1. How to turn off the Apple Watch
  2. Force restart the Apple Watch

How to restart your Apple Watch - even when it's not responding

Learn to give your smartwatch the off-on treatment
Wareable how to restart apple watch
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If your Apple Watch or Apple Watch Ultra is experiencing a problem, turning it off and on again or forcing it to restart is one of the simplest and most effective fixes. 

In our experience, restarting the Apple Watch will solve most issues. If you suspect your Apple Watch needs a reboot, your first step should always be to either give it a simple off-and-on or force-restart in an attempt to unfreeze it.

We'll explain how to do both on watchOS 10 in this guide.

Just be aware that this isn't the same as giving your Apple Watch a soft or hard reset, which should be the next step in your troubleshooting adventure.

How to turn off the Apple Watch

Wareableapple watch turn off

Turning off and restarting the Apple Watch has changed with watchOS 10, though it still follows roughly the same steps as older software versions. Before you begin, ensure your Apple Watch isn't on charge.

Follow these steps to turn the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Ultra off:

1. Hold the side button on the watch until the sliders appear - usually a couple of seconds.

2. Tap the power icon in the top-right corner.

3. Drag the 'Power Off' slider from left to right - the Apple Watch will turn off.

Note: To turn the Apple Watch back on, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

Force restart the Apple Watch

Wareableforce restart apple watch


Forcing a restart of your Apple Watch or Apple Watch Ultra isn't advised in every scenario, such as when you're updating your Apple Watch to the latest software

However, it is a handy skill in your troubleshooting arsenal for when the device is failing to respond.

We would advise forcing your Apple Watch to restart if it's frozen when turned on, or won't respond when you try and turn it on.

To force restart the Apple Watch:

  • Hold the side button and Digital Crown for around 10 seconds, only releasing when the Apple logo appears

More Apple Watch guides

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor joined Wareable in 2017, quickly making a name for himself by testing out language translation earbuds on a first date, navigating London streets in a wearable airbag, and experiencing skydiving in a VR headset.

Over the years, he has evolved into a recognized wearables and fitness tech expert. Through Wareable’s instructional how-to guides, Conor helps users maximize the potential of their gadgets, and also shapes the conversation in digital health and AI hardware through PULSE by Wareable.

As an avid marathon runner, dedicated weightlifter, and frequent hiker, he also provides a unique perspective to Wareable’s in-depth product reviews and news coverage.

In addition to his contributions to Wareable, Conor’s expertise has been featured in publications such as British GQ, The IndependentDigital Spy, Pocket-lint, The Mirror, WIRED, and Metro.

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