How to Reset Your Apple Watch

When nothing else seems to work, try a hard reset

For a variety of reasons, you may want to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings. Perhaps you forgot your passcode, your device isn't functioning as expected, or maybe you're selling the watch to a new owner and want to wipe the slate clean beforehand. No matter the motive, you have several ways to clear off your Apple Watch.

The instructions in this article apply to all version of the Apple Watch and WatchOS.

How to Reset an Apple Watch by Unpairing It

Perhaps the quickest way to reset your Apple Watch is by unpairing it from your iPhone. You'd normally do this if you replace one of your devices (either your phone or your watch), but it's also a fast way to clear off the data if you want a fresh start. Here's what to do.

  1. Make sure your Apple Watch and iPhone are both powered on and are in close proximity to each other.

  2. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

  3. Select the name of the watch you wish to reset, located towards the top of the screen.

  4. Tap the information icon, represented by a lower-case "i" inside of a circle and located to the right of your watch's information panel.

    Information button in the iPhone's Watch app
  5. Select Unpair Apple Watch. If you have a Series 3 or Series 4 Apple Watch with GPS and Cellular, you'll be asked if you wish to keep or remove your cellular plan. If you plan to set up this Apple Watch again, you may want to keep your plan. If you're no longer using the watch, you can choose to remove your plan. However, to fully cancel the plan, you'll also need to contact your cellular provider.

  6. A confirmation request will appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap the Unpair (name) Apple Watch button.

  7. Enter your Apple ID password, if prompted. 

    The process to unpair an Apple Watch from an iPhone
  8. The unpairing process will now begin and can take several minutes to complete. If successful, the Watch app on your iPhone will return to the Start Pairing screen and the watch itself will reboot and eventually display its initial setup interface. Your Apple Watch has now been reset to its default settings.

How to Reset an Apple Watch by Erasing All Content and Settings

If your watch isn't currently paired with an iPhone or you don't have the phone handy at the moment, you can still perform a factory reset by taking the following steps. 

  1. Press the Digital Crown to access the Apple Watch's apps screen.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Select General.

  4. Scroll down and tap Reset.

    Settings on an Apple Watch
  5. Tap the Erase All Content and Settings button. 

  6. Enter your passcode when prompted.

    If you have a Series 3 or Series 4 Apple Watch with GPS and Cellular, you'll now be asked if you wish to keep or remove your cellular plan. If you plan to set up this Apple Watch again, you may want to keep your plan. If you're no longer using the watch, you can choose to remove it. To fully cancel the plan, you'll also need to contact your cellular provider.

  7. A warning message will now appear, detailing the effects of the reset process. Scroll down and tap Erase All.

    An Apple Watch with the Erase All Content and Settings option
  8. The reset process should begin, with the watch displaying a spinning progress wheel; this can take several minutes to complete. When finished, your Apple Watch will return to the initial setup interface. Your Apple Watch has now been reset to its factory settings.