After its official release in 2015, the Apple Watch became the most popular wearable device, changing the tech game forever. Since its launch, Apple has continued improving the watch’s technology, including its water resistance rating. But just how resistant is the Apple Watch, and what water-based activities can users safely perform while wearing it?
The Apple Watch is a wearable technology that allows users to perform multiple tasks, much like a mobile phone. Apple Watch Series 1 is water and splash-resistant, but submersion isn’t recommended. Instead, you can use the Apple Water Series 2 and newer devices in shallow water activities, such as swimming.
This article discusses the Apple Watch’s water resistance rating, what to do if it gets on your device, and what activities to avoid with the watch. It also touches on Apple’s Water Lock mode, what it does, and when to use it.
Can You Leave Apple Watch in Waterproof Mode?
You can leave an Apple Watch in waterproof (Water Lock) mode, but it won’t respond to touch. Water Lock automatically activates during swimming activities. You do not need to leave it on, as it doesn’t affect the watch’s water resistance. It simply prevents accidental screen interactions.
Apple Watch Series 2 and newer models include the Apple Water Lock feature. A water drop icon appears on the display when users activate this feature. In addition, this mode locks the screen, preventing the user from starting the touch screen.
Can You Swim With an Apple Watch?
You can swim with an Apple Watch if it’s a Series 2 or a later model. Before swimming, lock the screen manually or allow it to activate automatically. This process prevents accidental screen taps while swimming. After swimming, turn off Water Lock to eject water from the watch with a series of sounds.
Does your Apple Watch’s battery drain too fast? You can read my helpful Apple Watch battery guide to know why it happens and how to fix it.
Do I Need to Waterproof My Apple Watch Before Showering?
You don’t need to waterproof your Apple Watch before showering. Water Lock mode doesn’t increase water resistance but deactivates the touch screen. So avoid exposing it to soap and other chemicals when showering with an Apple Watch.
Soap can enter the small gaps on the watch, causing the rapid breakdown of the rubber seals and other internal components.
In addition to soap, avoid exposing the watch to the following chemicals:
What to Do if Water Gets on Your Apple Watch
If you decide to use your Apple Watch when showering or participating in other water-based activities, you should know how to care for the watch once you exit the water.
Here’s what to do:
- Rinse the Apple Watch with cool, clean tap water,
- Wipe the device dry with a soft, clean, lint-free cloth, such as microfiber or suede, to prevent tiny fibers from entering the watch.
- Turn off the Water Lock mode to activate the feature that expels water from the device.
- Allow Water Lock mode to eject any water.
- Dry the watch using a new soft, clean, lint-free cloth.
Avoid using compressed air or heated tools on your Apple Watch, such as a blow dryer, as these can damage the device. Additionally, don’t shake the watch to expel water. Instead, allow any excess moisture to evaporate on its own.
Place the device on the charger overnight and check it again in the morning.
What Happens if You Don’t Water Lock Your Apple Watch?
If you don’t water lock your Apple Watch before swimming or other water activities, the watch retains its water resistance. However, the water lock prevents users from accidentally tapping the display while swimming.
To turn off Water Lock, turn the digital crown on the watch in either direction. Then, wait until the display says, “Unlocked.” From there, you’ll hear several tones to clear the water from the speaker. Once finished, you can use the Apple Watch as usual.
Does Salt Water Hurt Apple Watch?
Salt water doesn’t hurt the Apple Watch. Apple built these devices to withstand the salinity of ocean water. So avoid submerging the watch in depths greater than 5′ (1.52 m). After exiting the water, rinse the watch and band, if it’s water resistant, with tap water and dry it with a lint-free cloth.
Avoid exposing leather or stainless steel bands to salt water. It’s best to stick with the regular Apple Sport band.
In addition, take care not to expose the Apple Watch to sand at the beach. Not only is sand abrasive with the potential to scratch your display, but it can cause damage to the internal components of the watch if it makes its way inside.
