Your Apple Watch stores a lot of personal information, such as Apple Pay credit cards, health and fitness information, app data, and more. Setting a passcode lock is a great way to help protect that information if your device is lost or stolen.
But sometimes you may forget your Apple Watch passcode. The good news is there’s no need to worry. We will show you how to reset your Apple Watch and not lose any data.
How to Reset Apple Watch Using Your iPhone
If you forget your Apple Watch passcode, the first way to reset your device is to use your iPhone. Open the companion Watch app on your phone, then select the tab My Watch. choose General and scroll down to the very end of the page. At the bottom, select Reset.
On page Reset, select the first option: Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings. Since it’s not possible to undo this, you’ll need to confirm that option one more time to start the reset process.
If you have a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch model, you’ll see a final dialog box where you can choose to keep or delete your cellular plan. If you keep your Apple Watch, you must keep your cellular plan.
Since you are doing this to troubleshoot your Watch and/or iPhone, all of your carrier information will remain on the device. The only reason to delete your cellular plan information is if you want to sell or trade your Apple Watch for a new model.
As a final step, you will need to enter your Apple ID password to disable the Activation Lock security feature. Before the watch is completely erased and reset, a full backup will automatically be saved on your iPhone.
You’ll need to be patient as the whole process can take a lot of time, especially on older Apple Watch models.
For the record: if you forget your Apple Watch passcode, the reset process with iPhone is the same no matter which Watch model you have.
How to Factory Reset Apple Watch Without iPhone
If you don’t have your iPhone, no need to worry. Let’s take a look at how to factory reset Apple Watch without the phone nearby.
Most importantly, keep your Apple Watch on its charger to ensure that your device doesn’t run out of power. Here’s the next process:
- Press and hold the Side Button on Apple Watch until you see a screen with three options: Power Off, Medical ID or Emergency SOS.
- Instead of activating the slider Power Off, press the button firmly and quickly lift your finger off the screen.
- You will then see an option for Erase all content and settings. Select that option. Just like when using an iPhone, to erase your Apple Watch, you must enter your Apple ID and password.
- Choose whether you want to keep or remove your cellular plan, if any.
The watch will then start the erasing process. Keep in mind that this method will not create a new backup that was created before wiping your Apple Watch. That means when you restore the backup data, it may be a few days old.
Method Restore/Returning Your Apple Watch
Now that you’ve erased your Apple Watch, it’s time to restore it with a backup. To start the process, hold your iPhone and Apple Watch close. The watch screen will say Bring iPhone near Apple Watch.
On your iPhone, a dialog box will appear that says Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch or Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch. choose Continue.
Next, you will choose to set up the Watch as new or use a backup. As long as you regularly back up your iPhone, there should be data to restore for Apple Watch.
Once you’ve signed in with your Apple ID and password, you’ll have a few different settings to choose from, including activating Siri.
Next, it’s time to create a new passcode from four to 10 digits. You can choose not to have a passcode, but it is required if you added Apple Pay information. And it’s generally a good security practice to help protect all your data.
Finally, as long as you don’t remove your cellular plan from your Watch, you’ll reconfirm the information.
The synchronization process will start. Expect it to take some time. You can wear an Apple Watch, but keep your iPhone handy. The watch will make a beeping sound to let you know when it is ready to use.
Don’t Worry If You Forgot Your Apple Watch Passcode
Just like the iPhone or iPad, forgetting your Apple Watch passcode isn’t the end of the world. As long as you have your iPhone handy, you can get your Watch back up and running with just a little bit of work.
And now that you’ve reset your Apple Watch and added a new passcode, there’s a great way to make sure the same problem doesn’t happen again in the future. Be sure to take a look at This great Password Manager to save your Apple Watch passcode for safekeeping.