As part of the iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 update released this week, which brings new emoji and a new Siri voice, Apple has posted a support document that explains how to restore your Watch if an error message pops up.
While error messages are relatively rare on the Apple Watch, they often required a full factory reset or a trip to the Apple Store. In watchOS 8.5, your iPhone can help. Apple lays out the following steps if your watch suddenly displays the setup animation showing a watch and iPhone being brought close together:
- Put your Apple Watch on its charger.
- Double-click the side button (the button below the circular Digital Crown) on your Apple Watch.
- Follow the steps that appear on the iPhone.
Apple notes that the iPhone needs to have iOS 15.4 or later, to be connected to Wi-Fi, have Bluetooth turned on, and be unlocked. The support document also says to try using a 2.4GHz network instead of 5GHz if the above steps don’t work, and to make sure that you’re not on a captive Wi-Fi network.
Furthermore, watches showing a red exclamation point can be restored by double-clicking the side button and then following the same steps above. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact Apple Support for service.