To make Apple’s smartwatch more secure, here’s how to add a passcode to your Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch has been out and available for just over six months now, but while the hype may have subsided a bit, it’s still a very new device that recently got its first big software update since the smartwatch’s initial launch back in April.
WatchOS 2 comes with Activation Lock, providing an extra layer of security for users and prevents others from using your Apple Watch as their own. However, you can also enabled a passcode on your Apple Watch so that when you take it off or its stripped from your wrist by a thief, they’ll need to enter in the passcode in order to do anything.
You most likely have a passcode enabled on your iPhone, as well as Touch ID if you have a newer model. Touch ID makes it easier and quicker to unlock your iPhone, but the Apple Watch doesn’t have that convenience. The good news is that the passcode on Apple’s smartwatch works a bit differently so that it’s not a pain in the rear end to use.
Here’s how to add a passcode to your Apple Watch for an extra layer of privacy and security.
How the Apple Watch Passcode Works
Before you add a passcode to your Apple Watch, it’s important to know how it works on Apple’s smartwatch.
On the iPhone, you have to enter in your passcode every time you want to access the device, and you might think that’s how it works on the Apple Watch, but that’s far from the truth.
Thanks to the Apple Watch’s wrist detection, after you put on the watch, you only have to enter in your passcode once and you’ll never have to enter it again unless you take the watch off and then put it back on. Once you take your watch off, it automatically locks back up and you’ll have to enter in your passcode again.
Furthermore, for as long as you’re not wearing the watch, you’ll have to enter in the passcode after every time the screen turns off, but once you put the watch on, you only have to enter in your passcode once. Plus, you’ll want to enable a passcode anyway, since it’s required in order to use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.
How to Add a Passcode to Your Apple Watch
To set up a passcode on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to go into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and then tap on Passcode. From there, select Turn Passcode On at the top.
At that point, you’ll be prompted to enter in a passcode on your Apple Watch twice to confirm. Once that’s done, your Apple Watch will now have a passcode enabled.
You can go back to your iPhone, where it will give you some more options to play around with.
In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, you can change your Apple Watch’s passcode anytime by tapping on Change Passcode. This will prompt you to enter in your current passcode on your Apple Watch, followed by your new passcode that you want to use instead.
You can also disable Simple Passcode, which allows you to create a longer passcode on your Apple Watch that can be up to 10 digits long.
Furthermore, you can enable Unlock with iPhone, which lets you unlock your Apple Watch whenever you unlock your iPhone, just as long as you’re wearing your watch. Again, you’ll only need to unlock your Apple Watch once when you first put it on.
Lastly, you can enable Erase Data, which will completely wipe your Apple Watch after ten failed attempts at entering in a passcode. This essentially prevents thieves from having the opportunity to keep guessing what your passcode is, because after too many failed attempts, it’ll eventually be a futile effort.