When & How to Reset Your Apple Watch with a Restart or Force Restart

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Is your Apple Watch stuck on the Apple logo, or otherwise frozen or glitching? Don't worry; you can easily restart your Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch is still not responding, you can force restart or hard reset (reboot) it. Let's learn how to reboot your Apple Watch with either a restart or force restart so you can get it unfrozen and back to normal!

Related: How to Pair & Set Up Your New Apple Watch

How to Restart & Force Restart Your Apple Watch

We've already learned how to restart your iPhone without a Home button, and how to set up and use the Apple Watch heart monitor function. Now, let's learn what to do if your Apple Watch is stuck or frozen. 

Restart Your Apple Watch

Make sure your Apple Watch is not charging; your watch can't restart while it's in charging mode. 

  1. Press and hold the Side Button until three options appear: Power Off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS.
  2. Swipe Power Off to the right.

    how to turn off apple watch
  3. If the screen is completely dark, you'll know your Apple Watch has shut off.
  4. Now hold the Side Button again until you see the Apple logo.

    how to restart apple watch

Force Restart Your Apple Watch

Don't try to force restart if your Apple Watch is updating watchOS. You'll know an update is happening if you see the Apple logo and progress wheel. Also, only use force restart if your Apple Watch didn't respond to the regular restart procedure. There is no restart option, so you have to turn your Apple Watch off and back on again

  1. Press and hold the Side Button and Digital Crown for at least ten seconds. 

    restart apple watch
  2. Let go of both buttons when you see the Apple logo reappear.

    apple watch frozen

Pro Tip: If you are running iOS 15.4 or a newer software on your iPhone, there may be one more thing to try! Check out this article on how to restore Apple Watch Firmware from your iPhone to troubleshoot.

Now you know how to restart and force restart your Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch is still frozen, please contact Apple Support! However, you might want to try factory resetting the Apple Watch first. Next, learn how to force restart your iPhone and iPad.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.