watchOS 7: How to Use the New Apple Watch Handwashing Feature

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In watchOS 7 for Apple Watch, Apple introduced handwashing detection, which helps users wash their hands properly to keep viruses and bacteria at bay.


Washing your hands is one of the most important protections against getting sick and preventing the spread of germs. But only if you do it correctly – and most people don’t. One study highlighted by Apple showed that as many as 95 percent of us either wash too fast, use water but no soap, or just don’t wash at all.

To increase the chances of proper handwashing, your ‌Apple Watch‌ can display a countdown to help you wash your hands for 20 seconds, which is the recommended duration, according to The World Health Organization (WHO). The countdown will relay haptic feedback when it starts and ends, so you don’t even need to interact with or look at your ‌Apple Watch‌ to use it.

What’s more, the handwashing timer will appear automatically on your wrist whenever you start washing your hands. That’s because ‌watchOS 7‌ can recognize when you rub your hands and will listen out for the accompanying sound of running water and soap being used.

Here’s how to enable the Handwashing feature on ‌Apple Watch‌ running ‌watchOS 7‌ or later.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌Apple Watch‌.
  2. Scroll down and tap Handwashing.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Handwashing Timer to the green ON position.
  4. Do the same on the switch next to Handwashing Reminders, if desired. (When enabled, you’ll receive a notification if you haven’t washed your hands within a few minutes of returning home.)
    settings

How to View Your Handwashing Stats on iPhone

  1. Launch the Health app on your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. Tap the Browse tab.
  3. Search for Handwashing using the Search field.
  4. Tap the Handwashing result.
    health

Use the tabs above the chart to see your handwashing history over the day, week, month, or year.

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