The Workout app is Apple’s free and convenient activity-tracking app with all the necessary bells and whistles to keep track of your workouts.
Recently, many users have seen glitches in the software. One of the most annoying problems with the workout app is that it keeps auto-pausing on its own from time to time.
Some users report that the workout app simply stops functioning on its own. You are running or working out on a cardio segment, and mid-way it stops monitoring. For some, it just auto-shuts and completely cancels the workout.
- 1 How to stop the Workout app from pausing your Apple Watch workout
- 2 Change where you wear your watch
- 3 Look at your Auto-Pause and Press to Pause settings
- 4 Dismissing the “Finished your workout?” message on your Apple Watch
- 5 Wrist detection, Tattoos, and workout pausing action on Apple Watch
- 6 Summary
- How to change the Apple Watch Workout app on-screen stats and metrics
- Strength training and weightlifting using Apple Watch, a quick primer
- How to turn on or off Apple Watch Workout app alerts like splits, heart rate, or time
- iPhone Fitness or Health app not showing Apple Watch workouts? Steps to fix it
- Why your Apple Watch isn’t tracking or counting your steps or movement: Fix it today
How to stop the Workout app from pausing your Apple Watch workout
If you are experiencing this issue on your Apple Watch, here are a few things you can check and see if it helps.
First, ensure your Apple Watch is running the most recent watchOS software. Apple is constantly fixing bugs like this with watchOS upgrades.
If you are already on the latest applicable watchOS version on your watch and still having this issue, check out some of these tips:
Change where you wear your watch
If you have tattoos or a lot of arm hair, try wearing your watch higher up on your arm or wear it on the other arm, in an area that has no tattoos or less arm hair.
Another strategy is to wear the watch on the inside of your wrist or arm. This is especially useful if you have tattoos on both arms/wrists or have a lot of arm hair (you could also shave your hair but wearing it on the inside is a lot easier!)
Look at your Auto-Pause and Press to Pause settings
Your Apple Watch software has a feature called auto-pause in the workout app. The watch can auto-pause certain workouts when it detects inactivity and resumes monitoring when it senses activity.
This feature is beneficial. For example, you run on your local roads and need to wait at a pedestrian crossing before resuming your run.
The workout app automatically stops processing and waits until you start running again so that it can give you exact details of your running time, calories burnt, and more.
The Press to Pause feature pauses a workout anytime the Digital Crown and side buttons are pressed together. Unfortunately, many people accidentally press these buttons when working out due to the position of the buttons near their wrist bend.
The good news is we can turn off both of these settings and prevents these automatic pauses in our workouts!
Change the Workout app pause settings on your Apple Watch
- On your Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
- Next, head over to Settings > Workouts and tap on it.
- Scroll down on this screen to the Auto-Pause section. Tap on Auto-Pause.
- Toggle off Auto-Pause. If it’s already off, toggle it on and off a few times, leaving it in the off position.
- Go back to Settings > Workouts and scroll down to Press to Pause and toggle it off.
- Turning this off prevents your watch from pausing your workout if you accidentally press the side and Digital Crown buttons.
- Restart your watch.
- Now you can check it out with a workout to see if your workout app works better.
Change the Workout app pause settings from your iPhone
- Open Watch app on your iPhone
- Tap on the My Watch tab at the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Scroll down and locate Workout. Tap on it.
- Tap on Auto-pause.
- Disable the Auto-Pause feature for the Workout app here.
- Go back to the previous menu and toggle off Press to Pause.
- Your watch’s Workout settings should immediately update (as long as the watch is nearby.)
Disabling the auto-pause and press-to-pause functionality helped resolve this issue, but for many users, the simple disabling of the auto-pause feature didn’t entirely fix the problem.
Dismissing the “Finished your workout?” message on your Apple Watch
If you toggled on End Workout Reminder, you see this familiar prompt that automatically shuts down the workout.
Please note that when you see the “Finished your workout message?” there are three different actions for you to choose from:
- End Workout
The first two options are easily visible on the screen, but to access the third one, you need to scroll down and tap on Dismiss to keep the workout app continuing to monitor your activity.
