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 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

newellj Avatar
31 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: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
felixen Avatar
31 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)
inkhorn Avatar
35 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: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...