Apple Fitness+ says device connection lost or watch unavailable? Let’s fix it.

Since its arrival, Apple Fitness+ has taken the online fitness community by storm. With their various online workout classes and programs, Apple Fitness+ offers a great workout program at a reasonable cost and easy accessibility. 

However, many Apple Fitness+ users are experiencing technical difficulties and issues with the popular fitness streaming service. Most users are experiencing an error message when beginning and even in the middle of a workout. 

Users are reporting error messages like: “Device connection lost” or “Apple Watch Unavailable. To show your metrics, your watch needs to be unlocked and have Bluetooth turned on.”

So what’s the fix for this issue?

Unfortunately, Apple does not have a reason or explanation for this error message. Apple has not said anything about the issue or a potential bug in the system.

So there’s no software fix at the moment. However, there are several tricks and tips to combat the issue and have Apple Fitness+ run smoothly.

If your Apple Fitness+ shows device connection lost or any other additional error messages, follow these tips.

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In the middle of a workout? For a quick fix, turn off Bluetooth and select workout without Apple Watch

If you want a quick solution so you can get right back to your workout, your best bet is to disconnect your device’s Bluetooth and select workout without your Apple Watch. Work Out Without Apple Watch in Apple fitness+

When you do this, you will not see your heart rate or burn bar on the screen.

If you still want the stats from your workout to count for your Apple Watch activity, go to the Workout app on your Apple Watch and start your workout class from there. 

When you continue to get an error message or have technical issues in the middle of your workout, try the steps listed below.

Pause your workout, turn Apple Watch Bluetooth off and on, and resume workout

One trick other Apple Fitness+ users mention is to pause your workout as soon as you notice your stats are not updating on the screen. pause Apple Fitness+ workout using Apple Watch

  • On Apple Watch, press the side button and the Digital Crown at the same time or swipe right and tap Pause.
  • On iPhone or iPad, tap the screen, then tap the pause button.
  • On the Apple TV, use the remote and press the play/pause button.

Once you press pause on your exercise class, go turn your Apple Watch’s Bluetooth off.

Keep your watch’s Bluetooth off for a few seconds, then turn it back on. Turn or toggle bluetooth off and on on iPhone

Once you do that, resume your workout. Your stats should update, and the connection should be fine after that.

If none of these options work for you, here are some additional suggestions on combatting the error message.

Move closer to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV

If you and your Apple Watch are too far away from your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, that could be the reason why your Apple Fitness+ is malfunctioning.

Make sure you are in range and that your iPhone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on. You need to unlock your Apple Watch as well. 

Also, verify that Airplane Mode is off on your watch or phone. Sometimes this gets turned on by mistake.

Check your network connection

Apple seems to think it is an issue with your network connection rather than a bug in their software. While this might not be true, it doesn’t hurt to check to be sure. 

Check your network connection by running an internet speed test or check to see if your other apps work fine. 

If your connection still is a little laggy, restart your modem. Even if your internet connection is fine, restart your modem anyways. It’s good to do this every so often.

Reset your network settings 

If nothing else seems to solve your Apple Fitness+ issue, try resetting your network settings. 

Fair warning. If you try this, it erases your current network settings, like your Wi-Fi passwords, so you need to re-enter these to connect again.

To do this, go to the settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.reset network settings on iPhone

Check to see if your devices need to be updated

Another simple solution is to check to see if your device needs a software update. Make sure your device has the latest version of iOS, watchOS, or iPadOS. Download and install Apple Watch update on the watch itself

Here is the minimum software needed for each device to run Apple Fitness+:

  • Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.2 or later
  • iPhone 6s or later or iPad with iPadOS 14.3 or later
  • Apple TV HD and above models with tvOS 14.3 or later

Restart your devices

Sometimes the best solution is the easiest solution. If you are experiencing issues with Apple Fitness+, try restarting your device. 

Start by restarting your Apple Watch by powering it off and back on. Then, restart the device (iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV) you are using to access Apple Fitness+. how to restart the apple watch (not forced restart)

Download or reinstall the Home app

Some Apple Fitness+ users said that when they downloaded the Home app on their device, their Apple Fitness+ started working again. 

Try downloading the Home app from the App Store and see if it works for you too! home app in the apple app store

If you already have the Home app on your device, try removing and reinstalling it to see if that works. 

Try a different device Apple Fitness+ any screen, anywhere, anytime fitness for all

If you primarily use Apple Fitness+ on one device and are experiencing issues, try switching to another device.

Maybe instead of using your Apple TV, try your iPad or iPhone and see if that works.

Do your workout without Bluetooth headphones or speakers

Some users have claimed that once they stopped using their Airpods or other Bluetooth headphones or speakers during their Apple Fitness+ workout, the issue resolved itself. 

Try a different workout

According to various Apple Fitness+ users, the error message pops up during the following exercise classes: Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, or Spin. 

If you are doing one of those workouts and are experiencing connection issues, try another workout. Fitness+ smart workout suggestions and recommendations

Other Apple Fitness+ users say the error message rarely occurs when doing a Yoga or Core workout. 

Unpair and then re-pair your Apple Watch apple watch unpair from iPhone

Sometimes unpairing and re-pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone can do the trick. 

For a reminder on how to pair and unpair your Apple Watch, check out our guide for that.

Use wired internet for your Apple TV

If your internet has spotty WiFi signals, try connecting an Ethernet cable from your modem to your Apple TV. By doing this, your Apple TV’s internet should have a stronger connection. 

While we wait for an official fix

While we don’t have a guaranteed fix for this issue from Apple, these tips seem to be working for most users. When Apple provides more information, we will update you.

Are you still having issues? Or have you found a solution that we have not mentioned? Let us know in the comments section!

I'm a content writer with a passion for all things lifestyle having earned my Bachelor of Science in journalism from St. John's University. I was born and raised in Southern California. My Apple Watch never leaves my wrist, but I also adore Fitbit. I love all things health tech, including fitness and self-care apps. When I'm not writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, and drinking iced coffee!

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