How to Unpair and Restore Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Unpair Featured

There are many reasons why you might want to unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone. You may have upgraded your iPhone, you may want to erase your watch before you sell it to a new owner, or you may be having a technical problem and need to restore your watch to factory settings.

Unpairing your Apple Watch is a relatively painless process. You can do it either through the Watch app on your iPhone or directly on the Apple Watch itself. Let’s run through how.

Unpairing from Your iPhone

In order to unpair your Apple Watch using your iPhone, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the name of your Apple Watch at the top of the main screen.

Apple Watch Unpair Select Watch

3. Hit the information icon to the right of your watch details.

Apple Watch Unpair Tap Info Button

4. Tap on “Unpair Apple Watch.”

5. Confirm that you want to unpair your watch.

Apple Watch Unpair Confirm Unpair

6. If you have a GPS + Cellular watch, choose to keep or remove your cellular plan. If you are planning on repairing your watch again, choose “Keep.”

7. When prompted, enter your Apple ID password and choose “Unpair.”

Your iPhone will create a new backup of your Apple Watch. You’ll know the unpairing process is complete when you see a message asking you to start pairing.

Your personal data is removed from the unpaired Apple Watch, including any bank and credit cards set up for use with Apple Pay, returning it to default factory settings. If you are intending to pair the same Apple Watch with your iPhone again, you can set it up from scratch or choose “Restore from Backup” during the pairing process.

Unpairing from Your Apple Watch without iPhone

If you don’t have your iPhone with you and still want to unpair your Apple Watch, it’s possible to do so directly from your wrist. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch home screen.

2. Scroll down and tap “General.”

3. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Reset.”

4. Tap on “Erase All Content and Settings.”

Apple Watch Unpair Erase All Contents And Settings

5. If you have a passcode enabled, enter it now.

6. GPS + Cellular Apple Watch owners will see an option to “Erase All” or “Erase All & Keep Plan.” If you want to pair your watch again, choose “Erase All & Keep Plan.”

7. If you don’t have a GPS + Cellular watch, you will only see the options to “Cancel” or “Erase All.” Tap on the latter.

Apple Watch Unpair Erase All

Your Apple Watch will reset to the factory settings and will unpair from your iPhone as a consequence.

Turning Off Activation Lock

If you have set up Find My iPhone on a device paired with your Apple Watch, then Activation Lock will automatically be turned on. This feature is designed to stop anyone pairing and using your Apple Watch with a new iPhone if it is lost or stolen.

If you’re planning to sell or pass on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to turn off Activation Lock. To do that:

1. Go to from a computer and sign in with your Apple ID.

2. Go to “Find iPhone,” select “All Devices” at the top of the screen, and select your Apple Watch.

3. Click on “Erase Apple Watch.”

Apple Watch Unpair Erase Apple Watch Icloud

4. Confirm that you want to erase the watch.

Apple Watch Unpair Erase This Apple Watch

5. Once the process is complete, click on the X next to your Apple Watch to remove it from your iCloud.

Your Apple Watch is now unpaired, restored to factory settings, and with Activation Lock turned off. You can pair it with a new iPhone in the same way as any brand new Apple Watch.


If your Apple Watch has issues you’re struggling to solve, unpairing it and resetting it can resolve the problem. It’s also important to do this if you’re looking to sell your Apple Watch.

Which method is easiest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce

Ben Stockton Ben Stockton

Ben is a UK based tech writer with a passion for gadgets, gaming, and general geekiness.