Apple Watch stuck in water lock mode? Steps to fix it

water lock on Apple Watch in control center

One of the great features of the Apple Watch is its water lock mode. With the press of a button, Apple Watch users can use their smartwatch in and around any body of water without any worries or fears of damaging their device.

But some users have noticed that when trying to end this mode, their Apple Watch gets stuck.

Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this! Keep reading to learn how to resolve the issue.

Suggested reading:

How to turn off water lock mode

apple watch water lock on

When your Apple Watch is in water lock, you see a small water droplet icon at the top of your watch face. When you see that icon, tapping the screen or buttons has no effect.

The good news is that turning off water lock mode is usually very simple.

First, make sure you (and your watch) are in a dry environment–don’t attempt to remove the water lock when you’re still in the water!

Then, all you have to do is quickly spin the digital crown until the water lock mode display pops up on your Apple Watch screen. You can spin clockwise or counterclockwise, it works both ways.

screenshot water lock mode
When turning off water lock mode, you must turn the digital crown until the circle turns completely blue.

When you spin your watch’s digital crown, a circle appears. You have to keep turning the digital crown until the circle fills up. The circle turns into a full blue bubble. Keep rotating until you see Unlocked on the screen. apple watch unlocked from water lock

Once you do that, your Apple Watch beeps. Don’t worry, that’s supposed to happen! The sound helps clear out any liquid that got into your Apple Watch. 

When the sound is done, your Apple Watch should be back to normal.

If you are experiencing an issue with turning the digital crown and the bubble is not filling up. Don’t worry. There’s a simple hack for this.

If your Apple Watch gets stuck on water lock mode, all you have to do is charge your Apple Watchcharging accessory for apple watch and iPhone for bedside table

When you place your Apple Watch on its charger, the Watch automatically turns off this feature and goes back to its normal settings.

Also, keep in mind that no sound plays when you do this.  

It should work with any charger you have for your watch, including wireless charging pads. But if you see it’s still stuck in a water lock, place it on its original charger. And if needed, force restart it while it’s on the charger.

If charging your watch is unavailable, try force restarting your watch by pressing both the side button and the digital crown at the same time and keep pushing until the Apple logo appears on the screen. force restart an apple watch

You’ll need to press both buttons simultaneously for more time than usual due to the water lock, but the restart should happen –just wait for the Apple logo, then release both buttons. Booting up also takes longer, so be prepared for that.

Final thoughts

Water lock mode is such a great feature on the Apple Watch! Especially if you find yourself in the water frequently. 

One cool feature of the Apple Watch is that it can automatically turn on water lock mode when starting a water-based workout like swimming or surfing!

Have you used water lock mode on your Apple Watch? Let us know! What do you think?

I'm a content writer with a passion for all things lifestyle having earned my Bachelor of Science in journalism from St. John's University. I was born and raised in Southern California. My Apple Watch never leaves my wrist, but I also adore Fitbit. I love all things health tech, including fitness and self-care apps. When I'm not writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, and drinking iced coffee!


  1. My watch has been doing weird things the last couple of days and now will not let me turn water mode off.

    It keeps zooming in and out and vibrating.

    Turning the crown no longer works to disable water mode and restart didn’t work either.

    When on the charger the display won’t go out. It’s no longer under warranty and I will try charging when I get home and hope it disables it that way otherwise this watch is useless to me.

    • Hi Kylie,

      Have you tried a forced restart where you hold both the Digital Crown and the side button for about 10 seconds or so–only releasing both buttons when you see the Apple logo on the watch’s screen?

      You can do this forced restart when you watch is on or off its charger.

  2. I think I have one of the first Apple Watches. I was stuck in aWater Lock mode. I came to your site and it helped me to get out of that mode.

  3. We can’t keep the watch charger all the time and suppose the watch is locked for swimming and after the swim we need to drain the water we cannot keep it on the charger and unlock it at that time.Can someone help on this how to fix the issue permanently?

  4. I’ve restarted/ force shut my watch but it still doesn’t respond to touch. It can only scroll up or down but doesn’t respond to taps


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