Will Apple Watch Count Steps if in Pocket? | Complete Guide 2022

Will Apple Watch Count Steps if in Pocket

Will Apple Watch Count steps if in Pocket? Ever thought about what would happen if you place your Apple Watch in your pocket instead of attaching it to your wrist? This article will give you the answer to these questions.

The Apple Watch is an awesome piece of tech that can do a lot more than just show time and set alarms. Apple Watch features multiple sensors that let it track activities like sleep, walking, sports, and more. IT can measure a lot of body values too, like blood oxygen levels, heartbeats, etc.

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Today we will focus on its ability to count steps, which may sound basic, but this data is also used by the watch to calculate your calories. So, it is a pretty core function when it comes to health and activity tracking.

The Apple Watch uses Accelerometer and GPS sensors to count steps, and it requires to be attached to your wrist to offer the best possible results. But if you don’t want to wear your watch on your wrist all the time, then will Apple Watch count steps if in pocket might be a question you ask.

This article will answer this question and other questions related to Apple Watch and its ability to count steps. So read on to know more.

Will Apple Watch Count Steps if in Pocket

Will Apple Watch Count Steps if in Pocket?

To know if the Apple Watch counts steps in the pocket, you need to know how it works first. Apple Watch uses an Accelerometer sensor to count steps and to track activity. The GPS sensor inside the Apple Watch also provides additional information allowing it to verify results of activity tracking and steps counted.

Will Apple Watch Count Steps if in Pocket

The Accelerometer sensor counts steps by tracking your movement, it can track motion in any direction, so if it senses any kind of movement, the Accelerometer starts collecting data for steps. GPS on the other hand looks at distance data and more to verify the count of steps.

Both the Accelerometer and GPS work in tandem to provide data that is as accurate as possible. Apple Watch also factors in data like height, weight, and more to calculate steps and distance traveled.

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All this works as expected when you have the watch attached to your wrist, but will Apple Watch count steps if in pocket? The answer is yes, it will. Even though the Apple Watch is meant to be attached to your wrist, it will still work and count steps if it is in your pocket.

When the Apple Watch is in your pocket, the Accelerometer can still detect the same movement and so it will count steps albeit it won’t be as accurate as when it is strapped to your wrist.

apple watch pocket mode

The accuracy will be a bit off because the watch is calibrated to work best when you have it on your wrist, but it will get the job done fairly well even if the watch is in your pocket. Having your GPS on when walking or moving will improve accuracy. So make sure to have your GPS on when you are doing any activity or moving.

Do Apple Watch and iPhone Duplicate Counted Steps?

If you didn’t know before, then you should know that your iPhone can also count steps. Both Apple Watch and your iPhone send the data to the Health App. But this raises the question, do Apple Watch and iPhone duplicate counted steps? And the answer is no.

does apple watch track steps accurately

The Health App can recognize where it gets the data from, so it knows which device is sending the data and accordingly adjust to eliminate duplicate data. This means that you can use any number of devices to record your activity and count steps and still receive the correct data.

Why are Steps on Apple Watch Different from iPhone?

Now that you know that the iPhone can also count steps, is it any good at it? If anyone has used both the iPhone and Apple Watch to count steps, then you would have noticed some difference between the data from both.

The data collected by your Apple Watch is considered to be more accurate because it is purpose-built to track your activities which includes walking. You are also more likely to wear your Apple Watch throughout the day while your iPhone might be on your table or in your bag.

This leads to differences in data collected from the devices. The Apple Watch also does a better job at collecting step count data because it is attached to your wrist while your iPhone mostly resides in your pocket.

I mentioned before that the Apple Watch is not accurate enough when it is in the pocket and iPhone also struggles similarly. The iPhone performs better when you hold it in your hand and walk.

Overall, the iPhone is less accurate than the Apple Watch when it comes to tracking steps and more because it is not always with you and it is not purpose-built for activity tracking.

