How to Fix Apple Watch Activity Not Showing Up Correctly on Activity App

I love my Apple Watch for tracking my fitness and daily activity.  Except when I am left wondering how to fix apple watch activity not showing up the way it should when I open the Activity app on my iPhone.  

How To Fix Apple Watch Activity App Now Showing Up Correctly on Phone
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When the Apple Watch activity tracker is working correctly it will automatically track your daily movements.

Similar to other fitness tracking apps, except this is native to the iPhone and created specifically for the Apple Watch.

With the help of the activity tracker and the Activity application you can do some really neat things like:

  • Stay on top of your daily / weekly / monthly fitness progress
  • Set up notifications to keep you on your toes (literally)
  • Create and meet specific health goals
  • Share your activity level with friends and family
  • Challenge others in weekly fitness challenges and see who gets the most points

This is all great when it is working exactly as expected! 

Every once in a while though, there will be a delay in data between the Activity app on my Apple Watch and iPhone.

Other times, my activity may not show up in the app at all!

In other words, each app is giving a different progress and update. Sometimes one device provides the most accurate steps and movements while the other still stuck on yesterday’s report.

Since you are here, I know you are also having some trouble getting your Apple Watch to sync properly with the Activity App on your phone.

This guide will walk you through some of the ways you can get your activity showing up correctly again.

I will cover the following Activity App issues you may be facing:

  • Activity on Apple Watch is Different From Activity App
  • Apple Watch Not Tracking Steps and/or Workouts
  • Activity Awards Are Not Showing Up or Displaying Correctly




After doing some digging and trying out various methods, here are a few of my best solutions to fix the problem.

2 Ways To Manually Fix Apple Watch Activity To Sync Your Activity To iPhone

Turn Both Devices Off And Reconnect

When I need to fix Apple Watch activity not sharing data correctly with my phone I find it easiest to first reboot both devices.  

First, I turn the Apple Watch to Airplane Mode so that it can completely disconnect from the iPhone.  Once it has disconnected, I turn the Apple Watch off.

Next, I turn my iPhone off.

Once both devices have been turned off, I turn them back on and connect my watch to my iPhone again.

Usually, after both the iPhone and Apple Watch are connected again, the app automatically syncs with all the latest information showing synched on both devices.

Hopefully, that easy step will fix Apple Watch activity disconnect and you are good to go.  

If not, I have another method you can try.

Another Method For Syncing Activity App and Apple Watch

If it doesn’t work to turn off both devices completely, you can try this method of getting your data to get on the same page:

  1. Go on your Watch app, go to Activity > Progress Update > switch to None
  2. Restart your iPhone
  3. Turn off Wi-Fi and turn it back on

How to Fix Apple Watch Not Tracking Steps or Movements

I have noticed that the Activity app sometime won’t track my steps correctly and other fitness activities that I’m involved in aren’t adding in any activity.

If you find yourself not able to get the correct activity data or the activity tracker has just stopped working altogether, some of the tips below may help.

How do I know if the Apple Watch is tracking my activities?

It’s fairly easy to tell if the activity tracker is functioning correctly. I would take a look at the Exercise Ring and Move Ring.

These two features will only log your movements if you do physical activities that get your heart pumping above average and burning your calories like an actual fitness workout.

I would also check the Stand Ring and Resting Ring just to make sure.

But then again, they’re not as accurate because they only track small activities such as walking around your room or office.

If you do a lot of workouts that you think are not “small” and yet the Activity app is not tracking them, it’s safe to say that the app is not working properly.

There are multiple ways to troubleshoot this issue on your Apple Watch.

Make sure the following features are enabled:

  • Open the Settings app > Privacy > Motion & Fitness > Turn on Fitness Tracking and Health (do the same with your watch)
  • On the same Privacy page, tap on Location Services > System Services > enable Calibration & Distance
  • Go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Wrist Detection and turn it on if you haven’t done so

Those are a few things that I found useful when it comes to fixing the Activity tracker on my Apple Watch.

I also suggest trying out some basic solutions such as restarting your device, hard resetting, and unpair/re-pair. Things like that can also help.

