Forgot Your Apple Watch Passcode? Here’s a Few Tested Solutions

Apple Watches are handy tools that let you check your notifications and more without removing your iPhone from your pocket. Naturally, you might want to set up a passcode to prevent others from accessing it without permission. Even so, some people forget it and lose access to the watch.

Forgot Your Apple Watch Passcode? Here's a Few Tested Solutions

In this situation, you’ll have to perform a factory reset on your Apple Watch. Doing so will remove all data on it and it will become like a new device again. Read on to learn how.

Oh No! You Forgot Your Apple Watch Passcode. Now What?

The Apple Watch will be disabled if you enter the wrong password too many times. Once that happens, you won’t be able to get in unless you perform a factory reset. Fortunately, you can do it with or without a paired iPhone.

Without Your iPhone

On the Apple Watch’s side is a button you usually use to shut the watch down or signal an emergency. You’ll be using it to start the reset process.

Apple recommends users plug the charger into the Apple Watch and keep it there for the entire process. Since factory resetting can use a lot of power, you don’t want the watch to run out of battery suddenly. It can result in data corruption.

  1. Keep your Apple Watch charged.
  2. Press and hold the side button until the “Power Off” option appears.
  3. Do the same with the Digital Crown or Home Button.
  4. When “Erase All Content And Settings” appears, stop holding the Digital Crown.
  5. Select the option to reset and do it a second time.
  6. Wait for the factory reset process to complete.
  7. Connect your Apple Watch to your iPhone again.
  8. Set up and restore the settings when asked.

After a factory reset, your Apple Watch’s contents and settings are removed. Activation Lock will stay, but you can remove it by unpairing the watch first.

Before the data is deleted, the Apple Watch will back any restorable data onto your iPhone. For those who aren’t pairing their Apple Watches to iPhones, the data will be backed up to iCloud instead.

Here’s a list of all the data each backup contains.

  • Home screen app layouts
  • App data
  • Clock face configurations
  • Dock settings
  • General settings like brightness and haptics
  • Health and fitness data
  • Notifications settings
  • Any music playlists and albums you synced to the Apple Watch
  • Time zone of choice
  • Any Siri Voice Feedback settings

The following aren’t included in the backup.

  • Credit or debit cards you used on Apple Pay on the watch
  • Message history
  • List of previously paired Bluetooth devices
  • The original Apple Watch passcode

These also apply if you’re using an iPhone to perform a factory reset.

With Your iPhone

For people with the paired iPhone close by, these instructions will help perform a factory reset. It’s much more convenient than manually pressing the buttons on your Apple Watch; the results are identical.

Keeping your Apple Watch charged during every step until the data is deleted would be best.

  1. Place the Apple Watch and iPhone close to each other.
  2. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Select “General.”
  4. Choose the “Reset” option.
  5. Tap on “Erase Apple Watch Content And Settings.”
  6. Tap on the option to reset again.
  7. Enter your Apple ID password if required.
  8. Wait for the data to be deleted.
  9. Set up your Apple Watch again and restore it from the backup data.

Some people who own Apple Watches with GPS + Cellular must pick between keeping or removing the cellular plan. This extra procedure occurs between Steps 7 and 8.

Keep the plan if you want to keep the Apple Watch and iPhone paired. You should remove it if you don’t plan on pairing the two devices.

If you’ll never pair a different watch or iPhone, it’s best to contact your carrier and cancel the cellular plan. That way, you won’t be charged any longer.

The Watch app allows users to enter the passcode again if they have already disabled it. Of course, this only helps if you remember it later.

It’s crucial to remember that you can enable “Erase Data” on your Apple Watch. After 10 failed attempts to enter the correct passcode, the data is wiped, and you’ll have to restore the settings as you would after performing the steps above.

Can I Reset My Apple Watch Passcode Without a Reset?

Unfortunately, there’s no actual way to gain access to an Apple Watch if you forget the password and don’t want to perform a factory reset. The reasoning behind this stringent protection is that you can initiate Apple Pay transactions on the Apple Watch. If someone steals your Apple Watch and can reset your passcode, they can easily use your credit or debit cards.

That’s why you don’t get any debit or credit cards restored that you previously used for Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. It’s to prevent theft and keep your money safe.

Pairing Your Apple Watch to an iPhone

In the event you aren’t sure how to pair an Apple Watch to your iPhone, have a look at the instructions below. After a factory reset, you should treat it as a new device until old data is restored to the watch.

  1. Ensure the Apple Watch has some battery life left.
  2. Bring the iPhone near the Apple Watch.
  3. Tap “Continue” when the pairing screen pops up.
  4. Select “Set Up For Myself.”
  5. Position your iPhone so the viewfinder can detect the Apple Watch.
  6. Tap on “Set Up Apple Watch.”
  7. Follow the remaining on-screen instructions.

You can now set up a new passcode and use your Apple Watch as before. Make sure you don’t forget this passcode, or you’ll have to repeat the process.


What should I do if my Apple Watch won’t force restart?

You shouldn’t panic when this happens. Try charging it first and see if something changes. Or, if the battery is too hot, unplug the charger and let it sit for a more extended period as the heat dissipates.

You may have to perform a factory reset if forced restarts don’t help.

Let Me In

Forgetting a passcode can happen to anyone, especially at a time when we have to remember so many. If Apple didn’t force users to undertake a factory reset when they forget their watch’s passcode, your sensitive information might be in danger. It only takes several minutes to learn how the process works.

What do you think about these solutions? How many times have you reset your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments section below.

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