I bought an Apple Watch Series 5, because I wanted to measure my heart rate, passively, all the time (24/7).

However, I cannot find a way to enable the heart rate monitor, so that it's "on" by default.

Only by opening specific apps, like Pulse, I'm able to start the heart rate monitor, but as soon as I close that app, the monitor stops.

I know that Garmin Forerunner Fenix 5 monitors the heart rate all the time, without the any user-intervention, which is what I want to achieve on my Apple Watch Series 5. Is this possible?

  • Have you looked at all data in the health app? All my watches always collect data and it’s logged down to the second when the measurements happen.
    – bmike
    Nov 10, 2019 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


Apple Watch 4 does this for me and has since day one.

Tap show all data at the bottom of health App on your phone to see your samples of data.

ios help app heart rate data details

I don’t think you can change the default sampling rate, but I’m seeing samples every few minutes all day and all night. At 12 to 13 samples an hour it’s hard to see what you’re going to get by doubling the data.

During a workout session the sample rate is even higher so you can get some very large datasets if you have long workouts.

  • So, without doing anything, the Apple Watch will record your pulse every ~5 minutes? So, heart-rate monitoring will start and then stop every ~5 minutes?
    – Shuzheng
    Nov 10, 2019 at 19:21
  • @Shuzheng Yes - it just works. I've got hourly data back to 2015. I think Series 3 is when it started being every 1-5 minutes. I've been wearing my watch all night and most of the day since the original one. Charge in the AM and then at night when I'm reading / cooking. The new watch needs about 40 minutes of charge a day for me, so I'm basically covered 24x7.
    – bmike
    Nov 10, 2019 at 19:28

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