How to Erase an Apple Watch

How to wipe your watch's content and settings

What to Know

  • If you're selling or giving away your Apple Watch, you should wipe your data from the device before handing it over to protect your privacy.
  • Resetting your Apple Watch is as easy as unpairing it from your iPhone.
  • You can go through the process of unpairing the Watch from either your iPhone or from the Watch Settings.

This article provides instructions for how to erase all the content from your Apple Watching using both with and without an iPhone.

How Do I Wipe My Apple Watch to Sell It?

If you're planning to sell your Apple Watch, you should pair the watch from your iPhone and then wipe away all your personal data to protect your own privacy. To do that, you'll need to have your iPhone and your Apple Watch near each other. Then:

  1. Open the Watch App on your iPhone.

  2. Go to the My Watch tab and tap All Watches.

  3. Tap the Information button (circled, lowercase i) next to the watch you want to unpair.

    Screenshots showing how to get to the information screen for an Apple Watch.
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.

    If you have the GPS + Cellular model, you'll need to decide if you want to keep or remove your cellular plan. If you're planning to sell your watch, remove the cellular plan, but be aware that you will need to cancel the plan through your wireless carrier if you won't be using the cellular plan with a new device.

  5. Tap Unpair [Name's] Apple Watch to confirm this is what you want to do.

    Screenshots showing how to Unpair an Apple Watch from an iPhone.

Before your watch is entirely unpaired, Apple will create a new backup, which you can use to set up a new watch or restore the one you're erasing. When the backup is complete, it will erase the data. Once you see the Start Pairing message, you know the process is done.

When the Start Pairing message appears, do not start pairing the watch with your phone again if you plan to sell it, as this reconnects the Watch to your device and installs the backup you made during the process above. However, if you want to keep your watch, you can follow the prompts to get your Watch reconnected and backup installed.

How to Erase Your Apple Watch From the Watch

Alternatively, you can wipe your Apple Watch directly from the watch, as well.

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap Reset.

    Screenshots showing how to reset Apple Watch.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

  5. Type your password if prompted.

    If you have a GPS + Cellular Watch, you'll be prompted to decide whether or not you want to keep your cellular plan.

  6. Tap Erase All to confirm you want to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings. This erases all data from the watch.

    Screenshots showing how to erase data on Apple Watch.

How Do I Get Rid of Someone Else's Apple ID on My Apple Watch?

Unfortunately, there is no way for you to remove someone else's data from an Apple Watch. If you purchase a previously-owned Apple Watch, make sure the seller has reset it to the factory default and removed the Activation Lock using the instructions above before the watch leaves the original owner. If the original owner does not do it, then the device is unusable.

FAQ
  • How do I reset my Apple Watch password?

    If you can't remember your passcode, you must reset your Apple Watch. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select your device > General > Reset. This will wipe all the data on your Apple Watch, so you'll either need to set it up again or restore it from a backup.

  • How do I back up my Apple Watch?

    Your Apple Watch automatically backs up your data when it's connected to your iPhone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. All Apple Watch data will be included in your next iPhone backup. Unpairing your Apple Watch will also trigger an automatic backup.

  • How do I delete messages on my Apple Watch?

    In the Messages app, swipe left on the conversation you want to delete and tap the Trashcan. There's no way to delete all messages at once.

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