How to have Apple Watch automatically pause and resume your runs

By , Sep 16, 2016

Apple Watch nike plus running woman

Among a myriad of varied health and fitness focused enhancements, watchOS 3 makes pausing and resuming your runs in the stock Workout app a frictionless experience, based on the inclusion of a new feature which taps into built-in sensors to determine when you start and stop moving. This new feature doesn’t require a dedicated GPS so it’ll work on every Apple Watch model.

Even better, you can enable it with just one tap, here’s how.

How to have Apple Watch automatically pause/resume workouts

1) Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and navigate to the My Watch → Workout section.

2) Slide the Running Auto Pause switch to the ON position.

“When this is on, indoor and outdoor running workouts will automatically pause when you stop moving and resume when you start moving,” notes Apple.


If you’d rather manually pause/resume your runs, set the toggle to the OFF position and simultaneously press the Digital Crown and the Side button on your watch while in the Workout app. Please note that the shortcut clashes with screenshot-taking functionality so pressing the two buttons to pause/resume your run will also take a screenshot.


To prevent that from happening, watchOS 3 by default disables screenshot taking.

But don’t you worry, you can re-enable screenshots in the Watch app on your paired iPhone: go to My Watch → General and toggle Enable Screenshots on or off.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Jason VonButtgereit

    Is there anyway to auto pause outdoor walks?

  • Hussain Alsanona

    Does anyone know if we can order the Apple Watch Nike+ bands when it releases on October?

    • Eddie Jhay

      From what I know they are only exclusive to the Apple Watch Nike+ so we can’t just buy a Nike band…

      • 5723alex .

        I’m sure Apple will sell the Nike+ bands in the near future.

  • philip Mills

    when will they be shipped

  • I had a stainless steel band with the stainless steel watch for the first edition. I’m getting this one on the assumption its lighter; and more comfortable then that heavy (though nice) stainless steel band/watch combo. Thoughts?

  • sheila s

    anyone know if you use the nike app on the new watch how to get it to stop when your run is finished?

    • Mattias Nilsson

      Unfortunately I dont know but as OT I can say that I’m having problem getting the new Nike+ (NRC) app to work with the Apple-Watch-built-in Workout app.

      If I start a running activity via the Workout app, the activity is stopped if I also start a NRC running activity (and vice versa if I start a NRC activity). This is annoying since I want to track my runs both via the Workout app and via NRC.

      Anyone else having this issue?