How To Turn On Water Lock On Apple Watch

by Barbara Wilson

The Apple Watch is a powerful tool that offers various functionalities, including fitness tracking, health monitoring, and seamless integration with other Apple devices. One of its most useful features for active users is the Water Lock function, which helps protect the watch when it’s exposed to water. Whether you’re swimming, surfing, or just taking a shower, Water Lock ensures your Apple Watch remains functional and protected from water damage. This article will guide you through the steps to enable and disable Water Lock, explaining the feature in detail and offering tips for optimal use.


Understanding Water Lock on Apple Watch

Water Lock is a feature designed to prevent accidental touch inputs when your Apple Watch is exposed to water. It’s particularly useful during swimming workouts or other water-related activities. When Water Lock is enabled, the touch screen is temporarily disabled to avoid unintended interactions. Additionally, when you deactivate Water Lock, the watch emits a series of sounds to expel water from the speaker, ensuring that your device remains functional.


Opening Control Center

To enable Water Lock, you first need to access the Control Center on your Apple Watch. Here’s how:


Press the Side Button:

  • On watchOS 9 or earlier, touch and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up to open Control Center.
  • Alternatively, you can press the side button to bring up the Control Center. This action works from any screen, whether you’re in an app, on the watch face, or within a notification.

Tapping the Water Lock Button

Once you have opened the Control Center, follow these steps:


Tap the Water Lock Button:

  • In Control Center, look for the Water Lock button, which is represented by a water drop icon.
  • Tap the Water Lock button. This action will immediately block touch input, preventing any accidental touches while your Apple Watch is exposed to water.

Automatic Enabling of Water Lock

Water Lock can also be enabled automatically under certain conditions, which enhances its convenience:

During Water-Based Workouts:

  • When you start a water-based workout, such as swimming, Water Lock is automatically activated.
  • If you own an Apple Watch Ultra, Water Lock is also enabled automatically when you go diving.

This automatic feature ensures that you don’t have to manually activate Water Lock every time you engage in water-related activities, providing an extra layer of protection.

Turning Off Water Lock and Draining Water

When you’re done with your water activities, you need to turn off Water Lock to regain full functionality of your Apple Watch. Here’s how to do it:

Deactivate Water Lock:

  • With Water Lock on, press and hold the Digital Crown. For watchOS 8 or earlier, rotate the Digital Crown instead of pressing it.
  • Continue holding or rotating until the display shows “Unlocked.”

Drain Water:

  • After unlocking, a series of tones will play to clear any moisture from the speaker. This step is crucial as it ensures no water remains trapped inside the watch, which could affect its performance.
  • Once the water is expelled, you can use your display as usual.

Detailed Steps for Different Apple Watch Models and watchOS Versions

To cater to various Apple Watch models and watchOS versions, here’s a more detailed breakdown:

watchOS 9 and Later:

  • Access Control Center: Press the side button.
  • Enable Water Lock: Tap the Water Lock button (water drop icon).
  • Disable Water Lock: Press and hold the Digital Crown until “Unlocked” is displayed. The watch will emit sounds to clear water.

watchOS 8 and Earlier:

  • Access Control Center: Touch and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up.
  • Enable Water Lock: Tap the Water Lock button (water drop icon).
  • Disable Water Lock: Rotate the Digital Crown until “Unlocked” is displayed. The watch will emit sounds to clear water.

Tips for Using Water Lock Effectively

Using Water Lock effectively can prolong the life of your Apple Watch and ensure it remains in top condition. Here are some tips:

Before Entering Water:

  • Always ensure Water Lock is enabled before you enter the water. This preemptive measure can save you from potential issues caused by accidental touches.

During Water Activities:

  • Rely on automatic Water Lock activation during water-based workouts for ease of use.
  • Make sure your watch strap is securely fastened to avoid losing the device in water.

After Water Activities:

  • Always disable Water Lock and drain water as soon as you finish your water activity.
  • Regularly check the speaker for any residual moisture and allow it to air dry if needed.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Water Lock

Despite its user-friendly design, you might encounter some issues when using Water Lock. Here are some common problems and solutions:

See Also: How To Turn On Digital Crown Apple Watch

Water Lock Won’t Enable:

  • Ensure your watchOS is up to date. Sometimes, outdated software can cause functionality issues.
  • Restart your Apple Watch and try enabling Water Lock again.

Water Lock Won’t Disable:

  • Make sure you’re pressing or rotating the Digital Crown correctly as per your watchOS version.
  • If the screen remains unresponsive, force restart your Apple Watch by holding both the side button and the Digital Crown until the Apple logo appears.

Speaker Sound is Muffled After Disabling Water Lock:

  • This is usually due to residual water in the speaker. Try the following:
    • Repeat the water ejection process by enabling and disabling Water Lock again.
    • Gently tap the watch against your palm to help dislodge any remaining water.
    • Allow the watch to air dry in a warm, dry place.

Maintaining Your Apple Watch After Water Exposure

Proper maintenance of your Apple Watch after water exposure is crucial for its longevity. Here are some maintenance tips:

Regular Cleaning:

  • After water exposure, rinse your watch with fresh water if it has been in saltwater or chlorinated water.
  • Gently dry your watch with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Avoid Harsh Environments:

  • Prolonged exposure to soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions can negatively affect your Apple Watch’s water resistance. Always rinse your watch if it comes into contact with these substances.

Check Water Resistance:

  • Over time, the water resistance of your Apple Watch can diminish. Regularly check for any signs of wear or damage, and consult Apple Support if you have concerns about its water resistance.


Enabling and disabling Water Lock on your Apple Watch is a straightforward process that provides essential protection during water-related activities. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your Apple Watch remains safe and functional in water. Remember to maintain your device properly and troubleshoot any issues promptly to enjoy the full benefits of this remarkable feature.


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