Are Apple Watches Waterproof?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Apple Watches are water-resistant but not completely waterproof. The level of water resistance depends on the model.
  • Apple Watch Series 1 & 1st gen are splash & water-resistant. Submerging is not recommended.
  • Series 2 and later can be submerged up to 50 meters, suitable for swimming & showering.
  • Not all bands like leather & stainless steel are water-resistant. Silicone is best for water use.
  • Water damage can still occur so dry ASAP if exposed to liquids. Avoid high-pressure water activities.


Smartwatches are increasingly popular devices that offer notifications, health tracking, communication features and more right on your wrist. With expensive electronics so close to your skin, protection from moisture and liquids is essential. For those considering an Apple Watch, one important question arises: are Apple Watches waterproof?

The short answer is no, Apple Watches are not fully waterproof. However, they are designed with water resistance in mind. The level of water resistance depends on the specific Apple Watch model. When used as directed, most Apple Watch models can withstand moderate exposure to water and even immersion to some degree.

In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze the water resistance capabilities of different Apple Watch models. You will discover the depth and conditions in which various Apple Watches can be safely used around water. Recommendations are provided for maintaining water protection and preventing liquid damage. After reading, you will have a clear understanding of which Apple Watch suits your needs if you plan on using it in wet environments or water-based activities.

The ability to withstand water is an especially useful feature for an electronic device that is worn daily in all conditions. While limits exist, the water resistance built into Apple Watches grants more freedom and flexibility compared to less protected smartwatches. The peace of mind and option to use your Apple Watch in wet settings can be highly beneficial. Let’s dive into the details!

Are Apple Watches Waterproof?

Water Resistance of Different Apple Watch Models

Apple has released seven generations of the Apple Watch since its original inception in 2015. Over the years, Apple has continually improved and updated the hardware. This includes enhancing the watch’s resistance to liquids. The level of water protection varies based on the Apple Watch model:

Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch (1st generation)

The first generation Apple Watch and Series 1 models have an IPX7 water resistance rating under the IEC standard 60529.

This means that it can withstand immersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. However, Apple does not recommend purposefully swimming or showering with the 1st gen and Series 1 watches. Their water resistance protects against common splashes, rain, and accidental submersion. But intentionally submerging the watch or exposing it to high water pressure is not advised.

Apple Watch Series 2 and later models

Beginning with the Apple Watch Series 2 in 2016, newer generations of the Apple Watch have significantly improved water resistance compared to the original.

Apple Watch Series 2 and later models are rated to 50 meters water resistance under the ISO standard 22810:2010. This allows them to be used for activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. The watch can be safely submerged to depths of up to 50 meters (about 164 feet) without leaking or sustaining damage.

In 2018, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 4 and described it as “swimproof”. Any Apple Watch model from Series 2 onwards is suitable for swimming and water sports. Some users have even worn their Apple Watch while scuba diving without issues. However, very high pressure water activities like water skiing are best avoided.

Suitable Apple Watch Bands for Water Use

If you plan to use your Apple Watch around water, it’s important to have the right kind of band. Not all Apple Watch bands are water-resistant. Here’s a quick look at band options when using your watch in wet environments:

  • The silicone sport band that comes standard with most Apple Watch models is water-resistant and specifically designed for swimming and water activities. This soft, flexible band dries quickly after getting wet.
  • Stainless steel and leather bands are not water-resistant. Avoid getting them wet. The leather could become warped or damaged when soaked.
  • Milanese loop and woven nylon bands offer mixed water resistance. Splashes and brief water contact are fine, but they are not optimized for extended immersion like the silicone sport band.
  • Some third party bands from manufacturers like Catalyst offer enhanced waterproofing for underwater use. These specialty dive bands provide extra protection at deeper depths.

Always examine the water rating and specifications before selecting a band to pair with your Apple Watch for aquatic adventures! Choosing the right band prevents water exposure issues.

Maintaining Water Protection

To keep water resistance intact over time, follow these usage tips:

  • Rinse the Apple Watch in fresh water after exposure to chlorine, saltwater, soap, sunscreen or other products. These can wear down water protection if left on the device.
  • Thoroughly dry your Apple Watch after getting it wet, especially in hard to reach areas like the charging port and buttons. Lingering moisture can cause damage.
  • Inspect the watch for cracks or damage to the body or display that could let water in. Water resistance diminishes if the watertight seal is compromised by damage.
  • Avoid pressing the buttons or using the touchscreen underwater. Only interact with the watch when it’s dry.
  • Turn on Water Lock mode before getting the watch wet. This disables the screen to avoid accidental inputs.

With proper precautions, an Apple Watch can last for years of normal use even with regular water exposure. Take steps to prevent soaps, debris and chemicals from prolonging contact with the watch. Letting the device air dry prevents liquid buildup internally. Handle the watch with care to maintain its waterproof design.

Using an Apple Watch in Water – Recommendations

Based on the level of water protection in various Apple Watch generations, here are some best practice recommendations for using your watch safely around water:

Apple Watch Series 1 & 1st Generation

  • OK for handwashing, washing dishes, rain, and accidental splashes or drops in water.
  • NOT recommended for showering, bathing, swimming, watersports, or purposeful submersion.
  • Rinse watch under tap water after exposure to soaps, liquids, lotions, etc.
  • Pat dry with microfiber cloth, don’t rub screen.

