How to Lock and Unlock Your Apple Watch

By | April 3, 2022

Anyone with an Apple Watch almost certainly has important and personal information stored on their wearable device. Fortunately, Apple provides many security features to protect that data.

Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the most important security features available and show you how to lock and unlock your Apple Watch.

How to Lock Your Apple Watch

Passcode Lock for Apple Watch is the same as the feature used on an iPhone or iPad. You have to enter the passcode on the screen of the wearable device to unlock it to use.

The first chance you’ll have to choose a passcode is during the Apple Watch setup process. If you’ve added credit card information for Apple Pay, retrieve a passcode to keep your Apple Watch locked when not in use. This can be a simple four-digit passcode, or anywhere from five to 10 digits long.

If you want to add or reset your PIN, just go to Settings > Passcode on Apple Watch. You can also head to the companion Apple Watch app on your iOS device and select Passcode on the My Watch tab.

First, you will enter your current passcode, if applicable. Enter the new passcode on your Apple Watch screen twice to confirm.

In the same menu, you can also find a setting to disable passcode lock. It is not recommended, as all your data will be available to anyone with access to the watch.

Make Sure Your Apple Watch Is Locked

With a set of passcodes, you have two ways to make sure your Apple Watch is locked.

The safest option is with the automatic Wrist Detection feature. To enable it, go to Settings > Passcode > Wrist Detection on the Watch, or Passcode > Wrist Detection on the Apple Watch app.

With this setting, Apple Watch automatically locks when you’re not wearing it, thanks to its built-in sensors. Unlock your Apple Watch by putting it back on your wrist and entering the passcode. The big advantage of this feature is that you only need to enter your Apple Watch passcode once a day when you activate it in the morning.

Better yet, enabling Wrist Detection will help increase battery life. It must also be enabled for the watch to track background heart rate readings and the Stand activity ring.

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If you choose not to enable that feature, you can still lock your Apple Watch manually. Swipe up from each watch to bring up Control Center and select the Lock icon.

How to Unlock Apple Watch

After you set a passcode, you can unlock your Apple Watch by simply entering the passcode on the device screen.

Plus, there’s an easier way to always have an unlocked Apple Watch set up. You’ll need to head to the Apple Watch app, navigate to My Watch > Passcode, and select Unlock with iPhone.

With this setting on, unlocking your iPhone (even with Touch ID or Face ID) will always unlock your Apple Watch for as long as you wear it.

What To Do When Your Apple Watch Won’t Unlock

You may also run into a situation where your Apple Watch won’t unlock. The most likely reason is that you forgot the passcode you set for the device. But don’t despair: there is some hope in this situation.

If you can’t find the correct passcode, you’ll need to take more drastic steps. It’s time to completely wipe your Apple Watch and then restore the information from a backup.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Go to the My Watch tab and select General > Reset.
  • Select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings..
  • If there’s no recent Apple Watch backup, you’ll see a dialog box to update your iCloud backup. Select Backup Then Erase. That will make sure you have the latest Apple Watch settings and other information.
  • You must then turn off Find my Watch to completely wipe the device’s contents.
  • Anyone with a cellular-enabled Apple Watch should choose Keep Your Plan to keep all carrier information on their watch.

Once your Apple Watch is removed, turn it back on and place it near your iPhone to begin the pairing process. You will see a dialog box on your iPhone to help start the process.

During setup, make sure to select Restore From Backup. That will restore all the settings and other information on your Apple Watch. The only exception is Apple Pay credit card information, which you’ll need to re-enter in the Wallet & Apple Pay section of the My Watch tab.

A passcode lock is an important security feature that’s easy to use, and does an excellent job of protecting important data stored on your Apple Watch.

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