How To Reset Your Apple Watch - A Comprehensive Guide

How To Reset Your Apple Watch?

Accessories, Smartwatches

But, as with most tech products, it’s amazing how many issues on an Apple Watch can be fixed by simply turning it off and on again. But sometimes, a quick power off isn’t enough to fix the problem at hand, at the wrist with your Apple Watch, meaning you’ll need to go for the full reset. Also, many of the iPhone 13 users faced the Pink screen issues and how it got resolved, read more about it.

What Does It Mean To Reset An Apple Watch?

You have come across these words: reset, restart, factory reset, hard reset, soft reset — but what do they mean exactly? They even sound almost similar. 


This is as simple as to power off and to power on again. Soft reset is a synonym of restart although restart is the more accurate term. It’s an old yet working method of fixing a glitchy device. This is also what your device does automatically when you download a new WatchOS. 

Hold the power button down, slide the power off slider, wait till your device has completely shut down, give it a minute, then power it back up (not a reset, just a restart). Remember, though, you can’t power down an Apple Fitness+ Watch manually while it’s on the charger. For good health and longevity of your device, always have powered down and left off when it’s not in use. If, however, your problem is more serious and it doesn’t let you make use of the power button to restart your Apple Watch device, you can go ahead and do a forced restart instead, which does the same thing with another combination of commands.

That’s the difference between closing an app and force quitting an app when it’s not responding. To force restart press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown together for 10 seconds. While restarting your Apple Watch especially and only when there’s a particular glitch you are trying to shoo away, it is best that simultaneously you also restart the paired iPhone.

Factory Reset (Hard Reset)

Factory reset and hard reset are synonymous. A factory reset, or hard reset, will erase all data from the Apple Watch. However, the Apple ID will stay associated with the watch even in factory settings if you do not unpair the watch from its paired iPhone first. 

Here is what to do for a complete reset of the watch to like-new conditions. So it is of utmost importance that you get this utility item unpaired from your iPhone before returning it to factory settings if you intend to sell it or give it away. After a factory reset command, the watch will still be connected to both your phone number and your Apple ID.

Factory resetting while the Apple Watch is not unpaired yet will activate the Activation Lock. Activation Lock is a great security feature on your Apple Watch that will prevent you not to being stolen away since it denies any person pairing with your Apple Watch if you lose possession of it. It locks remotely your watch to your Apple ID.

However, before you unpair, ensure that you have with you, your passcode for your Apple Watch. If indeed you can’t remember your Apple Watch passcode, find it on the paired iPhone in the Watch App.

Before the factory reset, a user needs to back up the Apple Watch. You can back up the information with your iCloud account or the Mac. You have backed up the paired iPhone to either of those locations and then an Apple Watch backup is created automatically.

Apple also suggests that in case you decide to reset the Apple Watch, all contents of your Apple Wallet have to be emptied in advance, especially transit cards.

Why Would I Want To Reset My Apple Watch?

To give you a living example, your device may be acting up only so mildly whereby it performs actions such as intermittent crashing of apps. You might want to soft reset your Apple Watch. This will help gently calibrate your device.

You might need to hard reset your Apple Watch if the device has a problem that can’t be solved with a soft reset, software update, or other troubleshooting steps. A hard reset is the last resort of resolution in such a case. Chances are that you want to hard reset your Apple Watch because you are selling it or giving it away to another user. 

How Do I Hard Reset My Apple Watch?

Since you have already unpaired your watch from your phone, you can now restore your Apple Watch to factory settings on the watch. 

  • Open the Settings app on your wearable.
  • Scroll below and tap General, then scroll down again until you can tap Reset
  • Tap Erase All Content and Settings
  • It will then prompt you to enter your Apple Watch passcode, so enter your passcode
  • Finally, swipe down and tap Erase All (or Erase All and Keep Plan if you’re setting up a cellular watch and want to keep your cellular plan.)

That’s it. You have a completely reset Apple Watch now for its next user.

What to do if I do not remember the passcode of my watch?

