How to Unlock an Apple Watch

Choosing a specific code in order to protect your Apple Watch is always a good idea, as it stops you from accidentally touching or activating anything you didn’t intend to change. In case the Watch you have is currently not protected with a passcode, then you could simply lift your wrist or press on the display to unlock it.

However, in case your Watch is protected with a passcode, the unlocking process can be a bit more complicated, especially if you can’t seem to remember what your passcode actually is. To that end, here are a couple of different ways your Apple Watch could be unlocked, depending on the type of issue you are currently faced with:

Unlocking your Watch regularly with your passcode

If you do know the exact code you’ve set for your Watch, you can effortlessly unlock it with these steps:

  1. Simply touch the display or lift your hand in order to turn your Watch on.
  2. Then, you can type in your chosen passcode.
  3. Finally, press OK to unlock.

Unlocking a disabled Watch with a passcode

An Apple Watch gets automatically disabled after ten failed sign-in attempts, which tends to happen when someone else tampers with the Watch. If this is the case with you, but you do remember the code you’ve chosen, unlocking your device is also possible with an iPhone you’ve previously connected:

  1. Load the Watch application on the phone.
  2. Click Passcode, and then click on the Unlock with iPhone option.
  3. On the Watch, click the Digital Crown.
  4. Now, you will have the opportunity to type in your code, or you could even utilize the Touch ID option on the smartphone for unlocking the Watch.

Unlocking your Watch with a previously connected iPhone

Even if you can’t seem to remember the code you’ve chosen for your Watch, you might still have the opportunity to unlock it using an iPhone you’ve previously paired:

  1. Load the Watch application on the phone.
  2. Click on the My Watch options, and then click on General.
  3. Here, press on Reset.
  4. Here, click on the ‘Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings’ option. You will need to confirm this action in some cases with a password or an ID.
  5. The Watch will then be brought back to its factory settings. When prompted, you could also choose to ‘Restore from Backup’.
  6. Now, you will also have the opportunity to pick a new number code for the Watch.

Note: Keep in mind that this action will delete all the Watch’s current data, as it prompts a hard reset of your device. Thankfully, that content will automatically be stored on the iPhone in the form of a back-up, allowing you to bring it back effortlessly, if you so choose.

Unlocking your Watch without a code or a paired iPhone

If your Watch is locked after failed sign-in attempts, but you didn’t previously connect it to any iPhone, you will still have the choice of doing a hard reset:

  1. Click on the button located on one side of the Watch, and hold it continuously until you notice the ‘Power Off’ bar.
  2. Firmly click on this slider, without sliding it.
  3. Now, press ‘Erase All Content and Settings’.
  4. The Watch will then be brought back to its factory settings. If it’s something you wish to do, you could now also connect the Watch with any iPhone, bring back the content from a previously made back-up, and then pick a new number code.

Note: Of course, this action will delete all the Watch’s current data as well.

And it’s as simple as that! Whether you just want the Watch unlocked in a simple manner, or you’re even forced to do a hard reset, you can quickly do so by following the handy guide detailed above.