Apple says, “Find My includes a feature called Activation Lock that’s designed to prevent anyone else from using your Apple Watch if it’s ever lost or stolen.“
This feature is actually a complex security system that protects your Apple Watch and helps stop thieves from using or selling it.
Activation Lock is enabled on your iWatch when you set up Find My iPhone on your iPhone.
Find My is a tool that helps you to:
- Track your lost or stolen Apple Watch.
- Remotely erase the contents of your iWatch
- Prevent anyone from reactivating your Apple Watch without your permission
When Find My iPhone is enabled, your Apple ID and password is required before you can:
- Unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone.
- Pair and use your Apple Watch with a new iPhone.
- Turn off the Activation Lock on your device.
Should you lose your watch, Find My can help you track it down.
If your iWatch is stolen Find My will also improve your chances of getting it back.
You can even erase the contents of your Watch remotely via the iCloud website. This prevents your data from falling into the wrong hands.
Even after your device has been wiped, it will continue to be locked and will be unusable unless your Apple ID and password are entered when requested. So your Apple Watch can’t be sold on and used by anyone else.
What to do if your Apple Watch is stuck on Activation Lock
If your Apple Watch is stuck on the Activation Lock you should turn it off.
This can be done in the Watch app on your iPhone, or via Apple’s iCloud website. In order to disable Find My iPhone on the device, you will need to know the owners’ Apple ID and password.
iCloud Activation Lock removal
There are a number of suppliers online claiming they can remove the iCloud Activation Lock from an Apple Watch.
In order to remove the lock, you need to supply them with the Apple Watch serial number and pay an unlocking fee.
The unlocking process they follow is the same, regardless of the model and type of Apple product you would like to unlock.
How to remove Activation Lock on Apple Watch without previous owner or Apple ID
If you buy or are given a used Apple Watch with Activation Lock turned on you will be asked for the previous owners’ Apple login credentials.
If you can’t get in touch with the previous owner or don’t know the Apple account details you won’t be able to remove Activation Lock using the officially approved method.
Instead, you will need to use an iCloud removal service to get rid of the lock.
To find out more about bypassing, unlocking, or removing Activation Lock on any Apple device, or on an Apple Watch see the following guides:
- Bypassing, unlocking, and removing the iCloud Activation Lock
- Free iCloud unlock instructions
- Bypass Apple Watch Activation Lock
Remember, this security system was designed to discourage theft by making it almost impossible to resell stolen devices so removal is deliberately difficult.
If your Apple Watch is lost or stolen
If your Apple Watch is missing there are a number of things you can do to help find it, and keep your data secure:
- Find your device on a map using iCloud or the Find My app
- Play a sound on your device to help track it down
- Erase all of the data
- Lock the watch using Lost Mode
To find out more, see What to do if your Apple Watch is missing.
What to do if you plan to sell your Apple Watch
You should turn off the Activation Lock on your iWatch before you sell it, or give it away.
You also need to switch it off before you send your watch in for a service otherwise Apple will be unable to work on it.
It is a simple process and only takes a few minutes to do. To find out more, see What to do before selling or trading in your Apple device.
You should also check for the Activation Lock before you buy a used Apple Watch. For more details, see How to check the Activation Lock status.
Activation Lock on other Apple products
Activation Lock and Find My can be found on all new Apple computing products. For more information see: