How to use the handwashing monitor feature in watchOS 7

The new feature arrives with the rest of the watchOS 7 release this fall.


The upcoming watchOS 7 update for Apple Watch includes a feature most of us wouldn't have imagined needing just a few short months ago. With the new update, Apple Watch automatically starts a 20-second timer whenever it detects you're washing your hands. By doing so, you can better protect yourself (and others) from COVID-19 and other viruses and germs.

Wash Those Hands

To use the handwashing feature on watchOS 7, it must first be activated directly on the Watch. To do so:

  1. Push on the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select the Settings app.
  3. Scroll down, choose Handwashing.
  4. Toggle on Timer.

Apple Watch will now detect when you're washing your hands. When it does, it begins a countdown with sounds on the Watch face. It will alert you when it's time to stop.


So much to see

The watchOS 7 beta is currently available to registered Apple developers. In July, for the first time, the first watchOS public beta arrives. Before the release of a new Apple Watch this fall, watchOS 7 will be released to the public. It's compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

Besides the handwashing monitor, watchOS 7 includes more Watch face customization tools and the ability to share those faces, a sleep app, additional fitness workouts, and more.


watchOS 7 compatibility

Apple has stated that watchOS 7 will work with the following models:

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5

Unlike watchOS 6, the Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2 will not be supported with watchOS 7, so you'll need to upgrade if you want watchOS 7.

You also need iOS 14

You need an iPhone that is running iOS 14 to run watchOS 7, but what devices are able to run iOS 14? Here's the full list

  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE (2016)
  • iPod Touch (7th Generation)

If you do not see your device listed here, that is because it is not compatible with iOS 14.

When will watchOS 7 launch.

If you have a developer account, you should be able to download the developer beta as of right now. For the first time ever, watchOS 7 will have a public beta that should be released sometime next month.

Lastly, the official release of watch OS 7 should come sometime in Fall 2020.


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