Apple Watch Can Be Reset Without Passcode

I’m not sure whether this is a bug, or by design. But at least for now, you can force a factory reset on Apple Watch by:

  1. Locking the watch. (Take it off your wrist.)
  2. Long press on the side button to bring up the “Power Off” screen.
  3. Force tap on the “Power Off” screen.

At this point, you’ll see a new screen with two buttons: “Erase all content and settings” and “Cancel”. It’s a rather ugly layout, which makes me think this is a diagnostic feature, not something that was intended to be exposed to actual users. The only restriction on erasing all content and settings is that the watch has to be connected to a power source — you’re never prompted to enter your passcode.

(Calling this “How to Steal an Apple Watch” earns Philip Elmer-DeWitt a Clickbait Headline of the Day award. Congratulations.)

Thursday, 14 May 2015