How to Enable (or Disable) Motion & Fitness Tracking with iPhone


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How to Enable (or Disable) Motion & Fitness Tracking with iPhone

Apr 5, 2015 - 31 Comments

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Newer iPhones have the ability to track fitness activity

and motion and displaying that data in Health app and other applications. Fitness tracking is done by using a low-power motion coprocessor that determines steps, altitude gain and lost, and distance traveled, and many users like this feature as it represents an easy way to keep an eye on their activity levels, and perhaps work towards that goal of an active 10,000+ steps per day.

Fitness tracking is turned on by default in iOS, which can enable the iPhone to serve as a pedometer of sorts, but if for some reason you want to turn the motion detection feature off on your iPhone, you can do that too.

How to Toggle Fitness & Activity Tracking On or Off with iPhone If you like the fitness and motion activity tracking feature on the iPhone, you should have this setting left on. Turning this off will empty the Health app dashboard of tracked fitness data as well. 1. Open the “Settings” app on iPhone and head to “Privacy”

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2. Scroll down and choose “Motion & Fitness”

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3. Toggle the switch next to “Fitness Tracking” to the OFF or ON position as desired

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4. Exit out of Settings, the change will take effect immediately

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If you had this off and turned it on, you’ll still need to enable the appropriate options within Health Dashboard to actually see and monitor your activity data on a meaningful graph.

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Keep in mind this disables the tracking feature entirely for all apps on iPhone, not just within Health app. If you turn this off, the pedometer feature and all related fitness activity monitoring functions on iPhone will cease, whether you read that data in Health or a third party app. Disabling fitness tracking leads to an empty Health app dashboard, but not for erroneous reasons that can be quickly resolved, since the tracking is actually turned off. To reverse that, you’d obviously need to turn the feature back on again, but all fitness data and activity prior to turning tracking back on will not be available. Personally, I recommend keeping this feature turned on and referring to it. This can serves as an easy reminder to move around more, which is particularly important in our modern era of predominately sedentary desk environments for work. Since undoubtedly many are curious about their activity levels, a sports medicine study published on NIH provides the following step counts and the activity level they represent, based on pedometer data: Under 5000 steps per day – “sedentary

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5000-7499 steps per day – “low active”

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7500-9999 steps per day – “somewhat active”

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10,000-12499 steps per day – “active” Over 12500 steps per day – “highly active” Discovering your own fitness activity levels based on data from your iPhone can be somewhat shocking – either pleasantly or not – and it’s fairly common for many people who don’t think of themselves as sedentary to discover they barely move around throughout the day. If that’s something you want to change, and you probably should, PBS provides some advice on how to slowly increase your activity levels to get there. That an iPhone (or Apple Watch, or both) can help you in that endeavor is a nice bonus.


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Related articles: Switch Distance Measurement to Miles or Kilometers on Health App for iPhone How to Use the Pedometer on Apple Watch to Count Steps & Distance How to Turn Off (or On) the Stand Up Reminder on Apple Watch How to Track Steps & Mileage with iPhone to Make the Health App Useful Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

31 Comments » Comments RSS Feed

Jabbeke says: April 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm

No all iPhone should leave this on, americans really need this! May be give a little zap when the American is too inactive! Ha ha! obesity epidemic! It is truly amazing! Reply

Agent Smith says: April 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

This helps you track fitness and activity on the iPhone, it’s available worldwide on all new iPhone models. Reply

Leafsley says: April 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm

The watch is gonna be a flop. The people in the US are so fat, they don’t want a watch to remind them everyday that “You came in a total of 10636 steps short of what you need just to burn off that 3000 calorie lunch you ate today.” Reply

Doyo says: April 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

The target demographic of Apple Watch is not average people, it’s a specific consumer who is health conscious with high disposable income to spend on gadgets. There are a lot of people in the US and Europe who fit that description. But I agree, the average sloth is not going to buy one, unless they’re a geek and like the tech aspect of it. Reply

iphoneman says: April 5, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Yes i have done Reply

iphoneman says: April 5, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Very easy Reply

Ted says: April 7, 2015 at 6:05 am

This is NOT work on iPhone 5s. iOS 8 does have tracking, but iPhone 5s does not have the optional setting to turn it on or off. It seems to be on all the time. Which I really hate, BTW. Reply

Jeff says: April 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

This does not work. Apple may call this a bug but I think it is by design. I have an iphone 6+ with the latest version of ios. Over a month ago I did just what this article suggest. Today I decided to enable the feature because I wanted to roughly measure my yard & thought the fitness tracking would be a quick easy way to do that. First I checked health app, sure enough no step data. Then I enabled fitness tracking & went back to the health app. Imagine my surprise to see an entire month’s worth of fitness tracking data! So even though I had it disabled & keep location services off at all times Apple was indeed tracking my steps & recording the data even though I had it turned off!!! If people want to use this feature fine but for those of us who don’t, “Off” should mean “off” ! I will be re-doing this test & recording my phone as I do it just to verify what I saw today. I will be posting my results to youtube. I love my Apple devices but this is horse excrement! If some smartphone manufacturer actually gives people real privacy control they could give Apple & Google some real competition! Reply

