Samsung Galaxy Watch stuck on water lock mode?

water lock icon on Samsung Watch screen

If you love tracking your swim or other water sports with your Samsung Galaxy Watch, you probably already use its water lock mode to prevent accidental screen taps and wake-up gestures when you’re in the water.

Unfortunately, at times your Samsung watch may get stuck in its water lock mode–and you might not even remember turning it on. That’s because your watch might turn water lock mode on automatically if it thinks you are swimming.

The good news is that there are several ways to turn off this water lock, so you can use your Samsung Watch like you always do!

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How to turn water lock mode off on Samsung Galaxy Watch

First, you can only turn off water lock mode on the watch itself. There is no way to turn this feature off using the Galaxy Wearable app (although on some models, you can turn it on via the Wearable app.)

When your watch is in water lock mode, you should see a water drop icon or icons on your watch face or when you press one of the side buttons. Samsung galaxy Active 2 watch in water lock mode

You’ll find water lock mode on most Samsung watches, including Galaxy Watch 5, 4, and 3, the Galaxy Watch Active series, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Fit2, Galaxy Watch, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Gear Sport. 

Turn off Samsung Galaxy Watch’s water lock mode

  1. Before turning the water lock off, lightly shake your watch and then dry it with a microfiber or absorbent cloth and dry your hands.
    1. If you turned on Developer Options, turn the animations transition scale to x1.
  2. Once dried, press and hold your watch’s Home key (Power key) for at least 2 seconds.Get water lock off from your Samsung Galaxy Watch
  3. Keep pressing this button until the watch makes a sound to eject any trapped water from its speaker and other watch openings. Samsung Galaxy Watch eject water and turn off water lock
  4. Shake your watch to remove any water from its pressure sensor.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 a few times if you think there is still trapped water. 

If that didn’t work, place your watch on its charger and try steps 2-3 again. Samsung Galaxy Watch on its charger and turn off water lock

Reboot your watch

If your watch is still stuck in water lock mode, try forcing a restart by pressing both the Home and Back buttons simultaneously until you see “rebooting” on your watch’s screen. Samsung Galaxy Watch rebooting

A reboot automatically turns off water lock mode.

Reset your watch to its factory settings

Finally, if none of these troubleshooting tips work on your watch, try a complete reset of your watch. When you reset your watch, it removes all of your personal data and returns the watch to its factory settings.

Since your watch is in water lock mode, use Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app to reset it.

  1. Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your connected phone. 
  2. Select Watch settings. On some models, you can skip this step. Wearable app by Samsung on Android for Galaxy Watch 4
  3. Tap General > Reset and then tap Reset again to confirm. Reset in Wearable app for Samsung Galaxy watch
  4. For Galaxy Fit and Fit2, tap About band > Reset band and then tap Reset to confirm.

Use Recovery mode to reset your watch back to its factory defaults

You can also use the buttons on your watch to reset it back to factory settings with Recovery mode. We recommend using the Wearable app but if that’s not working or available, try these steps:

  1. Press and hold both the Home key and Back buttons until you see the message that your watch is rebooting.
  2. Release both buttons and then quickly press the Home button repeatedly until you see the Reboot Mode menu on your watch. Samsung Galaxy smartwatch REBOOT MODE
  3. Tap the Home key multiple times until you select the Recovery option
  4. Press and hold the Home button to start the recovery.
  5. For the Wear OS 3 models like the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5, another menu appears.
    1. Scroll down and select Wipe data/factory reset, and swipe right.
    2. Swipe down again to select Factory data reset.
    3. Swipe right to perform the reset.
    4. When the reset completes, swipe right, select Reboot system now and press the Home button

How to turn on water lock mode on your Samsung Galaxy Watch

Now that you know how to turn your watch’s water lock off, let’s review how you turn it on or how it gets turned on automatically.

Turn water lock on in your watch’s Quick Settings Water lock in Quick Settings for Samsung Galaxy Watch

  • Open your watch’s Quick settings.
  • Swipe through and tap the Water lock mode icon to turn it on. The icon looks like two droplets.

Toggle water lock on in your watch’s Settings app Samsung Galaxy Watch Settings turn on water lock

  • Open the Settings app on your watch.
  • Choose Advanced or Advanced features.
  • Tap Water lock and turn it on.

Turn water lock on in the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app water lock settings in Wearable app

  • Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your watch (Galaxy 4 and 5 watch models are not supported.)
  • Tap Advanced > Water lock > Turn on

You cannot toggle this feature off in the app–you must turn it off using the watch itself.

When your watch automatically turns on its water lock

If you start a swim workout or another water sport or your watch auto-detects swimming, your watch automatically turns on its water lock.

FAQFAQ frequently asked questions

How to pause your workout when using water lock on your Samsung watch

If you want to pause your swim or water sport workout when water locked is engaged, try pressing and holding the Back button for more than 1 second to pause the exercise.

To resume your water workout, press the Back Button again for more than 1 second.

When you pause your workout using this method, the water lock remains throughout the exercise.

Do you need to turn on water lock mode when in the water?

No, you don’t need to turn on water lock mode when you’re in the water wearing your watch.

This mode disables your watch’s touchscreen, wake-up gestures, and turns off the always-on display. It does not make your watch more water-resistant.

You also do not need to turn on water lock mode when washing your hands, showering, or when caught in a rainstorm. 

Is my Galaxy Watch waterproof?

Many people believe their watch is waterproof, but actually, it’s not. Instead, your Samsung watch (or tracker) is water-resistant. It’s an important distinction.

This difference means you can swim, engage in water sports, or do some diving (up to 50 meters.) But you cannot take your watch scuba diving or engage in water sports with high-velocity water exposure, wide water temperature variation, or high water pressure.

Samsung’s water-resistant watches include the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active 2, Galaxy Watch 3/4/5, and higher models.

To learn about your model’s water resistance, see your user manual and look for the section on Maintaining water and dust resistance.

If you decide to wear your watch when you’re in the water, make sure you also wear a water-resistant watch strap. A polymer band is appropriate, while both metallic and leather bands are not recommended to wear in water. 

When exercising in saltwater, take off your watch, rinse it in freshwater, and thoroughly dry it. 

Your watch’s water-resistant feature degrades over time and with any fall or hard impact.

Final thoughts

If your Samsung Galaxy Watch got stuck in water lock mode, we hope these tips helped you and got your watch back to normal. When problems persist, reach out to Samsung Support for additional help. 

It’s pretty easy to turn water lock mode on, even when you don’t mean to, by accidentally tapping the icon in your watch’s Quick Settings. The good news is that turning it off is usually very easy–just a long press of your Home/Power button.

If you have a tip for getting water lock off (or on) that we didn’t cover, let us know in the comments section so we can pay it forward.

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A. Beth Whittenberger
I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. Additionally, I was a writer, content producer, and editor on the popular tech blog AppleToolBox. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives! Connect with me on LinkedIn!


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