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Can you swim with the Apple Watch?

Be sure to read this guide before diving in with your Apple Watch.
August 11, 2022
Apple Watch Series 7 on a user's wrist display the Outdoor Run settings screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

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


Yes. Thanks to its 5 ATM rating, the Apple Watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters in various bodies of water.


Can you swim with the Apple Watch?

Yes. Newer Apple Watch models are water-resistant up to 50 meters, thanks to their 5 ATM rating. You can even go shallow diving with the watch, provided you remain above this safe limit. Newer Apple Watches includes 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.

Notably, this water resistance rating only applies to the Apple Watch 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 5 ATM?

The ATM rating, which takes atmospheric pressure into account, 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.

See also: Everything you need to know about water resistance ratings

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’ll need to 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.

See also: Common Apple Watch problems and solutions

How do I dry my Apple Watch?

apple watch water eject directions
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Apple Watch will ask you to rotate the digital crown to disable Water Lock mode when you complete your swimming workout. 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.

See also: How to get water out of the Apple Watch


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.

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. Apple doesn’t recommend deep water activities or high-velocity activities, like scuba diving or water skiing, even with the Series 2 or newer.

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 ensure you 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 and laps swam, calories burned, pace and stroke data, and more.