How to turn on Apple Watch auto-pause for running and outdoor cycling workouts

Tired of getting inaccurate workout data with Apple Watch on runs or outdoor bike rides? Instead of having to remember to manually pause your watch when stopped, follow along for how to turn on Apple Watch auto-pause for running and outdoor cycling.

The potential issues with pauses and tracking during outdoor runs and cycling workouts is often twofold. First, it’s easy to forget to manually pause your Apple Watch at an intersection, for a break, or other reason. That means your distance, time, speed, splits, etc. aren’t accurate.

Secondly, if you do remember to pause your watch, it’s easy to forget to restart your workout which also goofs up your data.

Fortunately, you can turn on auto-pause for runs and outdoor cycling.

Turn on Apple Watch auto-pause for running and outdoor cycling

Here’s how the process looks on Apple Watch:

In my experience with Apple Watch, it consistently auto-pauses within about 2 seconds of stopping. While third-party fitness apps often use GPS to enable auto-pause, Apple likely uses multiple data sources including the built-in accelerometer to accurately pause automatically.

And when starting again, I find the workout tracking starts back up within a 2 seconds or resuming.

Apple Watch auto-pause limitations

For now, Apple Watch can only use the built-in auto-pause feature for when tracking running or outdoor cycling.

Hopefully we’ll see the feature expand to other workout types in the future.

Button shortcut

For other workout types, or if you don’t want to use auto-pause, you can more quickly manually pause workouts by pressing the side button and Digital Crown and the same time. Press both again to resume your workout tracking.

This feature is on by default but can also be turned off a bit below auto-pause in your watch’s Settings > Workout.

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A hedonist with a great passion for food. I baked my first biscuit at the age of five, since then I cook every day and get real pleasure from it. I am fond of intellectual games, with great interest I study scientific works on history and medicine and at the same time I follow pop culture, fashion and beauty trends.

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