Apple Watch not Counting Swim Laps Correctly

Apple Watch not Counting Swim Laps Correctly | How To Fix?

Apple Watch is one of the most accurate smartwatches, and it works well for most workouts. However, like most smartwatches, Apple Watch experiences problems like miscounting Swim Laps and distance if not calibrated properly.

Apple Watch not Counting Swim Laps

So, if your Apple Watch is also not showing counting laps correctly, this guide is for you.

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about Best Apple Watch Faces That Show Steps In Main Faces.

In this WearToTrack, I will explain the reason why your Apple Watch is not counting swim laps correctly and how you can fix this issue. Let’s get started.

How To Fix The Issue Of Apple Watch Not Counting Swim Laps Correctly?

Before I get to the solution, let me quickly explain why you are experiencing this issue. I have been an Apple Watch user for a long time, and honestly, I experienced this issue on my Apple Watch 3 and later versions. However, the problem is not with the Apple Watch but with the technology.

Counting Swim Laps

For example, Apple Watch and other smartwatches can accurately track the running sessions due to GPS Technology, which is very accurate. However, when it comes to swimming, the device uses the accelerometer to track your laps, distance, and calories. The problem with the accelerometer is that it’s not very accurate like GPS technology, and things can go wrong.

Now that you know why your Apple Watch is not counting Swim Laps correctly, let me explain the potential solution. As I explained, the Apple watch mainly uses the accelerometer for tracking the swimming session; it’s important that you calibrate it properly. For swimming, the Apple Watch comes with two options: Pool Swim and Open Water Swim.

Before going for a swim, it’s very important that you enter the correct length of the pool, which will help the Apple Watch to measure the laps and distance.

Once you enter the correct pool length, the watch will use the built-in accelerometer to track your session, and it will count the swimming laps correctly.


When it comes to Open Water Swim, the watch won’t count the laps. So, if you have chosen Open Water Swim workout mode but you are swimming in the pool, the watch will still not count the laps. In this mode, the Apple watch will only track the calories and distance.

If you have entered the correct pool length and picked the right mode, but still, the watch isn’t counting laps correctly, it could be due to other issues. The one way to fix this problem is to unpair your Apple Watch and pair it again. This should solve the problem for you, but it is not a permanent fix, and you can experience this problem again.

During my research, I came across tons of posts on the Apple Discussion forum, where the majority complained about this issue. Honestly, there is no definite solution to this problem, and I didn’t find any concrete solution from Apple Support as well.

So, if you want your Apple Watch to count swim laps correctly, you can enter the correct pool length and hope that it will work properly.

Why Is The Swim Distance On My Apple Watch Wrong?


When you swim in the pool, the watch doesn’t use GPS for tracking your distance. Instead, it uses the built-in accelerometer to track your distance.

So, if your Apple Watch is not tracking the swim distance correctly, it could be due to pool calibration, but the good thing is that you can easily fix it.

The first thing you need to do is to “reset the calibration data.” Here’s how you can do it.

Water Lock
  • Unlock your iPhone
  • Find Apple Watch App and tap it.
  • Now go to the My Watch Tab section and tap privacy.
  • Look for “Reset Fitness Calibration Data” and tap it.
  • That’s it.

You have successfully reset the calibration data on your Apple Watch. Now the next step is to go swimming and let the Apple Watch calibrate. The watch will take some time to calibrate, so swim for around 20 minutes or so as it will give Apple Watch enough time to correct various data sets and then use them to calibrate it correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Why is the Swim Length on my Apple Watch Wrong?

If Apple Watch is not tracking your Swim Length properly, it could be due to poor calibration. Just reset the calibration data on your Apple Watch and go for a swim. The Apple watch will calibrate itself automatically.

Does Apple Watch Count Laps?

Yes, Apple Watch counts the swimming laps. The watch uses the built-in accelerometer to track your swim laps.

How Accurate is the Apple Watch for Swimming?

swim count

Swimming is a very difficult activity to track, and honestly, like other smartwatches, Apple Watch is not very accurate. While swimming, the watch may not be able to track your heart-rate due to water, and if it’s not calibrated properly, it can also miscount laps.

So, Apple Watch is as accurate as other smartwatches, and if you want the best tracking of your swim laps, you can use the manual gadgets.

Do I need to lock my Apple Watch before swimming?

Apple Watch comes with a Water Lock feature, which protects it from accidental touches and helps you eject water from the speakers. You can enable it manually, but if you forget to enable it, the watch will automatically enable Water Lock when it detects water-based activity like swimming or surfing.

Does Apple Watch track heart-rate while swimming?

hear rate on watch

In most cases, Apple Watch won’t be able to track your heart-rate while swimming due to the water. As the watch uses the optical heart-rate sensor, it’s important that there is no obstruction between your wrist and sensor to accurately track the heart-rate, but in a pool, the water gets between the sensor and your wrist, resulting in no heart-rate tracking.


That’s all, folks. Now you know why your Apple Watch is not counting swim laps correctly and how you can fix it. I also outline the method you can use if your Apple Watch is not tracking your swim distance correctly.

If you have any further questions, please let me know in the comments. Also, if you are looking for accurate watches and gadgets for counting swimming laps, check this guide.

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