Related Posts You May Enjoy:

Activity Awards Are Not Updating or Showing

Are you a fan of the activity awards you can earn for things like longest move streak, weekly move, stand and exercise awards?

Me too!

Recently I’ve noticed that some of my activity awards are completely missing from the Activity App and it’s super frustrating.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who has been wondering where their activity awards have disappeared to.

How To Make Activity Awards Appear

The solution to this common problem is actually rather simple, even though it is rather extreme for the circumstances :/

In order to get your awards back, you will need to re-pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.  It may take up to a half an hour to get it back, but once the re-pair has completed your awards should be back!

If that doesn’t fix it, try rebooting your iPhone in addition to the re-pair.

Still not what you are looking for?

Everything else works except for Activity Sharing? Here’s the tutorial you’ve been looking for.

Leave a Comment

  1. Hi

    Did you encounter the following bug: While in exercice my watch will suddenly stop recording calories and heart rate. Time counter will continue but a 30 minutes bike at 32Km/h will got stuck at let say 15 calories for ever. Then the iPhone app will add the full calories activity but showing the 15 calories in the details. Also while not in exercice mode the little green man will show up as in use and the sensor (green light) on even if not in exercice mode. Had apple replace the watch, got the new one yesterday and same problem

    • My husband had the same issue. His watch would stop recording exercise part way through. An app developer told him it might be his sweat and to turn on water mode. He started turning his Apple Watch on water mode every time he works out and it solved the problem!

  2. I have over 8,000 steps, but my Move ring shows 0%. The Exercise and Stand rings are working correctly. I restarted my iPhone but that did not fix the issue. Do you have any advice?

    • Same issue here is not updating and new version of iOS does not have same steps like calibration is not available under location it says is valid also for you iwatch

    • Mine too the last 2/3 weeks. I have over 1600 calories burned. But my active says 7 minutes of exercise I’m hoping it’s a software issue. I’ve unpaired and repaired the watch and still the same issue

      • Mine too It is so irritating. You would think Apple would do some patch in their programing to fix this issue. This is the whole reason I purchased an Apple watch. It worked great for the first dew months I had it. Now, they have put so much junk on the app that it no longer works correctly. I may just go back to a fit bit, SO Disappointed!!

  3. I doesn’t show any activity on the app. I can’t alter goals, feeling disappointed I bought an Apple
    Watch when it doesn’t appear to
    Work with my phone

  4. I’ve spent hours and hours trying to get the right game to work. Very frustrated. Won’t be buying series 2 as Apple seems wellaware of the issue after two years but unconcerned about fixing it.

      • I wish it worked for me. I upgraded my Apple Watch 2 to OS 4.2 because Apple said I have to, as it kept going into swim mode during my workouts and stop counting my calories as kickboxing but instead as swimming. So now that is resolved, dbut my phone and Apple Watch are never showing the same steps like they did before. I kept doing airplane mode and it sometimes helps but most of the time does not. As of this moment phone shows 8 thousand and Watch 1 thousand and nothing I can do to bring those two together. Very disappointing S it never happened before upgrade.

        • I updated my watch (series 1) today as well as my phone (iPhone 6) and after that my watch has the phone as ‘green’ but won’t ping it, Siri can’t do anything, things not syncing and activity on phone stuck to the pre-update point. I have tried rebooting both multiple times, turning off/on wifi/bluetooth/airplane mode etc. but nothing helps. My phone’s bluetooth claims the devices are connected but the watch app cannot find any information of my watch. Very frustrating! I really do not want to erase the watch and reconnect the devices as I would lose all the activity data for today and have all three circles filled and only 2 hours left of the day so no possibility of refilling those. Any ideas??

  5. Hi, I just got an Apple Watch series 2 and have been trying everything. My problem is that on my iPhones health app it says I’ve gotten steps today but it shows zeros across the board on my Apple Watch. Any suggestions?

  6. my apple watch series 1 works perfectly but the activities app on my phone shows nothing and all of my historical data has disappeared too. It suddenly did this one night in April and I’ve been trying to fix it ever since. I’ve used all of the fixes listed above and even re-synced has anyone else had this issue…and fixed it?