The iPhone is a smartphone with some activity tracking capabilities while the Apple Watch is a smartwatch with tracking capabilities as a core function. That is why it is better and more accurate for the same. But if you are someone who uses both devices then, you don’t have to worry as the Health App will remove duplicate data and provide you with the best data.

Is the Step Counter on the Apple Watch Accurate?

The step counter on the Apple Watch is one of the most accurate step counters you can find across any smartwatch. You need to keep a few things in mind like wearing the watch on your wrist, enabling GPS, and Fitness Tracking on your iPhone. You also need to make sure that your Apple Watch is calibrated properly to get the most accurate results.

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To calibrate your Apple Watch, make sure that the watch is attached properly to your wrists and then hold your iPhone in one hand and enable GPS. Now open the workout app and start walking at your usual pace for about 20 minutes. This will calibrate your Apple Watch and improve the accuracy of activity tracking including step counting.

Can you Wear an Apple Watch somewhere other than your Wrist?

The Apple Watch is an excellent device for activity tracking and since it’s a watch you need to wear it on your wrist. But in some jobs like nursing and certain situations you might not be able to wear it on your wrist, so you might want to wear it somewhere else so that you can get your activity and steps counted.

You can also place your Apple Watch in your pocket and it will track activities like walking and more but it will be less accurate. The best alternative to truly wear your Apple watch somewhere other than your wrist would be to wear it above your elbow, on your bicep. You can find some good armbands here.

not allowed to wear apple watch at work

Wearing your Apple Watch on your arm allows for decent tracking (not as good as the wrist), while also being comfortable and convenient, so you can focus on your work. You can also wear your Apple Watch on your ankle and it will work, but the tracking accuracy won’t be great.

Will the Apple Watch Count Steps Without an iPhone?

Once your AppleWatch is paired and set up with your iPhone, it doesn’t need the iPhone to do tasks like activity tracking, playing music, displaying photos, and more. The list of things an Apple Watch can do without an iPhone depends on the model.

how to track activity when not wearing apple watch

So yes, Apple Watch will be able to count steps without an iPhone. It will store this data for 30 days before deleting it. So make sure to connect with your iPhone to upload and save your data. The watch will also track your sleep, blood oxygen levels, calories, and more along with the steps, so it is fully functional when it comes to activity tracking even without your iPhone.


Apple Watch is one of the best if not the best smartwatch you can get right now. It looks great, is powerful, and versatile. It features some of the best sensors that allow it to track and record data like heartbeat, blood oxygen level, step counts, and more.

does apple watch count walking in place

Apple Watch works best when strapped to your wrist, but you can also wear it on your arm or ankle but the results you get won’t be so accurate. If you don’t want to wear the watch at all then you can just chuck it in your pocket.

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And the answer to the question, will Apple Watch count steps if in the pocket is yes, it will but it won’t be as accurate as when you have it strapped to your wrist. This is because the Apple Watch is designed and developed to work when it is on your wrist.

In any case, the Apple Watch can count steps in the pocket, work without an iPhone, work together with your iPhone, and more. This article covers it all and I hope you learned some new tricks.


Can Apple Watch track steps when hands are in the pocket?

Yes, Apple Watch can track steps if your hands are in your pocket. But the tracked steps won’t be as accurate as when your hands were in motion. This is because Apple Watch relies on the accelerometer to count steps, which works effectively only when it can detect your hand motion. If your hands are in your pocket, they won’t be moving a lot so the results may be a bit skewed.

Can Apple Watch count steps while pushing a stroller?

Yes, Apple Watch will be able to track steps if you are pushing a baby stroller or a shopping cart. But like when it is in your pocket or bag, the tracked data won’t be accurate. In such cases, wearing the Apple Watch on your ankle will help, as the accelerometer will be able to read your leg movements. Be sure to calibrate it before use. 

Does your arm have to move for Apple Watch to count steps?

No, Apple Watch can count steps even if you are not moving your arms, but it won’t be as accurate as when you are moving your arms. This is because Apple Watch uses an accelerometer to count steps and the sensor works based on movement to estimate the number of steps. So not moving your arms could lead to inaccurate measurements of steps. 

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