What to do before you sell, give away or trade in your Apple Watch, or buy one from someone else

Follow these steps to remove your personal information from a device, even if you no longer have it. Or make sure the watch you're about to buy from someone else is ready for you to use.

Before you sell, give away or trade in your Apple Watch

You need to turn off Activation Lock and remove your personal information from your device. Here's how:

Prompt to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock.

  1. Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close together. 
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap your watch's name at the top of the screen and then tap the information button .
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch. For mobile models of Apple Watch, tap Remove [Operator] Plan. If you aren't going to pair with a different watch or iPhone, contact your operator to cancel your mobile plan. Operator fees may apply.
  5. Enter your Apple ID password to turn off Activation Lock. If you have forgotten your Apple ID password, you can reset it
  6. Tap again to confirm. When you unpair, your iPhone will try to create a backup of your Apple Watch. If you get a new Apple Watch, you can use the backup to set it up.

If you have already given away your Apple Watch, you can erase and turn off Activation Lock from iCloud.com. Here's how:

  1. On a computer, go to Find My iPhone on iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID. 
  2. Select All Devices, then click your Apple Watch.
  3. Click Erase Apple Watch. Select Next until the device has been erased.
  4. Click the X button  next to your Apple Watch. 

Learn more about Activation Lock

When you erase your Apple Watch

When you erase all content and settings, it completely clears your device, including any cards you added for Apple Pay and any photos, contacts, music or apps. It also turns off iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center and other services. Your content won’t be deleted from iCloud when you erase your device.

Before you buy a watch from a third party

Before you buy an Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorised Apple reseller, make sure the device is no longer linked to the previous owner’s account.

  1. Identify the model of Apple Watch
  2. Make sure the previous owner removed Activation Lock from the watch and that the watch has been erased. They must unpair the watch and remove Activation Lock by entering their Apple ID password, so you can use the watch. 
    • If you can see the passcode lock screen or the Home screen, the device needs to be erased. 
    • If you can, try to pair the watch with your iPhone. If you're asked to enter the previous owner's Apple ID password during setup, Activation Lock is still on.
  3. For mobile models of Apple Watch, make sure the previous owner removed and cancelled any active mobile data plans.

Learn more

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