How to turn your Apple Watch on and off, and force-restart it for troubleshooting

apple watch restartAbigail Abesamis/Business Insider

  • You can turn your Apple Watch on and off normally, or force-restart the device when it becomes unresponsive.
  • When turning on Apple Watch, you'll see the Apple logo for a few moments, then the Watch display.
  • There are several ways to wake Apple Watch, which you can customize.

There aren't too many reasons to turn your Apple Watch off (I personally turned my Watch on and off for the first time for the sake of this story).

But if the need arises, as your watch becomes unresponsive or its apps freeze up, for instance, here's how you can go about restarting and force-restarting your Apple Watch, and customizing its wake features.

How to turn off Apple Watch

apple watchAbigail Abesamis/Business Insider

1. Press and hold the side button until three slider options appear: Power Off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS.

2. Slide the Power Off button to the right to turn off Apple Watch.

3. The Apple Watch user guide notes that you are not able to turn off your Apple Watch while it's charging. To turn it off, you must disconnect it from it charger before following these instructions.

How to turn on Apple Watch

apple watchAbigail Abesamis/Business Insider

1. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears in the middle of the screen.

2. It may take a moment for the Watch to fully turn on, but when it does you'll see the Watch face. You may be prompted to unlock your Watch if you have a passcode set.

How to force-restart Apple Watch

apple watch force restartPress and hold the crown and Power Off buttons simultaneously to force-start.Abigail Abesamis/Business Insider

1. If your Watch isn't responding (and not currently updating, which is indicated by an Apple logo and a progress wheel), press and hold the side button and Digital Crown at the same time.

2. Release both buttons as soon as you see the Apple logo (about 10 seconds).

How to wake Apple Watch display

When your Apple Watch is turned on, you'll want to wake its display to check the time, read notifications, and access all other Apple Watch features. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Raise your wrist as if you were checking a standard watch. The Watch's sensors will pick up the movement and wake the screen, and the Watch automatically goes back to sleep when you lower your wrist.

2. Tap on the Watch screen or press the Digital Crown.

3. Turn the Digital Crown in an upward direction and watch the display gradually glow to life. The user guide notes that this option is available on Apple Watch Series 2 and later models.

Customize how long the Watch display stays on upon waking

1. On the iPhone Watch app, go to the My Watch tab and select General.

2. Select Wake Screen.

IMG_7931.PNGAbigail Abesamis/Business Insider

3. In the On Tap section, select Wake for 15 Seconds or Wake for 70 Seconds.

Disable Wake Screen on Wrist Raise

Whether you want to conserve battery or in general would prefer to wake your Apple Watch only by tapping the display or pressing the Digital Crown, you can disable the Wake Screen on Wrist Raise feature in your iPhone Watch app's settings or by using theater mode. Here's how to do both:

1. On the Wake Screen menu in the iPhone Watch app (under General, pictured above), turn the Wake Screen on Wrist Raise option off.

theater modeAbigail Abesamis/Business Insider

2. To temporarily turn off this feature, enable theater mode on your Apple Watch by swiping up on the display and selecting the icon with two masks. When theater mode is activated you'll see the masks icon at the top of the Watch display. Theater mode silences Apple Watch and keeps the display from turning on when raising your wrist.

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