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How to Reset Apple Watch (2023)

a person in blue with an apple watch

Perhaps you’re selling or giving your Apple Watch away, are trying to fix a glitch, or have forgotten the password. Various scenarios can get you searching for a reset button.

You may be unable to tap reset directly, but I’ll walk you through the Apple Watch resetting process.

How Do You Reset Apple Watch With Your iPhone?

The paired iPhone method is preferable if you’re giving the Apple Watch to someone else. That’s because it’s a full reset, removing all stored data and allowing new users to pair the device with a new iPhone and their iCloud account.

Luckily, your iPhone will create a new backup of your Apple Watch in case you want to restore it.

Unpair the Apple Watch From the Apple Watch App

  1. Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Find the My Watch tab at the bottom left.
  4. Select All Watches.
  5. Tap the info button (i) next to the Apple Watch you want to unpair to open its menu.
  6. Tap Unpair Watch.
  7. A pop-up notification will appear to double-check that you want to reset your Apple Watch. Tap unpair [Apple Watch name].
  8. Wait for the Apple Watch content to be deleted.

Deactivate Your Cellular Plan (Optional)

For those with GPS + Cellular models, if you’re going to keep the Apple Watch and re-pair it to your iPhone, you should keep the plan.

If not, it’s best to remove it. You may need to contact your carrier to cancel your subscription.

Then, enter your Apple ID password, and the watch’s Activation Lock will be disabled.

As for GPS-only models, type in your Apple ID password to remove the Activation Lock.

How Do You Reset Apple Watch Without Your iPhone?

how to reset apple watch
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It’s possible to reset Apple Watch devices to their factory settings via the watch itself.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because you won’t be able to get a final Apple Watch backup without your iPhone or disable the Activation Lock, which is problematic if you’re selling or giving away the Apple Watch. Otherwise, it’s helpful if you’ve forgotten your password or fixing an issue.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap Settings on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Reset (found at the bottom of the list).
  4. Tap Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings from the reset menu.
  5. You’ll spot the following message on the screen, referring to the first method: “Erasing will not remove Activation Lock, which prevents someone else from using this Apple Watch if it’s lost or stolen. To remove Activation Lock, first unpair this Apple Watch before erasing it.”
  6. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  7. Enter your Apple Watch passcode if needed.

Now, you can set up the Apple Watch again (hopefully without the technical issue). But you’ll need the Apple ID and password for the watch to turn off Activation Lock.

How Do You Reset Apple Watch on a New iPhone?

iphone near apple watch and mouse
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Let’s say you’ve bought a new iPhone. The only problem is that your old phone is locked, and it’s paired with your Apple Watch. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Connect your new iPhone with your iCloud account.
  2. Download the Watch app on your phone.
  3. Install it.
  4. Pair the Apple Watch with the new iPhone.
  5. Restore your backup data (if available).
  6. Finalize the setup process.


Overall, there are two main ways to reset your Apple Watch. You can unpair it from your phone via the iPhone’s watch app or erase the Apple Watch’s data from its settings app.

To choose the appropriate method, you should consider the reason you want your Apple Watch reset.


Hey there! I’m a software, blogging and AI enthusiast. I’ve been exploring these topics for years and I get a kick out of sharing my knowledge and insights.

Whether you’re curious about new tech, need fresh tools and tips, or want to stay current with industry trends, I’m here for you. Welcome to my website!

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