If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9.1 or later, you can set up your Apple Watch with these devices so that they all share the same iCloud account.
If your Apple Watch is ever lost or stolen, you can activate the Activation Lock from any of these devices. So, what is Activation Lock?
We have made a detailed explanation about it for you. Keep reading.
What is Activation Lock on Apple Watch?
The Activation Lock on Apple Watch is a security feature that prevents your Watch from being used by someone else if it's lost or stolen.
In case your Watch is stolen or goes missing, the Activation Lock will lock it down, and the thief won't be able to reactivate it for use.
The FIND MY feature of Apple devices and ACTIVATION LOCK work together. Once you set up FIND MY for your Apple Watch on a connected iPhone, the ACTIVATION LOCK feature becomes active automatically.
If Activation Lock is active, you will require your Apple ID and password to do the following on your Apple Watch:
- Disconnect or unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone or iPad.
- Connect or pair your iPhone with an iPhone or iPad.
- Deactivate the FIND MY feature on your Apple Watch.
If you forget your password, you might not be able to get into your Apple Watch. Therefore, the best way to ensure your Watch is secure is to write down the password on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place.
This way, even if you forget your password, you can retrieve it so that you can control various types of access to your Watch.
Many things in our lives are connected with passwords and PIN codes. You have one at home, at work, and even for social media accounts.
The same applies to your Apple Watch as well. When you first set up the device, you need to put in your Apple ID and password on it so no one else can access it without your permission.
How to ensure your Apple Watch Activation Lock is working
Your Apple Watch Activation Lock works only when it's turned on, so to check if it is turned on and working:
- Go to your App Store, install the Watch app and open it.
- On the screen, you'll see the MY WATCH tab. Click on it and be sure you are on the MY WATCH page.
- Click the name of your Watch located at the top.
- Select the info icon beside your Watch's name.
- You will see FIND MY APPLE WATCH. If you see this phrase, it means your Apple watch Activation Lock is on and working, but if you don't, you will have to enable it with the steps explained further down in the article.
- Type in iCloud.com into your browser.
- Sign in using your Apple ID and password.
- Look for the FIND MY icon and click on it.
- Check for your Apple Watch from the ALL DEVICES drop-down list.
- If your Apple Watch is listed here, Activation Lock is on and active for it.
How to enable Apple Watch Activation Lock
If you follow the steps above to ensure your Apple Watch Activation Lock is working and you cannot see the FIND MY APPLE WATCH phrase, you will have to enable it. To enable your Apple Watch Activation Lock is easy. All you have to do is:
- Update your Apple watch to the latest watchOS.
- Sign in to your iCloud account from your Apple Watch.
- Pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
- During the pairing process, restore the Apple Watch from a previous backup.
- Enable the ACTIVATION LOCK when requested by inputting your iCloud details.
- When asked if you want to enable "FIND MY WATCH," agree to it.
- After this setup, ACTIVATION LOCK is now turned on for your Apple Watch.
How to remove Activation Lock from Apple watch
You can remove your Apple Watch's Activation Lock through the Watch app on your iPhone by unpairing both devices from each other. To do this:
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Select the All Watch tab found at the top of the screen.
- Tap the "i" info icon you see next to your Apple Watch.
- Tap on the UNPAIR APPLE WATCH.
- Then you'll see a pop at the bottom of your screen to confirm that you want to unpair both devices. Select the UNPAIR (Your Name) Apple Watch.
- If you have a cellular plan on the Watch, it would ask whether you want to keep or remove the plan.
- Then, it will request your Apple ID details to disable Activation Lock.
- Your iPhone will back up your Watch's data and unpair itself from the watch.
How to disable or remove Activation Lock on Apple Watch from the web
If you want to remove the Activation Lock from your Apple Watch and you are not with either your phone or the Watch at the moment, you can make use of the web.
This is done using Apple's FIND MY service in a web browser to remove the Activation Lock. Follow the steps below to remove it:
- Go to your web browser and log into iCloud.com using your Apple ID and password.
- Click on the FIND MY IPHONE or FIND MY from the menu bar.
- At the top of your screen, tap on ALL DEVICES and select your APPLE WATCH from the list.
- Choose the ERASE APPLE WATCH and confirm it is what you want to do by selecting ERASE.
- Once done, you have successfully removed your Apple watch Activation Lock through the web.
Note: If your apple watch isn't working well enough to communicate to your iPhone and needs to be serviced, you can also use this method to remove the Activation Lock through the web to service your Apple watch.
How to bypass the Apple watch Activation Lock?
If someone gifted you a used Apple Watch or bought one as a second-hand device, you must bypass the Activation Lock on the Apple Watch.
To bypass the Activation Lock, you can ask the owner of the Apple Watch to use either of the methods explained above to help you deactivate the Watch. Then, you can set up the Watch afresh using your own iPhone for Activation Lock.
Note: You cannot pair your iPhone to the Apple Watch if it still has its Activation Lock by someone else, so you have to disable it before you can pair it to another iPhone.
If the previous owner of the Apple Watch seems to be far away and unavailable to use the official Apple My Watch app method, then ask them to remove the Activation Lock on the Apple Watch through the web, as earlier explained.
Frequently Asked Questions about Activation Lock on Apple Watch
Q. Can I use iCloud to remove the Activation Lock from an Apple Watch?
A. Yes, you can. You can use iCloud to remove Activation Lock in certain situations. Situations like if you bought a second-hand Apple Watch and the previous owner is unavailable physically to unlock it or maybe, the owner misplaced their iPhone.
All they need to do is log into their iCloud account, select the Apple watch, then erase and remove the Apple Watch from their account so you can pair your phone with it.
Q. Can I remove the Activation Lock on an Apple Watch marked stolen?
A. No, you cannot remove the Activation Lock on an Apple Watch marked stolen even if you try to use the online service. You have to meet the owner of the Apple watch to remove the Activation Lock with their Apple ID.
Q. What is the Activation Lock on my Apple Watch used for?
A. The Activation Lock on the Apple Watch is used to prevent unauthorized users from accessing an Apple Watch, especially if it gets missing or stolen. Essentially, it locks the device to an Apple ID, making it accessible to a user that can supply the credentials of that Apple ID.
Q. Can higher admins bypass Activation Lock?
A. Apple, under its developer program, has stated that from iOS 7.1, they will provide support to organizations to remove Activation Lock from supervised devices before the devices are activated with the feature. This will be done without knowing any user's personal Apple ID or password.
Q. Can you unlock an Apple Watch that is iCloud locked?
A. No, you cannot unlock an Apple Watch from the iCloud without knowing the Apple ID and password of that iCloud account.
The best way to ensure your Apple Watch is secure is to activate the Activation Lock feature. This will prevent anyone from using your Watch if it gets stolen.
As Activation Lock works with the FIND MY feature, it is possible to track the missing or stolen Apple Watch while it remains useless to the thief. Thanks for reading.