How to manually add a workout on the Apple Watch

A step-by-step guide to making sure all your tracked workouts live on your smartwatch
Wareable Apple Watch workout app
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

If you haven't tracked it, it never happened right? Forgetting to hit the workout tracking button on your Apple Watch can happen or you've taken it off and forgotten to put it back on for a gym sesh, but that doesn't meant that you can still have some record of it taking place.

There is still a way to make sure all of your workout time is all accounted for if you need that evidence you did sweat buckets and power through another big HIIT class.

The good news is it's possible whatever Apple Watch model you're rocking right now. Whether you've got an Apple Watch Series 8 or the Watch SE, you're good.

If you want to know how to manually add a workout to your Apple Watch to make sure it counts towards your daily activity goals, here's what you need to know and how to do it.

> Solved: Apple Watch keeps pausing during a workout

How to manually add a workout to an Apple Watch

Works with: All Apple Watch models

WareableHow to manually add a workout on the Apple Watch

To start, you'll need the Apple Health app. This is essentially Apple's hub of all of the health and fitness-centric data you capture.

To manually add a workout so you still have a record of it, you need to do the following:

1. Open the Health app on your iPhone and then go to the Browse tab

2. Next, tap Activity and scroll down until you find the Workouts section.

3. Tap and then tap Add Data in the top right-hand corner of the screen

4. From here you can select the activity type, calorie burn, distance covered, and when the workout started and ended.

5. Once you've entered the information hit Add and it will be added to your workout history and calendar inside the Health app.

Do manually logged workouts count towards Activity rings?

Unfortunately, they do not. Apple needs the motion and sensor data to influence the movement of those rings.

So if you were banking on it helping you Close those Rings, that sadly isn't the case here.

Once you've manually added the workout to the Health app, it won't influence the Move and Exercise rings.

Can you add a manual workout from the Apple Watch?

Right now, that's not possible. You have to use Apple's Health iPhone to keep a record of any workout time where you didn't use your Apple Watch to track it.

It's a simple thing to be able to do and hopefully, with your Apple Watch on you'll remember to keep it strapped for all of your workouts. If you forget, you do at least have some record that it did actually happen.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

Related stories