Apple Watch Won't Reset? How to Fix The Problem

Get your Apple Watch restored for troubleshooting or selling

You'll want to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings if you're having serious problems with its functionality or if you're giving it away. Here's what to do when you can't reset your Apple Watch.

Causes of Apple Watch Not Resetting

If you're having trouble resetting your Apple Watch, a few problems could be to blame. Some examples include software issues with either the wearable or the Apple Watch it's paired to. You, therefore, have to check out both devices to get the reset to happen.

A hand holding an Apple Watch. The startup graphic is on the screen.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

How Do I Fix an Unresponsive Apple Watch?

Take the following steps to get your Apple Watch working again.

  1. Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Your Apple Watch and iPhone communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you'll want to double-check that these features are active.

    On your iPhone, bring up the Control Center, then select the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons to turn them on.

  2. Update your Apple Watch and update your iPhone. Sometimes when your Apple Watch and iPhone aren't working together correctly, the issue is that one or both of them needs a firmware update.

  3. Restart your iPhone. Since you'll usually try to reset your Apple Watch using the Watch app on your iPhone, your first step should be to restart the iPhone. If a basic restart doesn't work, try the more strenuous forced restart.

  4. Restart your Apple Watch. If your watch is unresponsive, do a force restart. Press and hold the Side Button and Digital Crown until the Apple logo appears.

  5. Do a full power cycle. Power off your iPhone and turn off your Apple Watch. Then, turn on the iPhone, followed by the Apple Watch.

  6. Resync your Apple Watch. Resyncing your watch deletes and resets the data you share between them (for example, calendars and contacts).

  7. Reset your Apple Watch. A reset erases all content and settings on your watch, allowing you to start over from scratch.

    Erasing your Apple Watch this way won't reset the Activation Lock security feature, which only turns off after unpairing the wearable from your iPhone.

  8. Contact Apple. If none of the above fixes work, you may have a hardware issue with your Apple Watch or iPhone that will need servicing. Depending on your warranty or AppleCare+ status, the appointment with the manufacturer or the authorized servicer might be free.

  • Why won't my Apple Watch let me reset sync data?

    If your Apple Watch isn't syncing automatically, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap General, then scroll down and tap Reset > Reset Sync Data. If the Watch still isn't syncing, go back to the Reset menu > select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings, then re-pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone.

  • How do I reset an Apple Watch?

    Open the Watch app on your iPhone, select your Watch, and tap the i (information icon). Select Unpair Watch, then confirm and enter your Apple ID and password if prompted. After the unpairing process, your Apple Watch is reset to its default settings.

  • How do I reset an Apple Watch without a paired iPhone?

    Press your Watch's Digital Crown, then tap Settings > General > Reset. Tap Erase All Content and Settings, enter your passcode, then tap Erase All.

  • How do I reset an Apple Watch without a password?

    Place your Watch on its charger > press and hold the side button until the Watch powers off. Press and hold the Digital Crown until Erase all content and settings appears. Tap Reset > Reset.

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