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How to Unpair Your Apple Watch

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I think your watch and phone could use some time apart.

It’s always kinda awkward when you have to separate your electronic devices from each other. Maybe you’re selling one of them off, maybe you got a new one, maybe you need to format one of their memories; whatever it is, I feel a little bad separating bosom buddies like that, but technology is an ever-marching thing, and that means occasionally having to split up good friends. Or friends who barely tolerate each other, in the case of my phone and car stereo, but I digress. Whether you’re getting a new phone or need to reset its settings, you may need to unpair your Apple Watch from its companion. Here’s how to do so.

To unpair your Apple Watch from its companion iPhone, simply get out the iPhone and hold it near the watch. Open the Watch app on the phone, and you should immediately sell the watch’s designation on the list. Tap the little orange “i” symbol on the right side of the watch’s designation to bring up its settings. At the bottom of the list is a bright red option that reads “Unpair Apple Watch.”

Now before you tap that, a word of warning: the majority of data stored on your Apple Watch only exists from its pairing to your phone. If you sever that pairing, that data goes bye bye. It’ll still be on your phone, obviously, but your Watch will have next to no functionality until you pair it again. If you’re okay with all that, then tap the option and enter your AppleID password.

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Your watch and phone will begin the unpairing process, which can take up to ten minutes depending on how much stuff you’ve got in there. Make sure to keep them next to each other for the whole process so they can sever cleanly. When it’s all done, your Watch will be a more-or-less blank slate, ready to be paired with a phone once again.