how to enable handwash detection watchos 7

How to Enable Handwash Detection in Apple Watch on watchOS 7

Apple announced watchOS 7 at its WWDC keynote. The new update brings support for features like native sleep tracking, new workout modes, and more. It also removes force touch from the Apple Watch. However, one of the interesting features added with watchOS 7 is handwash detection, which sounds like the perfect feature for the times we are living in right now. However, handwash detection isn’t enabled by default. So, if you want to use your Apple Watch for better handwashing, here is how to enable handwash detection in watchOS 7.

How to Enable Handwash Detection in watchOS 7

Note: I’m showing this feature on the Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS only). However, it will work on the Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple Watch Series 4 as well.

  • Press the digital crown, and go to Settings on your Apple Watch.

  • Scroll down and tap on ‘Handwashing‘.

  • Enable the toggle next to ‘Timer’ to activate handwash detection in watchOS 7.

  • You can also enable or disable haptics if you like. These are enabled by default, and I chose to keep them on. However, you can turn them off as well.

That’s it. Now, your Apple Watch will detect when you’re washing hands, and start a handy timer on the watch face. This counts down from 20 seconds, which is the suggested handwashing time to get rid of germs properly. If you stop washing your hands mid-way, your watch will prompt you to keep going for a bit longer. You will also get a haptic feedback (if enabled) and a sound when the timer is over.

See Handwash Details on Your iPhone

Handwashing details are synced from your watch to your iPhone. So you can easily keep a track of how long you’re washing your hands every day. To view this data, just follow the steps below.

  • In the Health app on your iPhone, tap on ‘Browse’. Scroll down and tap on ‘Other Data‘.

  • Tap on ‘Handwashing’ to see your recorded data. You can also scroll down and add this to Favourites to see it on the main Summary page of the health app as well.

Use Apple Watch Handwash Detection to Stay Healthy and Safe

With the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to properly wash your hands. So, this new handwash detection feature comes in at the perfect time. It can help you ensure you’re washing hands for the right duration so you can stay healthier and safer. While it’s an opt-in feature, I would suggest you enable handwash detection on your Apple Watch right away to get into the habit of properly washing your hands every single time.

So, what do you think about this feature? Does it sound like something you want to use? Let me know in the comments.


  1. I have a Apple Watch 3 with WatchOS7 and go to Settings but no handwashing below.
    Thoughts? Anyone else??

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