What to do if you forget your Apple Watch passcode

Justyna Obara
Cybersecurity Content Writer
forgot Apple Watch passcode

Being cut off your Apple Watch can be incredibly frustrating. If you are deeply immersed in the Apple ecosystem, you may use it to unlock your iPhone and Mac, or even to pay for your daily groceries. Not to mention all the cool fitness features or tracking your sleep. Keep reading to find out what to do if you forget your Apple Watch passcode or block your device by tapping it incorrectly one too many times.

How to reset your Apple Watch if you forgot your passcode

You can reset your Apple Watch without a passcode using the device's built-in feature or an iPhone paired with your smartwatch. In both cases, Apple will automatically create a backup so you don’t lose the data saved on your smartwatch.

How to reset Apple Watch without a passcode

Note: Place your smartwatch on the charger and keep it there until the reset is complete.

  1. Hold the side button until the Power Off appears in the upper-right corner of the display.

  2. Press and hold the Digital Crown, the round button on the side of your Apple Watch.

  3. When Erase all content and settings comes up, tap it.

  4. Choose Reset and then tap Reset again to confirm the action.

  5. Wait for the resetting process to finish.

  6. Set up your Apple Watch again. Choose Restore From Backup during the set-up to keep your data.

How to reset your Apple Watch via paired iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to the My Watch tab.

  2. Choose General and then the Reset section.

  3. Select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings, and confirm it.

  4. If your Apple Watch comes with a GPS + Cellular feature, your smartwatch will ask you to keep or remove your cellular plan. If you’d like to pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone again, keep the plan. If you don’t want to do it, remove it.

  5. Wait for the resetting process to finish, and then set up the Apple Watch again.

  6. During the set-up, select Restore From Backup so as not to lose the data stored on the device.

How to change the Apple Watch passcode

Apple allows you to set either a four-digit passcode or a more secure one containing six numbers. Every additional random symbol in your code makes it more difficult to hack, so we strongly recommend choosing the longer version. You can activate the long passcode in the Apple Watch’s Settings, under the Passcode tab.

Now, let’s see how to change your Apple Watch passcode.

How to change the passcode on Apple Watch

  1. Go to the Settings app on your smartwatch.

  2. Scroll down until you see the Passcode tab. Select it.

  3. Choose Change Passcode.

  4. Tap your current code.

  5. Enter the new — more secure — passcode.

How to change the passcode on iPhone

  1. Select the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap My Watch and then Passcode.

  3. Choose Change Passcode.

  4. Enter the current code.

  5. Type in your new passcode.

How never to forget Apple Watch passcode again

Passcodes are such an inherent part of our reality that you probably rarely think about them. Unless one of them slips your mind. That’s probably the reason why so many people would rather use the combination of digits they know well, like date of birth or “1111” than set up a random and safe security code. Luckily, there is something you can do to have both an Apple Watch passcode you won’t forget and online security: Use a robust password manager to store your passcodes.

You can save your Apple Watch passcode in an encrypted vault. Just be certain to choose a password manager that uses end-to-end encryption, like NordPass. It encrypts data directly on your phone and only then moves them to the cloud. This way, you can be sure nobody — not even the NordPass security experts — can see your passwords, including the Apple Watch passcode.


Subscribe to NordPass news

Get the latest news and tips from NordPass straight to your inbox.