Technology

How to Find Your Apple Watch

Written by Chief Editor

We all do it: Forget where we placed our devices. We’re so accustomed to keeping a screen in front of our faces that we become the proverbial baby losing her pacifier, adult infants throwing tantrums until the screen is back in our faces and we’re all smiles and giggles once again. Wearables like the Apple Watch have also become a similar mainstay in our daily routines, and even though it’s usually attached to your arm, it’s too easy to lose track of it when put down.

Thankfully, there are tools in place to find your Apple products if they become misplaced, completely lost, or outright stolen. This guide shows you how to find your Apple Watch using the native Find My tool. These instructions apply to any Apple product, actually, so adjust as needed.

Use the Find My app (iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS)

This method uses GPS and a wireless connection (Wi-Fi or cellular, depending on the model) to locate the device. If you’ve already set up Find My on a paired iPhone, then it’s automatically enabled on the Apple Watch. If you didn’t enable Find My before the watch went missing, there is no way to locate the expensive wearable using Apple’s services.

For the Apple Watch Series 1, this method can only locate the paired iPhone, not the wearable.

Find My App Tap Apple Watch

Step 1: Tap (mobile) or click (Mac) to open the Find My app.

Note: The remaining steps describe instructions for the iPhone. They also mostly apply to the iPad and Mac, but the interface will be somewhat different so that the next steps won’t be exact.

Step 2: Tap the Devices tab located at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on your registered Apple Watch to see its location on a map.

Apple Watch Play Sound

If the device is listed as offline, then it’s not connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network and is not within reach of your paired iPhone. Given the battery only lasts up to 18 hours, it may be deader than yesterday’s news, making it extremely difficult to locate.

If the location circle is too large, wait a few minutes and then refresh the map. If the circle remains too large, your Apple Watch may not have a GPS or wireless connection.

Step 4: If it’s located nearby, tap the Play Sound button.

Apple Watch Dismiss Sound

Step 5: Tap the displayed Dismiss button on the Apple Watch to end the sound.

Use iCloud in a browser

You can locate a missing Apple device from any computer using a web browser and your Apple ID.

Find iPhone from iCloud

Step 1: Go to iCloud.com and enter your Apple ID credentials.

Step 2: Click to open Find iPhone. The icon resembles a radar readout, as shown above.

Find Apple Watch from iCloud

Step 3: On the following screen, click the Down arrow next to All Devices shown at the top.

Step 4: Select the Apple Watch on the drop-down list.

Apple Watch iCloud Play Sound

Step 5: If it’s located nearby, click the Play Sound button within the panel located in the top right corner of the map.

Step 6: Tap the displayed Dismiss button on the Apple Watch to end the sound.

If you can’t find your Apple Watch

If you can’t find your Apple Watch, there are a few things you can do to lock it down until it’s located.

Turn on Lost Mode

This mode puts it on lockdown, requiring a passcode to access the device. This prevents anyone from finding it, resetting it to factory defaults, and pawning it off for cash. It also can’t be paired with another iPhone. Additionally, Activation Lock prevents anyone from erasing the device and paring it to a different iPhone without supplying your Apple ID credentials first.

Step 1: Tap (mobile) or click (Mac) to open the Find My app.

Note: The remaining steps describe instructions for the iPhone. They also mostly apply to the iPad and Mac, but the interface will be somewhat different so that the next steps won’t be exact.

Step 2: Select the Devices tab located at the bottom.

Step 3: Select your registered Apple Watch.

Step 4: On the roll-up menu, scroll down and select Activate listed under Mark As Lost.

Step 5: Select Continue at the bottom of the following screen.

Step 6: Enter your phone number (optional) and then select Next.

Step 7: Enter a message that you want to be displayed on the Apple Watch screen and then select Next.

Step 8: The final screen supplies a few options you can toggle on and off: Notify When Found and Receive Email Updates. The first option will only unlock when there is no recent location recorded for the Apple Watch.

When you’re ready, select Activate to finish.

Turn off Lost Mode (iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS)

Step 1: Tap (mobile) pr click (Mac) to open the Find My app.

Note: The remaining steps describe instructions for the iPhone. They also mostly apply to the iPad and Mac, but the interface will be somewhat different so that the next steps won’t be exact.

Step 2: Tap the Devices tab located at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on your Apple Watch.

Step 4: On the roll-up menu, scroll down and tap Activated listed under Mark As Lost.

Step 5: Tap Turn Off Mark As Lost.

Step 6: Tap Turn Off to complete.

Turn off Lost Mode (browser)

Step 1: Go to iCloud.com and enter your Apple ID credentials.

Step 2: Click to open Find iPhone. The icon resembles a radar readout.

Step 3: On the following screen, click the Down arrow next to All Devices shown at the top.

Step 4: Select the Apple Watch on the drop-down list.

Step 5: Click Lost Mode.

Step 6: Click Stop Lost Mode.

Step 7: Click Stop Lost Mode again to complete.

Report the Apple Watch as lost or stolen

If you absolutely cannot find your missing Apple Watch, you can report the device as lost or stolen in case it eventually turns up. Here’s how you can find its Serial Number or IMEI that’s required to file a report:

Step 1: On your iPhone, tap to open the Apple Watch app.

Step 2: Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom if it’s not loaded by default.

Step 3: Tap General on the list.

Step 4: Tap About on the following screen.

Step 5: Find the Serial Number and/or IMEA as needed.

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