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How to disable auto-workout detection on your Apple Watch

2018 June 13
by RSS Feed

Your Apple Watch can remind you to start or end the correct workout in case you forget.

For many popular workouts, your Apple Watch utilizes its built-in accelerometer and heart rate sensors to sense when you might be working out by analyzing increased motion and heart rate.

It’s especially cool that auto-workout detection supports retroactive tracking to the beginning of your activity, meaning you’ll be credited for the exercises you’ve already done in case you get distracted when cooling down and forget to manually end your session.

Detecting your workouts, automagically

New in watchOS 5, you can elect to receive a notification on your wrist reminding you to start the correct workout or end your current workout session. The watchOS 5 software provides this handy feature for the most popular workout types, like running, cycling and swimming.

You can toggle your start and end workout reminders on or off individually.

Auto-workout start and end reminders shown on Apple Watch

Start reminders are supported for the following workout types:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical
  • Rower

End reminders apply to all workouts except Other.

Should you use auto-workout detection?

If you’re a forgetful person, auto-workout detection will ensure your progress is tracked even if you’ve forgotten to manually start a session in the Workout app.

However, fitness buffs and folks who use Apple Watch to track their workouts on a regular basis probably won’t need these workout reminders.

Auto-workout detection also supports GymKit

If you don’t need to be reminded to start or end your workout session, disabling this new feature in watchOS 5 can help prolong the battery life on your Apple Watch.

Here’s how to disable the auto-workout detection feature.

How to disable auto-workout detection

Auto-workout detection is on by default.

To disable auto-workout detection in watchOS 5 or newer, use the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone or the Settings app on the watch itself.

Apple Watch

To disable auto-workout reminders from your wrist, do the following.

1) Open the Settings app on your watch.

2) Tap General in the list.

3) Tap Workout.

4) Toggle off the buttons Start Workout Reminder and End Workout Reminder.

Disabling auto-workout reminders in the Settings app on Apple Watch

Going forward, tour Apple Watch will no longer alert you to start the correct workout based on defected motion and increased heart rate. Likewise, you will no longer be reminder to end workout sessions after a period of inactivity.


Do the following on your paired iPhone:

1) Open the companion Watch app on your iPhone with iOS 12 or later.

2) Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom.

3) Tap General on the list.

4) Tap Workout.

5) Toggle off the buttons Start Workout Reminder and End Workout Reminder.

Disabling auto-workout reminders in the companion Watch app on iPhone

You can, of course, turn off your start reminder while and leave the other option switched on so you remain alerted in case you happen to forget to end your workout session.

Your thoughts

Are you glad that watchOS 5 features auto-workout detection to start and stop workouts? Are you a forgetful type who will be making sure to use this feature on a regular basis?

Have you ever forgotten to start or end a workout session? Let us know your thoughts on auto-workout detection in the watchOS 5 software by leaving your comment below.

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