A second way to factory reset your Apple Watch is in the case where you cannot remember and cannot find the passcode of the watch. Follow these steps but this is not a recommendation though it works. 

  • Place your Apple Watch on its charger
  • Press and hold the side button until the Power Off screen appears
  • Then press and hold the Digital Crown until the Erase button appears
  • Tap Erase all content and settings
  • Tap Reset, then tap Reset again

You cannot soft reset the charger but you can hard reset it. This process will erase Apple Watch content, so it will ask you twice to confirm you’re making this permanent action.

How Do I Pair My Apple Watch?

Pairing an Apple Watch with an iPhone is dead easy. First things first; make sure that they’re switched on, running the latest iOS and WatchOS operating systems, and that Bluetooth has been turned on. It’s best to do this while connected to wifi, but a cellular network will be fine too.

Next, hold down the side button on the watch until the pairing screen comes up. You will notice that this screen will tell you to hold the watch next to the iPhone you’re going to pair. Also, watch the screen of the iPhone for pairing instructions. A screen should appear on the iPhone prompting you to “use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch.”

Tap continue when you see that message. Then, presuming you are pairing your Apple Watch to your own iPhone, tap “set up for myself.” From here, you can either set up by scanning the image on your watch with your iPhone camera or tap “set up manually” if that’s more convenient for you.

Done! Your iPhone will display your Apple Watch pairing confirmation screen that shows you successfully paired your Apple Watch to your iPhone. Now, have fun downloading your cool watch apps!

How to unpair an Apple watch?

Upgraded already into the latest Apple watch series? It’s time to prep your old Apple Watch as it heads to its next owner.

Unpair your wearable from the paired iPhone just bring the watch next to the iPhone and open the Apple Watch app on the phone. Tap “All Watches” at the top left corner of the screen. A list of your watches (which might be a number higher than one) will appear. Navigate to the watch you’d like to unpair, and tap the ‘i’ info icon next to it. On the next screen, 

  • tap “Unpair Apple Watch.” 
  • It will ask you again for confirmation, 
  • tap “Unpair [Name] Apple Watch” again. 
  • Enter your Apple ID password then 
  • tap “unpair” at the top right corner of the screen. 

While the iPhone unpairs from the watch, it will also make a backup of your watch’s data and settings.

Is It Possible To Have an Apple Watch With No iPhone?

It is possible to have an Apple Watch which will function like a cell phone without the iPhone!

Having an iPhone in setting up the Apple Watch is, however, just a convenience but after its setup, the watch can stand alone. Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra can all connect independently to cellular networks. 

An Apple Watch on its cellular plan where you can unlock texting, calling, and wider access to the internet anywhere with just your wearable device. These cellular watches are made for families for Family Set up which is allowing everyone Apple Watches to use it.

So, with one family member having an iPhone, they would be able to assist the watch user in setting up their new smartwatch without actually pairing it to their device. If it is a watch on the family’s cellular plan, it even has its phone number. 


1. How do I turn off the Apple Watch guide?

Restart Apple Watch

  • Turn off your Apple Watch: Press and hold the side button until the sliders appear, then tap Power Off ., then drag the Power Off slider to the right.
  • Turn on your Apple Watch: Hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears.

2. How do I soft reset the Apple Watch?

  • Resetting your Apple Watch involves the following steps:
  • Press and hold the side button to view the power-off slider.
  • Swipe the slider from left to right to switch off the watch.
  • Press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

3. How do I restore my Apple Watch settings?

Restore your Apple Watch from a backup: If you want to restore a new Apple Watch or pair again your Apple Watch with the same iPhone, you have to choose Restore from Backup and then an appropriate stored backup on the iPhone.

4. How do I fix my Apple Watch on my phone?

If your Apple Watch is still stuck on pairing

  • Press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time until your watch restarts. 
  • After your watch restarts, press the screen firmly or press and hold the Digital Crown.
  • Tap Reset.
  • After your watch resets, you can pair it with your iPhone.

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