Google Fit not tracking steps? Fix it with these 7 steps

Google has almost every department covered and, for fitness activity and step-tracking, they offer Google Fit. Quite a simplistic app that does the job and offers a lot of insight into your activity, along with some nifty features for everyone. You can even measure pulse and respiratory rate on Pixel devices. However, the main reason the majority of people use Google Fit is to track their steps and covered daily distances. Sadly, many of them report that Google Fit is not tracking steps. This occurs suddenly and it’s hard to say what’s the exact reason for the issue.

Luckily, we have a few solutions to recommend to help you fix the issue at hand.

Google Fit no longer auto-tracking steps

1. Check App permissions

The first thing you should do is ensure that Google Fit has the necessary permission to access Body Activity. This exact permission, also known as Physical activity, is needed for Google Fit to track your steps and distance.

Here’s how to grant this permission to Google Fit in a few simple steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps. On some Android skins, you’ll need to select All Apps.
  3. Open Google Fit from the list.
  4. Tap Permissions.
  5. Grant Physical activity (or Body activity) permission and check for improvements. Some even recommend granting all permissions to Google Fit. For some peculiar reason, Storage permission comes a lot on the web.

2. Cycle Track your activities off and on

Sometimes, just turning certain features off and then on will make them work. You can use Google Fit as a secondary app and import data from other devices or services without it tracking your activities on its own. Of course, in this case, we want it to track steps.

Here’s how to disable and re-enable Google Fit automatic activity-tracking on your Android:

  1. Open Google Fit.
  2. Tap on the Profile icon at the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap on the Settings (cog icon) at the top.
  4. Under the Tracking preferences section, disable Track your activities and restart your device.
  5. Get back to Google Fit > Settings and enable this option again.

Under the same section, you can enable the “Use your location” for more punctual reading. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have much to do with the number of steps.

If the solution above didn’t work and Google Fit is still not tracking steps, let’s try clearing local data.

3. Clear local data from Google Fit

Although Google Fit doesn’t store a lot of data locally, this data can still get corrupted over time. Many users who experienced the issue on various devices (most recently, OnePlus and Samsung handsets), reported that the issue was addressed after clearing data from the app and resetting it in the process.

Follow these instructions to clear local data from Google Fit on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate again to Apps > All Apps> Google Fit.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. Clear data and restart your phone.
  5. Check for improvements with step-tracking in Google Fit.

4. Reinstall Google Fit

In case clearing the local data didn’t help, you can always try the reinstallation. This way, you’ll get the latest release of the app and, hopefully, the problem will be gone.

Here’s how to reinstall Google Fit on Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Look for Google Fit and expand the app.
  3. Tap Uninstall.
  4. Restart your device and install the app again.
  5. Sign in with your Google Account.

In case Google Fit is not tracking steps even after reinstallation, make sure that the system isn’t “killing” the app while it works in the background.

5. Allow Google Fit to work in the background

Some Android skins are notorious for the aggressive limitations they impose on apps in the background. We understand the idea to prolong the battery life but, ideally, users should be the ones that decide. This led to a big problem with Gmail on some Samsung devices and we imagine it can also happen with an app like Google Fit that needs to work in the background to track steps.

Luckily, you can completely disable battery optimization for Google Fit or, even better, lock it in RAM so it won’t be force-closed after some time.

Here’s how to disable battery optimization for Google Fit:

  1. Once again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Google Fit.
  2. Select Battery or Battery Optimization.
  3. Ensure that Google Fit is allowed to work in the background.
  4. Disable Battery optimization for Google Fit and look for improvements.

On some skins, like MIUI, you might need to whitelist Google Fit in the Security app.

6. Disable other step-tracking apps inputs

For this step, we can try fixing the problem by disabling other apps. If your device (almost certainly does if the device is not a Pixel) comes with a preinstalled step-tracking app (usually the Health app of sorts). You can try disabling it along with other third-party apps that track your steps to see if something changes.

Additionally, navigate to Google Fit > Settings > Manage connected apps and remove all apps from there. That might help, as well.

7. Remove and add again your Google Account

Finally, if nothing worked for you, try removing and adding again your Google Account. Some users managed to resolve the problem that way.

To do so, navigate to Settings > Accounts > Google Account and remove it. After a swift reboot, add your account again and see if Google Fit tracks your steps automatically.

As a final note, a lot of users report that the problem solved itself without any troubleshooting steps after some time. So, sending a ticket to Google might help more than any of the previous steps since they apply if the problem is on your side. Which, of course, isn’t always the case.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t shy away from sharing your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in September 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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