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Why Is Google Fit Not Tracking Steps? (6 Problems and Fixes)


Powered by sensors that work even with your smartphone’s screen off, Google Fit can collect and report physical activity data such as distance and steps in real-time.

But why would Google Fit not tracking steps if it already has the technology to do so?

Google Fit is not tracking steps because there’s an issue with your Google Account, the app can’t access your phone, or the app is not up to date. It’s also possible that related fitness apps installed on your phone keep interfering with Google Fit’s ability to count steps.

In this guide, you’ll learn why the Google Fit is not tracking steps, as well as what you can do to fix the problem.

Let’s get to it.

Why is Google Fit Not Tracking Steps?

The following table is a summary of why Google Fit isn’t tracking your steps and what you should do to fix the problem:

 Probable CausePossible Fix
1.Google Fit doesn’t have access to your phone.Go to settings and give the Google Fit app the permission to access your phone.
2.Your phone battery optimization app is active.Disable battery optimization settings for the Google Fit app.
3.There is a problem with your Google account. Sign out of the associated account, clear the Google Fit app data, restart the phone, and add your Google account. Set up your Google Fit and grant it the permission it needs.
4.Similar apps installed on your phone are keeping Google Fit from counting steps.Close all similar apps and test to see Google Fit starts counting steps.
5.The Google Fit could be the problem.Check if there is an update and download. Reset the app by clearing data if there isn’t an update for yet.
6.You have the wrong activity tracking settings.The activity tracker feature on your phone allows the Google Fit app to use sensors for tracking. Try to reset it.

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5 Things to Do If Google Fit Is Not Tracking Steps

The following are the five things to do if the Google Fit app isn’t counting your steps at all:

1. Allow Google Fit to Access Your Phone’s Data

Like any other mobile application you use on your Android or iOS smartphone, Google Fit will start by asking for permission to access various settings – including sensors and GPS configuration.

Failing to grant the app access to the data and hardware necessary for performance hinders the sensors from detecting movement, hence Google Fit’s inability track and count steps.

Fixing this isn’t difficult, because what you have to do is to go to your smartphone’s settings and grant the app access.

For Android: 

  • Tap the Settings app.
  • Choose Apps and then select App Management.
  • Scroll through the list of installed apps, and find and select Google Fit.
  • Tap on permissions on the app’s info page.
  • Toggle on all the permissions required by the Google Fit app.

For iOS:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Open Privacy Settings
  • Tap the Google Fit App
  • Grant the app all the necessary permissions.

The permissions required by Google Fit to track steps include location, physical activities, and camera (if necessary).

2. Turn Off Battery Optimization for Google Fit

Nowadays, most smartphones come with battery optimization feature that allow you to stop apps from running in the background.

With such restrictions, an Android and iOS smartphone can run for longer on a single charge, giving you an optimal user experience.

Unfortunately, battery optimization doesn’t play well with Google Fit.

The battery optimization feature will scan the Google Fit app to determine whether it runs in the background and automatically restrict it from doing so.

While the optimization ensures your smartphone works for longer on a single charge, it keep Google Fit from tracking activities.

The solution is to disable battery optimization for Google Fit on Android and iOS by activating background refresh.

For Android phones:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Battery Lab.
  • Tap Advanced Setting.
  • Select Battery Optimization.
  • Tap Google Fit.
  • Select Not Optimized.

For iPhones:

  • Tap Settings on the home screen.
  • Scroll down the Settings screen and select General.
  • Choose Background App Refresh
  • Look for the Google Fit app and tap on the toggle option to enable background refresh.

And that’s it.

Once you have the battery optimization feature disabled, Google Fit will run in the background and continuously count your steps even when your phone’s display is off.

3. Check Your Google Account

Let’s get one thing straight:

Google Fit is a Google Property that requires you to have an active Google account.

To use the service, you must sign in with Gmail, set up your account, grant the app permission to access your phone, and get started with tracking activities.

If you have set everything right but you still can’t get the app to count your steps, it might be that your Google account has an issue.

The problem could be anything, from the inability to log in and failing to synchronize to a possible hack detection by Google systems.

You can fix this by removing the associated account and then adding it back. This usually takes no more than 5 minutes of your time.

  • Go to Settings on your phone.
  • Select Accounts
  • Depending on your phone, select Google or the respective Gmail account.
  • Tap on the Remove Account button.
  • Go to Google Fit app information page and clear cache and storage.
  • Restart your phone.
  • Go back to Settings, select Accounts, and add the Google account you removed.
  • Open the Google Fit app and sign in with the account you just added.
  • Grant the app the permission it requires to track, count, and log your steps in your account.

And that’s it.

The Google Fit app should now start counting your steps.

4. Disable Similar Health Tracking Apps If You Have Them

If you have Google Fit alternative apps like Withings and Strava on your phone, try disabling them.

That’s because the apps could all be striving to use sensors at the same time to track activities, thus resulting to step inaccuracies or inability to count steps altogether.

I suggest that you let the Google Fit app operate without any interruptions from similar apps.

5. The Google Fit App Might be the Problem

It might be that Google Fit isn’t counting steps because the issue is with the app and not exactly your phone.

I can think of at least two prevalent issues here.

First, it might be that the app isn’t up to date. Go to Google Play Store or App Store, check for the latest update, and install if any.

Remember, the developers behind Google Fit often update the app to add new features, improve existing ones, fix bugs, and enhance security.

Second, it might be that the app jammed, won’t start up properly, and thus won’t track activities.

In the second case, the best solution is to clear the app’s cache data and opening it again to see how it responds.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Apps.
  • Scroll down the apps page until you find Google Fit.
  • Select the app, tap on Storage, and then Clear Data.

Set up your Google Fit account once again, give the app permission to gain access to crucial information, and then start using the app to track your activities.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How Often Does Google Fit Update Steps?

The Google Fit app will update your steps in your account several times a day provided your Android or iOS phone has an active internet connection.

2. Why is Google Fit Stopping My Steps?

There are two possible reasons to explain why Google Fit stopped your steps.

First, you prevented the app from running in the background to optimize your phone’s battery. Second, you’ve closed the app.

If you want Google Fit to track your steps even when your phone’s screen is off, enable the app to run in the background.

Final Thoughts

Google Fit is one of the well-made health and fitness tracking apps built for Android and iOS.

With this app, you can track and manage different activities, including sleep, steps, fitness challenges, heart rate, an guided breathing just to mention a few.

What’s more?

Google Fit can synchronize with fitness trackers and smartwatches such as Fitbit and Apple Watch to help you better understand your health.

However, the app might fail to track your activities, including the steps you take. Should this ever happen, try out the solutions I’ve shared in this guide for a quick, easy fix. 

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Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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