How to stop your iPhone from counting your steps

holding iPhone screen

Not a fan of your iPhone counting your steps? Maybe you have a smartwatch or another device that already does that, so you probably don’t need your phone to track your step count. Or worse, you’re getting double-counts of steps!

Luckily, you can turn off this feature, and it is super easy to do. Keep scrolling to learn how to stop your iPhone from counting your steps.

Suggested reading:

About step and activity tracking on your iPhone Activity summary in iPhone Fitness app

Many people don’t even realize that their iPhones are counting their steps and distance whenever they take their iPhone with them, even when they aren’t actively holding it! The iPhone is, in fact, a pretty good step count and pedometer.

Your iPhone counts the steps via the Apple Health app you take when you walk around with it in your pocket, backpack, or anything else using its sensors. This data is only stored on your iPhone and your iCloud (if the Health app is turned on–all iCloud health data is encrypted so no one can read it, not even Apple.) 

Most iPhone models gather fitness data like steps and distance from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. These sensors measure your motion and fitness data, including your step count, motion, distance, stairs climbed, and even more!

If you don’t want your iPhone tracking all your fitness data with its sensors, you can adjust some settings, so your steps and other fitness activity aren’t automatically sent to your iPhone’s Health app.

It doesn’t take much time to set up your iPhone so it’s not automatically counting the steps you take when carrying your iPhone with you throughout the day. Follow these steps:

How to turn off step and activity tracking on iPhone

  1. To turn off step tracking on your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Privacy and select it.
  3. Then, scroll down to Motion & Fitness and tap it.
  4. In the Motion & Fitness settings tab, you’ll see every app that uses your iPhone’s Fitness Tracking feature.
    1. You can turn off Fitness Tracking for everything, but the apps that rely on this information to function will not work correctly. Motion and Fitness Privacy settings on iPhone
  5. So instead, you are going to turn off Motion & Fitness Tracking for Apple Health. Again, leave ON all the other apps you want to track your steps and other activities.

stop iPhone Health app from tracking steps

These Health app settings are how your iPhone gets its step count total. When you turn it off, you prevent the Health app from automatically counting the steps you take while carrying your iPhone.

Once you turn Fitness Tracking off for Apple Health, the app still has your previous step count data stored in the app. So if you do not want that information in the app, you will have to delete it.

How to remove step data from Apple Health

Clearing your step count from the Apple Health app is not as simple as it should be! So follow these steps.

  1. First off, open the Apple Health app and make sure you are in the Summary tab. You can also open the Browse tab and select Activity > Steps.Apple Health app Summary Favorites showing step count
  2. Scroll down to Steps. If you do not see Steps in your favorites, you can always search for it in the Browse tab and choose Activity.
  3. When you open up the Steps information, you’ll see your day’s current step data that your iPhone has. You can review the day, week, month, 6 months, or your year’s total step count. iPhone Health app week step count totals and averages
  4. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the Show All Data button. Click that. Show all data and data sources on Health app iPhone
  5. Once you do that, all of your recorded daily step totals pop up–these include steps from any connected apps, smartwatches, or trackers and steps counted by your iPhone. List of each days step count in Apple Health app
  6. Tap on a date or individual step count.
  7. You see a list of each step entry, including steps from your connected devices, apps, and those from your phone, identified by icons. 
    1. The steps counted on your phone only show a phone icon.One days list of steps recorded by Apple Health app
    2. To get more information about a step count, tap on it. You see the source, the total count, and the start and end times your iPhone and the Health app recorded those steps. Step count details in Apple Health app
  8. To delete an entry, click on the Edit button at the top of your screen.
  9. You see options to delete individual entries and an option to delete everything. 
    1. Tap on the red minus symbol next to an individual step count to delete it. Then swipe on the Delete button. Apple Health delete a step count entry in a day
    2. Or tap the Delete All button in the left-hand corner to delete all entries for the day, including all steps from all devices and apps.
      1. Deleting all removes all data, including that from your connected devices and apps and your phone.
      2. Confirm you wish to delete that entire day’s step entries. Apple Health app delete all data points and step count entries for a single day

You can also remove steps your iPhone counted by choosing Data Sources & Access instead of Show All Data from the Steps options.

  1. In the Health app, choose the Summary tab and select Steps. Or open the Browse tab and select Activity > Steps.
  2. In the Steps section, scroll down to Options and tap Data Sources & Access. Data Sources and Access in Apple Health app for Step count
  3. You see all the third-party apps you allowed to read data from the Health app.
    1. Apps toggled on can read your Health app data.
    2. Apps toggled off cannot read your Health app data. Apple Health app Data Sources for steps
  4. Scroll down to the bottom to the section and choose Data Sources.
  5. Review the list and find the entries for your iPhone. If you’ve owned multiple iPhones over the years, you see their entries.
  6. Tap the entry for the name of your iPhone
  7. You see a list of steps counted with your iPhone by date. Tap on an entry to see more. Apple Health app step count for iPhone
  8. The Health app now shows you a list of all steps counted by your iPhone for just that day by time and step count. Health app all recorded step by iPhone for a single day
  9. To delete all the entries or a single entry, tap the Edit button at the top.
  10. You see options to delete individual entries as well as an option to delete everything. Apple Health app delete data for steps counted on iPhone
    1. Tap on the red minus symbol next to an individual step count to delete it. Then swipe on the Delete button.
    2. Or tap the Delete All button in the left-hand corner to delete all entries for the day–that includes all steps from just your iPhone, not any wearables or third-party apps.
    3. Confirm you wish to delete that day’s iPhone step entries. Health app confirm you want to delete steps counted by iPhone

Things to keep in mind

One important thing to remember is that if you own an Apple Watch, your iPhone’s step count should not duplicate (double) your step total. Instead, the Apple Watch and iPhone pull the data together to get an accurate count. 

So if your Apple Health app has a higher step count than your Apple Watch, that is just because it combined the two sources of information. It is not an additional step count. 

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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