Home » Phones » Why Does My Apple Watch Randomly Keep Locking?

Why Does My Apple Watch Randomly Keep Locking?

Apple Watch keeps locking randomly

Why does my Apple Watch Keep Locking Randomly?

An Apple Watch can keep randomly locking if the watch is not worn tightly, or if the sensors are dirty.

Apple watches are designed to lock when removed from the wrist. However, if your Apple watch randomly locks there may be some causes behind it:

  • Your Apple watch needs to be placed directly above your wrist bone. If you wear it too far from your wrist bone, your Apple watch may get locked.
  • The watch needs to be in constant contact with your skin. Wearing the watch loosely can make it lose touch with your skin. Your Apple watch will instantly lock in those few seconds of lost contact. 
  • Try wearing your watch a little close to your wrist bone tightly. Tightening the band or strap will stop your watch from repeatedly losing contact with your wrist. 
  • Sometimes, the sensors can lose connection with your wrist, if the back of your watch gets too dirty. You can try cleaning it with a damp microfiber cloth to make the sensors function normally. 
  • Other issues that can affect the wrist detection of your Apple watch are wrist tattoos and heart rate. 
  • The ultimate solution will be to update your phone to the latest software. 


The information on your Apple Watch is often protected by layering it up with security measures. Wrist Detection is one such measure wherein your Apple watch gets locked the moment you remove it from your wrist. It protects your sensitive information from getting leaked or misused.

You need to enter a passcode or unlock with your paired iPhone device once per a day when you wake up. Then put the watch on your wrist.

However, Apple watch suffers from some everyday annoyances and glitches that make it getting locked randomly throughout the day.


How to stop your Apple Watch from locking?

Constant locking of your apple watch can be annoying at times. However, there are some possible fixes to prevent your apple watch from getting locked-

  • Check for wrist detection in your watch app.
  • Go to the Watch App.
  • Then click on General. You will find an option called Wrist Detection.
  • Check whether it is disabled. If so, tap on enable to fix your problem.
  • Try the smallest strap setting to engage the watch tightly on your wrist.
  • If all the above methods fail, try contacting your apple support.
  1. Unpair your Apple Watch from the iPhone device
  2. Reset your passcode and create a back-up in your device
  3. Pair again and restore the data using the previously created backup.


How to turn off your Apple watch screen lock

  1. Watch face screen> Digital Crown> Apps screen
  2. Tap on settings
  3. Click on Passcode and turn your passcode off
  4. Enter your current watch passcode to confirm


You also need to check for the following:

  • Wrist tattoos can hamper the device’s photoplethysmography abilities. Check whether your watch is directly placed over your tattoos.
  • The watch needs to be snugly placed over your wrist bone.
  • Long sleeves can also hamper your lock detection. If the cloth gets between your skin and the watch, it will trigger a request for passcodes.


Apple watch locked after update

Your apple watch needs to be on charging mode while opting for an update. If your watch gets locked after an update, there are some fixes to it:

  • Connect your watch to the Apple magnetic charger. Press and hold the side button for some seconds until the power off slider flashes on the screen. You can force press power off and choose to erase all apple content and settings.
  • Watch app> passcode> unlock with iPhone> press digital crown on Apple watch> enter passcode
  • If your passcode doesn’t match after update try unlocking with your paired iPhone
  1. Open the Watch app on your paired device and go to My Watch. Then click on general> reset.
  2. Tap on Erase watches content and settings. It will reset your phone.
  3. When the process gets completed, you can restore your data from backup. Next, set a new passcode and unlock your phone.


Apple watch keeps locking while on the wrist

It is usual for the apple watch to lock when you take it off your wrist. It is a security measure incorporated by Apple to keep the device safe. However, if it closes while on your wrist, there are many ways to fix it:

  1. Launch the apple watch app on your iPhone. Then go to wrist detection and turn it on. Check whether the Bluetooth is switched on.
  2. Go to Settings on your iPhone and enable Bluetooth.


