Are Apple Watches Waterproof: All Questions Answered

What to Know

  • No Apple Watches are waterproof. Series 1 and first-generation watches are splash-resistant.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 and newer are water-resistant, not waterproof, which makes them suitable for swimming.
  • The Apple Watch Ultra is more suitable for diving and high-velocity water activities.

Water, to most electronics, is like kryptonite to Superman. Liquid spills can cause permanent damage; oxidation is notorious for destroying devices. Between different Apple Watch models and unclear terms like "water resistance" and "water ejection," many people are wondering, "is the Apple Watch waterproof?" In this article, we will answer that question and dive into how safe your Apple Watch is in the water.

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Are Apple Watches Waterproof? 

Are Apple Watches waterproof? The simple answer is no. However, according to Apple, all models of the Apple Watch are water-resistant. But what is the difference between a waterproof watch and a water-resistant watch? Waterproof is defined as impervious to water. On the other hand, water resistance is the ability to resist the penetration of water to some extent.

Not only are no Apple Watches waterproof, but there are varying levels of water resistance depending on the model. The Apple Watch Series 1 and the first-generation Apple Watch are splash resistant; however, submerging them is not recommended. The Apple Watch Series 2 and newer are significantly more water-resistant. If you're unsure of which model you have, find out how to tell what Apple Watch you have.

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So, is the Apple Watch SE waterproof? The answer is no, but it does, along with the Apple Watch Series 2 and newer, have a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters (164 feet) of depth under ISO standard 22810:2010. This makes them perfect for shallow-water activities, including swimming. If you plan on doing some diving or waterskiing, you may want to invest in the Apple Watch Ultra, which has a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters (328 feet). To learn more about using the Apple Watch, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

Related: Are AirPods Waterproof? The Ultimate Apple Device Poolside Guide

Will My Apple Watch Always Be Water-Resistant? 

It is important to keep in mind that water resistance isn't permanent. Your Apple Watch may get less water-resistant over time. Unfortunately, you can't check your watch for water resistance, and you cannot have it resealed.  

A dropped watch, especially one with a cracked display, is likely no longer water-resistant. Wearing your watch in a steamy room, such as a sauna, could also cause issues. Exposing your Apple Watch to high-velocity water, such as going water skiing, is a bad idea. Of course, you should also avoid submerging it below 50 meters (164 feet) of water, unless you have the Apple Watch Ultra.

According to Apple, exposing your watch to anything other than freshwater can result in water resistance diminishing over time. This includes soap, soapy water, perfume, solvents, detergent, acids, acidic foods, insect repellent, lotions, sunscreen, oil, and hair dye. If these get on your watch, you should gently wash them away with fresh water and a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth.

Is Apple Watch waterproof? No, but now you understand Apple Watch's water mode and what water resistance means in practical terms. If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or newer, you can shower and swim with your watch without giving it a second thought. When it comes to more extreme water sports or saunas, you should not wear your watch, or you can invest in the Apple Watch Ultra. In case of accidental water exposure, turn Water Lock on and off to expel water from the speaker. If you are wondering, "what is Water Lock on Apple Watch?", we have the answer for you. If you are shopping around for a watch that you can swim in, read this Fitbit vs. Apple Watch article to decide which is best for you.


  • Can I shower with my Apple Watch? The first-generation and Series 1 Apple Watches are only splash resistant, not water-resistant so you should not wear those in the shower. Apple Watch Series 2 and newer are water-resistant and are safe to wear in the shower. However, you should keep soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and perfumes away from your Apple Watch, as they will degrade the water resistance of your Apple Watch.
  • Can you wash your hands with an Apple Watch? Even the Apple Watch Series 1 and the first-generation Apple Wash are splash resistant, so you shouldn't have any issue washing your hands while wearing your watch. Apple Watch Series 4 and newer even have a Handwashing feature that requires you to wear your watch to record automatically. However, you can also manually enter your hand-washing time.
  • Can you swim with an Apple Watch? If you have the Apple Watch Series 1 or the first-generation Apple Watch, you should not take it to the pool. Although they are splashproof, they should not be submerged. You can go swimming with an Apple Watch Series 2 or newer. When you start a swimming workout, your Apple Watch will automatically activate the Water Lock. When it’s locked, you will see a water drop icon on your display. After you go swimming, make sure to clean your Apple Watch. You can hold it under clean running water to get the chlorine or saltwater off.
  • Which Apple Watch is best for swimmers? Although no Apple Watch is waterproof, any watch newer than Series 2 is designed with swimming in mind. Apple Watch Series 2-9 and Apple Watch SE are all excellent choices for swimmers. They all track swimming as a workout; however, newer models may have more fitness features that might appeal to active people and more serious athletes. If you're having trouble with recording swimming workouts, check out our article on how to fix your Apple Watch not tracking activity.
  • Can I wear my Apple Watch for water aerobics and other water sports? Your Apple Watch Series 2 and newer can be used for shallow-water activities such as swimming. However, do not use your watch for water skiing or other activities involving high-velocity water, as the water could be forced into the ports. Deep water submersions should also be avoided. If you would like an Apple Watch that is more suited to scuba diving or hardcore water sports, you may be interested in the Apple Watch Ultra.
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.