Fixed: Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Not Working

  • If the heart rate on your Apple Watch isn’t working, ensure that “Wrist Detection” is enabled.
  • Also, make sure “Low Power Mode” is turned off on your Apple Watch, as it disables background heart rate measurements.
  • Learn how to properly position your Apple Watch to guarantee accurate heart rate readings.
heart rate apple watch

For avid Apple Watch users who depend on their device for heart rate monitoring, discovering that the feature isn’t functioning can be more than just disheartening; it can pose a threat to their health. Continue reading to learn how to quickly troubleshoot your Apple Watch if it stops recording your heart rate.

Why Isn’t My Heart Rate Working On My Apple Watch?

There can be several reasons why your Apple Watch is not tracking your heart rate, such as the “Wrist Detection” feature might be turned off, the “Low Power Mode” setting could be enabled, you may be wearing the watch improperly or the band could be too loose, the weather might be too cold, or there could be sensor malfunctions or obstructions.

Why Is My Apple Watch Not Tracking My Heart Rate While Sleeping?

Your Apple Watch may not track your heart rate during sleep if the watch is worn improperly, the band loosens as you move in your sleep, or the heart rate sensor is dirty, preventing the device from accurately reading your heart rate.

Preliminary Checks If Your Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Stops Working

If your Apple Watch stops tracking your heart rate, you can check several things:

  • Make sure that Wrist Detection is enabled. To check, simply go to Settings > Passcode, then toggle on Wrist Detection.
  • You should also check whether Low Power Mode is disabled on your Apple Watch. For those who are unaware, putting it on Low Power Mode also disables background heart rate measurements and other health-related features.

Time needed: 1 minute

Follow the steps below to disable Low Power Mode:

  1. Swipe up on your Apple Watch display to reveal Control Center.

  2. Tap the battery percentage icon.

    Screenshot Battery Percentage

  3. Toggle off Low Power Mode.

    Screenshot Apple Watch Low Power Mode

For folks using an Apple Watch running on watchOS 8 and later, there is no Low Power Mode feature. However, watchOS 8 or earlier still has power-saving features during workouts which also disables the Always-On display and cellular services.

How To Disable Low Power Mode During Workout

Follow the steps below to disable Low Power Mode on your Apple Watch during a workout:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll down to Workout, then tap it.
    Apple Watch Workout app
  3. Toggle off Low Power Mode.
    Screenshot Low Power Mode during workout

Alternatively, you may also turn off Power Saving Mode during a workout through the iPhone’s watch app. Scroll down to “Workout’, then toggle off ‘Power Saving’ mode.

Watch Band and Positioning

Open the Heart Rate app on your iPhone and see whether there are previous heart rate data. If there are previous data and measurements stopped at some point, it is most likely that you’ve been wearing your Apple Watch incorrectly.

Make sure that its sensor touches your skin snugly to correctly record your heart rate. As much as possible use Apple Watch band from reputable brands or better yet, consider using Apple’s recommended watch band. Also, check out how to change your Apple Watch band properly.

For folks with tattoos or too much hair on their wrist, you can try repositioning the Apple Watch. Specifically, position it on the underside of your wrist. This will enable the Apple Watch sensor to measure your heart rate since there is nothing blocking its contact with your skin.

Cleaning the Apple Watch Sensor Can Do the Trick

If your Apple Watch is not reading heart data due to a sensor malfunction, you can try cleaning it. Use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth dampened with water or a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes. Do not use soap or any cleaning devices.

Outside Temperature Could Affect Apple Watch Heart Rate Measurement

Finally, this came directly from Apple, cold weather can make heart rate readings of the Apple Watch unreliable since temperature affects human blood flow. So, if you are working out during cold days, consider wearing warmer clothes to avoid heart rate reading inconsistencies in your Apple Watch.

Resetting the Apple Watch

If there’s nothing wrong with the sensor and the heart rate reading is still unreliable, that’s when you need to reset your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap General > Reset.
    Screenshot Apple Watch Reset
  3. Tap Erase All Content and Settings, then enter your passcode to continue.
    Screenshot Erase all contents and settings

Alternatively, you can also reset your Apple Watch via the Watch app on your iPhone:

  1. Tap My Watch on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General > Reset.
  3. Tap Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings.

Once the reset is finished, restart your Apple Watch and pair it again with your iPhone. By resetting your Apple Watch and pairing it again with your iPhone, you are also giving the heart rate monitor a fresh start.

When to Contact Apple

If after following all the troubleshooting steps above, the issue of your Apple Watch not reading your heart rate still occurs, it could be due to hardware problems. In this case, your last resort would be to contact Apple Support.

You may check first whether your Apple Watch is still covered by warranty and repair details by visiting the Apple support page.


For those who are closely monitoring their health, specifically their heart condition, using the Apple Watch to measure heart rate can help them be aware at all times. Whether you are working out, at rest, or asleep, there’s no harm in using the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring features.

Apple has been continuously improving this aspect of the Apple Watch to help you maintain good health. So, it would be a waste not to maximize this very important feature of your Apple Watch. For further reading, check out how to show your heart rate directly on the Apple Watch Face.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.