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How to (accurately) track steps with your Apple Watch

10,000 steps is hard to estimate. Luckily your Apple Watch is keeping count.
By
December 20, 2022
An Apple Watch Series 7 on a user's wrist displays their step count in the Fitness app.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Every step counts, and your Apple Watch tracks each one of them. For the most part, it does all the work for you. Learn how to find your count, plus tips on how to most accurately track steps on your Apple Watch.

Read more: Apple Watch buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

QUICK ANSWER 

To accurately track steps on your Apple Watch, calibrate your device, maintain a snug fit, and start walking. Your Apple Watch will automatically keep your tally.


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How to find your steps tracked on your Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch is with you every step of the way (or at least every step you take while wearing it). To find your current count at any time in the Fitness app, just look for the app icon with Apple’s famous rings.

  • Open the Fitness app on your Apple Watch.
  • Swipe up or turn the Digital Crown to find your Total Steps.
  • To see your seven-day total, keep scrolling and tap Weekly Summary.

How to add your step count to your Apple Watch face

If you want to keep your steps at a glance away, you can add a third-party step counter to your watch face. Download a pedometer app from the App store and follow the steps below.

  • Press and hold your watch face until the face gallery appears, then tap Edit.
  • Swipe to the screen titled Complications, then tap the complication you wish to change.
  • Using your Digital Crown, scroll to your preferred pedometer app and tap. Press the Digital Crown to save your changes, exit edit mode, and return to your watch face.

Keep the most accurate count

An Apple Watch Series 7 on a user's wrist displays their step count in the Fitness app.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Generally speaking, step counting is automatic on your Apple Watch. You don’t need to start a workout or do anything specific to turn on this feature. However, there are a few ways to make sure your numbers are as precise as possible.

  • Calibrate your Apple Watch to improve accuracy and help the device learn your stride.
  • Keep personal information such as weight, height, age, and gender up to date.
  • Make it a habit to wear your watch snug and on top of your wrist.

Read more: How does the Apple Watch calculate calories burned, and is it accurate?

FAQs

Yes. You can manually add steps to your tracked count in the Health app on your paired iPhone. Open the app, tap Browse, and search for Activity. From the Activity screen, tap Steps, then Add Data in the top right-hand corner.

Apple does not currently offer native step count as a complication on your watch face. However, you can select the Fitness app as a complication for quicker access to your stats. Alternatively, some third-party pedometer apps can be synced with your Health app, and these can often be set as a complication using the steps above.

Step count is not specifically represented by one of Apple’s rings. The Move, Exercise, and Stand rings represent active calories burned, minutes of brisk activity completed, and the number of times you have stood and moved for at least one minute per hour.