Also check for the following:

  1. Check for wrist tattoos as they can interfere with the wrist detection process.
  2. Check whether wrist detection is working correctly or not.
  3. Also, check whether your watch is tightly fixed on your wrist or not.
  4. Clean the back of your Apple watch to ensure smooth working of your watch sensors
  5. Try restarting your iPhone and Apple watch.
  6. If none of the techniques works for you, try contacting a service centre for your Apple watch.


Apple watch keeps locking and asking for a passcode

If you have multiple passcodes, your apple watch may fail to connect to the correct one. There are some ways to overcome this issue.

  1. Use the correct Apple ID to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone. If none of your passcode matches, try resetting your passcode.
  2. Try unpairing your watch from the iPhone device. And then sync it back again.
  3. Go to your apple watch settings and follow the following steps. Settings> General> Reset > Erase all content and settings.
  4. Go to your Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap on My Watch.
  5. Go to Unpair Apple Watch> Confirm. Then re-pair your watch with your iPhone.
  • Try deleting the apps previously installed from your old passcode.
  • Check for the latest updates. Often not updating your software will lag your device.
  • Charge your phone to 50%. Then connect it to your charger and WiFi.
  • Keep your iPhone and watch it in a close range.
  • Go to Apple Watch> My Watch> General> Software Update> Download


Apple watch keeps locking during workouts

If your watch loosens during the workout, it may cause your Apple watch to lock. If your watch screen encounters any accidental interaction, it will stop working.

You can try out the following steps to prevent your apple watch from locking:

  • Tighten your watch band before exercising. Your gym clothes may cause your watch’s sudden interaction, leading to contact disruption between the watch and your skin.
  • You can use the workout app on your iPhone to prevent any accidental touch to your watch screen.
  • Go to watch the app on your iPhone. Tap on My Watch. You will find a Workout button. Turn on or off the Running Auto Pause accordingly.


Apple watch locking during sleep

The apple watch sensors often fail to identify the spectral response from the wrist. Inked wrists or any other dark coloured objects near your wrist may interfere with your watch’s senses, causing it to lock during your sleep.

  • Ensure that the watch stays tight on your wrist while you sleep. If the watch is too close, try loosening it a bit. Wear it on your wrist’s underside while you sleep to maintain its accurate position.
  • Unlock the watch and then put it back again before going to sleep.
  • Use both thumbs to apply pressure to the watch sensors. Often the sensors fail to work correctly while you sleep.
  • Try disabling your Wrist Detection and then re-enable it again.
  • Go to your iPhone’s Watch app. Click on My Watch. Go to Privacy and tap on Motion and Fitness. Turn it off during your sleep. Or if it was initially turned off, try turning it on.
  • Turn off both devices and restart your iPhone first. Then restart your watch.


How to factory reset Apple watch if it is locked 

You can perform a factory reset on your Apple watch even if it is locked and unpaired with your iPhone. You can take a backup and restore your data and settings from it.

  1. Connect your Apple watch to your charger and press the side button until the power off slider displays on your screen.
  2. Press the slider and tap on Erase all content and settings.
  3. Your Apple watch will then reset to factory settings.
  4. Now pair it with your iPhone.
  5. Restore the data from your backup and create a new passcode for your Apple watch.


Further Troubleshooting:

  • Access the Home buttons and Side buttons together.
  • Press and hold both the buttons simultaneously for around ten seconds.
  • The screen will eventually turn off, and your Watch will enter the reboot mode.
  • When the reboot completes, your watch will get reset to your factory settings.


The Apple watch often fails to recognise the contact with your wrist because of some sensor issues.

You can try to change the watch’s position on your wrist, alter and manage some settings, or try cleaning the sensor.

The methods mentioned above and insights will help you to deal with the issue better.

If everything fails, the last resort will contact a service provider as there may be some underlying technical issue with your watch.


Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

Recent Posts