How to Stop Your Smartphone From Tracking Your Fitness

You can tell it’s January from all the gym selfies, fitness tracker screenshots, and overly-enthusiastic photos of carb-less meals filling your social media feeds. While you may have decided to put your concentration elsewhere instead of your daily step count, your phone has a different idea.

Almost all smartphones now have some form of built-in movement tracking, and most collect this data in the background by default. Luckily, turning off your phone’s fitness and activity trackers is super easy. You might even find it’s easier to give your health and fitness the proper attention without excessive app reminders (and extra data privacy never hurts, too).

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Turn off fitness trackers on iPhone

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness.
  2. Turn off “Fitness Tracking” to disable your iPhone’s pedometer, body motion, and other activity tracking for all apps.
  3. Alternatively, you can turn off activity tracking on a per-app basis by going to Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness to see a list of apps with access to your activity data. Tap the slider next to an app to revoke its access to your fitness trackers.

Turning off fitness trackers on Android

Android phones also have built-in step tracking, but the process for turning it off differs between devices and versions of the Android OS. You should be able to search in your phone’s settings for “pedometer,” “steps tracking, or “fitness tracking” to see if such options are available to you.

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However, some Android devices don’t track your steps by default and may instead rely on optional apps like Google Fit or third-party trackers, in which case you can just uninstall or disable these apps to stop them from tracking you. This can usually be done by long-pressing an app from the app launcher screen, then dragging it to the “uninstall,” “disable,” or “delete” option at the top of the screen.