How To Factory Reset Your Apple Watch

by | 05/10/2020 4:52 pm
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Whether you’re selling it or just trying to solve some buggy issues, one of the important steps to remember is to factory reset your Apple Watch. Not sure how to do that? Or even know what a factory reset is? Not to worry–we have you covered. Read on.

What Is An Apple Watch Factor Reset?

A factory reset is something you can do to most electronic devices, be it an Android phone, an iPhone, a tablet, or, yes, an Apple Watch. A factory reset in all these cases is essentially the nuclear option. Carrying out a factory reset on a device will erase all the personal data on that device and also reset all settings to factory conditions–as in, the conditions of the device when you first took the product out of its packaging.

Due to an utter and complete data loss of all your personal files on a device after carrying out a factory reset, you’ll want to make sure any data you want to hang on to on the device is backed up somewhere else first. So make sure you have copies on your emails or photos or music or whatnot on another device–be it on your laptop or a cloud server somewhere.

Apple Watch SE Compatibility
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Why Would I Want To Factory Reset My Apple Watch?

Given that a factory reset obliterates all your data on your Apple Watch (and any other device you perform a factory reset on), why would you want to do it? The first reason would be because you are giving the device away or selling it. By carrying out a factory reset on your Apple Watch before giving it away or selling it, you’re ensuring as much as possible that its new owner can’t access any of your personal data the device once contained.

But another reason you might want to carry out a factory reset on the Apple Watch is that it may be the only way to fix bugs or other issues you’re experiencing. A factory reset can often fix one-off issues because not only is your data deleted from the device, but its operating system is flushed clean and reset from scratch–which usually eliminates any one-off bugs or settings problems.

How To Factory Reset The Apple Watch Using The Apple Watch

There are two ways to reset the Apple Watch to factory conditions. The first is by doing so on the Apple Watch itself.

However, a BIG NOTE HERE: if you are using this method to reset your Apple Watch, it will not disable the Activation Lock feature on the Apple Watch. Activation Lock is what allows Apple’s “Find My” app to track your Watch if lost or stolen. You want to disable Activation Lock if you are giving the Watch away or selling it. If that’s the case, skip to the next set of instructions below.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE
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Got all that, good? Now here’s how to factory reset the Apple Watch (keeping Activation Lock active) on the Apple Watch itself:

  1. On the Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Enter your PIN or password if prompted.
  6. (Optional) If you have a Cellular plan with your Apple Watch you’ll be prompted to choose to keep or remove your data plan. Decide which you’d like to do.
  7. Tap Erase All to confirm the factory reset.

After this, the Apple Watch will begin erasing itself and will return to the Apple Watch setup screen when the factory reset is completed.

How To Factory Reset The Apple Watch Using The iPhone

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The best way to factory reset an Apple Watch is via your iPhone. This is because doing it this way deactivates Activation Lock, which you’ll want to do if you are selling or giving your Apple Watch away. Here’s how to reset your Apple Watch using your iPhone (be sure to keep your Apple Watch and iPhone near each other during this process).

  1. On the iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap All Watches.
  4. Tap the (i) button next to the Apple Watch you want to reset.
  5. On the next screen tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  6. (Optional) If you have a Cellular plan with your Apple Watch you’ll be prompted to choose to keep or remove your data plan. Decide which you’d like to do.
  7. Tap confirm. You’ll probably be asked to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock now. If so, enter your password.

As above, after this, the Apple Watch will begin erasing itself and will return to the Apple Watch setup screen when the factory reset is completed.

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