takes a few minutes to learn how the process works.
What do you think of these solutions? How many times have you reset your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below.