Apple Watch keeps locking (asking for passcode)

DSTOFEL

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 11, 2011
550
240
I’ve got an Apple Watch Series 3 that (all of the sudden in the past 2 days) has started locking while on my wrist. When wearing the watch, it locks after about a minute....requiring me to enter my passcode to unlock it to do anything (ie access the control center, etc...).

My question is: Does this sound like a hardware issue, or some sort of setting that I’ve inadvertently changed and am not aware of.

A few facts:
  • Both my phone (XR) and watch are on the latest updates
  • I have “Unlock with iPhone” to to “on” on the watch app. Of my phone
  • Wrist detection is turned “on” on my watch
  • I’ve tried “force quitting” both phone and watch
  • I’ve had Series 0 and 2 and never had a problem with this....I’m wearing the Series 3 in the same location at the same tightness.
  • I haven’t tried unpairing and setting up as a new watch...after this “locking” started.

The only thing I have found that works to prevent the phone from locking while on my wrist is to turn off Wrist detection...obviously not the best solution.

I just bought the series 3 in November....so it’s still under warranty. Before I schedule and appointment with the Genius Bar at Apple, just wanted to see if there is some setting I might be missing.
 

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
1,978
1,965
Your Watch will lock after you’ve entered your passcode as soon as it detects it is no longer on a wrist.

That might be a software feature (erasing and re-pairing might work) but this does seem like a hardware failure. Is your heart rate sensor working?
 

lyricthejoe

Contributor
Dec 7, 2011
85
69
How loosely are you wearing the watch? If it detects a break in contact with your wrist for even a few seconds, it will ask for the passcode again.
 

DSTOFEL

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 11, 2011
550
240
How loosely are you wearing the watch? If it detects a break in contact with your wrist for even a few seconds, it will ask for the passcode again.
Nothing has changed since November when I bought it (ie in terms of how I’m wearing it)...and I’ve had 2 other version of the watch and never had this issue. So, a real head scratcher!
 

DSTOFEL

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 11, 2011
550
240
I’ve got an Apple Watch Series 3 that (all of the sudden in the past 2 days) has started locking while on my wrist. When wearing the watch, it locks after about a minute....requiring me to enter my passcode to unlock it to do anything (ie access the control center, etc...).

My question is: Does this sound like a hardware issue, or some sort of setting that I’ve inadvertently changed and am not aware of.

A few facts:
  • Both my phone (XR) and watch are on the latest updates
  • I have “Unlock with iPhone” to to “on” on the watch app. Of my phone
  • Wrist detection is turned “on” on my watch
  • I’ve tried “force quitting” both phone and watch
  • I’ve had Series 0 and 2 and never had a problem with this....I’m wearing the Series 3 in the same location at the same tightness.
  • I haven’t tried unpairing and setting up as a new watch...after this “locking” started.

The only thing I have found that works to prevent the phone from locking while on my wrist is to turn off Wrist detection...obviously not the best solution.

I just bought the series 3 in November....so it’s still under warranty. Before I schedule and appointment with the Genius Bar at Apple, just wanted to see if there is some setting I might be missing.
Okay....just tested the heart rate monitor and it’s not working....won’t measure my current heart rate and says last reading was 6 days ago. Looks like it’s definitely an issue with the watch itself. So, I’m just going to schedule and appointment for Apple to have a look at it....while it’s under warranty.
[doublepost=1548170125][/doublepost]
Okay....just tested the heart rate monitor and it’s not working....won’t measure my current heart rate and says last reading was 6 days ago. Looks like it’s definitely an issue with the watch itself. So, I’m just going to schedule and appointment for Apple to have a look at it....while it’s under warranty.
I’ll just add one final update...In case anyone else runs into this same problem: I called Apple support and explained the symtoms (watch kept locking while on wrist and heart rate monitor was not registering heart rate). They ran some diagnostics on the watch remotely and saw that the sensors had failed. They are mailing me a box to return the watch and they’ll replace it!
 
Last edited:

triangletechie

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2017
461
586
NC
My Series 4 has been locking by itself a few times per day. It is snug on my wrist. The heart sensor works so I'm not sure what the issue is. I may have Apple Support run diagnostics on it as well.
 

Dacoldz

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2019
2
0
My Series 4 has been locking by itself a few times per day. It is snug on my wrist. The heart sensor works so I'm not sure what the issue is. I may have Apple Support run diagnostics on it as well.
Same with me... apple series 4 had this problem also. So how? What should i do..