Fix Apple Watch VO2 Max Not Working, Not Updating, Inaccurate

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If you rely on your Apple Watch to track your cardio fitness or measure your VO2 max, you might encounter a problem where your VO2 max doesn’t work. This can be quite frustrating, but don’t worry! I am here to help you fix it. In this article, I’ll explain what VO2 Max is and why your Apple Watch VO2 Max is not working.

I will also provide you with easy steps to resolve the issue of VO2 Max not working on Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and SE. So, let’s get started without any delay!

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Quick Takeaway
If VO2 Max is not working on your Apple Watch then ensure your software is up to date. Also, you can set up your Cardio Fitness Level, choose suitable outdoor exercises, and enable Fitness tracking and Health access. You can also consider any medication that might be affecting the measurements.

What Is VO2 Max On Apple Watch?

VO2 Max measures how much oxygen your body can take in during intense exercise. It tells you how efficiently your body uses oxygen when you work out. It’s usually calculated as the amount of oxygen consumed per minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). Normally, it’s measured in a laboratory, but with an Apple Watch, you can estimate it during outdoor activities like running, cycling, or hiking. Indoor activities don’t provide accurate measurements for VO2 Max.

Knowing your VO2 Max can give you an idea of your overall health and fitness level. A higher VO2 Max indicates better physical fitness. Generally, adults, males, and those living at lower altitudes tend to have higher VO2 Max values. Many factors affect your VO2 Max, including your age, temperature, altitude, gender, genetics, and the type of exercise you do.

Why Is VO2 Max Not Updating Or Not Accurate On Apple Watch?

If your Apple Watch VO2 Max is not working, there could be a few reasons for this issue. Let’s go through them:

Outdated software: Make sure your Apple Watch has the latest software updates installed. Check for any available updates and install them.

Missing Cardio Fitness Level Setup: Ensure that you have set up your Cardio Fitness Level on your Apple Watch. This step is necessary for accurate VO2 Max tracking.

Incorrect exercise type: VO2 Max is best measured during outdoor activities that involve high intensity, such as running, cycling, or hiking. Indoor exercises may not provide accurate results. Make sure you’re doing the right exercises for VO2 Max tracking.

Disabled Fitness tracking & Health access: Check if you have enabled Fitness tracking and Health access on both your Apple Watch and iPhone. This allows data sharing between the devices, and without it, your VO2 Max may not work properly.

Medication interference: Certain medications can affect your heart rate, which can impact the measurement of your VO2 Max. If you’re taking any medications then they might be influencing the results on your Apple Watch.

How Do I Fix My VO2 Max On Apple Watch?

In the previous section, we discussed why your VO2 Max measurement and Cardio Fitness tracking might not work correctly on your Apple Watch. Now, let’s focus on how you can fix these issues on your own.

Update Apple Watch Software

Make sure to check your Apple Watch. If it’s running on an older software version then you should update it. Updating to the latest software will allow you to collect VO2 max data between your devices correctly. Here’s how you can update the software:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  • Look for and select My Watch. Next, tap on General.
  • Choose Software Update and then select Download & Install.

software update iphone

Alternatively, you can update the Apple Watch software directly on your watch:

  • Tap on Settings on your Apple Watch and select General.
  • Choose Software Update. Then, tap on Download & Install.

software update

Setup Cardio Fitness Levels

Before tracking your cardio fitness or VO2 max, you need to set up your cardio fitness level in your Health App on your iPhone. Follow these steps for setup:

  • Open Health App on your iPhone. Select Browse.
  • Tap on Heart. After that, tap Cardio Fitness.

Cardio fitness

Finally, follow the on-screen prompts and complete this setup.

By Doing Right Workout

To measure your cardio fitness score or VO2 max accurately, select outdoor activities such as running, walking, or hiking. Make sure your Apple Watch is securely worn on your wrist and open the Workout app to start tracking. It’s important to note that indoor exercises like cycling won’t calculate your VO2 max.

Enable Fitness Tracking & Health

You need to give all access to both devices to record or share tracking data. Enable Fitness Tracking & Health in both Apple Watch and iPhone and follow these simple steps to enable tracking:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone and select Privacy.
  • Next, select Motion & Fitness. After that, allow all permission to complete the process.

fitness tracking

Now open the Watch app on your iPhone and follow these steps:

  • Select My Watch and tap on Privacy.
  • Next, enable Fitness Tracking & Heart rate.

VO2 Max Not Working On Apple Watch – Final Verdict

If your Apple Watch is not tracking your cardio fitness properly then it might be due to issues with the VO2 Max feature. To fix this, make sure you update your Apple Watch to the latest software version. Then, set up your cardio fitness level so that your watch can record your VO2 Max accurately.

Don’t forget to enable fitness tracking and health features on your watch. Also, choose the correct workout option to track your VO2 Max correctly. If you have tried all these solutions and none of them work then it’s a good idea to contact Apple support. They will be able to assist you further.

Suggested Apple Watch tutorials for you:


How Do I Trigger VO2 Max On Apple Watch?

Apple Watch uses heart & motion sensors to monitor VO2 Max. You need to do outdoor workouts like running and hiking to trigger VO2 Max on the Apple Watch.

How To Activate VO2 Max On Apple Watch?

If you are using an Apple Watch first time for tracking VO2 max then you need to set it up from the Health App.

Why Apple Watch VO2 Max Is Not Working?

Outdated Apple Watch software, incomplete Fitness Tracking Setup, data sharing not enabled, and wrong workout may be the reason why your Apple Watch VO2 max is not working.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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