How to enable Auto Pause on the Apple Watch - stop workouts automatically

Make manually pausing your run or cycle a thing of the past
Wareable how to enable auto pause apple watch
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Having your Apple Watch automatically pause workouts is one of the smartwatch's best features. 

If you're anything like us, your running or cycling workouts are filled with mini-stops for road crossings, pedestrian traffic, and maybe even the odd break to catch your breath.

It can be frustrating having to manually pause and restart tracking every 30 seconds, however, and that's where Auto Pause comes in handy.

Below are instructions on how to enable it, and details on how it works.

How to enable Auto Pause on Apple Watch

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Here are the steps to enable Auto Pause on your Apple Watch:

1. Open the 'Settings' app.

2. Scroll down to and tap 'Workout'

3. Find 'Auto Pause' and toggle it to on.

What does Auto Pause do?

As you can imagine, this is fairly self-explanatory.

According to Apple, when this is on, indoor and outdoor running and cycling workouts will automatically pause when you stop moving and resume when you start moving.

Should you use Auto Pause?

We've used the Apple Watch in running and cycling workouts extensively over the past few years, and Auto Pause is definitely worth turning on if you're prone to having workouts interrupted.

Accuracy is generally spot on, and you'll receive a light vibration automatically when it detects you've stopped moving.

The only real instance when we preferred to have auto-pause turned off was on the treadmill for HIIT training, where keeping the clock running as you take brief rest periods is essential.

Really, even if you're out running where there are no roads, having auto-pause on is handy just for the odd occasion when you may forget to end your workout.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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