How To Fix Apple Watch Not Tracking or Registering Exercise

It’s incredibly discouraging to put in a lot of effort during a workout, only to discover that your Apple Watch didn’t track or record any of your progress.

In this tutorial, we will guide you through some effective ways to fix your Apple Watch not registering or recording your exercise minutes.

Let’s get started!

Fix #1: Start a Workout

One possible reason why your exercise ring isn’t registering could be that you’re not starting a workout on your Apple Watch.

Although it might seem obvious, sometimes we forget to do it. Therefore, start a workout on your Apple Watch to enable exercise tracking.

The Apple Watch should recognize that you’re exercising by your heart rate activity. It only counts minutes when your heart rate is high enough, so get those hips moving.

Fix #2: Enable Location Services

Did you know your Apple Watch can track your workout routes? It’s a handy feature to showcase how long you ran.

To enable location tracking on your Apple Watch, start by opening the Settings app on your iPhone. From there, select Privacy and then Location Services. Next, toggle the switch to the on position.

Once you’ve enabled location services, scroll down to find the Apple Watch Workout option and tap on it.

Select While Using the App to ensure that your watch is tracking your workouts.

Then, tap on the Maps option and select While Using the App. This will tell your Apple Watch to track your workout routes.

Fix #3: Turn on Motion Calibration & Distance

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > System Services and turn on Motion Calibration & Distance.

Fix #4: Reset your Apple Watch

If your Apple Watch still fails to register or track your exercise, you may have to reset the device.

On your Apple Watch, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Tap Erase All, and your Apple Watch will return to its factory settings.

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  1. I have the Apple Watch SE. I, along with a few other people I know bike ride for activity. I set my activity to cycle and it never recognizes as exercise, even though my heart rate is higher than when I go for a walk. Any ideas as to why? It logs my speed and distance, but does not move my exercise ring, which is frustrating.

  2. So you watch is not tracking your exercise. It should always automatically track exercise. Or is it tracking very little exercise?

    Here is what you can do:

    1. You can move your arm where the watch is on. Your arm should swing beside you at all times. Every now and then rotate your arm in circles. Go forward 4 counts and then back 4 counts. Also do other arm workouts when your walking and have a fast heart rate and or your sweating.
    Your arm might not be moving much or hard enough.

    Also when on treadmill, bicycle, elliptical, step and any other exercise equipment always allow your arm with the watch to hang freely and swing freely or bend the arm so your elbow is swinging back and forth.

    When pushing a shopping cart or wheelchair or baby carriage your one hand. Allow the hand with watch to swing freely. If you need both hands then…. Take you arm off the watch and move it around every so often. Swing it, rotate it in circles, shake it and do other arm exercises so the watch can detect exercise.

    Also you can go to workouts app on the watch and look for the word other and click on other when your standing and moving around to see if that will help.

    2. Is your motion and fitness on in the watch app on your iPhone?

    On the system services page, make sure that motion calibration & distance is on. Tap back in the upper left corner, and then tap privacy in the upper left corner. When are back on the privacy page, tap motion & fitness at the bottom of the screen and make sure that fitness tracking is enabled.

    1. Motion and distance is turned on
    2. Motion and distance is enabled
    3. Maybe you need to reset the watch.
    Turn it off and back on. If that doesn’t help….
    4. You may have to try this sequence of steps: on your iPhone, in the watch app, go to: my watch > privacy > motion & fitness – turn fitness tracking off. Restart both devices by turning both off together, then restarting your iPhone first. Return to the fitness tracking setting and re-enable it.

    And see if it will track exercise better. I hope this helps you all out. Happy moving, exercising and standing!


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Cydia Geeks