Rene falling with Apple Watch

At the heart of the new feature is the detection of a significant, hard fall when you're using the Apple Watch. When this occurs, the wearable device will automatically tap you on the wrist, sound an alarm, and display an alert. From there, you can decide whether to contact emergency services (from the watch, of course) or dismiss the warnings.

With fall detection, your Apple Watch is intuitive enough to know if you're moving. When you are following a fall, it will wait for you to stop to respond to the alert. If you're immobile and not moving, the watch will contact emergency services automatically if you don't answer within 60 seconds.

After this, you'll see a 15-second countdown on your watch to the time the automatic call is made. You can tap Cancel at any time to stop the countdown.

Once contact has been made to emergency services, those on your emergency contact list will receive a message indicating that a fall has occurred. It will also tell them your current location.

What happens during an emergency call?

During your call with emergency personnel, your Apple Watch will play an audio message that informs them that Apple Watch has detected a fall. From there, it will also share your latitude and longitude coordinates. This recorded message will continue playing in a loop until you tap Stop Recorded Message. When this occurs, you can then hold a conversation with the responder. As mentioned above, once you're done with your call, click on the phone icon to hang up. Click Yes to confirm.

How to turn Fall Detection on

Fall detection on your Apple Watch Series 4 or Series 5 is off by default unless you are age 65 or older.

From Apple's Support document:

If you've entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch or in the Health app and you're age 65 and over, this feature automatically turns on.

To ensure that your Apple Watch is ready to detect a fall, you can manually turn Fall Detection on from your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom left.
  3. Tap Emergency SOS.
  4. Scroll down and turn on Fall Detection. They switch is to the right when it's on.

How to make an emergency call after a fall

When you fall and receive an alert on your Apple Watch, you'll see a slider to call emergency services alongside a button for I'm okay.

  1. To call emergency services, move the slider from left to right on your Apple Watch. If you're not hurt, tap I'm okay.
  2. Follow the instructions from the emergency service operator.
  3. Click on the phone icon once you're done with your call to hang up.
  4. Click Yes to confirm.

Remember, you can also make an emergency call at any time on your Apple Watch and iPhone using Emergency SOS.

How to add friends and family to your emergency contact list

You establish emergency contacts through the Health app on iPhone. To add emergency contacts, follow these directions:

  1. Open the Apple Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your Profile in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap Medical ID.
  4. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  5. Scroll down to the Emergency Contacts section and tap add emergency contact, which will bring up your list of iPhone contacts.
  6. Tap on the contact you'd like to add to your emergency contacts list.
  7. From there, you'll need to tap on the phone number for the contact you'd like to use.
  8. Next, identify your relationship with this person.

From here, you'll return to the Edit Medical ID screen. Tap add emergency contact to add someone else to your list. Repeat steps 4-6 above.

What settings must be turned on for fall detection to work?

You must have wrist detection on for your Apple Watch to automatically call emergency services.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. 2, Tap Passcode.
  2. Scroll down and turn on Wrist Detection.

How do you turn fall detection off

Fall detection on your Apple Watch Series 4 is off by default unless you are age 65 or older.

From Apple's Support document:

If you've entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch or in the Health app and you're age 65 and over, this feature automatically turns on.

If, for any reason, you decide that you don't want Fall Detection on, you can disable it in the Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom left.
  3. Tap Emergency SOS.
  4. Scroll down and turn off Fall Detection. They switch is to the left when it's off.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to turn on and use Fall Detection on Apple Watch Series 4 or Apple Watch Series 5? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Updated September 2019: Updated for Apple Watch Series 5.

Apple Watch

Main

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.