Coco says: June 2, 2015 at 10:26 am

They also have the ability to turn your location services on even when you have it set off and it won’t show on your phone. However, the motion tracking doesnt use location services, only motion detection. So it doesn’t know where you were when you were taking steps, just that your phone bumped up and down a bunch in a steplike pattern. Reply

Jen says: May 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

I have an iPhone 5 and I cannot seem to find the motion & fitness feature. Does my phone not have that? Reply

Nicole says: May 24, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Hi, can anyone help me with my iPhone 5c? I can’t see my fitness & motion switch in my settings. I went to my settings and then privacy, I don’t see nothing. Does anyone know how to get this working please and thank you. Reply

N says: January 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

The 5c does not have a motion and fitness tracker. If you want a pedometer, you’ll find that most pedometer apps will reject the download because they rely on that function. However, several do work – they must use something else. I just downloaded the Withings “Health Mate” app. Although it’s only Day 1 of my using it, it seems to work be counting pretty accurately so far on my 5c. Reply

Rhonda Thomas says: May 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

My phone does not have the motion fitness switch. Where do I go to update the motion sensor. To track steps Reply

tb says: May 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

The motion sensor and fitness tracker is on new iPhone models Reply

Prabhat says: June 25, 2015 at 12:29 am

I have iphone5, and i am unable to find motion and fitness option in my ohone, can you please help me out for the same???? Reply

Sam says: August 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm

@Geoff I discovered exactly the same thing. A couple of weeks ago I turned off fitness tracking on my 5s (iOS 8.4). I turned it back on today and found it had been logging my activity all this time. And they had the cheek to put this setting under privacy! Reply

Pamela says: August 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I have an iphone 4 s and I can’t find the “Motion & Fitness” Do I have it somewhere Reply

Turtlecove1 says: August 15, 2016 at 5:02 am

The “Apple motion coprocessors” were first fitted to the iPhone 5, so no, the iPhone 4 will not have motion settings or count steps, but the health app comes with ios 8 and ios9 so you get the “non-functioning” App anyway! Reply

Kay says: October 31, 2015 at 11:37 pm

At first I was using the health app all 3 turned on walking was working steps a lil bit stairs nada after last iOS 9 update it’s not working all settings are on Reply

anon says: November 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

Hi, the motion and fitness tracker(pedometer) is present on the iPhone 5s model, just upgrade the O/S to iOS 9.1 and it works like a charm. Reply

David says: January 1, 2016 at 9:04 am

The standing time chart does not work. Some other charts won’t function either. Reply

Sharon says: February 14, 2016 at 12:54 am

I have the iPhone 6. I filled out a medical ID, & turned on the motion & fitness on my phone. Every night& now even during the day, my heart has been palpitating so much , I can’t sleep. I went back in settings & turned it off but it will not allow me to completely remove the medical ID. Anyone else had this issue? Reply

eBeth says: March 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Those asking if their 5/5C/5S has this… kind of. It has the ability to utilize it, but you need to make sure your iOS is up to date. I’ve had the 5S for 3 years and it was just within the last software update or two that the Health and Medical ID icons showed up. I’m not a huge fan of my whole life being locked away in my phone, so the ID stuff I haven’t done anything with. The health app I find to be informative when I want to look or put in some effort, but it’s far from enslaving. Nice feature to have and saved me from drinking the FitBit koolaid. Reply

Jackie says: March 30, 2016 at 11:37 am

I updated the last update ios 9.3 and there still isnt any motion and fitness that appears on my 5S. and everything is turned on. Reply

Amy says: April 14, 2016 at 10:31 am

I agree Jackie. I can’t get it to work and have tried all the “secrets”. Reply

David says: May 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm

You need an iPhone 5s or later. I’ve used it on a 5s and now my 6s+ daily without any issues. Reply

MOnica says: August 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

My health app always worked perfectly on my iPhone 5 until recently. It refuses to register the steps I make now- and there is no ‘motion and fitness’ option to switch on. Any fixes please? Reply

james says: October 9, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Majority of American obesity is not due to inactivity. Average American actually has higher work load longer days than majority of developed countries. unfortunately they also have less vacation. Worse medical care. Higher stress levels and poor eating habits resulting in higher rate of obesity. Reply

Linda says: July 8, 2017 at 4:21 am

I have an iPhone SE and it was not connecting. If fitness tracking is “on” but rally’s not showing up, go to rally app, Settings, motion &fitness. Disable “use tracking device”. Enable it again and go through the steps to connect. Hope this works for some! Reply

Mary says: October 21, 2017 at 11:17 am

My iPhone 7 does not track steps on a treadmill. It is on an incline, and the number of flights climbed was showing as 4 after walking/running 3.2 miles! Something is definitely wrong. Reply

Paul says: October 21, 2017 at 11:33 am

Current iPhone models track flights climbed by measuring altitude, so if you are on a stair stepper it would count the steps but not the flights since altitude is not changing. Each ‘flight’ is about 10 feet of altitude change, and it seems to count both up and down. You’d have to go up actual stairs, a road, trail, mountain, hill, something with a real incline that is changing altitude for that to track. Reply

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How to Enable (or Disable) Motion & Fitness Tracking with iPhone

Home Mac OS iPhone iPad Tips & Tricks News iOS Troubleshooting Custom Search How to Enable (or Disable) Motion & Fitness Tracking with iPhone Apr...

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