If your Apple Watch is going to be part of your fitness tracking routine, getting accurate step counts and distance measurements for walking and running is probably pretty important. Calibrating Apple Watch to better track your steps is easy as long as you're willing to get out and walk or run for at least 20 minutes.
Here's how to calibrate your Apple Watch for improved step count and distance accuracy:
- Make sure Motion Calibration & Distance is enabled on your iPhone. You can check by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, and then look for Motion Calibration & Distance.
Make sure Motion Calibration & Distance is enabled on your iPhone
- Now find an open and flat area where you can walk or run at a consistent pace.
- Keep your iPhone with your during your walk or run, either in your hand or in an armband or waistband.
- Launch the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
Use the Workout app to log your activity and calibrate your Apple Watch
- Select Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run, then set a goal. I went with a 40 minute walk so my iPhone and Apple Watch could get more than the 20 minutes time Apple suggests.
- Tap Start to begin, and be sure to keep a consistent pace during your walk or run.
Using a timed walk makes it easier to get your 20 minutes calibration time
- After completing your walk or run, press firmly on the Apple Watch display, then tap End.
My Apple Watch step count nearly matched my Fitbit after calibrating
You Apple Watch should offer more accurate step and distance tracking now, and my tests showed the numbers are surprisingly close to my Fitbit One. I use my Fitbit as the baseline for every fitness tracker I test because it's been my go-to device for years. If I'm matching my Fitbit, then I know I have consistency in my overall tracking data.