Apple watches are excellent for tracking fitness, time, texts, phone calls, and more. It also looks stylish on any wrist and is simple to use.
This article will explain everything you need to know about tracking an Apple Watch if you ever lose it.
Can an Apple Watch Be Tracked After Factory Reset?
If an Apple Watch didn’t have an activation lock allowing it to be factory reset, it could not be tracked using Find My. Likewise, if it doesn’t show up on Find My, isn’t connected to Wi-Fi cellular or a paired iPhone, it cannot be tracked.
Activation lock requires your Apple ID and password before anyone can unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone, turn off Find My on your watch or pair your watch to a new phone.
If the watch didn’t have an activation lock, it likely had a factory reset and cannot be tracked, although according to Apple, the owner can do the following steps to help protect their information:
- Place their Apple Watch in Lost Mode. When your watch is in Lost Mode, your passcode is required before anyone can turn off Find My, erase your watch, or pair it with another iPhone.
- Change your Apple ID password. When you change your Apple ID password, you can prevent anyone from accessing your iCloud information or using other services from your missing device.
- Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement. Law enforcement might request the serial number of your device. Find your device serial number.
If you didn’t enable ‘Find My‘, there is no way you can find the Apple Watch. However, if you have it enabled, you can log in to iCloud.com to see the last known location that your watch was connected to.
If it shows up, you can make the Apple Watch play a sound or mark it as lost, which requires a passcode before anyone can do anything with the watch.
Can Apple Track Apple Watch by Serial Number?
You cannot track an Apple watch via the serial number. A serial number is just a unique number identifying the Apple Watch for warranty purposes.
Unique serial numbers given to Apple watches, laptops, and smartphones are based on a complex algorithm. In addition, it provides information on the manufacturer, the phone’s model number, technical characteristics, and the phone’s date of manufacture (with specifics up to a week).
The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is more useful for law enforcement to track an Apple Watch. It is normally 15 digits long, and the police will cross-reference the Apple Watches unique IMEI number against suspected stolen Apple watches.
It isn’t like the movies you can’t type an IMEI number into a police statement and BOOM the location is found, but it’s more useful than the serial number for Apple and the police to track the Apple Watch.
Curious if you can use a found Apple Watch? If so, I suggest you read my helpful article.
Can an Unopened Apple Watch Be Tracked?
You cannot track an unopened Apple Watch unless it’s paired to an Apple device. But if someone has the Apple watch box, it can still be activated or sold, and the watch will pair with whoever activates it.
Apple Watches have an activation lock that requires a user’s Apple ID and password to do everything with the watch. However, if the watch is factory sealed and the activation lock has not been activated, it cannot be tracked via Find My. It’s because the watch was not connected to any iPhone.
If your Apple Watch was lost or stolen when it was factory sealed, I’m sorry your watch is lost forever unless someone handed it into the location police station where you lost the watch.
Can an Apple Watch Be Tracked if Reset?
If an Apple watch had a factory reset, it could not be tracked. Apple Watches can only be tracked via Find My if connected to an Apple device like an iPad or iPhone.
The first-generation Apple Watch did not have a built-in GPS chip, so you cannot find it in Find My. However, if the watch didn’t have a factory reset, you could use iCloud to track the watch’s latest location when the GPS was pinned via Wi-Fi, a paired Apple device, or cellular service.
If the watch isn’t on the map in iCloud.com, it means it was reset, or it wasn’t connected via Wi-Fi, cellular data, or the iPhone. If it is, you can play a sound by iCloud.com to help you locate it.
It’s important to understand Apple Pay and Apple Credit cards to best use your Apple balance. To become an Apple pay expert, you can read my helpful article.