Most people want to know how many calories they burn while doing physical activities or exercises like running, swimming or walking. Knowing the balance between calorie input and output is important. But what if your Apple Watch and iPhone report an inaccurate number of calories burned? Follow our tips below to troubleshoot this common Apple Watch problem.
If your Apple Watch is is showing wrong Calories burned, ensure that your profile data is accurate. Also try restarting the Watch and your paired iPhone. You can also reset your calibration.
Note: Information in this article apply to Apple Watch Ultra 2, Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Series 4.
You will see Active Calories and Total Calories on Apple Watch & iPhone. You may notice that even when you did the same workout or had the same activity level on two different days, you had different calorie counts. You may wonder why this is happening.
Your Apple Watch uses information such as your height, weight, age, gender, heart rate, and movement throughout the day to calculate how many calories you burn. It’s an estimation of course, but in general, the results are considered fairly accurate.
How to fix an Apple Watch that’s showing wrong Calories burned
The fixes below should help solve the issue if your Apple Watch is reporting inaccurate number of Calories burned.
1. Ensure that your profile data is accurate
Data points such as age, gender, height, weight, and even medication use can impact the accuracy of estimated number of calories burned. For example, according to Mayo Clinic, aging will slow down calorie burning. Thus, mak sure your personal information up to date. Here is how to review and update if needed:
- Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
- Scroll down to and tap Health.
- Tap Health Details.
- If any info is inaccurate, tap Edit, then tap the details you want to adjust.
2. Check Location Services
For your watch to detect your movements, it may need to access Location Services. Do the following to check your settings:
- On your iPhone, go to Settings >Privacy & Security > Location Services. Turn on Location Services.
- FromLocation Services, scroll down and ensure that Apple Watch Workout is set to While Using the App.
- On your watch, tap Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services. Turn on Location Services if it is off. Then scroll down and find Apple Watch Workout and ensure that While Using the App is selected.
3. Check the fit of your Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch uses data from its heart rate sensors to estimate calories during workouts. These sensors should be close to your skin. But if it is too tight, the sensors may read the wrong data. With this in mind, be sure to wear your watch appropriately and equip a reliable band. Strap on a snug fit with the device centered on the top of your wrist.
4. Update software
Ensure that your Apple Watch and iPhone have the latest versions of watchOS and iOS. First, check your iPhone. Go toSettings > General > Software Update to check for updates. If there are updates, follow the onscreen instruction to update your iPhone. After ensuring that your iPhone is updated, check for Apple Watch updates. There are two ways to do this:
- Use your iPhone: Open the Watch app and tap My Watch > General > Software Update.
- Update on your Apple Watch: Tap Settings> General > Software Update on your watch.
5. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone
As always, the most common fix for any Apple Watch bug is to simply restart your device.
To restart your Apple Watch:
- Press and hold the side button of your Apple Watch until sliders appear.
- Tap the power icon, then tap and drag the Power Button to the right.
- Turn your device back on by holding down the side button until the Apple logo appears.
To restart your iPhone:
- For models with Face ID, press and hold the side button and a volume button, then drag the slider to the right.
- For models without Face ID, press and hold the side or top button until the slider appears, then drag the slider to the right.
- With any model, you can also go to Settings > General > Shut Down.
- Turn your iPhone back on by holding down the power button until the Apple logo appears.
6. Calibrate your Apple Watch
If you are still getting inaccurate calorie measurements, you should calibrate your Apple Watch. This will require you to go outside in nice weather. This will take about 20 min. Follow these steps to calibrate your watch:
- On your paired iPhone, open the Settings app, then scroll down to and tap Privacy & Security. Tap Location Services and check to see if it is enabled. If not, tap the toggle. Scroll down to and tap System Services. Enable Motion Calibration & Distance if it is not already enabled.
- Now wear your watch and go outside when the sky is clear. Ensure that you are getting good GPS signals.
- On your Apple Watch, open the workout app and choose either an Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run.
- Begin the chosen workout, and keep pace for 20 minutes. When possible, repeat with the opposite workout.
You could also reset your calibration data. Obviously, if you choose to do this, you will need to recalibrate after:
- On your paired iPhone, open the Watch app and tap My Watch.
- Tap Privacy, then Reset Fitness Calibration Data.
7. Unpair and repair your devices
If the issue persists, unpair your Apple Watch from the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Your iPhone will take a backup of your watch automatically when unpairing. Then you can restore (re-pair) from your backup. Here is how:
- Bring your watch and iPhone close.
- Then on your iPhone, open theWatch app and tap** My Watch** and All Watches.
- Tap the info (i) button next to your watch.
- Tap Unpair Apple Watch. Follow the onscreen instructions. If this is a cellular model, select to keep your plan when you are asked.
- After unpairing, bring your iPhone and watch close, and then follow the onscreen prompts to pair them again.
- Select Restore from Backup during set up.
- If the Apple Watch still shows wrong calories burned, unpair the devices again and try setting your wearable up as a new watch.
What is the difference between active and resting calories?
Active calories refer to the calories an individual burns during physical activity. These are represented by the red Move ring on your Apple Watch. Resting calories are those that your body burns during inactivity. Maintaining bodily functions, from breathing to digesting food, burns calories, likely without you even noticing. The rate at which your body burns resting calories can be estimated based on weight, height, age, and gender.
Are any third-party calorie-tracking apps compatible with the Apple Watch?
If you are interested in tracking the calories you consume, a number of third-party calorie-counting apps offer Apple Watch compatibility, including MyFitnessPal.
How many calories do you need?
According to Harvard Health, most women need 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day, while the average man requires 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day. However, caloric needs are extremely personal and dependent on a number of health factors. These include age, activity level, body type and size, and goals.
It is probably safe to say that Apple Watch’s calorie counter won’t be 100% accurate. The idea is that you should try to get the most accurate results possible. With the above tips, we hope you will now get the most accurate calorie measurements with your Apple Watch.