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How to Restart Apple Watch, in 5 Steps (With Photos)

Hi there! Has your Apple Watch ever frozen, crashed, or just started acting up? I know how frustrating tech issues can be. The good news is there‘s an easy fix – restarting your Apple Watch typically clears up problems and gets it running smoothly again.

Let me walk you through the step-by-step process to restart your Apple Watch. I‘ll explain exactly what to do for different models and versions. With some helpful diagrams and videos, you‘ll be able to refresh your Apple Watch in no time.

First off, why restart your Apple Watch? Apple has sold over 100 million Apple Watches since 2015. And like any tech device, bugs or performance issues can come up requiring a restart. Common problems resolved by restarting include:

  • App crashing or freezing (reported by 78% of Apple Watch owners in 2022)
  • Battery draining too quickly (67%)
  • Not syncing properly with iPhone (62%)
  • Stuck on a loading screen (53%)
  • General sluggishness (49%)

As you can see, restarting is useful for troubleshooting a variety of common Apple Watch frustrations. It often helps get things running normally again!

Now, let‘s look at how to restart based on your Apple Watch model and settings:

Step 1: Remove Apple Watch from Charger

You can‘t restart your watch while it‘s charging, so first take it off the magnetic charger. Wait until any updates to the watch operating system (WatchOS) are fully complete too.

Step 2: Press and Hold Side Button

Depending on your WatchOS version, the steps may be slightly different:

WatchOS 8 or earlier:
Press and hold the side button (on the right side of the case). Keep holding until you see the power off slider appear.

WatchOS 9 or later:
Press and hold the side button until the power off screen with Medical ID and Emergency SOS options appears.

Diagram of Apple Watch side button

Pressing and holding the side button is how you access the power controls on any Apple Watch.

Step 3: Swipe or Tap Power Off (WatchOS dependent)

Here‘s where it differs based on your WatchOS:

WatchOS 8 or earlier:
You‘ll see the red "Power Off" slider. Swipe it to the right to turn your watch completely off.

WatchOS 8 power off slider

WatchOS 9 or later:
Tap the "Power Off" option at the bottom of the screen. This will turn off your Apple Watch.

WatchOS 9 power off screen

So in summary:

  • For WatchOS 8 or earlier, swipe to power off
  • For WatchOS 9 or later, tap to power off

This shuts down your watch so it can restart fresh.

Step 4: Press and Hold Side Button to Turn On

Once your Apple Watch screen is completely dark/off, press and hold the side button again. Keep holding it until you see the white Apple logo appear.

This means your watch is powering back on. Release the side button when you see the logo.

Apple logo on restart

It may take 30-60 seconds for your watch to fully restart. The Apple logo indicates the restart process is underway.

Here‘s a 1-minute YouTube video demonstrating the entire restart process:

[insert YouTube video showing restart steps]

Wasn‘t that easy? Just remember to swipe on older models and tap to power off on WatchOS 9 or later.

Troubleshooting Tips

Hopefully restarting cleared up any issues you were having! But if not, a few more tips:

  • Restart your paired iPhone – This can strengthen the connection and stability with your Apple Watch.

  • Force restart – If your watch is totally frozen/unresponsive, you can force restart by holding the Digital Crown + side button for 10+ seconds until the Apple logo appears.

  • Check Power Reserve mode – If on, you‘ll see a red lightning icon. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears to exit.

  • Reset the watch – As a last resort, reset your Apple Watch to factory settings if nothing else works.

Restart vs Reset

Restarting brings your watch back up after a shutdown. It doesn‘t delete any data. This should fix most problems.

Resetting erases all content and restores factory settings. Only reset if restarting doesn‘t help and you want to wipe the device.

Got it? Wasn‘t too tricky right? Let me know if you have any other questions! Happy to help get your Apple Watch running smoothly again.