How to Fix Activity Sharing Not Working on Apple Watch

Do you love the friendly competition created by sharing your Apple Watch Activity progress with your friends and family?  I know I do!  Well, when it works that is.

Fix Activity Sharing Not Working For Competition

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Since you are here I imagine you are looking for a way to fix Activity sharing because, for one reason or another, you and your contacts are no longer synching up (or maybe you can’t even accept their invite to begin with?)

Whatever problem you are having with the Activity app not sharing correctly from your Apple Watch to your friends, we are here to help! 

We have put together solutions to the most common Activity app sharing issues amongst Apple Watch users like me and you. 

In this guide we will show you how to fix activity sharings following issues:

  • Unable To Add A Friend To Activity Sharing
  • Unable to Remove Friend From Activity Sharing
  • “User must own and be using an Apple Watch” Error
  • Activity App Only Sharing One Users Daily Activity
  • Sharing Only Showing “Me” and Not My Friends

If you are having trouble with your Activity App Not Updating we’ve got it covered in another guide.

How The Activity App Can Share Your Activity With Friends And Family

The Activity app on your Apple Watch is like a fitness tracker.

When you wear the device on your wrist, it will start tracking how much you “move, exercise, and stand from day to day.”

The best part, all of this is done automatically as long as you wear the Apple Watch throughout the day.

The coolest thing about your Activity application is that you can share your activity data with other people.

These include friends, family, or anyone in the world as long as they meet the following requirements:

  1. Have their number under your Contacts list
  2. Have an Apple Watch themselves

When you connect with someone on the Activity App, fitness information will be shared both ways.  

You’ll be able to see their daily stats and they will be able to see yours.  Talk about motivation!

You don’t want to be seen slacking off while your best friend is getting all of her rings every day.  

For those of you who are really competitive, you can even set up 7-day competitions to see who can get the most points by filling their Activity rings.

The one with the most points wins.

As long as the app is syncing correctly, I find it very motivating to get up and move around throughout the day. 

Unfortunately, there are times when I am searching for a way to fix Activity Sharing so we are all on the same page.

If your Activity Sharing has stopped working recently, be sure to read below as we share our solutions to the most common Activity Sharing errors. 

Unable To Add A Friend To Activity Sharing

The first step to sharing your fitness activity with your iPhone contacts is to send them an invitation to Share Activity with you.  

In order for you and your friend to share fitness activity with each other you BOTH need to have an Apple Watch.

Your friend also has to be listed as a contact on your phone.  

So, if you text without adding their phone number, you won’t be able to add them and share activity. 

Easy Fix!  Add them as a contact by saving their name and number in your iPhone’s contacts.

One of our readers couldn’t send a request to his friend.

If you have the same problem, you probably saw a popup that says, “There was an error sending your Activity Sharing invitation. Try sending it again.”

Error Sending Activity Sharing Request Soltuion

For the most part, when you select “OK” and re-send the invitation, it should go through.

However, if your iPhone still prompts that message, then try this.

First, check to make sure you have the latest software installed:

  • Upgrade to the latest watchOS 5 version
  • Make sure you are on the latest iOS version 13

If your software is up to date, try this:

  • Unpair the Apple Watch and iPhone and then sync them again

After these steps, your friends should be able to see your invitation in their Activity app.

If not, they might actually need to complete the steps above and make sure they are running the latest iOS for their Apple Watch and iPhone! 

Sometimes the problem is not on your side at all 🙂

Unable to Remove Friend From Activity Sharing

Sometimes you no longer want to see one of your friend’s activity shown in your Activity Sharing center.  

Especially if they have stopped using their Apple Watch all together!  In that case, they just show up at 0% all the time…

Who wants to look at that?

If you have already tried removing your friend from Activity Sharing and it is not working, or not even giving you the option here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you are running the latest software versions for both your watch and your phone
  2. Close all open apps on your iPhone (including the Watch App, Health App and even the Activity App), then restart both devices
  3. Turn both your watch and iPhone off, then restart your iPhone first and then the watch second

If for some reason the 3 solutions above do not help you remove your friend from Activity Sharing, you can try unpairing and repairing your Apple Watch.  

“User must own and be using an Apple Watch” Error

Believe it or not, Apple Watch makes mistakes too.

One of my co-workers wanted to share his activity with me.

When he enter my name in the Activity app and tap Send, it displays an error message that says, “User must own and be using an Apple Watch.”

Are you kidding me?


I do have an Apple Watch, and it’s always on my hand.

This problem was kinda confusing and super frustrating!

I found two possible solutions for the Activity Sharing saying your friend doesn’t own an Apple Watch.

These steps need to be taken by the person who can not be added, not by the person trying to add them, so share these with your ‘missing’ contact.

  • Open the Health app and let it load completely
  • Remove any older or previously owned iPhones from your iCloud

Weird solutions, but has been reported as working by many readers.

Activity App Only Sharing One Users Daily Activity

How to Fix Activity Sharing Not Working on Apple Watch 1

What’s the point of seeing your friend’s Activity data when that person can’t even see yours?

That happened to us recently.

My friend’s Activity Stats and progress were appearing on my Apple Watch, but none of my data would show up on his side.

The part I don’t get is that everything works fine with other people that he shared his information with.

Luckily, the solution to this problem was very simple.

Just unpairing and repairing the Apple Watch to the iPhone.

Both of you should do it, but you can always give it a go first if the issue disappears then no need for your friend to bother with doing it.

Ultimately, the issues with your Activity Sharing feature can only extend to a certain point.

Additional fixes like restarting the watch, iPhone, or hard reset should help to resolve most of those problems.

Fortunately for many users, the Activity App not sharing data from one person to another often just fixes itself. 

I know that isn’t really what you want to hear if the above fixes don’t work, but just know that we get reports all the time that it just ‘started working’ again!

Make Sure You Aren’t Hiding Your Progress

If your friend has expressed to you that they can no longer see your activity, make sure that you haven’t hidden it from them.

Go to the sharing screen on your phone and then click on the friend’s name.  

How to Hide or Unhide Your Activity From Friends

Make sure that it shows as sharing.  It should say “Hide my Activity” otherwise, you may have hidden it already and can just click to show your activity again.

Related Posts You May Enjoy: 

Sharing Only Showing “Me” and Not My Friends

When viewing the sharing screen of the Activity App you should see your name and all of your friend’s names below.  

Just like you see when you are viewing the app from your iPhone.

For some reason, some users report only seeing their own stats in the sharing section and the friend’s activity circles are not appearing at all.

Sharing Screen Only Shows Me In Activity App

This leaves the question of why isn’t my Apple Watch showing my friends activity?

The solution that has the most success is resetting your iPhone and restoring from your iCloud backup.

Before resetting your phone, make sure to run a current iCloud backup.

  1. Go to Settings > Tap your name at the top > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Backup your phone
  2. Next, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings 
  3. Once the iPhone has been reset you will set it up starting from the white hello screen (this should be pretty familiar).
  4. When you are asked if you would like to restore your phone, choose “from iCloud backup” and select the file that you just created

It may take a while for the iCloud backup to restore completely, just be patient.  

Once it has restored you can open the Activity App again and it will start restoring all of your data from iCloud…and this really takes a long time!  

After it is finally completed and showing your awards again you should be able to switch to the sharing screen and see everyone that you are sharing with.

We hope that this guide has helped you fix activity sharing issues you may have been facing. 

If you are still having trouble or have another solution that works, please add them to the comments below!


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