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How to Force Restart or Hard Reset Apple Watch

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If your Apple Watch screen locks up you’ll want to force the device to restart.

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, or Apple Watch Ultra 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 device 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 device.

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 16.1.2 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 16.1.2 for Better Security

Install iOS 16.1.2 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.1.2 update right away.

iOS 16.1.2 doesn't have a whole lot on board, but it does bring important security patches with it. Apple hasn't outlined those changes yet, but the company will do so right here when it's ready.

 If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.

If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.

If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.

If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.

iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others." 

The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.

Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks. 

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