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How to Force Restart or Hard Reset Apple Watch

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If your Apple Watch’s screen freezes up, you’ll want to force restart/hard reset it.

If your Apple Watch, Apple Watch 2, Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch 5, Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch SE 2, Apple Watch 6,  Apple Watch 7, Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch 9, Apple Watch Ultra, or Apple Watch Ultra 2 suddenly won’t respond to touches and swipes, the first thing you should try is a simple restart. Often times, restarting the watch will fix the issue.

If your Apple Watch won’t restart normally, or if it continues to lock up and freeze after powering it off and on, you’ll want to a force it to restart. This is also known as a hard reset.

This is an easy method that only takes a few seconds. Keep in mind, this won’t impact your Apple Watch’s data. It simply restarts the watch.

Apple says you shouldn’t force restart your Apple Watch while updating it with new watchOS software. Instead, after you see the Apple logo and the progress wheel, you’ll want to leave your watch alone and on its charger until the installation process finishes up.

If you’ve owned an Apple Watch for a while you probably know how to restart the device while it’s operating normally. If you don’t here’s a quick reminder:

  1. Press and hold the side button until the screen tells you to Power Off the device.
  2. Use your finger to drag the Power Off slider.
  3. Once your Apple Watch turns off you’ll want to press and hold the side button until your Apple Watch turns back on.

If this doesn’t work, move onto the steps below.

How to Hard Reset Apple Watch

To force restart an Apple Watch you just need to do two things.

Apple Watch Reset Buttons

Press and hold these two Buttons to hard reset the Apple Watch

  1. Hold down the side button and Digital Crown at the same time. The Digital Crown is the rotating button located on the side of the device.
  2. Keep holding these two buttons down until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

Once your Apple Watch reboots, you’ll be prompted to input your passcode if you have one. If you’re prone to forgetting your passcode, make sure you have it handy before you start this process.

If you do happen to forget your passcode, you’ll need to erase the device via the Watch app on your iPhone and restore it from a backup.

Your Apple Watch shouldn’t freeze on a regular basis. If this frequently starts to happen on your Apple Watch, you’ll want to investigate other fixes such as updating its software, updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, or setting it up from scratch again.

If the Apple Watch keeps freezing, you’ll need to get in touch with Apple support and see if they have a remedy.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 17.3.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 17.3.1 for Better Security

Install iOS 17.3.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, and you missed older versions of iOS 17, think about installing Apple's iOS 17.3.1 update right away.

iOS 17.3.1 doesn't have any security updates of its own, but if you missed iOS 17.3 or older, you'll get security patches when you upgrade. 

The iOS 17.3 update brought 15 new security patches to iPhone. These will help keep your device and its data protected from harm. 

The software also added Stolen Device Protection to iPhone. It increases the security of your iPhone and Apple ID by requiring Face ID or Touch ID to gain access to passwords, make purchases in Safari, and more.

This is useful if someone gets access to your iPhone and its passcode. 

iOS 17.2 delivered 10 new security patches to iPhone. If you wish to find out more, you can head on over to Apple's security site for the details.

iOS 17.2 also included iMessage Contact Key Verification which improves the security of iMessage. The company also fixed an exploit that let the Flipper Zero multi-tool lock up iPhones.

iOS 17.1.2 had two security patches on board. Both were related to WebKit. If you want to learn more, you can do so right here.

iOS 17.1 brought 18 security fixes to iPhone. It addressed issues within Weather, Status Bar, WebKit, and more. 

iOS 17.0.3 brought two patches for two security issues Apple identified within the software. If you want to read about the patches, head here.

iOS 17.0.1 delivered three important patches to iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

As for iOS 17 itself, it brought 40+ new security patches with it. A staggering number to say the least. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple

In addition to those patches, iOS 17 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including improvements to Communication Safety beyond Messages.

It now includes content sent by AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, FaceTime, and the systemwide photo picker. You now have an option to blur out sensitive photos and videos before you choose to view them.

There's also an expanded Lockdown Mode which will help protect you against cyber attacks.

Apple's also improved sharing permissions and you now have more control over what you share with the apps on your device. 

The company also notes that starting in iOS 17, Voice Memos encrypts the titles of recordings stored in iCloud, in addition to the recordings themselves.

If you skipped older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 17.3.1 update as well.

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