Apple Suggests Restoring iPhone and Apple Watch to Fix Excess Battery Drain or Missing GPS Data

Shortly after the release of iOS 14 and watchOS 7, many users ran into problems with their iPhone and Apple Watch.


Multiple online support threads including our own found GPS data was not being properly recorded during activities. The issue appeared to affect all models of Apple Watches.

In the majority of cases, users record a workout on their watch while leaving their ‌iPhone‌ at home, but when they later look at the Activity app it only shows the workout's starting point on the GPS map, and nothing else.

In addition, some users have been reporting excess battery drain of their Apple Watch, ‌iPhone‌ or both under ‌iOS 14‌ and ‌watchOS 7‌. In the support threads, the unofficial fix seemed to be unpairing and restoring your Apple Watch. Jack Taylor from our forums reported resolving both issues with this method:

Both the GPS and severe battery drain issues on ‌watchOS 7‌ were fixed for me simply by in-pairing and re-pairing my watch. Both issues resolved themselves immediately after as noted in many of the support groups

It appears that Apple has adopted this advice as the official solution to this problem. In a newly published support document titled If you're missing Workout GPS routes or Health data after updating to ‌iOS 14‌ and ‌watchOS 7‌, Apple writes that users may see the following issues after upgrading to ‌iOS 14‌ and ‌watchOS 7‌:

Possible Symptoms

  • Your workout route maps are missing in the Fitness app on ‌iPhone‌ for previous GPS-enabled workouts from your Apple Watch.
  • The Activity, Heart Rate, or other health-related apps fail to launch or load data on your Apple Watch.
  • The Fitness app or Health app fail to launch or load data on your ‌iPhone‌.
  • The Health app or Fitness app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your ‌iPhone‌.
  • The Activity app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your Apple Watch.
  • Your environmental sound levels data or headphone audio levels data from Apple Watch is missing in the Health app on ‌iPhone‌.
  • Increased battery drain on your ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch.

If you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, Apple suggests unpairing your Apple Watch, backing up both your ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch, wiping both devices and restoring from backup. Apple provides steps to accomplish these tasks in their support document which was published today.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
That sounds reasonable and convenient...
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
It just works.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
WTF! This is such a non-Apple type of recommendation. Smells like feedback coming from MS back in the days.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
This is horrible. Most people won't know how to do this or read Macrumors to find out to do this. They'll just notice the excessive battery drain and be unhappy about it. :/ Makes one wonder if an update wouldn't fix this because they put the time into suggesting people unpair/pair.

I've done this several times with my AW3 and AW5 and it does seem to help when I've had problems in the past.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
I did this.

to be clear my issue was missing health data. My watch and activity app and even the rings summary in the health app would say a number of active cals, but the health app active cals would be about 1/3rd. Other data like steps and stuff would show similar patterns. Also heart rate data would not make it to the workout section in the activity app despite being in the watch end if without summation.

It fixed the issue moving forward but I lost all the missing health data between the iOS upgrade and this procedure... 1.5 weeks worth.

additionally, I lost my Apple Watch restore point. It simply wasn’t there despite unpairing properly. This might have been the main contributor to losing the data in between.

and since the watch backup was gone I had to set up the watch as a new one.

And then of course you have to go re-pair all your things and re login to all the apps that aren’t saved as part of the iCloud backup.
You have to set up Apple Pay and Face ID again.

and then you lose the apps that aren’t in the App Store anymore.

etc...

not a great user experience on that one. So decide long and hard how important this issue is before going down this path. That’s all.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
4 weeks ago
We need a new update. Perhaps iOS 14.2
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...