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Are Apple Watches Waterproof? What You Need to Know


You want your smartwatch to keep up with all your daily activities and want it to continue working, even when getting stuck out in the rain. But are Apple Watches waterproof? The answer depends mainly on the water activities you plan on participating in.

Good to know: also looking to listen to music at the beach or pool? Try one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers.

Are Apple Watches Waterproof?

The simple answer is no. Apple Watches are not waterproof. However, they are water resistant. With a waterproof device, you could dunk it in water for hours with no problem. With a water-resistant device, water exposure is okay, but anything too deep or long term could ruin it.

It’s also important to note that the water resistant label only applies to the Apple Watch itself – not the band. The Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle, Leather Loop, Link Bracelet, Modern Buckle, and Milanese bands aren’t waterproof or water resistant, so regular water exposure could lead to permanent damage to the band.

If you’re going to be in wet conditions, such as sweating while exercising, invest in a water-resistant Apple Watch band.

Apple Watches have varying water resistance ratings. All of them are rated to handle exposure to sweat, hand washing, and walking in the rain. If you’re exposing your watch to water often, you’ll want a more water-resistant watch.

Apple Watch water resistance ratings:

  • Apple Watch 1st Gen and Series 1: IPX7 (safe for up to 30 minutes of water exposure at approximately three feet deep or less), though Apple recommends not submerging it at all
  • Apple Watch Series 2 and later: Up to 50 meters deep
  • Apple Watch Ultra and later: Up to 100 meters deep

Don’t get too excited about the 50 and 100 meter ratings. Any lengthy exposure isn’t recommended, and those are the max depths. Ideally, you should stick to shallow water only.

What Should You Do If Your Apple Watch Gets Wet?

It’s a pain when any of your electronic devices get wet. But if your Apple Watch gets wet, it’s not quite as bad. First, clean and dry it. Use a dry, lint-free cloth to wipe away the water. Don’t expose the watch to heat or use any cleaning sprays.

If you’ve used it while swimming and have an Apple Watch Series 2 or later, it’s okay to rinse it lightly under warm water. This washes off the chlorine. Then, proceed to dry it with a clean cloth.

For Apple Watches with a cloth band, you may need to hang it to dry or detach the band and let it dry separately.

If you notice the sound from the speakers is muffled, this is a sign that there’s water inside your watch. Please don’t try to insert anything into the watch or take it apart. Instead, take advantage of the Water Eject feature. Look for the water droplet icon in the Control Center. Tap and hold the Digital Crown to eject any water in the watch.

Ideally, turn on Water Lock before submerging your Apple Watch in water. This locks the screen to prevent accidental touches. Simply tap the Water Lock icon (the water droplet icon) in the Control Center before getting in the water. If you initiate a swimming workout, your watch turns on Water Lock automatically. Then, just tap and hold the Digital Crown to unlock your screen and eject the water.

The above only applies to Apple Watch Series 2 and later. For Apple Watch Series 1 watches, lay the watch on its side on a clean cloth to let the water drip out. After it’s completely dry inside, the volume returns to normal.

Can You Swim or Shower With Your Apple Watch?

Apple Watches aren’t waterproof. But, since they are water resistant, you can technically swim and shower with them on. Of course, it’s not that simple.

If you plan to swim and dive, buy an Apple Watch Ultra or later. These are rated to handle scuba diving up to 130 feet. These models also work well for swimming, as long as you stay within 130 feet or less depth.

Apple recommends limiting hard dives and skiing, as frequent hard impacts may damage the watch and reduce its water resistance.

The Apple Watch Series 2 and later watches are for shallow water swimming only. This means they’re fine for your average swimming pool or wading around in shallow ocean water. They should never be used for diving or skiing, though.

As far as showering, Apple Watch Series 2 and later and Apple Watch Ultra and later both support showering. However, they can’t be exposed to soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. So, the short answer is no, you can’t shower with your watch on. Also, avoid getting soap in the watch while washing your hands.

If you get any soap, shampoo, or other products on the watch, rinse the watch with clean water immediately, then dry it.

Once again, all of this only applies to the watch itself and not the band. Metal and leather bands shouldn’t be exposed to water at all if possible, as water ruins both bands over time.

Are Apple Watches waterproof? No. They do support water activities, such as getting stuck in the rain and swimming in a pool. If your Apple Watch is dry, and you still have trouble getting it to pair with your phone, try these troubleshooting methods. If you forgot your Apple Watch passcode, learn what to do next.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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