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Can you swim with the Apple Watch?

Don't get your watch wet just yet.
By
August 28, 2023
An Apple Watch Series 8 rests in a small puddle.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch has proved to be a stellar running and cycling smartwatch, but is it an equally good companion for those who prefer the water? While Apple includes various workout modes, can you swim with the Apple Watch? Is it a good idea? We take a deeper dive below.

QUICK ANSWER

Yes, you can swim with the Apple Watch. Thanks to its 5 ATM rating, all Apple Watches from the Series 2 are water-resistant up to 50 meters in various bodies of water. The Apple Watch Ultra features a WR100 rating, which ensures its water-resistant up to 100 meters.


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Can you swim with the Apple Watch?

Apple Watch Ultra Fish
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Yes. Newer Apple Watch models are water-resistant up to 50 meters, as indicated by their 5 ATM rating. You can even go shallow diving with the watch, provided you remain above this safe limit. Newer Apple Watches include swimming as an option within its Workout app. So the company believes you can head out on open water or to the nearest pool with your watch on.

Looking for a deep-water companion? The Apple Watch Ultra is the only diving-certified Apple Watch with a depth sensor that can measure depths of 40 meters. The device is incredibly durable, and can withstand pressures at 100 meters. This makes it the best Apple Watch for swimming and more serious diving adventures.

Notably, the Apple Watch series’ water resistance rating only applies to the Series 2 or newer. The Series 1 and first-generation devices do not pack water resistance ratings, so you shouldn’t submerge these older models.

Apple Watch water-resistant rating explained: What is ATM?

The ATM rating, which considers atmospheric pressure, is an older water resistance rating system compared to the more commonly used IP (ingress protection) system.

5 ATM is a common rating for water-resistant smartwatches and fitness trackers. In essence, this figure means that the Apple Watch can resist water at pressures of five atmospheres or a water depth of 165 feet (just over 50 meters). This effectively means your watch is protected against brief periods of submersion, like in a swimming pool.

How do you start a swim workout?

An Apple Watch Series 7 on a user's wrist displays the outdoor cycling settings screen.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Starting a swimming workout on Apple Watch is extremely easy.

  1. First, open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select Pool Swim if you’re training in a pool or Open Water Swim if you’re in the ocean or a lake as your workout.
  3. Tap the More (three-dot) button to adjust calorie, distance, or time goals, or tap to start the workout.
  4. If you’ve selected Pool Swim, you must set the pool length using the digital crown. This will improve the accuracy of the laps and distance calculation.

There are a few things to note when starting a swimming workout. For starters, supported Apple Watches will automatically engage Water Lock mode in this instance. This mode disables the Apple Watch screen to ensure no accidental touches are registered. Press the digital crown and side button simultaneously to pause and resume swim workouts.

How do I dry my Apple Watch?

apple watch water eject directions
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

When you complete your swimming workout, the Apple Watch will ask you to rotate the digital crown to disable Water Lock mode. This, in turn, will initiate the Apple Watch’s water ejection process, whereby it removes the remaining water trapped in its speaker by playing a series of tones.

You can initiate the water ejection process manually, too.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch clock face to open the control center.
  2. Tap the Water Lock (water drop) icon.
  3. Turn the digital crown to unlock the screen.

FAQs

Only the Apple Watch Series 2 and newer models are water resistant up to 50 meters. The older Apple Watch Series 1 and original Apple Watch feature splash resistance. Apple advises against submerging these models, so we’d recommend against swimming with these fastened to your wrist.

Yes, you can go scuba diving with your Apple Watch, provided you have the Ultra model. It’s the only watch in Apple’s range certified for diving. It includes a depth sensor for measuring depths up to 40 meters below the surface.

No. The Apple Watch Series 2 and newer are resistant to water, but they’re not waterproof. This means there’s always a chance that exposure to water could damage it, especially if you breach the device’s usage guidelines.

Yes, although Apple cautions against using soaps, shampoos, and other products that could affect the Apple Watch’s glues and seals. Rinse the watch thoroughly after showering, remove it, and dry it thoroughly before placing it back on your wrist.

Open the Fitness app on your iPhone, then tap Show More next to Workouts. Finally, select the workout you’re interested in. You can view total distance, laps completed, calories burned, pace and stroke data, and more.