Does your Apple Watch get hot while charging? It isn’t the best sign; to know why it happens and how to keep your Watch cool, you can read my useful article.
Can I Wear My Apple Watch 7 in the Shower?
The Apple Watch 7 is not waterproof in the shower but is water-resistant. Its water resistance rating makes it suitable for water activities, including showering. So wearing it in the shower is acceptable if you keep it away from soap and other chemicals.
There are, however, a few things to consider before showering with your Apple Watch.
The water temperature could adversely affect the watch if you take hot showers. Heat causes air to expand, thus expanding the air inside the watch, making it easier for soap to slip into the gaps and ruin the seals.
Additionally, water resistance ratings don’t factor in pressurized water, like that in showers.
With that said, many Apple Watch users claim to regularly wear their watch in the shower with no significant issues, I used to take my Apple Watch 7 off before I shower, but now I leave it on with no problems.
Just be careful not to put soap or shampoo on your watch; it should be fine.
Wondering if you can overcharge your Apple Watch? To discover the truth, and if it’s possible, you can read my insightful guide.
Apple Watch Water Resistance Ratings
The Apple Watch boasts an exciting water resistance feature.
Apple’s first-generation Apple Watch spotlighted a water resistance rating of IPX7. According to the International Organization for Standardization, the IPX7 rating indicates that the Apple Watch’s capabilities include full water submersion up to 3.3’ (1 m) for up to half an hour.
Users should note that water resistance isn’t the same thing as waterproofing. And, despite the water resistance rating of the Apple Watch Series 1, Apple doesn’t recommend submerging the watch.
However, Apple Watch Series 2 and beyond may be exposed to and submerged in water, with some exceptions. Remember that Apple advises against water-based activities involving high velocities, such as boat tubing and waterskiing.
Additionally, users should avoid submerging the Apple Watch in depths greater than 5’ (1.52 m) deep.
What Does Water Submersion Do to an Apple Watch?
Prolonged water submersion can cause physical and technical problems with the Apple Watch, particularly if submerged below the recommended depth. In addition, water inside an Apple Watch can eventually corrode the battery or motherboard and cause other hardware to malfunction.
Apple recommends cleaning the Apple Watch after any contact with water, even if it’s a splash or two from handwashing.
Are Apple Watches Water Resistant Forever?
Apple Watches do not retain their water resistance forever. Eventually, water resistance deteriorates due to regular wear and tear. It’s important to properly care for your watch, as Apple Watches cannot be re-standardized or resealed for protection against water.
Additionally, other factors may adversely affect an Apple Watch’s water resistance, including, but not limited to:
- Dropping or otherwise damaging the watch.
- Chemical exposure includes soaps, detergents, lotions, perfumes, oil, and acids.
- High-velocity water exposure.
- Sauna or steam room exposure.
- Submersion in depths deeper than recommended.
In addition to speeding up the deterioration of the Apple Watch’s water resistance, you can ultimately damage the bands. Not all Apple Watch bands are made for water, particularly leather and stainless steel.
The many features of the Apple Watch make it a truly convenient device to have on hand at all times.
You can use it while sweating during exercise, swimming, and even showering. Apple made sure to create a device that withstands regular daily activities that would otherwise damage such a technological device, making it highly appealing to consumers.
When using an Apple Watch, avoid exposure to chemicals and properly clean and dry it after water exposure. Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations to avoid damaging the device.
- Verizon: A Brief History of Apple Watch
- Apple: Apple Watch 1st Generation (Technical Specifications)
- Jabra: Waterproof or Water Resistant? What’s Behind an IP Rating?
- International Organization for Standardization: Horology – Water-Resistant Watches
- Apple: About Apple Watch Water Resistance
- Law Insider: Shallow Water Definition
- Apple: How To Clean Your Apple Watch
- Apple: How To Use Water Lock and Eject Water from Your Apple Watch
- Reddit: PSA To Those Who Use the Apple Watch in the Shower