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How to find your Apple Watch

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If your watch has strayed, you may be able to coax it home again

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Even the best of us can occasionally misplace an item. Even something like the Apple Watch, which is usually safe on your wrist, can be lost. You come home from a run, pull off your watch and drop it — somewhere in the living room. The band comes loose while you’re out watching the latest Marvel movie, and you walk out of the theater without it. Your three-year-old decides it might be fun to play with your Watch for a few minutes, and then leaves it under a pile of stuffed toys.

What do you do?

Luckily, Apple’s “Find My” app works as well with your Watch as with your iPhone — better, in fact, because you can use your iPhone to find your wandering Watch.

  • Go to the Watch app on your phone. (You can also get there by tapping on the “Find My” app and choosing your watch from the list of devices.)
  • Tap on your watch’s name
  • Tap on the information circle to the right of the watch name / photo
  • Tap on “Find My Apple Watch.” (If this is the first time you’ve used the feature, you may be requested to turn on “Send Last Location,” which will store the last known location of your Watch for up to 24 hours after the battery has run out.)

The next page has a map that shows you the location of your watch and several options for finding your device.

  • If the watch is somewhere close (for example, if you lost it somewhere within your house), you can tap “Play Sound” to have it play an increasingly loud sound. (It will also tap against your wrist, just in case you forgot you’re wearing it.) You can then dismiss the sound using the watch once you’ve found it.
  • You can get directions to its current (or last) location.
  • You can mark the phone as lost. When you do that, you will be guided through a series of screens that will let you set a passcode for the lost watch, set a phone number (if you want to) so you can be notified if it’s found, and create a message (“Please call me if you find this watch”). Once the feature is activated, the watch will be locked, and whoever finds it won’t be able to use it without the passcode.
  • If the phone is marked as lost, when you tap on the “Mark as Lost” section you will be taken to a “Lost Mode” page, which lets you receive email updates or turn off “Mark as Lost.”
  • Finally, if you’re sure that the watch has been stolen, you can tap on “Erase This Device.” You’ll get a screen asking if you want to erase the device and warning you that an erased watch can no longer be tracked. However, you can still enter an optional phone number screen (as when you marked it as lost) and a message for someone who recovers it.

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