'Can you shower with an Apple Watch?': You can in theory, but it may damage the device - here's what you need to know

Apple WatchHollis Johnson

As a piece of wearable tech that's meant to be worn for the duration of your waking hours - though you can also choose to wear it to bed and track your sleep using third-party apps - you may be wondering if it's a good idea to hop in the shower without removing your Apple Watch.

In short, while you technically can shower with your Apple Watch on your wrist, you probably shouldn't.

Here's why:

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 4 (For $449 at Best Buy)

Apple Watches are water-resistant, not waterproof

Different Apple Watch models have differing levels of water resistance. Owners of 1st generation and Series 1 Apple Watches should note that these versions are splash- and water-resistant, however full water submersion is not recommended, according to Apple.

Apple Watch Series 2, 3, and 4 models can be used for shallow water activities like swimming but are not recommended for activities involving high-velocity water (like water skiing) or submersion below shallow depths (like scuba diving).

For more information, read our article, "How to tell if your Apple Watch is waterproof or water-resistant, and to what extent."

Exposure to sweat and water is okay - but soaps, lotions, and the like can deteriorate water seals

While activities like washing your hands and showering while wearing an Apple Watch Series 2, 3, or 4 are technically okay, Apple doesn't recommend exposing your device to soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and perfumes as these substances can "negatively affect water seals and acoustic membranes" on the device.

Water resistance is a feature that irreversibly diminishes over time

Apple notes that water resistance is not a permanent condition of the device and Watches cannot be resealed. Exposing an Apple Watch to the substances above, plus detergent, sunscreen, insect repellant, and oil may affect water resistance, in addition to dropping your Watch and wearing it in a sauna or steam room.

If you must shower with your Apple Watch, turn on Water Lock

This feature locks an Apple Watch's screen to avoid accidental taps while swimming and during other water-based activities. To manually activate this feature:

1. Open the Control Center by swiping up on the face of your Apple Watch.

2. Use your finger or Digital Crown to scroll to the Water Lock icon. It looks like a water droplet.

3. Tap the icon to activate Water Lock. When activated, a blue water droplet appears in the center of the Watch face.

4. Once you're finished showering, turn off Water Lock by turning the Digital Crown until the blue teardrop fills the circular icon. Once the Watch is unlocked, it will make a series of sounds that are intended to clear water from its speakers.

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