Apple takes user submitted data for age, height, gender and weight to help it calculate the different data points it provides for workouts and activities, but there is also a way to calibrate Apple Watch to improve the accuracy of the data.

By initiating the calibration process, you can get more accurate readings for calorie, distance, Move, and Exercise estimations in the Watch’s Activity app, and also improved calculations in the Workout app.

By following the steps below, you’ll start calibrating the device’s accelerometer and improve Apple Watch’s accuracy by allowing it to learn your personal stride patterns at various speeds:

  • 1. Bring your iPhone and your Apple Watch.
  • 2. Find an open, flat area outside that offers good GPS reception and clear skies.
  • 3. Make sure that Location Services is on. To check the setting on your iPhone, tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
  • 4. Make sure that Motion Calibration & Distance is on. To check the setting on your iPhone, tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services.
  • Apple-Watch-fitness-015. Hold your iPhone in your hand, or attach it to your body with an armband (preferably) or waistband.
  • 6. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch, and choose Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run.
  • 7. Choose your goal, or select Open, and tap Start.
  • 8. Walk or run at your normal pace for about 20 minutes.

That’s it. Once you do that, Apple Watch will automatically begin calibrating and get more accurate over time as you use it. The calibration process, according to Apple, will improve the accuracy of not just the walking and running data points, but also all other data in the Workout and Activity apps. You can repeat the process at different speeds and different stride lengths to help improve accuracy even further based on your varying walking and running speeds.

Apple warns that “Calibration data is stored locally on Apple Watch, and isn’t backed up to your iPhone.  Therefore, your calibration data will be lost if you unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.