Apple Watch Not Tracking Steps? How to Fix It

More than a timepiece, your Apple Watch is a fitness and activity tracker. Sometimes, it may stop counting steps completely or show significantly inaccurate data. This defeats the purpose of having a premium wearable. Thankfully, in most situations, you can take care of this by following the solutions below. So, let’s get right in and see how to fix the ‘Apple Watch not tracking steps’ issue.

  1. Wear the Watch Firmly
  2. Keep the Watch Unlocked
  3. Turn On Location Services
  4. Quit Third-Party Watch Apps
  5. Restart Your Apple Watch and iPhone
  6. Make Sure Fitness Tracking is Turned ON
  7. Configure the Activity App
  8. Update Your Personal Information
  9. Update Apple Watch To the Latest watchOS
  10. Reset Fitness Calibration Data
  11. Unpair and Re-pair Your Apple Watch
  12. Contact Apple Support

1. Wear the Watch Firmly

For the perfect tracking, you must wear the watch in your non-primary hand. Like if you write and work mostly with the right hand, wear the watch in the left hand.

The watch should not be too tight or too loose. During the day, you should wear it such that it feels comfortable. However, during workouts, consider tightening it more than usual, and after finishing, ease it back to a comfy fit.

2. Keep the Watch Unlocked

Counting may be affected if your Apple Watch is locked. Make sure you do not see a tiny lock icon on the watch face. If you do, press the Digital Crown and enter the watch passcode.

unlock your apple watch

3. Turn On Location Services

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on Privacy.
  2. Tap on Location Services.tap on privacy and then tap on location services in settings on iphone
  3. Ensure the toggle for Location Services is enabled. Next, let us check one more essential setting here.turn on location services on iphone
  4. Scroll down and tap on System Services.
  5. Make sure the toggle for Motion Calibration & Distance is on.tap on system services and check motion calibration & distance is enabled on iphone

4. Quit Third-Party Watch Apps

In rare situations, third-party apps running in the background may affect proper counting of steps. To take care of this, quit the unnecessary apps.

To do this, press the side button and swipe right to left on open apps. Next, tap on the cross button to close the app. Repeat this with other open apps.

quit third apps on apple watch

5. Restart Your Apple Watch and iPhone

Next up, we have restart! This is an easy yet effective way to fix several problems. Let us start by restarting the paired iPhone. For this, use the buttons to turn off the device. You may also open the Settings app → GeneralShut Down. After a minute, please switch it on.

Open Settings App Tap on General and Then Then Tap on Shutdown

Once that completes, restart the Apple Watch. To do this, press the side button and then drag the POWER OFF slider to the right. After a minute, press the same button to switch on the Apple Watch.

6. Make Sure Fitness Tracking is Turned ON

  1. Inside the Settings app on the iPhone, tap on Privacy.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Motion & Fitness.tap on privacy and then tap on motion & fitness in iphone settings
  3. Turn on the toggle for Fitness Tracking, if not already. Also, enable the toggle for Health.turn on fitness tracking on iphone

7. Configure the Activity App

You must configure the Activity app appropriately for accurate tracking and workouts. To do this, open the Apple Watch Activity app and fill in your details.

Later you can even change goals by force pressing on the Activity rings.

8. Update Your Personal Information

Apple Watch relies on the information you fill to perform tracking activities appropriately. You can set or update your info from the Health app on the paired iPhone. We have a complete guide on how to use the Health app. It has several headings that systematically show you how to set up your health profile, Medical ID, etc.

9. Update Apple Watch To the Latest watchOS

You can update to the latest watchOS straight from the Apple Watch or through your iPhone. Here are the steps to do that.

  1. Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone. Make sure you are in the My Watch tab.
  2. Tap on the GeneralSoftware Update.
  3. Tap on Download and Install to update your wearable.tap on general in my watch tab and tap on software updated then tap on download and install on iphone

After this, it is also recommended that you go ahead and update the iPhone. This will ensure that both devices run the latest OS and function correctly in tandem.

10. Reset Fitness Calibration Data

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone, and from the My Watch tab, tap on Privacy.
  2. Tap on Reset Fitness Calibration Data.
  3. Tap on Reset Fitness Calibration Data to confirm.reset fitness calibration data from watch app on iphone

The popup in step 3 shows that it will result in less accurate workouts. But since things aren’t as smooth in the first place, this is worth taking a chance.

One more thing that Apple recommends is calibrating your Watch.

11. Unpair and Re-pair Your Apple Watch

If none of the solutions mentioned above work, it is time to unpair the watch and then repair it (make sure to use the method that involves using the Watch app). This will erase everything from the Apple Watch. It will also make a backup that you can restore while pairing the device.

12. Contact Apple Support

Finally, when nothing works, it is time to contact Apple Support and have the watch examined. If the device suffered a fall, things might not be the same with its sensors. Thus it is crucial to have it checked by an authorized service center.

Signing Off

Apple Watch is an excellent piece of hardware with advanced software. When it works, it is a charm. But like all electronics, at times, it may randomly encounter weird problems and limit the experience.

I hope one of the solutions here worked for you. Please share which one in the comments section below. If you have any additional trick, share that as well.

Next, make sure to check some other fantastic Apple Watch related content.

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.