There’s nothing like that sheer moment of panic when you jump into the swimming pool and realize you’re still wearing your smartwatch—and haven’t turned on the water lock.
But is that panic misplaced? Is a Galaxy Watch any less water resistant if you don’t engage the water lock before diving in? I’m writing this now because the panicking idiot who dived into the pool wearing his smartwatch was me. And it took some research to get to the bottom of whether I’d ruined my watch or not.
The Galaxy Watch Water Lock
The good news for absent-minded holiday swimmers like me: failure to engage the water lock isn’t a death sentence for your sumberged smartwatch.
The water lock is largely designed to stop accidental screen presses occuring while the watch is underwater. It deactivates the touchscreen and wake-up gestures, as well as the always-on display, but it doesn’t affect the watch’s 5ATM water resistance (on the Galaxy Watch 3 onwards).
However, it’s definitely a good idea to turn the water lock on before you go for a swim or otherwise get the watch wet. That’s because of what happens when you deactivate the water lock.
When it’s switched off, the Watch will attempt to eject any water that’s seeped into the watch’s speaker. When you deactivate the water lock, the Watch will beep and vibrate, and you’ll hear two little puffs as the water is ejected. You might even see a thin spray of water emerge from the device.
Even if you forgot to activate the water lock before you jumped into the pool, you can activate and deactivate it afterwards to expel water.
How To Activate The Water Lock On A Galaxy Watch
To switch on the water lock on a Galaxy Watch 4 or onwards, drag down from the top of the screen, swipe left and you should see a water droplets icon. Press this to activate the water lock. The water lock might even engage automatically if the device detects you are swimming, although this didn’t happen in my case. (To be fair, I’m not exactly Michael Phelps in the pool.)
When the water lock is engaged, you’ll see two large transparent droplet icons on the watch face.
To turn it off, press and hold down the Home button for two seconds. That will ensure any remaining water is spat out of the speaker canal.
Galaxy Watch In Water Tips
Here are a few other tips for using the Galaxy Watch while swimming:
- Be very wary of using the Watch in salt water. Salt and electronics are never a good mix. If you do use it in the sea or a salt-water pool, making sure to rinse in fresh water and rub the device dry afterwards to ensure no salty residue is left behind on the charging contacts or other moving parts.
- Don’t use the watch for any deep-water activity such as scuba diving.
- The water resistance of the Watch fades over time. If you’ve had your Watch a couple of years, it might be best to leave it in the locker room when you’re going for a swim.