Enable fall detection Apple Watch feature

April 7, 2021

Every digital device you buy initially requires a learning curve. You start appreciating it more when you realize a wide range of powerful applications it has, from messaging to health monitoring that tracks your sleeping habits and heart conditions. For example, the smartwatch from Apple is just useful enough to work as a fall detection system for elderly. It can detect a hard fall and help you alert emergency services if needed. Follow the instructions in this guide to enable the fall detection Apple Watch feature.

Apple Watch Fall Detection Technology

How to turn on the Fall Detection Apple Watch feature?

Fall detection Apple Watch feature is mainly designed to recognize falls that happen as you get older. If you are young and physically more active, it is likely that you’ll trigger more fall detection instances due to high-impact activity like good cross-training workouts. In such cases, it is best to ignore this feature or leave it disabled. For others, including elderly people, here's how you can enable it for your safety.

  1. Go to your WatchOS settings.
  2. Scroll down to the SOS heading.
  3. Tap Fall Detection.
  4. Enable the option.
  5. Confirm the action.

How does Apple Watch detect fall?

Later models of Apple watch (series 4 onwards)are equipped with a fall detection feature. Whenever it detects a hard fall while you're wearing your watch, it taps on your wrist, sounding an alarm. The combined action of the accelerometer and gyroscope makes this possible (The tiny instruments are capable of sensing the fall). Instantly, you get a message that you can use to contact emergency services or dismiss the alert by pressing the Digital Crown, then tapping Close in the upper-left corner, or tapping ‘I'm OK.’

Unlock you Apple Watch by entering the 4 digits passcode.

SOS Setting
SOS Setting

Go to the Settings. When directed to a new screen, scroll down to SOS entry.

Fall Detection
Fall Detection

Tap to open it. Locate the Fall Detection option. Tap it!

Fall Detection Life Alert
Fall Detection Life Alert

When prompted to confirm, tap the button at the bottom of the screen.

Fall Detection Enabled
Fall Detection Enabled

Move the toggle to On position to enable the feature.


Enable fall detection through Watch App on your iPhone

Wrist Fall Detection
Wrist Fall Detection

Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Tap the My Watch tab.

Select Emergency SOS option.

Turn Fall Detection on or off.

What happens when your Apple Watch finds you can’t move?

If you can’t move or turn immobile for more than a minute, your smartwatch begins a 30-second countdown, following which it sounds an alert. The alert sound grows louder so that you or someone nearby can hear it. If no help arrives in time and the countdown stops, your Apple Watch automatically contacts emergency services.

It plays an audio message that informs emergency services about your health condition and shares your current location coordinates (Latitude and Longitude). However, for your watch to automatically call emergency services, Wrist Detection must be turned on.

Hope that makes sense!


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Hemant Saxena
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