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How to Unpair and Reset Apple Watch | Comprehensive Guide for 2021

Apple Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can buy, thanks to excellent hardware and software integration between Apple’s watchOS and iOS. And that is the reason why even older Apple Watches like the Apple Watch 3 is still popular in the second-hand market and widely used.

So, this raises the question: what if you wanted to sell your old Apple Watch and wanted to unpair it from your iPhone, or if you wanted to get a second-hand Apple Watch and wanted to make sure your seller is selling you the watch in the factory settings state. If you are selling, you can either unpair/reset your Apple Watch or if you are buying you can ask your seller to repair/reset that watch for you.

To unpair and reset an Apple Watch, you should know how to do it in the first place, and this article is all about that. This article is a comprehensive guide on how to unpair and reset Apple Watch.

How to Unpair and Reset Apple Watch

Unpairing and resetting an Apple watch is fairly simple but there are multiple methods to unpair or reset an Apple Watch. You can use the iPhone your Apple Watch is paired with or you can directly unpair from the watch itself. For each method, you’ll have to keep a few things in mind, but if you follow everything carefully, unpairing or resetting your Apple Watch should be a breeze. So, read on to know more.

Method 1: How to Unpair Apple Watch using a Paired iPhone

You can unpair your Apple Watch and iPhone using the Watch app on your iPhone. This is the better and safer way to unpair your Apple Watch as it backs up all of your watch’s latest data. This way you won’t lose any data that you haven’t backed up. To unpair your Apple Watch using your iPhone, follow these steps,

Step 1 Make sure to have your Apple Watch and iPhone close to each other.

Step 2 Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Step 3 Open the My Watch tab and then tap on All Watches.

How to Unpair and Reset Apple Watch

Step 4 Tap on the info button for the watch that you want to unpair.

how to unpair an apple watch

Step 5 Select the Unpair Apple Watch Option.

Step 6 If your Apple Watch is a Cellular model, then you have to choose from the below options,

  1. If you are planning to pair your Apple watch to your iPhone again, keep your cellular plan.
  2. If you don’t want to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again, then remove your cellular plan. You will also need to contact your carrier if you want to pair your Apple Watch to a different iPhone.

Step 7 Now, confirm the process by pressing on Unpair (watch name) when prompted.

Step 8 If you have an Activation Lock set up, you will need to enter your Apple ID password to disable it.

Now your Apple Watch will create a new backup of it so that you can use it to restore your data later. Then the watch will proceed to erase all data and settings. Once this is done, you’ll see the Start Pairing message.

Method 2: How to Reset your Apple Watch using your paired iPhone

If you don’t want to unpair but just reset your Apple Watch, you can do that using your iPhone. You will need to set it back up but you can restore your settings and data from the backup for easy access. This method is useful when you are facing issues or bugs with your Apple Watch. To reset your Apple Watch, follow the below steps,

Step 1 Make sure to have your Apple Watch and iPhone close to each other.

Step 2 Now, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap on the My Watch tab.

Step 3 Scroll down and tap on General and in here tap Reset.

how to reset apple watch and pair again

Step 4 Choose the Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings option, then choose it again at the bottom of the screen when prompted to confirm. You might have to enter your Apple ID password to reset.

Step 5 If your Apple Watch is a Cellular model, then you have to choose from the below options,

  1. If you are planning to pair your Apple watch to your iPhone again, keep your cellular plan.
  2. If you don’t want to pair your Apple Watch and iPhone again, then remove your cellular plan. You will also need to contact your carrier if you want to pair your Apple Watch to a different iPhone.

Step 6 Wait for the reset to complete, once it is done you can set it up again if needed.

Method 3: How to Unpair and Reset Apple Watch from the Smartwatch

There is an option to unpair your Apple Watch directly on the watch itself but this option is not recommended as the watch won’t create a backup of all your data and so you will lose them. And unpairing directly from the watch won’t disable the Activation Lock and this means no one else will be able to access your watch again unless they have your Apple ID password.

But in case if you still have only your Apple Watch and have to unpair it immediately, you can do this by following the steps below,

Step 1 On your Apple Watch, open the Settings app.

Step 2 Tap on the General setting option.

Step 3 Tap on Reset.

how to reset apple watch without paired phone

Step 4 Now, select Erase All Content and Settings.

Step 5 Enter your passcode if prompted.

Step 6 Tap on Erase All, or Erase All & Keep Plan if you want to continue with the same cellular plan.

Your Apple Watch will be restored to factory settings, but it will still have the Activation Lock in place. I will explain how to remove the Activation Lock later in the article.

Method 4: How to Unpair and Reset Apple Watch without the Passcode

When you try to unpair your Apple Watch, it will ask for the passcode so that no one else can reset it. But if you forgot your passcode, there is still a way for you to reset your watch. This method will erase all data and settings of your watch so keep that in mind. To reset your Apple Watch without a passcode, follow these steps,

Step 1 Connect your Apple Watch and make sure it is connected till the process is complete.

Step 2 Now, press the side button and hold it down until you see Power Off.

Step 3 Now, press the Digital Crown and hold it down until you see Erase all content and settings.

how to reset apple watch without apple id

Step 4 Tap on Reset, and then tap on Reset again to confirm.

Step 5 Wait for the reset process to complete and then you can set up your watch again.

Remember that this method won’t remove the Activation Lock and for that, you have to unpair it using your iPhone. You can read how to remove the Activation Lock below.

How to Remove Activation Lock of Apple Watch

Since Activation Lock is not disabled when you reset your Apple Watch using Methods 2 and 3, you can disable it by doing following the steps below,

Step 1 Open iCloud.com on a web browser.

Step 2 Now, sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 3 Click on Settings.

Step 4 Choose and select the Apple Watch that you recently reset under the My Devices section.

Step 5 Click the X beside your Apple Watch to remove it from the list.

Step 6 Click on Remove to confirm.

Now that the Apple Watch is removed from the list of your devices, its Activation Lock will be disabled and someone else can use it.

So there you have it, you now know how to unpair and reset Apple Watch. You can use any of the methods to unpair or reset your Apple Watch but I would say that the first method is recommended.

The first method is that you can use a paired iPhone to safely unpair, backup all your data, and then reset your Apple Watch. You can reset your Apple Watch directly from the watch itself. You can also unpair/reset an Apple Watch if you have forgotten its password. Or you can just reset your Apple Watch using a paired iPhone.

I strongly recommend the first method, but you can use any method as long as you don’t want the data stored in your Apple Watch. Just be sure to follow the steps carefully.

FAQ

Does Unpairing an Apple Watch Reset it?

Yes, unpairing an Apple Watch will remove all data, Bluetooth pairings, Apple Pay Cards, and even the passcode too. But unpairing your Apple Watch using your iPhone will back up all of the data so that you can restore this data and settings in the future. If you reset your Apple Watch without an iPhone, the watch will still be protected by the passcode and have Activation Lock on.

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