How To Fix Your Apple Watch Step Counter

Your Apple Watch has the ability to do a ton of amazing things including step tracking. But, is your Apple Watch Step Counter not working? Although frustrating, there are quite a few potential solutions to this problem that can get you back on track.

Apple watch and phone

Steps To Fix Apple Watch Step Counter Not Working

These issues apply to Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 which are cellular enable with GPS and GPS only. Below is some quick fix if Apple Watch Step Counter Not Working.

  • Confirm that Apple watch tightly strapped

Apple recommends tightening your Apple Watch for workouts and loosening it when you’re done for better readings. They also recommend cleaning your watch to keep it clean and dry. You must wear your watch on top of your wrist for the sensors to work.

  • Make sure your Apple Watch is unlocked. When the Apple Watch lock, it will the Apple Watch Step Counter.

It’s recommended you set your Apple Watch to unlock whenever you unlock your iPhone and remain that way until you take your watch off your wrist.

  • Restart your iPhone and your Apple Watch.

Common issues like apps not launching or tracking issues can be cleared up by resetting your device. Since the Apple Watch works in tandem with your iPhone, it’s beneficial to restart both.
This will ensure your Watch app reboots properly before attempting to connect with your watch.

  • Make sure wrist detection is on.

To turn wrist detection on, open the Watch app, then tap Passcode > Wrist Detection to toggle the feature to the on position (if it isn’t already). Without wrist detection, your Apple Watch will lock, potentially causing issues with proper tracking.

  • Turn your location services on.
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For your watch to properly track your steps, workouts, and more, location services must be turned on, on your iPhone.
Make sure that in your location settings, Apple Watch Workout is set to “while using.” This is the best way to ensure location services are used for tracking on your watch.

  • Check that you have configured your Activity app on your Apple Watch.

Without properly configuring the app, it won’t track your steps or any other fitness goals.

  • On your iPhone, turn Motion and Calibration on.

If Motion and Calibration is off, neither your Apple Watch nor your iPhone will be able to track your motion using location services.

  • Make sure Fitness Tracking is on in your Health app.

Data received from the watch constantly updates on the Health app.  As such if Fitness Tracking is off, tracking using your body movement won’t work.
Make sure Health is on in your iPhone settings as well. Tap Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness, then toggle Health to the on position.

  • Turn off third-party apps running in the background on your Apple Watch.

Third-party apps like the Workout app can cause issues with proper tracking if the Apple Watch thinks you’re tracking using another service.
Apps like sleep trackers and heart rate trackers can also cause miscommunication with your Apple Watch. Make sure you check all the apps you have running and close those that cause concern.

  • Recalibrate your Apple Watch.

You can reset your existing calibration data and recalibrate to get the Apple Watch step counter working again. You’ll simply take your Apple Watch for a quick workout, allowing your watch to recalibrate based on your GPS and location services.

  • Unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch and your iPhone.
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The Watch app automatically creates a backup of your Apple Watch as you unpair it from your iPhone. As you re-pair it, remember to tap Restore From Backup during the setup to restore your data, except for Apple Pay cards and your passcode.

This might fix the Apple Watch Step Counter Not Working and many other issues.

  • Erase your Apple Watch.

You can erase all of the current data from your watch and start fresh, which might clear a problem that exists within an app or faulty setting. Once erased, you’ll need to pair your watch to your phone just like a brand new one.
When erasing your Apple Watch, you’ll lose all data associated with it, including your content and your settings. Make sure you have a backup, if needed, to save critical data.

Contact Apple support.

If nothing’s working and you’re still unable to track your steps, it’s time to reach out to Apple support. Visit Apple’s website to see all of your support options, visit your local Apple Store and speak to the Genius Bar, or find a local Authorized Apple Service Provider.