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

Use these steps to remove your personal information from a device, even if you don't have it anymore. Or make sure that the watch that you're about to buy from someone else is ready for you to use.

If you have a child or other family member who doesn’t have their own iPhone, you can give them the communication and safety benefits of your old Apple Watch Series 4 or later with Family Setup.

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 Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.

  3. Tap All Watches at the top of the screen.

  4. Tap the information buttonNo alt supplied for Image next to your watch's name.

  5. Tap Unpair Apple Watch, then tap the Unpair button again to confirm.

  6. Tap Remove Cellular Plan if you have a cellular Apple Watch model.*

  7. Enter your Apple ID password to turn off Activation Lock. If you forgot your Apple ID password, you can reset it.

  8. 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 your Apple Watch has cellular, remember to contact your carrier to cancel your cellular subscription. Carrier fees might apply.

If you already gave 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 is erased.

  4. Click the X buttonNo alt supplied for Image 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 erases 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 authorized Apple reseller, make sure that the device is no longer linked to the previous owner’s account.

  1. Identify the model of Apple Watch.

  2. Make sure that 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 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, then Activation Lock is still on.

  3. For cellular models of Apple Watch, make sure that the previous owner removed and cancelled any active cellular plans.

Learn more

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