These days, electronic devices are more challenging to steal and use than they were in the past. Manufacturers like Apple have introduced improved security measures to combat the problem of the theft of its products.
Can you use a stolen Apple Watch?
To use a stolen Apple Watch, the person would need to have the passcode for the device, along with the owner’s Apple ID and password. These are required to reset the Apple Watch to another iPhone; without them, the watch is not usable.
Apple deserves praise for making it almost impossible for thieves to use a stolen Apple Watch. Ensuring that the watch must be linked to one iPhone is a crucial factor in the security of the device, and therefore there is hardly any point in someone stealing an Apple Watch.
In this article, we’ll look at this topic in more detail and discuss the steps you can take if your watch has been stolen.
Can You Use a Stolen Apple Watch?
Apple Watches aren’t cheap devices, which may make them a target for thieves. If you suspect your Apple Watch has been stolen, you’re probably worrying that someone could use it and potentially access the information you have stored on the device.
Thanks to the security measures that Apple has put in place, you can rest assured that it’s practically impossible for a thief to use someone else’s Apple Watch. The first layer of security is the passcode you choose when setting up your Apple Watch.
Without this passcode, it is impossible for someone to unlock an Apple Watch. Only you should know this passcode, but even if someone has access to it, they still won’t be able to use the watch.
If someone manages to guess your passcode or they have access to it, they will still need to reset the Apple Watch and link it to another iPhone in order to use it. This is impossible unless they have your Apple ID and password, as Apple requires these when a reset is requested.
Additionally, as soon as the stolen Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi, it will broadcast its location to the owner, making it even more difficult to steal.
Apple deserves credit for making the Apple Watch practically impossible to steal because, in the past, it has been much easier for people to steal and use smartphones and tablets.
Thanks to the security measures put in place, it’s practically pointless for a thief to consider stealing an Apple Watch because they won’t ever be able to use it, and therefore it cannot be sold on to a new user.
Can You Reset An Apple Watch If Stolen?
Resetting an Apple Watch is not possible if it has been stolen or lost and found by another person. Without having access to the original owner’s Apple ID and password, there is no way that another person can reset the Apple Watch so that it can be paired with another iPhone.
The Apple Watch, in many ways, acts as an extension of the user’s iPhone rather than a standalone device. Consequently, any changes made to the Apple Watch must be verified on the user’s iPhone.
It’s basically pointless stealing an Apple Watch or trying to reset one that has been stolen because you won’t be able to unlock it unless you first have the device’s passcode. Secondly, you’ll need to log into the Apple ID account of the original user.
The fact that the Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone initially is the main reason its security is very effective, as it creates a physical and digital barrier that thieves cannot get through.
Compared to many other digital devices, the Apple Watch is incredibly secure and practically impossible for thieves to reset.
Here’s a YouTube video explaining further on resetting a stolen Apple watch:
Can Police Track My Stolen Apple Watch?
If your Apple Watch is stolen or lost, there is a chance that you might be able to track it down to get it back, hopefully.
The police cannot track your stolen Apple Watch, but you should still report the item as stolen so that they can help find the criminal who took it. The Find My app is the most effective way to track a stolen Apple Watch. This is the same service Apple offers iPhone users can use to find their missing phone or AirPods users can use to locate missing earbuds.
You must have set up the Find My app and registered your Apple Watch with the service before it is stolen if you are to use it to locate the device. Unfortunately, if you didn’t set it up, it will not be able to track your Apple Watch, and your chances of finding it are slim.
If you did set up the Find My app with your Apple Watch, you need to log into the service either on your iPhone, a computer, or on someone else’s iPhone. If you are using a computer, go to the iCloud website and sign in using your Apple ID and password.
Alternatively, you can open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. When you open the app, you’ll be presented with all the devices linked to your account.
Select your Apple Watch, which will open a map showing the most recent location where the device was online. You can then click on the location to see further details about the location.
The Find My app will provide directions to the stolen Apple Watch if it is still in the same location as it was last online. At this point, it is a good idea to notify the police that you suspect you know where the stolen device is so that they can advise you on the best course of action to take next.
Hopefully, with their help, you will be able to track down the stolen Apple Watch. The thieves will soon realize they can’t actually use the watch or sell it unless they have your Apple ID and password and the passcode you set up to unlock the device.
Does Unpairing a Stolen Apple Watch Erase It?
If an Apple Watch has been stolen, unpairing it may seem logical to erase all your information and data from the device. The thought of someone accessing your personal information is not nice, so it’s understandable that you’d want to erase it if possible.
The unpairing process does indeed erase your Apple Watch entirely, and it also removes it from your iCloud account. The Activation Lock is also then disabled from the device.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to unpair your Apple Watch unless you have it alongside your iPhone. To unpair the device, you ideally need to place it close to the phone it is linked to.
You cannot use another iPhone for unpairing – it must be the one that you connected the Apple Watch to when you initially set up the device.
You’ll need to open the Watch app on the paired iPhone, then go to My Watch > All Watches. Then tap the information icon next to your Apple Watch.
This will present you with the option to “Unpair Apple Watch”. However, if you don’t have your Apple Watch because it’s stolen, these steps won’t work.
There is, however, another way to do this, even if your Apple Watch is stolen or lost. You’ll need to use the Find My app on your iPhone or any other device on which you can log into the service.
Then, find your Apple Watch in the listed devices. You can then choose to erase the device and unpair it from your account.
The great thing is that unpairing the Apple Watch from your account will erase all of your data – but it will be backed up on your iPhone, so if you ever get the watch back, all of your data will be put back onto the device.
Can an Apple Watch be tracked by serial number?
If you’ve lost your Apple Watch or stolen device, you cannot track it using the serial number. The only way to track the device is by using the Find My app, which must have been set up before it went missing. The app can be accessed on your iPhone or on the iCloud website.
How do I find the owner of an Apple Watch I found?
Unless the previous owner of a lost Apple Watch manages to track it using the Find My app, there’s not much you can do in order to track them down to return it. The best thing to do is hand the watch to the local police so that they can hopefully get it back to the owner.
How do I pair an already paired Apple Watch?
It is not possible to pair an Apple Watch to multiple iPhones. Therefore, if you want to pair the device to another phone, you’ll need to first unpair it from the iPhone used in the initial setup. This requires you to put in your passcode, Apple ID, and password.