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How to Turn Your Apple Watch Off: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever needed to quickly power down your Apple Watch? Want to learn the proper way to turn it off and back on or reset it? This guide will walk you through the steps in easy-to-follow detail.

Knowing how to turn your Apple Watch off, on, and reset can be useful for many reasons. It can help extend battery life, troubleshoot issues, or just give you a break from constant notifications.

Whether you‘re new to Apple Watch or have years of experience, read on for expert-approved tips on powering off your device fully. Let‘s dive in!

Why Would You Want to Power Down Your Apple Watch?

Before we get into the step-by-step instructions, let‘s review some common reasons for turning your Apple Watch off:

  • Save battery – Powering down when not in use conserves battery, especially helpful when storing for travel.
  • Troubleshoot problems – A reboot can reset the system and fix glitchy apps and freezing.
  • Take a break – We all need a digital detox sometimes! Power off for some distraction-free time.
  • Prepare for travel – It‘s recommended to fully power off electronics when packing them for flights.
  • Repair damage – If you suspect physical damage, powering off prevents further issues.

Now that you know why it‘s useful, let‘s look at how to actually turn your watch off.

Step 1 – Locate the Side Button

All Apple Watch models have a side button located opposite the Digital Crown on the right side.

Here‘s a breakdown of each model‘s side button:

Model Side Button Shape
Series 1-3 Rectangular
Series 4-5 Round
Series 6-8 Oval

The side button has an oval shape on newer models and rectangular or round on older ones.

Apple Watch side button photo

On newer models like Series 6, the side button has an oval shape

Step 2 – Press and Hold the Side Button

Firmly press and hold the side button for 5-7 seconds.

Keep holding when you feel a short haptic pulse on your wrist after 3 seconds. This pulse is expected.

Don‘t let go until the power off slider appears on the screen after about 7 total seconds of holding.

Tip: On older models, the slider may say "Power Off" instead of showing a slider.

Step 3 – Slide to Power Off

While continuing to hold the side button, use your other hand to slide the displayed slider from left to right.

Once fully slid over, release the side button. Your screen will go black as the watch powers down.

Apple Watch power off slider

Slide the on-screen slider to the right to power down your Apple Watch.

And that‘s it! Your watch is now powered down and disconnected from your paired iPhone.

Turning Your Apple Watch Back On

To turn your watch back on:

  • Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo displayed. This may take up to 15 seconds.
  • If it doesn‘t turn on, make sure it‘s charging either wirelessly or with the charging cable.
  • Try a different wall outlet or cable if it‘s still not powering on. Use the original if possible.
  • Let it charge for at least 30-60 minutes if the battery is completely drained.
  • Make sure the contacts on the charger and back of the watch are clean.
  • When very low on battery, you may see a red lightning bolt when charging. This will turn green when charging begins.

Pro Tip: If your watch is totally unresponsive, learn how to force restart it.

Disable Power Reserve Mode

Power Reserve mode minimizes battery usage by turning off non-essential features. It displays only the watch face and time.

Follow these steps to exit Power Reserve:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to open Control Center.
  2. Tap the Power Reserve percentage shown at the top.
  3. Toggle the slider off to disable Power Reserve.
  4. Press and hold the side button to restart your watch.

Give it a few minutes to reboot and restore full functionality.

Disable Power Reserve Mode on Apple Watch

How to Hard Reset an Apple Watch

If your watch screen is frozen and unresponsive, you can force restart it with a hard reset:

  1. Press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown at the same time.
  2. Keep holding both buttons for at least 10-15 seconds.
  3. Don‘t release until you see the Apple logo appear on the display, indicating it has restarted.

This will force your watch to power cycle and reboot the system. Some settings may need to be reset afterwards. Back up your data regularly to avoid losing anything important after a hard reset.

Apple Watch hard reset diagram

Press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown to hard reset the Apple Watch

Newer Features Like Always-On Display

Newer Apple Watch models have an Always-On Retina display that keeps your watch face visible at all times. The display dims but still shows important data when not actively in use.

If you want to disable Always-On for better battery life:

  • Open the Settings app on your watch
  • Tap "Display & Brightness"
  • Turn off "Always On"

This innovative feature keeps your watch convenient to view without excessive battery drain. Turn it off as needed for longer usage between charges.

Troubleshooting: Why Won‘t My Apple Watch Turn Off?

If you’ve tried all troubleshooting tips but your Apple Watch still refuses to power down, the issue could be hardware-related.

Potential causes include:

  • Physical damage – If you’ve recently dropped your watch or exposed it to water, internal components may have become loose or corroded. Apple recommends taking it to an authorized service provider for inspection.
  • Battery issues – An aging battery may prevent your watch from powering down fully. Replacement batteries can be installed at Apple or by independent repair shops like iFixit.
  • Software glitches – In rare cases, software bugs can cause shutdown issues. Updating to the latest watchOS is recommended.
  • Hardware failure – Components like the power button can eventually fail, preventing power off. Apple can diagnose and replace any defective parts.

If you have AppleCare+ coverage, repairs for physical damage are often free or discounted. Make an appointment at an Apple store and they can check it out under warranty.

Don‘t hesitate to get professional help from Apple support if your watch misbehaves. With the right troubleshooting and repair, they can get your Apple Watch functioning properly again in no time!

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