Is My Apple Watch Waterproof?

We know you've frantically wondered this after getting your Apple Watch wet—here's what you need to know.

We have all experienced the heart-stopping moment when our glass of water spills on any of our Apple products, whether that be an iPhone or a Macbook, and ultimately being a potentially very costly slip-up. You may have even been told to stick the product in a bowl of rice or any of these other methods of salvaging a wet device. With a product such as the Apple Watch, it may be more of a challenge to keep it from getting wet since the watch travels with you, with more exposure to water like when you’re walking home and it unexpectedly rains or when you sweat at the gym. Here’s everything you need to know for when your Apple Watch inevitably meets water.

What is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?

An Apple watch is water-resistant, but not waterproof. Water-resistant is a low level of water protection meaning that the device is able to block water to some degree depending on how it was built or it possibly has a thin layer of coating that sits on top as a protectant. Waterproof means that the product is sealed tight and impenetrable. As Apple states on their website, “you may wear and use your Apple Watch during exercise (exposure to sweat is OK), in the rain, and while washing your hands.” Not all models have the same level of resistance (which we will get to shortly), but no matter the make or model of your watch, it’s important to remember that water resistance isn’t everlasting and can lessen over time. The bands of the watch can also become damaged from water, particularly if you have leather or stainless-steel. Bottom line: be careful. However, if the damage has already been done, here is how to clean your Apple watch band properly.

Which models can get wet?

According to the Apple website, first-generation Apple Watches including Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch are water resistant but submerging them in water is highly discouraged. Apple Watch Series 2 is constructed a little differently and can be used for water activities such as swimming in a pool or ocean but is not recommended for deep water sports like scuba diving. Showering with an Apple Watch Series 2 may be OK, but it should not come into direct contact with soap or shampoo as those products may affect water seals on the watch. Although strong, Apple products certainly are not invincible. Check out these warning signs it’s time for a new phone.

How to activate water lock

If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or newer, water lock will lock the screen of your watch to prevent accidentally clicking. This will automatically turn on if you start a swimming workout. When you’re done with the water activity, turn the Digital Crown to unlock the screen and clear any water from the watch. It’s normal to hear sounds and feel some water on your wrist. You can also manually clear water from the watch by swiping up on the bottom of the screen and clicking on the Control Center. Tap Water Lock and then turn the Digital Crown to unlock the screen, clearing water from the speaker. Don’t miss these hidden Apple Watch features you didn’t know about.

What should you do if the watch gets wet?

“If water splashes on to your Apple Watch, wipe it off with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth,” Apple writes on their website. “Don’t use heat, compressed air, or sprays.” Do this after a workout with heavy sweating or after a small amount of rain. If you go swimming, gently rinse the watch (only Apple Series 2 or newer) with tap water. Cleaning your Apple Watch is also just generally important to preserve the quality of the product while also preventing skin irritation. You should also be cleaning your cell phone regularly. Here’s how to properly clean your phone and how often you should.


  • Apple: “About Apple Watch Water Resistance”
  • Apple: “Swim with your Apple Watch”
  • Business Insider: Your Apple Watch is water-resistant, not waterproof- here’s what that means and how you can use your watch in the water”
Locked padlock on mobile phoneMedia Trading Ltd/Getty Images

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Emma Taubenfeld
Emma Taubenfeld is a former assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who writes about digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pickup lines and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.