How to see your step count on Apple Watch

Activity rings on Apple Watch

Logging and tracking your physical activity is one of the best features smartwatches have today. Fitbit is well known for this. They make keeping track of your steps simple and easy. 

Apple Watch, on the other hand, does not highlight step counting.

Instead, Apple’s Activity app focuses primarily on movement, exercising, and standing.

apple watch activity app step count
In the Activity app on the Apple Watch, users have to scroll far down to view their daily step count.

In the Activity app on the Apple Watch, you have to scroll to the past those three focuses so you can catch a glimpse of your step count. 

There’s not even a preset option for tracking your steps in Apple Watch’s face gallery. The lack of options can be extremely frustrating, especially when users switch from Fitbit to Apple Watch.

They miss being able to track their daily step count. So what can Apple Watch users do to track their step count?

Here’s how we do it. 

Related reading:

How to see your step count on Apple Watch

The best way to work around Apple’s disinterest in step counting is to download a pedometer app. Apps like Pedometer++, Duffy, or StepsApp are great options.

Pedometer apps on Apple Watch screen
Pedometer apps like Pedometer++ and Duffy are popular amongst Apple Watch users.

All three of these pedometer apps are compatible with the Apple Watch. They are also free on the App Store. 

  • Once you download your preferred pedometer app, you have to turn on tracking for all categories in Apple’s Health app.
  • After you do this, your pedometer app syncs all the data your Health app gets from your Apple Watch.

You can then easily access these pedometer apps from your Apple Watch screen and read your step count.

If you’re worried about these pedometer apps counting both step counts from your Apple Watch and your iPhone, not a problem!

Pedometer++ app for Apple Watch
The Pedometer++ app for the Apple Watch shows users their step count clearly.

The Pedometer++ app has a setting where you can disable the merging of your Apple Watch and phone step counts.

See your step count directly on your Apple Watch face!

If you wish to have your step count show up on your Apple Watch Face, you can do that too!

You can change it from your Apple Watch or on your Watch app on your iPhone. 

Add a step count complication to your watch face

First, decide on your Watch Face and then customize it by adding your Step app’s complication.

  1. Press the Digital Crown to go to your watch face.
  2. Tap and hold the display and select Edit. Apple Watch edit your watch face directly on Apple Watch
  3. Swipe left or right to choose Complications.
  4. Tap on one of the complications to change it. Apple watch add or edit a complication to the watch face
  5. If you don’t see any current complications, tap inside one of the open boxes. 
  6. Turn the Digital Crown to see all available complications. Look for your pedometer app and tap it to add it as a watch face complication. Duffy pedometer complication for Apple Watch
  7. Press the Digital Crown again to save this complication to your watch face.

Then check out your step count from your preferred pedometer app!

Custom Apple Watch Face with step count
Once you select your image, you can customize your Watch Face with two additional Complications.

And voila! Your steps shall appear on your Watch Face!

It is important to note that your step count data will not update in live time. It may not be instantaneous, but hey, it’s better than nothing. 

Customize your Apple Watch Face with your own photo

If none of the Apple Watch Face presets call out to you, then you can always customize it yourself by using your photos. It’s super easy to do!

 
  • Find the image you want to use for your Watch Face from your Photos app.
  • Select the image, and tap the share button.

    Share button for iPhone, iPad, Mac, iOS
    To find the share button on any iOS device, look for this icon!
  • Then select Create Watch Face.
where to create watch face on iPhone
After clicking the share button on your selected image, scroll down to create your Watch Face!

From there, you can decide to use the full size of the image or make it into a unique kaleidoscope print. 

Creating a custom watch face on the iPhone
After you press create Watch Face, you have the option to choose between your photo or a kaleidoscope version of your photo!

Final thoughts

With the popularity of achieving your daily step count goal, you would think that Apple would offer more ways to track this data.

But to Apple, getting 10,000 steps a day isn’t a priority. Apple chooses to focus on your keeping your body moving instead. 

But after following this guide, you can now track your steps and overall movement easily!

Happy stepping!

I'm a content writer with a passion for all things lifestyle having earned my Bachelor of Science in journalism from St. John's University. I was born and raised in Southern California. My Apple Watch never leaves my wrist, but I also adore Fitbit. I love all things health tech, including fitness and self-care apps. When I'm not writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, and drinking iced coffee!

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