Apple Watch ECG Not Working (How to Fix It 2023)
If you’ve stumbled upon this article, chances are your Apple Watch ECG is not working.
This feature is important for many in tracking their heart health, and having it malfunction can be more than just an inconvenience.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. I’ve been there, and I’m about to tell you some common reasons why it may not be working, and I’ll show you how to fix it.
Why Is My Apple Watch ECG Not Working?
There are several reasons that could lead to your Apple Watch ECG not working.
Understanding the cause can help you fix the issue more effectively. Here are some common reasons:
- Hardware issue
- Software glitch
- Geographical restrictions
- Dirty Digital Crown or fingers
- Outdated software
How to Fix Your Apple Watch ECG Not Working
To fix your Apple Watch ECG, follow this step-by-step process:
Step 1: Check Device Compatibility
Not all Apple Watch models support the ECG feature. Make sure you have a Series 4 or newer for this function to be available.
If you are unsure about which model you have, flip your watch over and check to see which “Series” you have. Series 4 and above are all compatible.
The series number on the back of your Apple Watch may be difficult to read due to how small it is, but also because it can wear off over time.
If you’re having troubles finding the model number, follow these steps:
- On your iPhone, go to the “Watch app“.
- Select “General“.
- Tap “About“.
- Scroll down to “Model Number“. It should read an alphanumeric string that starts with an M. Tap it again, and it will change to a 5 digit string (4 numbers preceded by an A).
- Go to our article that contains a chart for all Apple Watch models. Match your 5 digit alphanumeric string to the Series number.
Step 2: Verify Geographical Availability
Because ECG features are medically related, they are subject to regulatory approval and may not be available in all countries.
Make sure it’s available in your jurisdiction before proceeding with other troubleshooting steps.
Check out our complete list of all countries where the ECG is supported on Apple Watches.
The ECG app is available in the United States, so if you live here, this isn’t the cause of it not working.
Step 3: Clean Fingers and Digital Crown
In order for the ECG sensors to accurately take a reading, the digital crown and your bare fingers must both be clean so a proper connection is formed.
Any dirt, grime, or soap could interfere with an accurate reading, or its ability to take a reading at all.
Make sure both are clean and dry.
Step 4: Restart the Apple Watch
Sometimes, turning an electronic device off and back on again is enough to solve an issue. There are a few ways to restart an Apple Watch.
But for a quick and easy method:
- Hold down the Digital Crown and Right Side Button until the Apple logo appears.
Step 5: Update Software
If the problem persists, make sure your watchOS is up to date.
- On your watch, go to “Settings“.
- Select “General“.
- Tap “Software Update” to install the latest version.
Note that in order to update an Apple Watch, it needs to be plugged into the charger, and have 50% charge or more.
Step 6: Reset to Factory Settings
As a last resort, you can reset your Apple Watch settings to their factory defaults.
Do not worry, this won’t erase data. Your backup will be automatically stored on your iPhone. When you go to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you will have the option to restore from a backup. However, this will reset the settings.
- Open “Settings” on your Apple Watch.
- Go to “General“.
- Tap “Reset“.
- Select “Erase All Content and Settings“.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. After this, you can set up your Apple Watch again and check if the ECG feature is working.
Step 7: Contact Apple Support
If you’ve tried all of the above and your ECG still isn’t working, it might be time to contact Apple Support or schedule a visit to an Apple Store.
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Ken is a Technologist and Data Analyst in the Healthcare industry, as well as the owner and sole contributor to The Wearable Guy.