When it comes to working out using your Apple Watch, one of the best parts is the achievements (badges.) These come whenever you ‘fill your rings’ over the course of the day or during a workout.
However, there are sometimes when the Apple Watch achievements don’t automatically update. This can leave you frustrated and your health information inaccurate.
It pays to be patient. Apple can take up to 9 days from completing an Activity Challenge to earn and see the award.
One thing to note is that some challenges are only available in certain regions. Open the Watch app> General> Language & Region to see your current region set for your Apple Watch. Open the Watch app > General > Language & Region.
Today, we’re looking at a few different steps you can take to fix Apple Watch’s achievements. Doing so makes you feel better overall, and all of your information is collected correctly.
- 1 Make sure you look in the right place
- 2 Turn on notifications
- 3 If you back up using iCloud, make sure you toggle on the Health app
- 4 Update your watch and your iPhone to their latest software versions
- 5 Kill your iPhone’s Fitness app and your watch’s Activity app
- 6 Enter Wheelchair information
- 7 Double-check Wrist Detection
- 8 Properly restart your iPhone and Apple Watch
- 9 Unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch
- 10 Did it work?
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- Apple Watch not capturing or tracking workout routes in Maps? Let’s fix it
Make sure you look in the right place
Okay, most of you can skip this, but just in case you don’t know where to look to see all your badges, so let’s review.
- Open the Activity app on your Apple Watch
- Swipe left two times to view the Awards screen
- Scroll using the Digital Crown or your finger to see all your badges
- Tap on an award and learn more about it!
To see your badges on your iPhone, open the Fitness app > Summary and scroll down to the Awards section. Tap Show More to see all your badges!
Turn on notifications
If you’re missing one of Apple’s Limited Edition Achievement badges, make sure you turn on and allow notifications for the Watch, Fitness, and Activity apps.
- For the Watch and Fitness apps, go to your iPhone’s Settings > Notifications and look through your settings for both the Fitness and the Watch apps.
- For the Activity app, go to the Watch app and choose the My Watch tab at the bottom. Tap Notifications and the Activity app. Allow Notification and be sure to toggle on Special Challenges.
About Special Challenges on your Apple Watch
Apple offers some of these special challenges or achievement badges Apple at various times throughout the year, and they are usually only available for a limited time–sometimes for as little as a single day, weekend, or week.
These challenges are only available for a limited time, and if you don’t earn the award during the specified time, it’s no longer available.
Additionally, some of these awards are exclusive, based on your current location and country, and are not available worldwide.
When a special challenge is available in your region, you should get a notification on your Apple Watch letting you know all the details about the special badge. Make sure you tap on the top notification to open any additional notifications that are stacked together.
If you back up using iCloud, make sure you toggle on the Health app
Your Apple Watch activity badges and achievements are stored in the Health app. So, make sure you are backing up the Health app in your iCloud settings.
- On your paired iPhone, open the Settings app.
- Choose your Apple ID, then select iCloud.
- Scroll down and toggle on the Health app. Repeat for the Watch app.
- Tap iCloud Backup and toggle it on, then choose Back Up Now.
iCloud always encrypts your backups, so your information is protected.
Backup using your Mac and Finder or iTunes?
If you don’t use iCloud to backup your data, make sure you encrypt your Finder or iTunes backups. Only encrypted backups include your health information, including your badges and other activity information.
To back up any Activity, Health, and Keychain data, you must encrypt your backups! Your iTunes or Finder iPhone backup is NOT encrypted by default.
To encrypt a backup using Finder or iTunes, turn on Encrypt local backup. Then create a password to password-protect your data.
Don’t back up your iPhone or Apple Watch data at all?
To get your awards and badges to show up on a new model iPhone or Apple Watch, you must backup using either iCloud (always encrypted) or an encrypted iTunes or Finder backup.
If you don’t back up your iPhone, your health and activity data is lost when you upgrade to a new device or erase your current device.
Update your watch and your iPhone to their latest software versions
Make sure both your watch and your iPhone are up to date! Sometimes, we update one but not the other.
Whenever your various devices stop showing badges and other timely information, the software is one of the biggest culprits. Apple is known for releasing multiple updates throughout the year, and you may have missed one.
This sentiment rings true for both the iPhone and Apple Watch. So if you are experiencing any issues, you want to check for a software update.
Here are the steps you need to follow to check for a software update on your iPhone.
- Open Settings.
- Select General.
- Tap Software Update.
- Tap Install Now.
As expected, everything surrounding the Apple Watch’s software is handled by the Watch app. Here are the steps you need to take to check for an update on your Apple Watch:
- Open the Watch app.
- Tap the My Watch tab.
- Select General.
- Tap Software Update.
- Tap Install Now.
Kill your iPhone’s Fitness app and your watch’s Activity app
From time to time, the Fitness app (formerly called the Activity app) and your watch’s Activity app can act up and be why achievements aren’t updating. Well, there are a few steps you can take to “kill” the app.
- Close the Fitness app on your iPhone and the Activity app on your watch.
