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

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

Apart from watching clock, 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 burnt. This is highly useful when you are out for a walk or working out in a gym.

But for some or the other reason if your Apple Watch stops tracking you activities, then it is completely understandable that you get a panic attack. Especially after running on street for 60 minutes, just to find out that your Apple Watch has tracked 10 minutes of your workout.

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Apple Watch Not Tracking Steps

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 terminology 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.

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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 everyday will have to do a little more to move this ring up.

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.

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

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

#2. Double check if location services is turned ON, on your iPhone: Settings → Privacy → Location Services.

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

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  • Open Settings → Tap on Privacy.

Tap on Settings Then Privacy on iPhone

  • Tap on Location Services.

Tap on Location Services on iPhone

  • Tap on System Services.

Tap on System Services on iPhone

  • Turn On Calibration & Distance.

Turn On Calibration & Distance Service in Location Service on iPhone

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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 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 next update.

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

Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.


  1. Thanks nowould be great to get the Activity app to show up on my phone. Afte some research it it seems to be a major bug and Apple is not offering any solutions.


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