If you accidentally tap on the Pause action, don’t worry, it pauses the workout calculations briefly, and you can resume the workout by tapping on the Resume button.
As long as your Apple Watch can interpret your heart rate, it keeps track of your activity in the background even when you Pause a workout.
Tapping resume modifies the calculations and makes your number kosher.
Turn workout reminders on or off
By default, Apple turns on start and end workout reminders for walking, running, swimming, and other workouts.
- When your Apple Watch senses you’re moving, it vibrates and alerts you with the Start Workout Reminder.
- When your watch senses you are no longer moving, it sends you the End Workout Reminder.
To turn them off,
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap Workout and toggle off the End Workout Reminder and/or Start Workout Reminder.
Or, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch > Workout, and change your workout reminder settings.
Wrist detection, Tattoos, and workout pausing action on Apple Watch
Word of caution for users who wear their Apple Watch loosely on their wrists.
You may also want to ensure that your Apple Watch is firmly secured to your wrist during your workout as if you have wrist detection enabled and the Watch becomes loose, it can pause the activity until it is secure again.
Find wrist detection in your watch’s Settings app > Passcode settings or your iPhone’s Watch app > My Watch tab > Passcode settings.
Many users instead turn off the wrist-detection process on their Apple Watch, but if you do that, it interferes with several functions on the Apple Watch, according to Apple.
Here are some of the functions you may miss out on if you turn off Wrist Detection on your Apple Watch:
- When you use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode when you double-click the side button to authorize the payment.
- Some Activity measurements are unavailable.
- Heart rate tracking and notifications are turned off.
- Apple Watch no longer automatically locks and unlocks.
- Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 and later wonʼt automatically make an emergency call even after it has detected a hard impact fall.
Given this, you are better off keeping the wrist detection feature ON and making sure you are wearing your Apple Watch snuggly and not using it on a wrist with tattoos, as it can interfere with the proper functioning of your Apple Watch.
If you have tattoos, try swapping your watch onto the opposite wrist (if that wrist doesn’t have tattoos), or wear your watch on the inside of your wrist, and you should find that the workouts and associated metrics monitoring work better.
Avoid accidental taps during a workout
- Workouts may auto-pause or shut down when you accidentally tap on your Apple Watch screen during your workout. Apple provides a neat feature to help prevent these accidental taps while working out.
- While using the Workout app on your Apple Watch, swipe right and then tap Lock (it’s the water droplet icon.)
- When you finish the workout, turn the digital crown in one continuous movement to turn the lock off, then slide right again and tap on end.
- You can check out Apple’s guidance on this and more from Apple’s site.
- This prevents any unwanted actions on your Apple Watch while working out, especially if you wear long sleeves or loose clothing that can tap the Apple Watch screen during your workout.
Turn on Location Services for Apple Watch Workout App for better tracking
Tip for Outdoor users: If you are a runner or an outdoor activity performer and want better activity tracking on your Apple Watch, ensure that you have enabled Location Services for the workout app.
You can check this setting directly on your Apple Watch.
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
- Next, choose Location Services from the options.
- Make sure Location Services is enabled on this screen.
- Scroll down, and you see a list of apps with access to Location.
- Make sure that Apple Watch Workout app is set to either While Using or Allow Location Access.
- You can enable Precise Location on this screen for precise location during your runs.
If you use additional third-party apps for your outdoor runs or hikes, such as ‘AllTrails” or WorkOutdoors, you can also check the location services settings for those apps here and make sure that they have enough permission levels.
We hope one or more of these tips help you resolve this annoying issue with the workouts app on your Apple Watch.
Sometimes a simple shutdown of the Apple Watch, unpairing it from your iPhone, and re-pairing it can be magical when solving common issues on the device.
Make sure to unpair and re-repair your Apple Watch with your iPhone and see if it helps resolve issues like this. If you are still having problems, you may need to reach out to Apple Support and see if they can help you with this issue.
Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to share a tip or two that helped you with the workout app on your Apple Watch.