      • I’ve just tried un-pairing and it’s made no difference. Can I wipe the watch and simply start again? I’ve also just updated to iOS 10.3.2 thinking it might help (completed before last un-pairing). Any suggestions??

    • All my history and work outs and friends in activity app are completely gone. It will not track my progress either on my phone. I did soft reset, hard factory reset and nothing. I did the airplane mode… please!

      • I ended up having to do an unencrypted back up to remove the multiple sources (duplications of the Apple Watch) in the health app. I lost all history but it’s synced and functional again. Good luck to you

  7. Quick question about the active calories… so I’m pretty active outside of work (I work at a bank so I am on my feet all day). But before & after work, I do barn chores, take the dogs out for a short walk & ride 3-5 days a week. My question is im having a hard time closing my “active” calories. Should I be logging my activity (riding, walking the dogs, stall cleaning, etc.) in the work out app to help close my calorie ring or? Am I just not burning them lol idk.

  8. Today is my first day using my AW for an hour of workout at Jazzercise. Why did it say I only worked out 33 mins. Also what does ‘active calories’ and ‘total calories’ mean? I am feeling disappointed.

  9. Had my watch for a month and the stand ring has never moved. I’ve spoken with Apple reps and even sent it in for repair. They returned it to me and said nothing was wrong with it. I don’t know what to do. I’m frustrated with this watch. Also, whenever I try to calibrate it, the activity timer pauses every 8-10 seconds. Any suggestions???

    • Same issue. Have a series 3 and the stand ring never moves anymore since the 4.2 is update among other dysfunctional performance issues with tracking sleep and heart rate during sleep.

      • I’m having the same issue ever since I updated my Apple Watch my stand ring doesn’t work ! I’ve tried everything resynching it and erasing all data and progress still nothing has worked.I also went into the Apple store and they did the same thing still the same.So they suggest for me to trade in the watch or either pay $284 to try and fix it

  10. My wife was experiencing a curious issue with Activity in her Series 1. It wouldn’t count any – stand, move, cals – when using a third party milanese strap. She switched back to the original strap and now it’s counting as it should. Anybody observed anything similar?

  11. So I’m a bit confused. Up until a few days ago I was only getting 400-500 calories for activity, then I realized I never entered my height and weight so did that and now I’m pushing 800-1000 calories a day.
    What really has me going is today (shown in the photo) I only lifted some weights, ran some stairs, and rode a bike for 10 minutes. I barely worked out 40 minutes when every other night I do at least 50-70 minute workouts. Does this seem right?

  12. What is going on with the activity app… I don’t understand the calories and tracking I have been non stop moving and calories are so small.

  13. Wife just got a series 1 watch and the enable/disable airplane mode on the watch itself seems to have corrected the activity tracking app.

  14. Looks like I’m going to have to restore my 64gb iPhone and Apple Watch s2 just to get the dam things to sync together! I’m like a rabbit with negative euphoria…..not a happy bunny!

  15. I sorted mine! The issue was with my host file. I had adjusted my host file to prevent my iPhone from updating OTA as I wanted to preserve my iPhone on 11.1.2 for JB’ing. I also added info to block ads!

  16. My phone is syncing and everything it seems fine, except all of a sudden can’t get my latest workout data to show up on my iPhone. Worked yesterday! AW 2. Any ideas? Did the Airplane mode on/off, bluetooth on/of, both devices on/off. Still last workout not syncing and I’m a nut about data!

  17. Come on, Apple! Listen to us! Activity just stops working or parts of it won’t work! Update these bugs! We all tried all the tricks and reboots. Nothing works. Step up and fix this.

  18. If I close my rings, or any one of them, by 11:59 it doesn’t show on the app on the phone but the watch is telling me that I did closed my rings. So that day shows like I did not close my rings. WTF?

  19. I have been doing very well in closing my circles for 190 consecutive days. I just updated my iPhone, and all but the last day (which was completed) came over to the phone.
    What did I not do to make the full switch?

  20. My phone and watch sync together, however, they both skip progress in the exercise and stand rings. I’m standing and moving and the notification says time to stand, I continue standing and moving into the next hour which I get credit for but not the previous hour. Sometimes I stand when I get the notification it takes 10 to fifteen minutes to get the credit, sometimes I don’t get it. The exercise ring is a mystery how it records activity.

  21. Having the same problem. 2 days in a row I have gone for a 4 mile outdoor walk and it stops exercise time at 20 mins yet it’s 1 hr & 17-20mins.

  22. Sorry to say this but two methods you have already mentioned aren’t not working at all. Manufacturer should fix this problem so customer won’t have this kind of issue. Pair and unpair is also a waste of time and valuable info of accomplished activities going into the drain.

  23. I have a question! I often forget to put my watch on before walking, but never forget my phone. Is there any way to have the phone override the watch on the Activity App tracking? Right now the phone is taking away all my hard earned steps from my phone. I do have them in the Health app, but I was hoping to use the activity app.

  24. A 61 min walk was acknowledged in the activity ring but the other exercise ring only counted 17 minutes. The outdoor walk choice was started and ended for the walk. Ideas on why the walk not acknowledged accurately on both?

  25. – The Activity app did it again. My watch said I was over 800 move calories. When I ended my workout and let it sync to my phone the I saw move calories dropped to 410.  Since I share activity with my husband I have the true recorded move calories but my activity ring doesn’t show that. It seems that the error happens when my watch tries to communicate with my phone.
    – My move calories were 800 before my workout was able to sync with my watch. My phone was out of range.

  26. Question; I upgraded from an iPhone 7 plus to an iPhone 11. Used the ‘back up’ from icloud to install everything. All my workouts, activity rings etc where there. But… when I switched from my series 1 to a brand new series 5….. everything was gone the moment I paired it. My bagdes, rings, workouts from the past are gone. It is still there as I set the back up back but when I paired again to my series 5…. gone! Any one else got this issue and if yes; how did you fixed it???

  27. Hi I’ve just unpaired my daughter from her iwatch series 4 and paired myself. I have put all my own details in which seems fine but in the activity app all rewards say congratulations to my daughters name instead of me. How do I fix that

  28. I keep having the following problem: I try to do a workout on my Apple TV. My watch connects to the TV just fine but one of two things usually happens each time: It goes 3..2…1…and then gives me a spinning wheel the whole time even though my watch appears to be paired and waiting for the tv. The second thing that happens if it actually connects to the workout is I get about 11-15 minutes into the workout, then the video freezes, the sound stops, but the heart rate monitor and time countdown continue to work. It’s extremely frustrating. Please help!

  29. 1. Unpair watch from old phone. In the process, it does a final sync of recent data.
    2. Make a backup of your old phone. This backup MUST be encrypted for health/activity data to be included. If you do the backup via iCloud it will automatically be encrypted. If you do the backup in iTunes on a computer, you need to explicitly select the option to encrypt the backup.
    3. Power up the new phone, when it asks if you want to set it up as a new phone or if you wish to restore it from a backup, chose to restore and use the encrypted backup of you old phone. Do NOT set your new phone up as a “new phone”.
    4. After the phone is set up, pair the watch to it (it will likely ask you to during the setup process anyway if you did it correctly).


    If you did all this and you’re still missing data, give it a day to catch up. For some reason the data sometimes doesn’t populate the new phone immediately.

    Also, for reference, the phone is where historical activity data is stored, not the watch. The watch only holds recent data (maybe up to 30 days), any older data it might get called on to display is pulled from the paired phone.

  30. Thanks.

    Your second tip (‘Turn both devices off and reconnect’) re-established accurate fitness data after I had intalled Watch OS 7.4.

    I had previously tried a similar tip as far as turning airplane mode on and off is concerned via another website, but that one suggested turning it on and off on both devices, rather than just on Apple Watch. That didn’t work for me, whereas your tip of turning airplane mode on for Apple Watch, and then turning both devices off and on and then turning airplane mode off on Apple Watch did work.

    Like others I have had similar issues with fitness data not synching after previous updates, so I’m grateful for your tip. Let’s hope it works with the next update and helps save time and aggravation.

    Thanks again


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