How to turn off and restart your Apple Watch

Learn to give your smartwatch the off-on treatment
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

If your Apple Watch is acting up, the best medicine is often to turn it off and on again. In our experience, restarting the smartwatch will solve most of your issues.

In fact, if you do find your Apple Watch has stopped responding, your first step should always be to either give it either a simple restart or a force restart in an attempt to unfreeze it.

Read this: Apple Watch tips and tricks

So, want to learn how to turn off and restart the Apple Watch? Read our steps below. And, note, this isn't the same as resetting or unpairing the Apple Watch, which should be the next step in your troubleshooting adventure.

Turn off and restart the Apple Watch

WareableHow to turn off and restart your Apple Watch

Turning off and restarting the Apple Watch is simple, and performed in three steps:

1. Hold the side button on the watch until the Power Off slider appears.

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

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

Note: You must take your Apple Watch off the charger to perform these steps, otherwise it won't restart.

Force restart the Apple Watch

WareableHow to turn off and restart your Apple Watch

Using a forced restart of your Apple Watch isn't advised in every scenario, such as when you're updating watchOS, but it is a handy skill to have in your troubleshooting arsenal for when the device is failing to respond.

  • 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 how-to's

How to use your Apple Watch
How to use Apple Health
How to set up your Apple Watch
How to use Spotify on Apple Watch
How to use Alexa on Apple Watch
How to add music tracks to Apple Watch
How to use Siri on Apple Watch
How to unlock Mac with Apple Watch
How to improve Apple Watch battery life

TAGGED Apple Watch

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

Related stories