- To close an app on iPhone, go to your home screen and swipe up from the bottom to the middle until you see the app preview tiles. Locate the Fitness app and swipe up off the top of your screen to close it.
- To close an app on Apple Watch, press the side button and locate the Activity app. Swipe on it and tap the red X to close.
- Change the date to the previous month via the iPhone’s Settings > General > Date & Time. Toggle off Set Automatically to do this.
- Open the Fitness app and your watch’s Activity app to see if you have the previous month’s challenge.
- Close the Fitness and Activity apps again.
- Change your date back to the current date via the iPhone’s Settings app.
- Open the Fitness and Activity apps again.
Provided that everything has been done correctly, your Apple Watch achievements are updated.
Enter Wheelchair information
Whenever you set up either the Health or Apple Watch for the first time, the “Wheelchair” option is not set. You need to do this yourself, as it has been known to cause issues with achievements.
- Open the Watch app
- Select the My Watch tab
- Scroll down and tap Health
- Tap Health Details and then tap Edit in the top right-hand corner
- Select Wheelchair
- Tap either Yes or No
Double-check Wrist Detection
Wrist Detection is another feature that is automatically enabled on your Apple Watch. This feature automatically locks your Watch and hides any of your information.
With the release of WatchOS 4, Apple adjusted to toggle Wrist Detection. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open the Watch app
- Select the My Watch tab
- Scroll down and select Passcode
- Enable Wrist Detection
Properly restart your iPhone and Apple Watch
Perhaps the easiest way to knock out the cobwebs on your devices is by simply restarting them. Below, we have the steps listed for how you can reset your iPhone and Apple Watch.
It’s important to note that you should restart your iPhone BEFORE restarting your Apple Watch.
iPhone with Face ID
- Press and hold the Side button and volume down button until the slider appears
- Drag the slider to turn your iPhone off
- After the iPhone is off, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears
iPhone 8 or earlier with Touch ID
- Press and hold the Side button until the slider appears
- Drag the slider to turn your device off
- After the device is off, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears
- Press and hold the Side button until the Power Off slider appears
- Drag the slider to turn off your Watch
- After the Watch is off, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears
Unpair and re-pair your Apple Watch
If nothing worked at this point, try unpairing your watch and restoring it from that recent backup and see if your achievements then show up.
To unpair, follow these steps: Unpair Apple Watch with or without your iPhone or Watch.
Some people found that they needed to unpair and re-pair and choose set up as new.
If you still have problems with your badges and achievements, use a Mac with Finder or iTunes.
- Unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone to create a watch backup that includes your health and awards data.
- Back up your iPhone to Finder or iTunes using the Encrypt local backup option.
- When asked, create a password that you’ll easily remember AND save as a note or write it down to store it safely. You must have this password to use this encrypted backup.
- Wait for the encrypted backup to complete.
- Restore your iPhone from that encrypted backup and then pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone, choosing to restore from that most recent watch backup.
Did it work?
These are many of the most ‘tried and true methods that we could find. We are hoping that these have fixed your Apple Watch achievements.
Let us know in the comments below whether you have any more questions. If there is a method that we missed, please tell us, and we’ll update this page!
It happened about this time last year too, my watch is showing no limited edition challenges and my phone not showing the new ones that my wife is getting tried unpair, reset, you name it I’ve tried it! So wanted that lunar one it looks awesome
Thank you, you saved my Badges, i was moving from IP7 to IP13 and not all badges were synced, so I did the trick with changing the date and all badges came back after changing date back to today. 🙂
I have tried everything that was mentioned above and none of the limited edition badges show up on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
They all show up on my apple watch series 8. I have even talked with apple support and still nothing.
They said the same thing that you mentioned. They have not been showing up on my phone since the end of December beginning of January.
I have even done the unpair and repair the watch. This is so frustrating!
First, look at your notification settings on the watch.
Open the Watch app and choose Notifications.
Allow Notification and turn on Special Challenges.
You can find these options on your watch too via Settings app > Activity.
Another thing to check is that your phone and watch connect to the same WiFi network—if your home has more than one network available, your devices can actually end up on different ones.
Are you backing up your health info and Watch app via iCloud?
On your iPhone 14 Pro Max, open the Settings app > choose your Apple ID > then tap iCloud.
Scroll down and tap Show All, then scroll down again and toggle on the Health app or if it’s already on, toggle it off, wait a few seconds, and toggle it back on.
Then, do the same for both the Watch app and the Fitness+ app—toggle them on or off, wait a few seconds, then back on.
Finally, go to iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now.
If the issue was related to iCloud, it might take up to 24 hours for all your badges to show up.
Thanks, the date change worked!
Hmmmm, can I go back and get a challenge I missed using the date change (asking for a friend).
Usually, when you edit an activity manually, it does not count toward a badge. But frankly, I’ve never tried it with this in mind (meeting a challenge and getting a badge), so I say try it and see what happens.
But it’s cheating, seems like it should work, but I don’t want an award that I didn’t earn