GPS Not Accurate on Apple Watch? Here’s Your Step-by-Step Solution

If you’ve noticed that the GPS is not accurate on your Apple Watch, you’re certainly not alone. Many people rely on the Apple Watch for tracking outdoor activities and navigation, so an unreliable GPS can be a significant issue. This guide aims to offer a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to help you identify and resolve this frustrating problem.

gps not accurate on apple watch

Why Is GPS Not Accurate on Apple Watch?

Experiencing inaccurate GPS on your Apple Watch could be due to a multitude of factors. These can range from a poor GPS signal, outdated software, or even calibration issues.

GPS relies on data from satellites, and sometimes environmental factors like tall buildings or heavy cloud cover can obstruct the signal, leading to inaccurate results.

However, if you are in an open space and still experience problems, the issue likely lies within the device or its settings.

Check the GPS Signal Strength

Before delving into more complex solutions, it’s a good idea to check the GPS signal strength on your Apple Watch. To do this, open the Maps app on the watch and look for the GPS icon.

If the icon is gray, it indicates a weak or no GPS signal. Even if the icon is not gray, momentary loss of signal can affect accuracy. Therefore, it’s recommended to check signal strength in different locations to rule out this possible issue.

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Update Your Apple Watch

Running outdated software can cause several glitches, including GPS inaccuracy. Apple regularly releases updates to fix bugs and improve performance.

To update your Apple Watch, first ensure that it is connected to your iPhone. Then, open the Watch app on the iPhone and navigate to ‘My Watch’ > ‘General’ > ‘Software Update’.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update. Remember to keep the watch on its charger until the update is complete.

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Calibrate Your Apple Watch

Calibration can make a significant difference in the accuracy of your Apple Watch’s GPS. Calibration helps the device learn your stride length at different speeds, which is particularly helpful for tracking runs or walks.

To calibrate your Apple Watch, choose an open outdoor area that offers a clear view of the sky. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch and select an outdoor workout like walking or running. Exercise for at least 20 minutes at your average pace to allow the watch to calibrate.

Apple Watch Support

Reset Network Settings

Despite trying the above methods, if the GPS is not accurate on your Apple Watch, you may need to reset network settings on your iPhone, which is paired with your Apple Watch.

Although this is a more drastic measure, it often helps in resolving stubborn issues. Go to ‘Settings’ on your iPhone, then ‘General’ and scroll down to ‘Reset’. Select ‘Reset Network Settings’.

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This action will erase all network settings, returning them to factory defaults. After this, you’ll need to reconnect to Wi-Fi networks and re-pair your Apple Watch.

GPS Not Accurate on Apple Watch: Additional Tips

Here are some other tips you might consider if you’re still experiencing issues with GPS accuracy:

  • Turn Off Power Saving Mode: The power-saving mode on the Apple Watch can reduce GPS performance. Make sure it’s turned off when you’re relying on GPS.

  • Ensure Location Services is Enabled: Go to ‘Settings’ on your paired iPhone, tap ‘Privacy’, then ‘Location Services’, and ensure it’s turned on for Apple Watch.

  • Restart Your Apple Watch: Sometimes a simple restart can resolve minor glitches. Hold down the side button until you see the power down menu and then slide to turn off.

GPS Not Accurate on Apple Watch: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: How do I know if my Apple Watch GPS is not accurate?
    A: You might notice discrepancies in distance covered during workouts, or the Maps app might show you in a different location.

  • Q: Can I use my Apple Watch GPS without my iPhone?
    A: Yes, the Apple Watch Series 2 and later have built-in GPS that works independently of your iPhone.

  • Q: How often should I calibrate my Apple Watch?
    A: Apple doesn’t provide specific guidelines, but calibrating once a month or after significant software updates is advisable.

GPS Not Accurate on Apple Watch: Conclusion

Dealing with GPS that’s not accurate on Apple Watch can be frustrating, especially when you depend on it for workouts or navigation. However, troubleshooting this issue is usually straightforward if you take a methodical approach. The steps outlined in this guide should help you identify and fix the problem, ensuring that you can once again rely on your Apple Watch for accurate GPS data.

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