How To Disconnect Apple Watch From Phone

by Barbara Wilson

Whether you’re upgrading to a new Apple Watch, passing your current watch to someone else, or troubleshooting an issue, knowing how to properly disconnect your Apple Watch from your iPhone is essential. This guide will walk you through the steps to unpair and erase your Apple Watch using your iPhone and how to erase it without an iPhone. Follow these detailed instructions to ensure a smooth transition and secure handling of your personal data.


Unpair and Erase Apple Watch Using iPhone

Unpairing your Apple Watch using your iPhone ensures that your data is backed up and that the watch is removed from your Apple ID, which disables Activation Lock.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Open the Apple Watch App on Your iPhone:


Start by locating and opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. This app is typically pre-installed on your iPhone and has an icon resembling a watch.


Go to the My Watch Tab:

Once the app is open, navigate to the “My Watch” tab at the bottom of the screen. This section contains all the settings and information related to your connected Apple Watch.

Tap All Watches:

In the My Watch tab, tap on “All Watches” at the top left corner of the screen. This will display all the Apple Watches that are paired with your iPhone.

Tap the Information Button Next to the Apple Watch You Want to Unpair:

Find the watch you want to unpair in the list and tap the small “i” button next to it. This button provides more information and settings for that specific watch.

Select Unpair Apple Watch:

Tap on “Unpair Apple Watch.” This option will start the unpairing process.

Choose Whether to Keep Your Cellular Plan as Needed:

If your Apple Watch has a cellular plan, you’ll be asked whether you want to keep or remove the plan. If you plan to use the watch with a different iPhone or give it to someone else, you may want to remove the plan. Otherwise, select to keep it.

Enter Your Apple ID Password to Disable Activation Lock:

Enter your Apple ID password when prompted. This step is crucial as it disables the Activation Lock, ensuring that the watch can be paired with another iPhone.

Tap Unpair:

After entering your password, tap “Unpair” to confirm. Your iPhone will create a new backup of your Apple Watch before erasing all content and settings. This backup can be used to restore your new Apple Watch.

How to Erase Apple Watch Without an iPhone

If you don’t have access to your iPhone, you can still erase your Apple Watch directly from the watch itself. This method is useful if your iPhone is unavailable or if you prefer to reset the watch using its own interface.

Step-by-Step Instructions

On Your Apple Watch, Tap Settings:

Start by tapping on the Settings app on your Apple Watch. The icon looks like a gear and is usually found on the home screen.

Go to General > Reset:

In the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on “General.” Then scroll to the bottom and tap on “Reset.”

Tap Erase All Content and Settings:

Tap “Erase All Content and Settings.” This option will reset your watch to factory settings, removing all your data and configurations.

Enter Your Password if Prompted:

If your Apple Watch has a passcode, you will need to enter it to proceed with the reset.

Choose Whether to Keep Your Cellular Plan as Needed:

Similar to the process on the iPhone, you will be asked if you want to keep or remove your cellular plan if your Apple Watch has one.

Tap Erase All to Confirm:

Finally, tap “Erase All” to confirm the reset. This will erase all content and settings on your Apple Watch. Note that you will need the Apple ID and password associated with the watch to turn off Activation Lock.

Understanding Activation Lock and Why It’s Important

Activation Lock is a security feature designed to prevent anyone else from using your Apple Watch if it’s ever lost or stolen. It is enabled automatically when you set up Find My on your iPhone. When you unpair your Apple Watch, you disable Activation Lock, allowing the watch to be paired with another iPhone.

Benefits of Activation Lock

  • Prevents Unauthorized Use: Activation Lock makes it difficult for thieves to use or sell your Apple Watch.
  • Protects Your Data: It ensures that your personal data remains secure even if the watch is lost.
  • Easy Recovery: If your watch is lost, Find My helps you locate and recover it.

Backing Up Your Apple Watch Data

When you unpair your Apple Watch using your iPhone, a backup is automatically created. This backup includes your app data, settings, and preferences. Here’s how it works:

What Is Included in the Backup?

  • App Data and Layout: All your apps and their layouts will be saved.
  • Settings: Your customized settings, such as notifications and clock face preferences, will be backed up.
  • Health and Fitness Data: Data from the Health app and your fitness activity will be included in the backup.
  • Music and Photos: If you have synced music or photos to your Apple Watch, these will be backed up as well.

How to Restore from a Backup

When you set up a new Apple Watch, you will be given the option to restore from a backup. Choose the most recent backup to quickly transfer all your data and settings to the new watch.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Unpairing and erasing your Apple Watch is generally straightforward, but you might encounter some issues. Here are common problems and their solutions:

Unpairing Fails

  • Check Connectivity: Ensure your iPhone and Apple Watch are close together and connected via Bluetooth.
  • Restart Devices: Try restarting both your iPhone and Apple Watch and attempt the process again.
  • Update Software: Make sure both devices have the latest software updates installed.

Unable to Disable Activation Lock

  • Correct Apple ID: Double-check that you are entering the correct Apple ID and password associated with your watch.
  • Reset Password: If you’ve forgotten your Apple ID password, reset it at the Apple ID website and try again.

Backup Not Found

  • iCloud Storage: Ensure you have enough iCloud storage space for the backup.
  • Wait for Completion: Sometimes, the backup process takes a while. Make sure the process is complete before trying to restore.

See Also: What Is The Best Apple Watch Case

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Unpair My Apple Watch Without My iPhone?

Yes, you can erase all content and settings directly from your Apple Watch without an iPhone, but this won’t create a backup.

What Happens to My Cellular Plan When I Unpair?

You can choose to keep or remove your cellular plan during the unpairing process. Keeping the plan allows you to use it on another Apple Watch.

Do I Need to Disable Activation Lock?

Yes, disabling Activation Lock is essential if you plan to sell or give away your Apple Watch. It ensures the new owner can set it up without issues.

How Can I Be Sure My Data Is Erased?

When you perform a factory reset on your Apple Watch, all data is erased. The watch is returned to its original settings, ensuring your data is not accessible.


Disconnecting your Apple Watch from your iPhone is a simple yet crucial process, whether you’re upgrading, troubleshooting, or passing the watch to someone else. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your data is securely backed up and that your Apple Watch is properly reset and ready for its next use. Whether using your iPhone or the watch itself, these methods provide a clear path to unpairing and erasing your device safely.


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