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Why is your smart band not counting steps? We can help

smart band not counting steps

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Not knowing why your fitness tracker is not counting your steps is a big headache. You keep moving but it may track fewer steps than expected or no steps at all! Tell me about it! I have been there but I have learned that most of the time that the integrated pedometer may not be working appropriately and need some troubleshooting.

Let me explain this. Your gadget uses an algorithm to track your steps. However, like all technologies, they are not perfect although the manufacturers keep working to make them functional and more accurate.

Unfortunately, many activity tracker devices have the same problems but the good news is most times these kinds of situations have a solution. So why is your smart band not counting steps?

Firstly, make sure your fitness watch band does not leave any marks or slide around the wrist. This may affect data accuracy. It should be worn 2 to 3 fingers above the wrist bone and fit comfortably but not too tight.  

In general, some fitness gadgets will not track steps until you link them to their application and then go to ‘settings. Then choose the ‘Step’ mode. However, to enable the Step tracking mode in other activity trackers you need to go to Settings and choose ‘Dominant’. Now, depending on the device, you may want to choose ‘Non-Dominant’ instead. 

But what if the above situations don’t apply to you? Do not worry, we have researched and found other possible factors that affect your wearable device’s accuracy and functionality.

Below are some reasons that may cause your wearable fitness device not to track our steps taken. They will help you resolve the problem and prevent you from having the same situation again. 

Recommended reading: Which fitness watch is best for me? Check out our top picks!

Although every wearable device that measures fitness and levels can do the same they are made differently. Unfortunately, you don’t know much about the product’s efficiency until you open the package. Also, two products made with the same technology may work differently.

How do step trackers work?

It is very important to learn how step-trackers work so you can have an idea of complicated technology can be and be familiar with your activity tracker.  Smart wristbands that track steps have a pedometer integrated. A pedometer measures steps that are taken.

Nowadays, the new technology uses more sophisticated algorithms to calculate calories and other stats. Most of the fitness devices use a three-axis accelerometer as their sensor to measure your motion. They use algorithms that turn data into stats.

As each wearable fitness gadget uses a different type of algorithms fitness trackers may show different stats. For example, a fitness gadget may count wrist movement as a step while other devices dismiss slow movement. Also, to calculate your steps the algorithm calculates your movement if it is small or fast enough to count it as a step. See, that’s why you may think that your smart band is not counting steps or not working appropriately.

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Now, how a small movement is small? It depends on the thresholds. That means different thresholds, different readings. That’s why it is hard to determine which activity tracker is the most accurate because anything can affect the accuracy of a fitness tracker.

So why your smart band is not counting steps

  1. You may not have downloaded your fitness wearable application. For your activity tracker to work you need to download the application. Then you will need to link it to your gadget.
  2. Another reason maybe is that you may have downloaded the application but the tracker may not be configurated correctly. Believe it or not, many users either forget or don’t know that some features need to be configured in the smart bracelet app.
  3. You may not be walking fast enough. Yep. When we walk faster we move our arms and sensors can detect the steps taken more effectively.
  4. You may not be taken more than 10 steps. Many fitness trackers start to count steps until you take 10 or 15 steps to prevent false positives.
  5. Did you charge your fitness tracking device? That’s right. Make sure it has enough battery life or your steps will be tracked effectively.
  6. Some physical activities such as cycling, elliptical, or other equipment are not as trackable as walking and running.
  7. You may have not updated your device application. Please have in mind that not updating your tracker application affects your gadget’s functionality.
  8. Your tracker may not be connected to your cell phone. If your fitness device works with your cell phone make sure the Bluetooth is on and the gadget linked to your cell phone. Don’t worry! As long as your tracker is working all the data will not be lost.
  9. You may not read the manual to see how your step tracker integrated into your tracker works. It is very important to know your fitness device well before using it.

Other unusual factors that affect your step counter accuracy

  1. One of the reasons a smart band not counting steps is that the firmware may need an upgrade.  This affects the functionality of your activity tracker. Open the application and try to find the firmware on the application on the main menu.
  2. You may have not updated the time zone an hour. If you are traveling make sure the time is correct.

Your pedometer is not working? This is what I did!

A step counter is very easy to use and read. Now, it depends if the pedometer is integrated into a wearable fitness device or if you are using a unit that tracks steps taken. We strongly suggest you read the instructions or user manual to get familiar with your device. However, the below steps will explain how to make your device work the right way and avoid any frustrations.

Integrated into the fitness tracker

Almost every fitness watch features an integrated pedometer to motivate you to move more. Not only they track your steps but also feature other functions. For example, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 (check out this cool fitness tracker on Amazon) allows you to set your goals, view personal records, total distance, and total steps on a 7-week, 4-week, and 12-month basis. To use the pedometer feature you need to do the following:

  1. Keep your tracker charged or at least make sure it has sufficient battery life.
  2. Download any fitness application as applicable.
  3. Go to the menu and choose settings
  4. See if there is an option to choose Steps mode depending on the device. Also, you even may need to enter if you are using your activity tracker in your dominant wrist or not
  5. Keep in mind that you may need to take 15 or 10 steps for the smart fitness tracker to start counting steps to avoid any false positives.
  6. Enjoy your walking or running

Pedometers or step counter

The great thing about pedometers is that they do not need to be connected to any device. Some of them only count steps although many also monitor speed and calories which give you a better idea of your progress. They are very easy to use and suitable for everyone just like the 3DFitBud (Read more about this bestseller I found on Amazon). Many step counters can be put in a pocket, purse, or clip on your waist, belt, ankle, shoe, or bra. It is also very discrete and you can wear them with types of clothing. Just turn it on and that’s it! Most of them have bottoms to program and different modes.

What if your pedometer is still not working?

If you charged your fitness device, connected to your cell, app/firmware is current Bluetooth is on, etc, etc, etc, plus you tried everything but still not working you may have to contact your manufacturer.

It is very important that you collect as much information as you can so they can find a better solution. You may have to return your tracker to get a refund or an exchange.

Another alternative solution would be to send the device back to them for a repair free of charge depending on their policies.

Keep in mind that not every company operates the same. Every company has different rules and regulations. However, the sooner you address the problem the better.

Recommended: Which Fitness Watch Is Best For Me? Check Out Our Top Picks!


Now you know why your smart band is not counting steps. We hope our suggestions have helped you.

Pedometers or step counters can help you stay active but like every technology, they are not 100% accurate. That’s fine to me because fitness devices keep improving their accuracy and functionality.

Knowing the product well will help you resolve any issues that you may encounter. Being familiar with your product can save you a big deal of inconvenience, give you peace of mind and even can save you money.

A pedometer, besides very simple and easy to read, it is a simple step tracking tool that will motivate you to keep moving and stay active.

If you don’t like complicated fitness devices a pedometer will do the work. Use it every day so you can get a picture of how often you keep moving. I like the ones that measure calories and speed. Like I mentioned before they may not be 100% accurate but they can make a difference in your quality of life.

There are many ways to stay active from fitness trackers to pedometers. However, you decide to take that step. It’s hard to keep going but think about your health and how great you will feel once you reach your fitness goals.