How to Lock & Unlock an Apple Watch with Water Lock

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Have you ever brushed against your Apple Watch screen during daily activity and started tracking a workout or opened a random app without meaning to? If so, you probably want to know how to lock your Apple Watch in order to prevent that from happening again. In addition, it prevents water from getting into the watch during water workouts. But you can also use Water Lock to keep your Apple Watch locked any time, even if you're not swimming. Here's how.

Related: How to View & Sort Your Apple Watch Workout History

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We've already gone over how to open your Apple Watch with your iPhone, how to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch, even with a mask on, and how to unlock your iPad or iPhone if it's disabled. For more tips about how to unlock your Apple devices, check out our free Tip of the Day.

Your Apple Watch uses wrist detection to automatically lock your watch when you're not wearing it, but using wrist detection prevents you from being able to manually lock and unlock your watch while wearing it. You can turn off wrist detection in the iPhone Watch app settings, but this turns off important features like the ability to use Apple Pay without a passcode and the option for automatic emergency calls with fall detection. Fortunately, the Apple Watch has a feature called Water Lock that makes your watch screen unresponsive until you manually unlock it. Learning how to lock your Apple Watch with Water Lock is a much better solution. Here's how to lock your Apple Watch, without turning off wrist detection, from the Control Center and during workouts. 

Jump to:

How to Enable Apple Watch Water Lock from the Control Center

  1. Swipe up on your watch face to open the Control Center.

    Swipe up on your Apple Watch face to open the Control Center
  2. Tap the Apple Watch Water Lock icon.

    Tap the Apple Watch Water Lock icon, which looks like a drop of water
  3. Your Apple Watch will return to the watch face screen, and you'll see a blue water drop icon at the top of the screen, which means Water Lock is enabled.

    You'll see the Apple Watch Water Lock icon appear on your watch face

How to Use Apple Watch Water Lock During a Workout

  1. Once you’ve started your workout, swipe right on the workout progress screen on your Apple Watch screen.

    Swipe right on an active workout
  2. Tap the Water Lock icon.

    Tap the Apple Watch Water Lock icon to enable Water Lock
  3. A blue water drop icon at the top of your Apple Watch display lets you know the Water Lock is on.

    You'll see a Apple Watch Water Lock icon appear on your active workout screen

Turn the Digital Crown to Unlock the Apple Watch

  1. If you attempt to leave the current app by pressing the side button or Digital Crown, your Apple Watch will remind you it’s locked.

    turn digital crown to unlock and eject water
  2. Turn the Digital Crown to unlock and eject water that may have built up in your Apple Watch speakers. 
  3. A screen will appear to tell you your Apple Watch is unlocked.

    apple watch unlocked

Pro Tip: You can also use your Digital Crown to do other things. Discover the 15 ways you can use the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch!

Now you know how to use the Apple Watch Water Lock feature for more than just water! This should make accidental taps much easier to avoid, and will also help you prevent damage to your Apple Watch during workouts, rainstorms, and more.

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.