Apple Watch Series 2 & Later

  • Safe for showering, bathing, swimming laps, snorkeling, and surfing.
  • Have Water Lock enabled when underwater.
  • Avoid high velocity water from water skiing or jet skis.
  • Rinse in fresh water after saltwater or chlorine exposure.
  • Dry watch thoroughly with microfiber cloth after getting it wet.
  • Switch to silicone band if using for water activities.

Can an Apple Watch Get Water Damage?

Despite water resistance, it is still possible for an Apple Watch to sustain water damage when exposed to liquids. Here are some common ways moisture can get into the inner workings:

  • Exceeding depth rating – Using a Series 1 or original Apple Watch below its 1 meter rating or any model deeper than 50 meters can overwhelm its seals and allow water intrusion.
  • Cracks or damage – Any cracks, splits, or damage to the body, buttons, or screen compromises water sealing and provides entry points for liquids.
  • Soaps and chemicals – Prolonged contact with soaps, lotions, sunscreen, chlorine, etc. can break down waterproof seals over time.
  • Not drying properly – Water trapped near charging ports or in crevices can cause corrosion and electronics failure if not dried ASAP.

While Apple Watches are designed to be water-resistant, they are not failure-proof when immersed in liquids. Care should be taken to use them only in intended conditions to avoid water damage. Immediately drying the watch after wet use prevents issues.

Repairing Water Damaged Apple Watches

If your Apple Watch does sustain water damage, prompt action is required. Here are some steps to try:

  • Dry it off immediately with an absorbent, non-abrasive cloth. Don’t try charging it while wet.
  • Place it in a sealed bag/container of dry rice overnight to extract moisture from crevices.
  • If the watch won’t turn on, allow it to air dry for 72+ hours before attempting to power it on again.
  • Avoid exposing it to heat or any disassembly attempts. This causes further damage.
  • Visit an Apple store or authorized service provider for inspection and possible repairs if issues persist after drying.
  • Be prepared to pay an out-of-warranty fee for water damage assessment and repairs. AppleCare+ can help reduce costs.

Seawater, soap, and pool chemicals increase the corrosion risk and difficulty of reviving a water damaged Apple Watch. The sooner it is dried after exposure, the better the prognosis. Let a professional handle any disassembly for cleaning or repairs. Internal moisture can quickly escalate into a very expensive issue. Act fact to mitigate damage.

Key Takeaways – Are Apple Watches Waterproof?

To recap, here are the key facts on the water resistance of Apple Watches:

  • Apple Watches are water-resistant but not fully waterproof. The level of water protection varies by model.
  • Series 1 & 1st gen models can tolerate splashes and brief water contact. Submerging is not recommended.
  • Series 2 and later are safe for swimming, with up to 50 meters depth rating.
  • Not all bands are water-resistant. Silicone is best for water use.
  • Water damage can still occur if depth ratings are exceeded or seals compromised.
  • Proper rinsing and drying after water exposure is crucial to maintain water resistance.

So are Apple Watches waterproof enough for your needs? Consider your planned water activities when choosing a model. With proper precautions for your usage, an Apple Watch can safely withstand wet environments and accidental water exposure. Just be aware of its limits!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I shower with my Apple Watch?

Only Apple Watch Series 2 and later are recommended for showering. The original Series 1 and 1st gen Apple Watch models are not sufficiently water resistant for showering or purposeful submersion.

Can I go swimming with my Apple Watch?

Yes, Apple Watch Series 2 and later generations are suitable for swimming. They can be safely submerged up to 50 meters and worn for pool or ocean swimming. Always rinse with freshwater after swimming.

Is saltwater bad for an Apple Watch?

Rinsing the Apple Watch in fresh water after saltwater use is recommended. Prolonged contact with saltwater can wear down water resistance seals over time. Thoroughly dry the watch after ocean swimming or water activities.

Do I need a special Apple Watch band for swimming?

The standard silicone sport band included with most Apple Watch models is designed for water use. Other bands like leather and stainless steel are not optimal for frequent water submersion.

How do I fix an Apple Watch with water damage?

If water intrusion occurs, immediately dry the watch with an absorbent cloth. Place it in uncooked rice overnight to extract excess moisture. Avoid charging it while wet. Seek professional help for servicing if it won’t power on after thoroughly drying.

Can I use my Apple Watch in the hot tub?

No – prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can damage the water seals. Take off your Apple Watch before entering a hot tub, steam room, or sauna.

Does AppleCare+ cover water damage to an Apple Watch?

Potentially, if the incident falls under the AppleCare+ accidental damage coverage terms. Out-of-warranty fees still apply but are reduced with AppleCare+ protection. Intentional water damage may not be covered.


In closing, Apple has designed its smartwatch to withstand regular exposure to moisture and liquids. The level of water protection afforded by Apple Watch models allows you to use them in more environments compared to rival smartwatches. With proper precautions, you can swim, shower, and cook while wearing certain Apple Watch generations without worry.

Be aware that Apple Watch water ratings do have limits. To get the most out of your Apple Watch, choose a model aligned with your intended water activities. With the right Apple Watch generation and band, regular water resistance testing, prompt drying after wet use, and avoidance of damage, your Apple Watch can happily accompany you on both dry land and underwater adventures!

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