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Apple Watch stuck, force restart in case of freeze

By Giacomo Martiradonna Monday 18 May 2020

If something goes wrong with Apple Watch, or if you experience a lock, don't worry: here's how to force a restart of the device, and possibly a reset.

Force restart Apple WatchMay 18, 2020 update

If you notice that something is wrong with your Apple Watch, maybe right in the middle of a major update, and you need to restart the device, don't worry. You can use the soft method, or the forced restart; in the worst cases, however, you can proceed with the restoration. That's how.

Apple Watch, common problems and solutions

Apple Watch, common problems and solutions

Apple Watch with Digital Crown stuck? The strap does not hook? Here is a solution to the most common problems.

If you notice slowdowns, apps crash or, worse, Apple Watch goes into total block, don't despair. It could be a simple software problem that can be solved with a restart.

Restarting Apple Watch

Before proceeding with the forced restart ("Hard Reset"), check that the procedure of standard shutdown ("Soft Reset") works correctly. Just press the side button (the one located under the Digital Crown) for 10 seconds and if the shutdown slider appears, scroll it to the right, and use the same button to turn the watch back on.

If, however, it doesn't work, then do so:

  • Press and hold the side button
  • Press and hold the Digital Crown
  • Keep pressing both buttons until the Apple logo appears

Note: this procedure can be used whenever needed, but never during recovery or upgrade. This could cause irreversible damage and the inability to restart the device.

Restore Apple Watch

If the restart did not have the desired effect, you can restore Apple Watch; a backup of all data and settings is done automatically by iPhone. Just follow these steps, after placing Apple Watch on the charger:

  • On iPhone, open the Apple Watch app
  • In the panel Apple Watch, touch the Apple Watch at the top of the screen
  • Touch the "i" to the right of the clock
  • touch Unpair Apple Watch

For GPS + Cellular models, you will be asked whether to keep or remove the cellular plan.

Restore Apple Watch without iPhone

If iPhone is not available, you can still proceed to restore Apple Watch in this way. On The clock:

  • Open General Settings Initialize
  • Press Content and settings
  • Enter your unlock PIN and tap Initialize

For GPS + Cellular models, you will be asked whether to keep or remove the cellular plan

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