Apple's watchOS 5 update includes a new automatic workout detection feature, which is designed to make sure you never miss out on getting credit for one of your workouts.

Automatic workout detection is a setting that's enabled by default once you upgrade to watchOS 5, but if you don't want the feature, it can be turned off using the Apple Watch app on the iPhone or on the Apple Watch itself.

autodetectworkout

Enabling/Disabling Automatic Workouts on Apple Watch

  1. Open the Settings app on Apple Watch.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Select "Workout."
  4. Scroll down to "Start Workout Reminder" and "End Workout Reminder." workoutstartreminder
  5. Set the toggles to your personal preferences.

Enabling/Disabling Automatic Workouts on iPhone

  1. Open up the Watch app on the iPhone.
  2. Choose "Workout" to access the settings for the Workout app.
  3. Scroll down to "Start Workout Reminder" and "End Workout Reminder." automaticworkoutdetection
  4. Set the toggles to your personal preferences.

Automatic workout detection for starting a workout and ending a workout are two separate settings, so you can control them individually if so desired.

Start Workout Reminder

Automatic workout detection is designed to let the Apple Watch remind you to start a workout if you forget to do so, which it will do through a notification that pops up on the Apple Watch asking if you want to begin a workout.

watchos5automaticworkoutdetection
Automatic detection when your workout starts is compatible with running, walking, swimming, elliptical workouts, or rower workouts.

Even if you initially forget to start a workout in watchOS 5, this new workout detection feature will give you credit for the exercise you've already done.

End Workout Reminder

With automatic detection for when a workout ends, which is labeled as "End Workout Reminder" the Apple Watch will remind you to end a workout if it looks like you've finished up. This too works through a notification that directs you to the workout app.

Unlike automatic workout detection for starting a workout, automatic detection for ending one works with all workouts aside from those in the "Other" category.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

newellj Avatar
73 months ago
My guess? Apple is stuck on their "baby steps" implementing model and those were the only workout types the developers cared about. Next year, if the public seems to like these, they'll add another couple of workout types. Or they'll eliminate the feature completely.
FWIW, I turned this off. I found it turning itself on while I was walking to work, which would be OK, but I generally have at least one hand full of stuff and responding to the alert has an annoyance value that exceeds my interest in recording a walking workout.

Maybe a good feature add would be enabling workouts on a single type basis. For example, yes to running, no for walking.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
inkhorn Avatar
77 months ago
What would be great would be a stop workout on pairing with car Bluetooth / CarPlay, so I don't forget and log vehicle miles onto the route of my workout if I'm driving home.

Especially as there's no way to easily trim the start or end of workouts. :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
felixen Avatar
74 months ago
I’m so disappointed with this feature. It was probably my most anticipated feature in watchOS 5 but it just doesn’t work well enough. It’s baffeling considering Fitbit has been able to do this with ease for years. Come on, Apple
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pat500000 Avatar
77 months ago
We need a new update that erases everything on the watch except a clock mode.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JRobinsonJr Avatar
73 months ago
I wonder why automatic workout startup is limited to these modes...
My guess? Apple is stuck on their "baby steps" implementing model and those were the only workout types the developers cared about. Next year, if the public seems to like these, they'll add another couple of workout types. Or they'll eliminate the feature completely.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
77 months ago
What this new feature really needs is a talking paper-clip!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....