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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 supporting 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 require a full factory reset or an assistant from an 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.