How To Back Up, Wipe and Restore Your Apple Watch

I’ve found my Apple Watch to be very inaccurate as a fitness tracker, and I’ve been in touch with Apple. They’ve given me several things to try, to see if accuracy improves, and, just today, there was an update to the Apple Watch software, which claims to improve some of the issues I’m having. I applied the update, but, after a first outdoor walk workout, I see that there are still issues with the heart rate data.

So, the next step is to wipe and restore the device. If you use an iOS device, you’re probably familiar with the process of restoring it using iTunes. With the Apple Watch, you don’t use iTunes, but rather your iPhone. Here’s how.

To restore an Apple Watch, you must unpair it. When you do this, the iPhone saves a backup of your data. The backup contains the following data:

  • General system settings, such as your watch face, known Wi-Fi networks, brightness, sound, and haptic settings
  • Language and time zone settings
  • Settings for Mail, Calendar, Stocks, and Weather
  • App-specific data and settings, such as Maps, distance, and units
  • Health and Fitness data, such as history, achievements, and user-entered data

The backup does not include the following data:

  • Workout and Activity calibration data
  • Playlists synced to your Apple Watch
  • Credit or debit cards used for Apple Pay
  • Your passcode

Unpair apple watchOpen the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and tap My Watch > Apple Watch, then Unpair Apple Watch. The Apple Watch app will perform the backup. After the watch is unpaired, you’ll see the Start Pairing message on the watch.

Follow the instructions to pair the watch to your iPhone, and restore from the backup.