Is Your Apple Watch Not Tracking Steps? Here’s The Fix

If your Apple Watch is not counting your steps and other fitness activities, first you need to understand basic terminology before proceeding with the technical process. Check the fix given below.

Apart from checking the clock for time, the primary function of Apple Watch is to monitor your activity – physical. Apple Watch tracks your physical movement and keeps a record of steps walked or calories burned. This is highly useful when you are out for a walk or working out in a gym.

But for some reason, if your Apple Watch stops tracking your activities, then it is completely understandable that you get frustrated. Especially after running on the street for 60 minutes, just to find that your Apple Watch has tracked only 10 minutes.

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Before we proceed to guide on the fix, below are some points you should keep in mind. It is possible that you might be misinterpreting some of the terminologies on Apple Watch.

Below are some explanations on how Apple Watch tracks your physical activity.

Stand Ring: This is one of the most confusing terms on Apple Watch. The notification you receive from Stand Ring does not tell you to stand, it just notifies that you have not moved around from quite some time. Try having a walk for 60 seconds and check if there is any change in Stand ring.

Stand Activity Ring on Apple Watch

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The Exercise Ring: Now, this is a real deal, this ring keeps track of your physical exercise. Apple Watch has been designed to learn from your habits. The ring does not move if you do normal tasks in your home or office. It starts tracking once your heart starts pumping above average. For instance, a person running 10kms every day will have to do a little more to move this ring up.

Exercise Activity Ring on Apple Watch

The Move Ring: The Move ring keeps track of your calories: Active and Resting. Resting calories are the ones that your body burns all the time, even when you are breathing. Active calories are the one that your burn by working out. Apple Watch does not track resting calories, so if you think your Apple Watch is not functioning properly, then I am sorry to say you are wrong. Same like Exercise ring, Move ring also learns gradually from your habits and you will notice it growing smarter over a period of time.

Move Activity Ring on Apple Watch

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If you have understood how Apple Watch tracks physical activity and still feel that your activities are not properly tracked; check the possible fixes given below.

Tips to Fix Apple Watch Not Counting Steps Issue

Tip #1. Make sure you are in an open space that has good GPS reception.

Tip #2. Double check if location services is turned ON, on your Apple Watch: SettingsGeneralLocation Services.

Turn ON Location Services on Apple Watch

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Tip #3. Check if Motion Calibration & Distance is ON, on your iPhone:

  • Open Settings → Tap on Privacy.
  • Tap on Location Services.
  • Tap on System Services.
  • Turn On Motion Calibration & Distance.

Enable Motion Calibration & Distance on iPhone
Tip #4:
Check Fitness Tracking is turned ON

  • Open Watch app on your paired iPhone.
  • Scroll a little and tap on Privacy
  • Check if Fitness Tracking is toggled ON. If not, turn it ON and restart your iPhone and Apple Watch.


Turn ON Fitness Tracking in Watch AppTip #5: Check for software updates

Most of the times, Apple finds the issue and fix it in the next OS release. Now we don’t know whether the problem on hand is because of iOS or watchOS, so it is better to check both for any software updates.

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Tap on Software Update in Watch App on iPhone
If there are any updates available, do it right away and then restart iPhone and Apple Watch to see if things are working as expected. If not, then we are running out of easy fixes.

Tip #6: Unpair and Pair it again as new

Above is the list of basic troubleshooting, if your Apple Watch still does not track your complete activity, then one of the users on Apple forum has a temporary fix which many users have found to be working. Fix is to update both: Apple Watch and your iPhone to the latest software. After that, UNPAIR your Apple Watch and then PAIR it again as NEW.

I can understand, it is really annoying to start from scratch on Apple Watch, but that’s the only fix available at present. Alternatively, you can always have the waiting ticket in your hand, hoping Apple to get it fixed in the next update.

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Signing Off

Were you able to solve the activity not tracking issue for your Apple Watch? Which of the trick did you try to get it back to life? Let us know in the comments so that other users can try that out.

You might want to refer these posts as well:

Do you have any other tips or tricks to fix Apple Watch tracking issue? Share with us in a comment, on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

Jignesh Padhiyarhttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.
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