Your Apple Watch Keeps Locking Because That’s How It's Set up by Default

If you've frustratingly shouted,"Why does my Apple Watch keep locking?!" here's what you need to know about why it happens and how to change it.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Apr. 8 2022, Published 9:18 a.m. ET

Apple Watch
Source: Getty Images

For many people, the crème de la crème of all things computational is Apple. And once you buy one Apple product, getting sucked into that ecosystem can easily become a slippery slope.

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As cool as the tech is, it can be difficult to master it. Take the Apple Watch for example. Many people are asking themselves: Why does my Apple Watch keep locking?

Apple Watch
Source: Getty Images
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Why does my Apple Watch keep locking?

While Apple isn't the only company to offer a wearable piece of tech, it's hard to deny that the Cupertino-based tech giant's wrist bling is the best in the business, at least from a software usability perspective.

You can use the Apple watch to make phone calls, send quick texts, control music playlists, and make payments where NFC mobile purchases are available. It's pretty darn versatile.

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But sometimes the Apple Watch locks on you and forces you to type your pin code to get back to using the device. So how does one prevent this from happening? As it turns out, it's a pretty common occurrence because the watch is set to do that by default.

According to Apple's support page, "By default, your Apple Watch locks automatically when you’re not wearing it." This is a security measure dictated by Apple's wrist detection technology. If you take off your watch and set it down somewhere and then someone nabs it, this will prevent them from using it and maybe getting access to some of your personal information. It also prevents them from using the watch themselves and pairing it with their phone.

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If you'd rather manually lock your Apple Watch so it doesn't lock you out every time you take it off, here's what you've got to do:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Passcode, then turn Wrist Detection on or off.

Do that and you're done! Be forewarned though, disabling wrist detection does get rid of a few features.

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Apple states the following will occur once wrist detection is off:

  • When you use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode when you double-click the side button to authorize the payment.
  • Some Activity measurements are unavailable.
  • Heart rate tracking and notifications are turned off.
  • Apple Watch will no longer automatically lock and unlock.
  • Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 and later wonʼt automatically make an emergency call even after it has detected a hard impact fall.
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How do you manually lock an Apple Watch?

Naturally, if you have your wrist detection off, then you may want to lock your Apple watch when it's off of your hand or you don't plan on using it for a while. Here's how to get that done:

  1. Touch and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up to open Control Center.
  2. Tap the lock icon.

This is a nifty feature for when you're working out too, in case you don't want any accidental touches to mess up whatever stats you're tracking during a sweat session.

Note: You will have to manually input your password to unlock your watch.

Also remember, if you forget your Apple Watch pin passcode, then you'll have to erase it in order to use it with your phone again, and that involves unpairing the watch from your phone. If you want more information on the unpairing/pairing process, head to Apple's support page.

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