How to reset your forgotten Apple Watch passcode

If you can’t remember your Apple Watch password or it’s disabled and shows ‘Wrong Passcode, Try again in 1, 5, or more mins,” then here’s how to reset it with or without your iPhone.

Reset Apple Watch passcode

The only way to reset your forgotten Apple Watch passcode is to erase it, and in the process, all the existing personal information, settings, iMessage, and content like media, music, photos, apps, data, and credit & debit cards, will be deleted.

But things on your watch like music, photos, or apps, are most likely already on your iPhone or in the cloud (like Apple Music and App Store). And when you set up your Apple Watch again, you’re given a choice to restore a watch backup. Plus, you can always go to the iOS Watch app to sync your desired files again to your watch.

Reset the Apple Watch passcode without iPhone

If you don’t have the iPhone you used to set up the watch, you can erase it straight from the device itself.

Just know that using this method, the Activation Lock isn’t removed, and when you try to set up the new watch with an iPhone, you’ll be asked to enter the Apple ID password of the watch owner whose Apple ID was signed in on the watch at the time of resetting it.

Apple Watch Locked to Owner via Activation Lock

If it’s your Apple Watch and has your Apple ID, you should have no problem entering your Apple ID password during setup. However, if someone gifted you the watch and Activation Lock is still in place, then you will need their Apple ID password to finish the setup.

Related: How to check Activation Lock before buying a used iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac

Additionally, if your iPhone is nearby, resetting the watch this way will also make a backup that you can restore while setting it up.

Restore Apple Watch from Backup

Here’s how to reset the Apple Watch whose passcode you don’t remember:

1) Place the Apple Watch on its charger, and don’t remove it till the reset process is complete.

2) Press & hold the side button until you see the power off screen. On recent versions of watchOS, you will see a tiny power button in the top right corner. Stay on this screen.

Apple Watch Wrong Passcode Try again in 1 min

3) Now press and hold the Digital Crown until you see the “Erase all content and settings” screen.

4) Tap Reset.

5) Tap Reset again on the “Are you sure you want to continue” screen.

Erase all content and settings on Apple Watch

6) Wait for the process to finish. As mentioned, don’t remove it from the charger yet.

Apple Watch being reset
My Apple Watch, whose password I had forgotten, is being reset.

Once your watch resets successfully, you can pair it with your iPhone. During this process, set up a new Apple Watch passcode and try not to forget it. You can note it in your contact card on your iPhone.

Set Up Apple Watch and create new passcode

Related: Why you should be using a passcode on your Apple Watch?

Tip: If you can’t see the “Erase all content and settings” screen (step 3), retry a few times. And even if that fails, try entering your Apple Watch password, and since you don’t know it, you will see the “Try again in X min” screen. Now follow all the above steps, and it should work.

Reset your Apple Watch passcode using your iPhone

If you don’t remember your Apple Watch password but have your paired iPhone nearby, you can use it to reset the watch.

1) Keep your iPhone and your Apple Watch (whose passcode you can’t remember) very close.

2) Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to the My Watch section.

3) Tap General.

4) Scroll down and tap Reset.

5) Tap Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings and confirm it.

6) Enter your Apple ID password and tap Erase.

Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings using iPhone Watch app

7) If you have a cellular plan on your Apple Watch, you can keep the plan if you want to use the watch again. If you’re selling or giving away the watch, you can remove the cellular plan from it and contact your carrier to cancel your cellular subscription.

8) Once the reset is complete, set it up again and create a new watch passcode.

In addition to the above two methods, you can erase your Apple Watch remotely and set it up again with a new passcode.

Useful tips for the future: