When you’re trying to get more active and healthier, you want an accurate account of your steps to ensure you’re hitting your step goals. For Android Pacer users, this means making sure that Pacer stays open and working in the background. If you’re missing steps or you notice steps aren’t being counted, it could be due to your Android power-saving settings. Android 9, in particular, has very aggressive power-saving settings that will prevent Pacer from getting most of your steps. Here’s how to update your settings so that Pacer works correctly on Android 9 (or other Android versions) and doesn’t miss a single step.
Why does Pacer need to run in the background?
Android phones generally don’t store motion data on your phone, which means that Pacer has to be running to log your steps in real-time. You don’t need Pacer to be live and displayed on your screen, but Pacer does have to be running in the background to count your steps. If Pacer is disabled by your phone, steps will be lost during the time that Pacer isn’t able to run and check that motion information.
Why does Pacer get shut down?
The Android operating system has a power-saving system called Doze or Battery optimization, which limits battery use when your phone is in sleep mode. This is great in many cases because you usually don’t need your social media apps running in the background 24/7. Unfortunately, Pacer does need to be active in the background to count your steps.
This feature isn’t new to Android, but Android 9 is much more aggressive in limiting app usage in the background. If you stick with Android 9’s default settings, there is a good chance that Pacer will be shut down at some point and steps can be lost. Fortunately, you can adjust power-saving settings for individual apps like Pacer. Even if you’re not on Android 9, we recommend removing battery optimization for Pacer at least temporarily to test out how Pacer performs on your phone. You can always change the settings back at any time.
What can I do if I lost steps?
If Pacer shut down and steps were lost, you can manually add your steps back to update your records. Try your best to estimate the steps that you think you got during that time. Unfortunately, manually added steps don’t count towards groups or challenges for fairness reasons. It’s still good to update your personal records just in case, and follow the step below to prevent this happening in the future.
How can I change my settings?
Quick note – the process can vary slightly based on your phone model and Android version. These steps and screenshots were taken on a Samsung Galaxy S9 using Android 9. There may be minor intermediate steps, or menus may have different names. If you get stuck, check your device manufacturer and look for “battery optimization.” Here is a guide from Google: https://support.google.com/android/answer/7664358?hl=en
Note: Most guides will show you how to turn battery optimization ON. We want to turn it OFF for Pacer to ensure steps are counted. If you’re using a manufacturer’s guide, modify certain steps accordingly.
Settings -> Apps -> Pacer
Find your phone’s Settings, then tap Apps (Apps & Notifications on some devices). You may need to scroll down.
Find and tap Pacer in the apps menu. You will probably need to scroll down to get to Pacer. You should recognize the familiar blue shoe icon. Tap Pacer to open Pacer settings.
Battery -> Battery Optimization -> All Apps -> Pacer
In the Pacer menu, tap “Battery.”
Now tap “Optimize battery usage” to pull up the battery optimization page. You will now need to scroll down to Pacer again. By default, this menu shows apps not optimized (we want to remove optimization from Pacer. Optimization is what will shut down the app).
Tap the “Not optimized” filter and change it to display All Apps. This will display all of your apps.
Scroll down to find Pacer again.
Tap the switch to turn it off
Tap the switch next to Pacer to turn it off. By default, battery optimization is turned on. The switch will appear blue and be set to the right. Click it so that it becomes white and set to the left. This turns battery optimization off, which is what we want. If you’re on an older version of Android, ensure that battery optimization is off for Pacer.
What else can I do to ensure steps are counted?
We recommend Pacer users open the Pacer app at least once per day. This helps ensure that Pacer is running correctly, and also helps teach your Android phone that you are using the app. Android phones may shut down apps in the background if they’re never used, so using Pacer more frequently can help prevent this.
If you’re running any phone cleaning or memory cleaning software, make sure to whitelist Pacer as that software can close our app in the background.
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.