How to manually lock the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch auto-lock has many benefits for its user, but it may be that, for some reason, you prefer to keep it unlocked and you just want to lock it when you want, manually.

Although unusual, this configuration is indeed possible in watchOS, however, you need to understand it very deeply before applying it and going out using your unlocked Apple Watch out there.

By disabling your smartwatch’s auto-lock, important features will no longer work, such as drop detection — which automatically triggers Emergency SOS — sleep monitoring through Sleep Time Mode, Noise Control notifications, and tracking your heartbeat.

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As if that wasn’t enough, some measurements from the Fitness (Activity) app can no longer be tracked either, and of course your iPhone can no longer be automatically unlocked by your Apple Watch.

However, if in some specific situation you really want to opt for manual blocking mode, it is simple to do this through the watchOS settings.

Here’s how to manually lock your Apple Watch:

Step 1: Open your iPhone’s Watch app, and enter “Code”.

Go to Watch > Code. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

Step 2: On the next screen, disable the “Arm Detection” option.

Disable arm detection. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

Step 3: Carefully read the important changes that will apply to using your Apple Watch’s manual lock mode. To confirm, click “Disable”.

Confirm disabling of arm detection. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

Step 4: On your Apple Watch, open Control Center by dragging the screen from bottom to top, and you will notice that there is now a lock icon, among the other features. By clicking on it, you manually lock your watch.

Icon for manual lock in Control Center. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

Step 5: At the top center of the screen you will see the lock icon, confirming that your device is locked.

Icon at the top of the screen indicates the watch is locked. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

Step 6: Tap anywhere on the screen or click any of the buttons to open the unlock screen. Enter your code and voila, the Apple Watch will be manually unlocked.

Enter your code to unlock it. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

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