Apple makes the best ECG smartwatches Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA). Apple first introduced ECG(Electrocardiogram or EKG) feature in Series 4. The ECG app on the Apple Watch can detect Atrial Fibrillation(AFib), a heart condition that can lead to blood clots, stroke, or even heart attack if not detected and treated early.
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However, many users have reported that the ECG app is not working on their Apple Watch. In this blog post, I will explain why Apple Watch ECG is not working. This Apple watch guide also includes troubleshooting this issue in simple steps.
Let us start!
Apple Watch ECG Not Working: Troubleshooting Guide
1. Check your Apple Watch Model
The ECG app is only available on Apple Watch Series 4 or later models. With that said, the Apple Watch S.E. also does not have ECG features.
See the complete list of Apple Watches with ECG below.
- Apple Watch Ultra
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 4
So, if you own any Apple watch other than that listed above, unfortunately, your watch doesn’t have ECG capabilities.
NB: You must have iPhone 8 or later to use the ECG feature on Apple Watch.
2. Check ECG Available in your Country
Even if you own an Apple watch with ECG, the App may not be available in your country. If you live in a country where the App is unavailable, you won’t be able to use this life-saving feature. Since ECG is a medical app, it is subject to regulations in each country.
For example, in the USA, the Apple Watch ECG is approved as a Grade 2 medical device by the FDA. But in many other countries, it is not yet approved. You can check the complete list of Apple watch ECG App-supported countries on the Apple website. The good news is that Apple is working on expanding ECG availability to more countries, and I hope it will soon be available in your country too.
If you live in a region where the App is not yet approved, then wait for it to get approved in your country. You can check the list of countries where the ECG app is available on Apple’s website, which I already mentioned above.
If you have an Apple watch with an ECG model and live in a country where the App is available but still can’t use it, follow the below troubleshooting tips.
3. Restart the Apple Watch and iPhone
I always recommend that my readers restart their electronic gadgets first if they face any problems. Because simply restarting your Apple Watch and iPhone can fix most of the issues.
Here is how to restart your Apple Watch.
- Press the side button until you see the power-off slider.
- Drag the slider right to turn your Watch off.
- After your Watch turns off, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
Once you have restarted your Apple watch and iPhone, check if the ECG app is working or not. If it still does not work, then follow the next troubleshooting step.
4. Update to the latest O.S.
To use ECG, your iPhone and Apple watch must have the latest iOS and watchOS, respectively.
To check for the latest iOS:
- On your iPhone, open the Settings App.
- Tap General > Software Update.
- Download and install any available updates.
To Check for the latest watch O.S.:
You can update your watch O.S. in two ways:
1. Using your iPhone:
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap the General tab.
- Tap Software Update.
- Download and install updates if available
2. Updating through the Settings App on your Apple Watch:
- On your Apple Watch, open the Settings App.
- General > Software Update
- If an update is available, download and install it.
After installing the update on your Apple Watch and Phone, restart it to apply the changes.
5. Check if your Apple Watch is in Standalone mode via Family Setup.
Apple Watch ECG requires an iPhone 8 or later varients to work. If you are using your Apple Watch in standalone mode via Family Setup, it does not work. See the list of some features that do not work in standalone mode.
- Irregular Heart Rate Alerts
- Sleep tracking
- Blood oxygen level monitoring(SpO2)
- Health Data Sharing
- Respiratory Rate
- Female Cycle Tracking
To use ECG, remove your watch from the family setup and connect it to your iPhone.
6. Delete and Reinstall ECG App
Deleting and reinstalling the ECG App on your Apple watch may fix the problem. Here are the steps to delete and reinstall the app:
Delete the ECG App:
- Find the ECG app on your Apple watch
- Press and hold the app until it “jiggles” and a cross mark “X” appears at the app’s top-left corner.
- Tap on the “X” to delete it.
Reinstall the ECG App:
- Open the App store on your Apple watch.
- Search and find ECG App.
- Tap on the cloud icon next to the app name to install it.
Now, open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process. After completing the setup process, check if ECG is working or not.
If you are unsure how ECG on smartwatch works, check our easy-to-understand guide that includes everything you need to know about Apple Watch ECG.
7. Clean the Digital Crown
The Digital Crown of your Apple watch act as an ECG Electrode, which may cause inaccuracy or interrupt the ECG recording if it is not clean. So, if ECG is not working on your Apple Watch, check the digital crown for any dirt or debris and clean it if necessary.
To clean the digital crown, follow these steps:
- Turn off your Apple Watch.
- Remove the watch band.
- Use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe the digital crown and the surrounding area.
NB: While cleaning your Apple watch(crown), never apply a water jet or use any cleaner as it may damage your watch.
The FDA Approved ECG is the most attractive health tracking feature in every Apple watch, and it is designed to capture the heart’s rhythm and classify it as Sinus Rhythm or Atrial Fibrillation. So, it is important to know how to troubleshoot the ECG app if it is not working on your Apple Watch.
We hope this Apple Watch ECG not working guide helps you troubleshoot the issue. If you find this Apple watch guide helpful, share it with others who might need it.
Saneesh VS is a tech and fitness enthusiast. He has been reviewing smartwatches and fitness trackers for the past few years and is passionate about it. He writes about the latest news in the industry, helpful tips, and buying guides. You can find him working out or spending time with his family when he’s not writing or reviewing gadgets.