Apple Watches are interesting devices as long as you are signed into the right Apple account via your unique Apple ID. However, what does it mean when your Apple Watch starts asking for an Apple ID that doesn’t belong to you? And what should you do when it happens?
If an Apple Watch is asking for information for the wrong Apple ID, someone else has logged into their Apple account on the device in the past. Log out of the account and connect the Apple Watch to the correct Apple account. If the issue continues, reset the device or contact Apple customer service.
Keep reading to learn more about this problem and how you can fix it if and when it happens to you.
Signed in with Another Apple ID
If you are signed into more than one Apple ID on your phone, your watch will ask you to sign into your Apple account using those Apple IDs when you set it up.
Apple devices want to be signed into only one Apple account, but sometimes people will sign into another account, especially for Apple Music or the App store, where you or someone else may have purchased apps or subscriptions that you’d like to use on your device.
If you’ve done this or are signed into an old ID in one of your apps, you’ll need to sign out of all of your other Apple IDs except for the one the Apple Watch is supposed to be connected to.
Once you’ve signed out of the other IDs, your watch should only request the correct Apple ID. If you’d like to, you could attempt to log back into the other ID on whichever app it was, but the problem may crop up again in the future if you do so.
If you have an Apple Music subscription that you share with your family that you still want to be able to use, you can convert the subscription to a family plan. This costs a little bit more but will allow multiple Apple IDs to access the subscription.
Old Apps and Media
This is a related problem to using another Apple ID. If you have apps, music, movies, or anything else downloaded on your phone that you purchased with a different Apple ID, you’ll need to delete those apps from your phone, or your watch will keep asking for that Apple ID, especially when you try to get into the app associated with an Apple account that it isn’t currently associated with.
If you are having this problem, you should start by going to the settings on the watch and disabling the automatic app downloads. Your watch has the ability to automatically download the Apple Watch versions of all of the apps on your phone so that you can use them on both devices. This is the default setting and needs to be turned off to resolve this issue.
From there, you will want to go to Available Apps on your Apple Watch. There will be a list of apps that your phone has downloaded that your watch was not able to download for various reasons. These apps are likely the problem and the reason your watch keeps asking for the wrong Apple ID. You will need to delete these apps on your phone, and if you still want them, you’ll need to go back and redownload all of the apps you want with your current Apple ID.
After turning that setting off and deleting the offending apps or songs, you’ll want to restart your Apple Watch. Press and hold the side button to reset your Apple Watch.
How to Correctly Transfer an Apple Watch to a Family Member
Oftentimes, an Apple Watch will ask for an Apple ID that it isn’t currently logged into if a family member decides to give their Apple Watch to a family member or friend and doesn’t go through all of the steps to transfer the device.
This is how you correctly transfer your Apple Watch when you decide to sell it or give it away.
- Take the phone that your Apple Watch is connected to and open the Watch app. You should also place the watch next to it during this process.
- Select the My Watch tab.
- If you have multiple Apple Watches, find the name of the watch you are wishing to transfer and push the Info button next to it.
- Select Unpair Watch and then tap to confirm it.
- Remove the cellular plan from it. If your family member will be using the same cellular plan they will sign in again when they set it up with their Apple ID.
- Turn off the Activation Lock. This step is important so that the new owner can set up their own account. You’ll need to enter your Apple ID to do so.
- Finish the unpairing process.
Your Apple Watch should be good to give away or sell now. If you are receiving an Apple Watch, you’ll want to make sure the original owner goes through all these steps, or you won’t be able to reset everything.
If you transferred a watch and didn’t follow these steps and the other person isn’t available to physically go through the steps with you, they can do this from their computer. They’ll need to log into icloud.com and erase the data on the Apple Watch. If they are unsure how to do so, have them contact Apple customer service.
Receiving Requests for Random Apple IDs
If you’re getting requests from your watch to log into random Apple IDs that you don’t recognize, you’ll want to follow the same steps above. If that doesn’t work, your only two options at that point are to factory reset the watch or contact Apple customer service.
You can factory reset your Apple Watch in the Settings. Go to General Settings and find the Transfer or Reset iPhone buttons and do what it tells you to do. They can be found at the bottom of the menu or screen.
You could also try resetting the Apple Watch or your iPhone because if there is a software issue that is causing your Apple Watch to request that you sign in with various Apple IDs, resetting the device may fix the issue.