How to reboot or factory reset a Wear OS watch

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

From time to time, it's good to restart your smartwatch to keep it running fresh, so knowing how to reboot or factory reset a Wear OS watch is helpful. The memory inside these devices can get bogged down sometimes with temporary files, and a restart can help get it back to running in tip-top shape. Now and then, even some of the best Android smartwatches need a reboot or a factory reset to fix an issue. Regardless of the reason, here is how to reboot or reset your Wear OS watch.

How to reboot a Wear OS watch

Many of the best Wear OS watches can run smoothly for days without the need to be rebooted. However, no matter how excellent the Android smartwatch is, there will come a time when a quick reboot can clear out any cobwebs that may have formed from daily use to get it back to its snappy self. Here's how you can do just that with only a few quick taps.

  1. Get to your watch settings by swiping down from the top of your screen.
  2. The other way to access your watch settings is by pressing the watch's side button and scrolling to settings in your apps list.
  3. Once you have opened the settings, scroll down to the bottom and tap on System.

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)
  1. Here is where you will find the option to restart your Wear OS watch.
  2. The next screen will confirm that you wish to restart or power off your smartwatch. Tap on the checkmark to proceed with your choice.

If you have chosen to simply restart your watch, your Wear OS smartwatch will be back up and running fresh and ready to go after a few moments. However, if you did fully power it off, you will need to hold the side button for a few seconds to turn your watch back on.

How to factory reset a Wear OS watch

If your smartwatch isn't performing correctly, or if you got a new phone, you'll want to know how to factory reset your watch to get it back up and running in tip-top shape quickly. The first batch of steps walks through how to reset your Wear OS watch from the watch itself.

  1. Follow steps 1 through 3 for rebooting your Wear OS watch.
  2. In step 4, choose disconnect and reset.
  3. When the next screen asks if you are sure that you want to disconnect and reset your device, tap on the checkmark.

The following steps will help you to reset your watch and remove it from the Wear OS app on your phone.

  1. If you are pairing the watch to a new phone, you can skip to step 6.
  2. In the app, you can either tap on the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen and select disconnect or scroll to the bottom of the Wear OS home screen and open advanced settings then choose forget watch.
  3. Once your Wear OS watch has finished the factory reset process, you'll go through pairing to the Wear OS app on your phone.

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Much like when you have to factory reset your Android phone, a factory reset on your Wear OS watch can be a little annoying due to the necessity of reinstalling your apps. Thankfully, the process is the same whether you use the top-end Wear OS 2 TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra or the fancy new Wear OS 3 Google Pixel Watch.

Getting back to good

While the process of resetting or rebooting your Wear OS smartwatch isn't a difficult one, it can be annoying when you rely on your watch for daily use. But ultimately, giving it a refresh can get your watch back up and running fast and doesn't take too long. 

The steps listed above apply to Wear OS 2 and earlier devices. Wear OS 3 brings some new functionality and different apps for each brand. The process will be a bit different. As for the popular Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 Wear OS 3 watches, those steps can be found here to get your watch backed up and reset.

Chris Wedel
Senior Editor - Smart Home
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.