How to prioritize whether iPhone or Apple Watch registers steps in the Health app

If you use the Health app to keep track of your step count, there may be a time when you want to prioritize which device registers those steps. For instance, if you’re wearing your Apple Watch and carrying your iPhone, which device should record your steps?

Here’s how to prioritize which device registers steps in the Health app.

Data Sources in Health app on iPhone

Change the order of data sources in Apple Health app

1) Open the Health app on your iPhone

2) Tap Summary and select a particular activity like Steps, Sleep, Walking + Running Distance, Heart Rate, or any other option as needed. For this tutorial, we are going with Steps.

Select Steps in iPhone Health app

3) Scroll down to Data Sources & Access and tap it.

4) Under the Data Sources heading, you’ll see a list of devices that are allowed to measure and register this particular data (like steps) in the Health app. The order of those devices determines which will be chosen to record that data. Tap Edit on the top right.

Edit Data Sources and Access in iPhone Health app

5) Touch the three short lines icon and drag your devices up or down in the list to change their priority with the highest priority device at the top. You’ll notice that if you use third-party pedometer apps,  you should be able to adjust their locations in the priority list as well.

6) Tap Done.

Change order of data sources in iPhone Health

Now, when you take that evening walk with your Apple Watch and iPhone, the data from the device at the top of the list will register your step count in the Health app.

Similarly, you can change the data source preference for other health activities.

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