Written by Dewy

How does fall detection work on Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch Series 5 has a new feature that is very safe: fall detection. Did you stumble while wearing your Apple Watch on your wrist? The Apple Watch recognizes your fall and gives you a warning with 2 options: "I'm OK" or "I want to call emergency services." We'll tell you exactly how this feature works here.

How does fall detection work?

Fall detection Apple Watch Series 4

Did you fall while wearing your Apple Watch? Your watch will detect the fall. You feel a tap on your wrist and an alert will be displayed. You have two options now. The first option is to contact the emergency services. Are you OK? The second option is to dismiss the alert and tap 'I'm OK'.

Manual transfer

Contact manually

As soon as you fall, you receive an alert on your Apple Watch. Can't respond, but the Apple Watch detects that you're moving? In this case, the Apple Watch won't contact the emergency services. It will give you some time to respond to the alert yourself.

Automatic transfer

Did you fall and were you immobile for 1 minute? Your Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services. After 1 minute, a 15-second countdown starts. An alert will sound, while the Apple Watch ticks on your wrist. The alert gets louder, so that someone nearby can hear it. If you don't want to call emergency services, tap 'Cancel'. When the 15-second countdown ends, your Apple Watch automatically contacts emergency services.

What happens after the emergency call?

Call emergency services on Apple Watch

When the Apple Watch connects to emergency services, it plays an audio message. The Apple Watch communicates that a hard fall has taken place. Your location will be detected, after which the location is shared. The audio message starts very loudly, and then the volume is lowered. This way, if someone is trying to help you, they can talk to emergency services. The message will continue to be played until you tap 'Stop Recorded Message', or when the call is ended. Wrist Detection should be turned on for the Apple Watch to automatically call emergency services.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Passcode and check if Wrist detection is turned on.

Enable or disable fall detection

Enable or disable fall detection

Unfortunately, the Apple Watch can't detect all falls. The more active you are, the greater the chance that fall detection will activate, because your intense motions could look like a fall. Here's how you turn fall detection on or off:

  1. Go to the My Watch tab in the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Turn fall detection on or off.


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