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If you’ve recently purchased a new Apple Watch, you may wonder how to disconnect your old one. Maybe you have a new iPhone and need to disconnect your watch from your old device. Or perhaps you just need to disconnect your watch and reconnect it to improve performance. If unsure of the proper process, follow our guide to learn how to disconnect Apple Watch in only seven easy steps.

Step 1: Keep Your Watch and Phone Together

Keep your devices ( watch and iPhone) close.

You cannot disconnect your Apple Watch from your iPhone unless the devices are close to each other.

Step 2: Open the Watch App on Your Phone

The Watch app is a black icon with a side view of an Apple Watch.

Your second step is open the Watch app on your phone. Look for the black icon with a picture of an Apple Watch, as shown in the photo above.

Step 3: Go to All Watches

Tap All Watches at the top of your screen to see the list of watches paired with your iPhone.

Step 4: Tap Info on the Watch You Want to Disconnect

Scroll to the watch you want to disconnect and tap the orange circle with the “i” in the center.

Step 5: Tap Unpair Apple Watch

At the bottom of your screen, you will see Unpair Apple Watch in red letters.

Tap it to disconnect your watch from your phone.

Step 6: Confirm You Want to Unpair The Watch

Confirm you would like to unpair your watch.

If your watch has a cellular plan, decide whether to keep or cancel your plan. Tto pair this watch again, keep your plan.

Step 7: Turn Off Activation Lock

(Image 7 Step 7 caption: Enter your password and click Unpair.)

Activation Lock is one of your watch’s security features. This feature keeps anyone from using your watch if it is lost or stolen, but you will need to turn it off to disconnect your watch completely. Enter your Password to turn off Activation Lock, then tap Unpair at the top right-hand side of your screen.

Your iPhone will back up your watch before it erases your content and settings. You’ll be able to use this backup when you are ready to set up your new watch. The Start Pairing message will appear when your watch has finished the unpairing process. That’s it! Your Apple Watch is now disconnected.

What If You Don’t Have Your iPhone?

You can use other methods to disconnect Apple Watch, but the only way to ensure you have a current backup of your watch is to unpair using your phone. If using your phone is not an option, you can still access your iCloud account to disconnect your watch. Go to iCloud.com from your computer’s browser and log in with your Apple ID and password. Click on the Apps menu at the top right-hand side, then click on the Find My app. Select the watch you want to erase from All Devices. Next, click on Erase Apple Watch. Keep clicking Next until the process is complete. The final step is to click on the X button to remove your watch. Your watch is now disconnected, and Activation Lock is also disabled.

(Image 8 caption: Select your watch from the list of devices and erase your watch.)

You can also disconnect Apple Watch by resetting it to factory settings. This will disconnect your watch from any paired phone. Go to your watch’s settings, then tap General. Scroll down and tap Reset. Next, tap Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your passcode if asked to provide one. Scroll down to the bottom of the message and tap Erase All to reset your watch to its factory settings.

If you have the cellular model, you will be asked to choose whether you want to keep or remove your cellular plan. Remove your plan if you will not be using the watch again. Note that resetting your watch will not turn off the Activation Lock. You will need to log in to your iCloud account to remove it.

(Image 9 caption: Erase the content and settings on your watch to disconnect it.)

How to Disconnect Apple Watch without Your Phone or Passcode

If you don’t have your phone and you can’t remember your Apple Watch passcode, there is one other method you can use to disconnect Apple Watch. First, connect your watch to its charger. Then press and hold the side button until the power button appears in the top right-hand corner. Now press the Digital Crown until you see the screen that asks, “Erase all contents and settings?” Scroll to the bottom of the message and tap the Reset button. Finally, tap Reset again to confirm you want to reset to factory settings. Note that Activation Lock is still enabled, but you will need your Apple ID and password to turn it off via your iCloud account.

(Image 10 caption: The side button is under the Digital Crown on the right-hand side of the watch.)

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to disconnect Apple Watch. Once your watch is disconnected, turn it off if you plan to give it to someone or sell it. Make sure Activation Lock is disabled via unpairing or your iCloud account first.

How To Disconnect Apple Watch In 7 Steps (With Photos) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can I disconnect my Apple Watch without my iPhone?

Yes. You can force your watch to disconnect by resetting your watch to factory settings.

Can I disconnect my Apple Watch without my passcode?

Yes. You can put your watch on the charger and reset it to factory settings. This will disconnect your Apple Watch without requiring a passcode.

How do I disable Activation Lock?

You can disable Activation Lock by unpairing your watch via iPhone or visiting your iCloud account.

Will my iPhone make a backup of my watch before I disconnect it?

Yes. If you disconnect your watch by unpairing on iPhone, your phone will create a backup of your watch before unpairing.

If I have a cellular model, do I need to keep or remove my cellular plan?

If you want to reconnect your watch, keep your plan. If you are not planning to use the watch again, remove your plan.

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