An Apple Watch can be locked or unlocked fairly easily, but there may be times when it performs these actions without the user wanting or expecting them to happen. A very common example is when an Apple Watch keeps locking by itself, making it more difficult and slower to check notifications than intended. In these situations, there are some quick things to check to see if it solves the Apple Watch keeps locking problem.

Apple’s smartwatch can do a lot, including monitoring health and fitness-related data. However, one of its primary functions is as an extension of the phone. Whether that’s receiving iPhone notifications, making calls, or checking messages, the Apple Watch can be a good solution. Not to mention, the fact it’s usually attached to the user at all times makes it a more convenient option overall.


Related: How Unlock iPhone With Apple Watch Works & Getting Started

But that doesn’t mean the Apple Watch is perfect. There’s a myriad of things that can go wrong with the wearable. Apps may not open, workouts aren’t always tracked correctly, and you might occasionally encounter slow performance. Another Apple Watch issue is when the smartwatch keeps locking itself for no apparent reason. There are certain times when an Apple Watch should lock the display. If you take off the watch and then put it back on, you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode and unlock the display. It’s an important security measure when it works – but what if the screen keeps locking even while you’re wearing the Apple Watch? That’s when you may need to do some troubleshooting.

How To Fix An Apple Watch That’s Locking Itself

Apple Watch SE with a yellow band

If an Apple Watch is locking unexpectedly, then the most likely issue is the current settings. Specifically, the ‘Wrist Detection’ feature might not be turned on or working as it should. To check this, open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap ‘Passcode,’ and find the ‘Wrist Detection’ option at the bottom of the page. If the toggle is turned off, tap it to enable Wrist Detection. If Wrist Detection is already enabled, turn the feature off and back on again. When working normally, having Wrist Detection on means your Apple Watch should remain unlocked whenever you’re wearing the smartwatch.

If enabling or resetting Wrist Detection doesn’t fix the locking problem, then it might be related to how the Apple Watch is being worn. Wrist Detection is not as simple as whether the Apple Watch is on your wrist or not. Wearing the watch too loosely can make it think it’s not actually being worn, causing the Apple Watch to incorrectly lock itself. Therefore, it may be worth checking the fit and making sure the band isn’t too loose. It may also be worth quickly cleaning the back of the Apple Watch as well. The Apple Watch uses its health sensors to confirm it’s being worn. If those sensors are dirty and can’t properly detect your skin, the Wrist Detection feature won’t work correctly.

If the Apple Watch keeps locking itself after all of this, there are some more basic fixes that might work. The most obvious one is to unpair the Apple Watch and iPhone and then pair them again. Doing so may help to make sure the connection between the two is working as it should be, including the Apple Watch knowing when to stay unlocked. Alternatively, checking both the Apple Watch and iPhone for any pending software updates may also fix any lingering issues and problems, such as an Apple Watch continually locking itself. If all else fails, you might have a defective unit and need to contact Apple’s customer service team to see what’s going on.