add new workout manually to apple watch

How To Manually Add A Workout To Apple Watch


Billy Hughes
August 18, 2021

You’ve finished your workout but need to add it to your Apple Watch, perhaps because you were in a rush and forgot your Watch at home.

You might not realize that it’s possible to do this. It’s definitely worth it as you’ll be able to record your fitness progress.

Can you add a workout to Apple Watch while exercising? If your workout isn’t over but you want to manually add it to the watch, you can do that too.

Here’s your ultimate guide on how to add workouts to your Apple Watch. We’ll start with workouts that you’ve already completed that you don’t want to go to waste.  

How To Manually Add A Workout To Apple Watch

manually add workout

To manually add your workout to your Apple Watch, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open the Health app on your smartphone.
  2. Near the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the “Browse” option. Choose this.
  3. Then, in the search box, type “Workout.” In the search results that come up, choose “Workouts.”
  4. At the top-right section of the screen, select, “Add Data.”
  5. Choose “Activity Type” and then select the type of activity you wish to add from the selections in the menu (at the bottom of your screen). 
  6. You can also choose “Calories” to input the estimated amount of calories you burned, or you can skip this step. If you choose to add kilocalories and distance, a carousel will be replaced by a numeric pad. This enables you to add the data yourself. 
  7. In the “Starts and Ends” rows, choose the time and date for your workout.
  8. Once you’ve completed the above steps, remember to press “Add” at the top of the screen so that your workout will be successfully added.

Important note: When you input the data to add your workout, you have to be careful to do so correctly. If you make a mistake, such as by adding the incorrect start and end time, for example, you will be able to correct it but if you’ve overcalculated your minutes of exercise and have set a new record for yourself which won you an award on Apple Watch, you won’t be able to delete that.

Once you’ve added the workout manually, its data will be displayed in the Activity app on your iPhone and your Apple Watch.  

How To Manually Add A Workout To Apple Watch During Exercise 

delete workout

What happens if your Apple Watch fails you during exercise? You don’t have to be prevented from having your amazing workout recorded by the device because you can add it manually to the Watch right away. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. On your Apple Watch, you want to press the Digital Crown. It’s located on the side of your watch.
  2. Find “Workout” and choose it.
  3. You will have to scroll through your workout list until you find one that matches the type of exercise you’re doing. Select it.
  4. After a short countdown you’ll see the workout will begin.
  5. When you’re ready to end the workout, do so in the usual way.
  6. Once it’s completed, you can swipe the “Workout” app to the right and choose “End.” 

What Happens If You Have To Delete A Workout? 

While we’ve covered the steps to follow to add workouts, you should also know how to delete them if required.

Luckily, this is also a very simple process. However, you will have to access the data of your workout to delete the information therein. Here’s what to do.

  1. Open the Health app and select the “Show All Health Data” option.
  2. Move down to “Walking + Running Distance” and choose this option.
  3. Scroll down to “Show All Data.”
  4. Find the specific data you wish to remove. Then, click “Edit.”
  5. You’ll see a red line appear next to the entries. Clicking on this line will ensure that the data gets removed.

Easy peasy! 

How Do You Actually Start A Workout On Apple Watch? 

Maybe you’re completely new to using your Apple Watch – perhaps you’ve bought one for the first time – and aren’t sure how to start a workout.

Remembering to do this the next time you head to your spin class is important so that your activity will be recorded. Here’s how to start your workout.

  1. On your Apple Watch, open the Workout app. 
  2. Choose the type of workout from the list. 
  3. You can then track the workout without setting your preferred time or other data, or you can tap the workout so that it will start. 
  4. If you want to set your distance, calories, or time, then you should choose the three dots. 
  5. Use the “-” and “+” icons to add your changes, then select “Start” when you’re ready to begin your workout session. 

What To Do If Your Activity App Isn’t Working 

check the workout app

The Activity app is important because it’s designed to sync your fitness data with your iPhone, such as when it comes to how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned during your workout, and so on.

Sometimes, most frustratingly, this app doesn’t work. That means your workout data won’t be displayed. To fix this issue, here are the steps you should follow. 

Try force-quitting the app 

This should ensure that the Activity app can relaunch without any problems.

If you need to quit the Activity app on your Apple Watch, first open the app and press and hold the side button. This will give you the option of powering down your watch. Release the side button, and press and hold the Digital Crown.

The app will shut down so you can go back to the Home screen and try to open the Activity app again. It should be displaying your data now. If not, you’ll have to try the next method.

Check that fitness tracking is enabled

Fitness tracking needs to be working on both your iPhone and Apple Watch. This is done via the “Motion & Fitness” feature, which has to be enabled in order to allow apps to access fitness data such as step counting and body motion.

If it’s not enabled, you won’t get to see your workout data. Here’s how to enable it.

  • On your iOS device, go to “Settings” and “Privacy.”
  • Click on “Motion & Fitness” and turn on the toggles for fitness tracking and health.
  • On your iPhone, open the “Watch” app. Choose “My Watch,” then “Privacy.” Make sure the “Fitness Tracking” and “Heart Rate” toggles are both on.
  • Restart your iPhone and Apple Watch. Then go to the “Activity” app to ensure that everything’s working properly.

You might have to update your devices

updating apple devices

If you’ve tried the above steps but they haven’t worked to solve the problem, you’ll need to update both your iPhone and Apple Watch. Here’s how. 

  • For your iPhone, you will have to go to “Settings,” then “General” and choose “Software Update.” From there, you can download and install the update. 
  • For your Apple Watch, you will first need to update your iPhone and your Watch needs at least 50 percent of a charge and to be in the charger. Your iPhone must also be connected to Wi-Fi, so make sure you have it handy. Then, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Go to “My Watch,” then choose “General” and “Software Update.” 

Related Questions 

How do Apple Watch awards work?

When you’ve enabled the “Goal Completions” feature, you’ll be notified whenever you complete a goal and earn a reward.

These are basically achievements, such as if you’ve done more daily exercise than what you intended on doing when setting your goal.

How do you view your Apple Watch awards?

On your watch, open the “Activity” app then swipe it left twice to view the “Awards” screen. Scroll up to view your awards.

You can also tap on the awards to gain more information about them. Or, open the Fitness app on your iPhone, choose “Summary” and swipe up to view awards.


If your Apple Watch didn’t record your workout or you completely forget it at home, you don’t have to worry because you can manually add the workouts yourself.

In this article, we’ve featured tips on how to do this, whether you’ve already completed your workout or you’re halfway into it.

We’ve also looked at how you can delete your workout info, just in case you find yourself in the situation of wanting to eliminate it.


Billy Hughes

Billy Hughes is a fitness trainer based out of New York. She has registered success in training clients at multiple fitness centers and thus aims to establish her module relevant to the post-pandemic era. Her space,, is an attempt towards encouraging and educating more people on the scope of indoor fitness. She believes the power of fitness can transform attitude, personality, and way of living. She also finds it rewarding to help people achieve their goals and make their lives better.