How to Fix Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working

Wondering why your Apple Watch exercise ring is not working?

The exercise ring feature on your Apple Watch makes it easier to track activities. Being a fitness device, the exercise ring is a nice addition to the Apple Watch. 

However, it can be annoying if the exercise ring is not working. 

Recently, users have been complaining that their Apple Watch is not counting exercise minutes

Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working

This can be a problem since it takes away one of the most appealing features of Apple Watch, which is to track your fitness and health. 

To help out, we’re going to show you what to do if your Apple Watch exercise ring is not working. 

Let’s begin!

1. Restart Your Apple Watch. 

If something is not working on your Apple Watch, try performing a simple restart. 

This should ensure that system resources are loaded correctly. Restarting your watch should also clear temporary data from its memory. 

Here’s how you can restart your Apple Watch: 

  1. First, press and hold the Side button until the option sliders appear. 
  2. Tap on the Power button and drag it to the right. 
  3. Wait for at least 10 seconds to ensure that your Apple Watch is off. 
  4. Hold down the Side button afterward until the Apple logo appears. 
Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working


  • You can’t restart your Apple Watch while it’s charging. 

Once done, check the exercise ring if it’s now tracking your progress. 

Related: How to Fix Flashing Apple Logo on Apple Watch

2. Check Your Health Profile. 

If your exercise ring is not working, check your health profile. When you set up your health profile, you’ll be asked to provide information about yourself. 

However, the information you provide during set up is susceptible to change in the future. 

It is important to provide the correct variables in your health profile so your watch can accurately monitor your health. 

Here’s how you can edit your health profile: 

  1. First, open the Apple Watch app on the device you paired your watch. 
  2. Tap on My Watch and open the Health tab. 
  3. Now, tap on Health Details
  4. In the upper right corner, tap on Edit to change your information. 
Health Details

Once done, check if the exercise ring is now working on your Apple Watch.

3. Check Physical State.  

Another reason why some features are not working on your Apple Watch is if you do not comply with the required physical setup. 

You might not be wearing your Apple Watch properly. Your forearms could be wet, which can interfere with the watch’s sensors. 

Here are some pointers to consider: 

  • Wear your Apple Watch on top of your wrist. Make sure it is snug but not too tight. 
  • Ensure that your arms are clean and there’s no moisture or sweat directly under the sensors. 
  • Don’t think about the watch too much. While exercising, swing your arms in a natural motion. Apple Watch are made for active lifestyles and they are built to withstand some abuse. 

After checking, see if your Apple Watch is now tracking your activities. 

4. Wrist Tattoos. 

As it turns out, your Apple Watch may not function properly if you have wrist tattoos. 

Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as tattoos, can interfere with the heart rate sensor. The ink and saturation of tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get some readings. 

Make sure that you’re wearing your Apple Watch on your wrist without a tattoo. 

5. Enable Location Services on Paired Device. 

Your Apple Watch may use your iPhone’s location services if it’s nearby. 

However, if you have disabled some settings in your location services, your Apple Watch may not function properly. 

See the steps below to enable crucial settings on your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings on your paired iPhone
  2. Go to Privacy & Security
  3. Tap on Location Services and ensure that it is enabled. 
  4. Now, tap on System Services
Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working
  1. Find Motion Calibration & Distance and enable it. 
Motion Calibration

Once done, go back to your Apple Watch to check if the problem is solved. 

6. Check Your Settings. 

Like any device, your Apple Watch will not function properly if you have the wrong settings activated. 

Settings such as Motion Calibration, Heart Rate, and Wrist Detection can impact your Apple Watch’s performance. 

To get the exercise ring to work, follow the steps below to tweak your settings: 

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone
  2. Go to My Watch > Privacy.
  3. Find the Heart Rate option and enable it. 
Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working
  1. Go back to My Watch and tap on Passcode
  2. Enable Wrist Detection.
Wrist Detection

Go back to your Apple Watch to see if the exercise ring works.

7. Disable Power Saving Mode. 

We recommend disabling power saving mode on your Apple Watch if you’re going to use it to track your workout. 

Having this feature enabled turns off background heart rate and blood oxygen measurement. This can mess up with your watch’s readings, causing the exercise ring to malfunction. 

Here’s how you can disable power saving mode: 

  1. Touch and hold the bottom of your watch’s screen. 
  2. Wait for the Control Center to appear, then swipe upwards. 
  3. Tap on the battery percentage and disable Low Power Mode
Low Power Mode

You can also turn off the feature by going to Settings > Battery > Low Power mode

Continue with your workout and observe if your Apple Watch is now tracking your activity and progress. 

Related: How to Fix Battery Drain Issues on Apple Watch

8. Select Proper Workout Type. 

Apple Watch features various workout modes, adjusting the watch’s readings based on your health profile.

If you’ve not selected the correct workout, your watch can give inaccurate readings. 

You can learn about the various workout types supported by your Apple Watch from the links below: 

Launch the Workout app on your watch and select the proper workout based on what you’re currently doing. 

9. Calibrate Watch Accuracy.

If you continue to encounter problems with your Apple Watch, try calibrating its accuracy. You can do this by resetting its fitness calibration data. 

See the steps below to guide you through the process: 

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. 
  2. Go to My Watch > Privacy
  3. Under Fitness Tracking, tap on Reset Fitness Calibration Data
Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working
  1. Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone afterward. 

Once done, wear your watch and continue with your normal workout. Your watch should automatically calibrate itself to improve fitness tracking. 

10. Update Apple Watch. 

There might be an issue with the watchOS version on your Apple Watch. To rule this out, update your watch to the latest version to patch bugs and errors. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone
  2. Go to My Watch and tap on General
  3. Access the Software Update tab and see if there are available updates. 
  4. Download the update. If asked, provide your passcode to continue. 
Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working


  • It can take several minutes to an hour for the update to complete. 
  • Ensure that you have at least 50% battery on your Apple Watch before updating. 

Check if the exercise ring is now working on your Apple Watch. 

11. Contact Apple Support. 

If none of the solutions above worked, bring your watch to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. 

Your Apple Watch might have defective sensors or hardware issues that cause the problem. 

Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working

If you’ve just purchased your Apple Watch, you can ask for a replacement or refund if you had the device for less than 14 days. 

You can also check if your device is still covered by warranty so you have options before sending it for repair. 

That ends our guide on how to fix Apple Watch if the exercise ring is not working. If you have questions or other concerns, please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

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