How to set up and use Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

Challenge accepted
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

One of the best features on the Apple Watch is its fitness tracking skills through its Activity app. If you want to take better account if you're getting enough exercise on a daily basis, this is the Watch feature to pay attention to.

Instead of focusing on steps, it focuses on closing your Move, Exercise and Stand rings to mark your progress. Those rings can be shared with others if you want to brag about smashing out a workout, give others a push to make sure they're closing their Rings and hearing about friend's achievements, these are all things you can do.

Essential reading: Apple Watch tips and tricks you need to know

If you want to know how to share those Activity Rings, we break down exactly how you have to do it. Now grab your iPhone and your Apple Watch to find out how to make the most of Activity Sharing.

What Activity data gets shared?

How to set up and use Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

Before getting into sharing that data, what Activity data actually gets shared by you and that you can see from other Watch-owning friends? We'll here's the breakdown of the stats:

  • Move, Exercise, Stand Rings progress in a percentage
  • Calories burned
  • Exercise minutes
  • Daily stand time by hour
  • Total daily steps
  • Total distance covered

How to turn on Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

How to set up and use Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

When you want to staring the stats mentioned above to your friends and family, you need to go through the process of inviting them so you can start doing that. To send an invitation to share your stats, you can do this from your iPhone or your Apple Watch and you can add up to 40 friends. Here's how to add friends to share data with from your Apple Watch or iPhone:

  • From your Apple Watch, go to the Activity app.
  • Swipe left from the main screen with your Rings and use the Digital Crown to scroll through to the bottom of the screen
  • Tap Add Friend. This will pull up you contacts pulled through from your paired iPhone. Select the friend and tap Send. Then you'll just need to wait for your friend to accept the invitation

To invite friends from your iPhone:

  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Go to the Sharing tab in the app
  • Tap the Account icon and then the + button to start adding a friend. You can enter contact information or search from the list of suggested contacts alternatively.
  • Next you'll be able to send an invite via email or the Messages app.

Accept a friend invitation

If your friend has sent an invite to you, you should receive a notification on your Apple Watch to let you accept or ignore. If that notification doesn't appear, you can check the invite has been sent doing the following:

  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Head to the Sharing tab and tap the account icon. You should see the option to Accept or Ignore the request.

How to view a friend's Activity progress

Once you've mastered how to start sharing your data, you can now start to check in on how your fellow Ring closing friends are up to. To do that you'll need to do the following:

  • Go to the Activity app (the icon with the rings) on your Apple Watch
  • From the main screen you can swipe left and then use the Digital Crown to scroll through your Activity friends list
  • Pick your friend and tap to view their daily stats. You'll be able to see stats like the percentage of their rings that are closed and also data like daily calorie burn.

How to challenge friends to Close those Rings

How to set up and use Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

If you've been keeping a close eye on your friend's progress and think they could do with some good old fashioned competition to keep them moving, you can race to rack up the most points for making progress with closing your Activity Rings.

The competition lasts seven days and you'll be rewarded with a point for every percentage point you accumulate on your rings. The maximum you can earn is 600 points and the winner will receive a virtual reward. During the challenge you'll get alerts and updates on how you're faring against your friend challenger.

  • To challenge your friend do the following:
  • Go to the Activity app on the Apple Watch
  • Swipe left from the main screen on the Activity app and scroll down your chosen friend competitor.
  • Scroll down again and select Compete. Now you'll just have to wait for them to accept the challenge.
  • If you want to do this from your iPhone, go to the Fitness app, select a friend and tap Compete to send a challenge invite.

When they've accepted, you'll get notifications on their progress and will be able to send preset replies to updates to give them some love or try to put them off their game to make sure you amass the most points by the end of the 7-day challenge.

Share Activity data with people that don't own an Apple Watch

If you want to share your Activity rings progress with people that don't have an iPhone or an Apple Watch, yes, you can do that. There's a way to share a picture of you stats. Here's what you need to do:

  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Find a particular set of Activity Rings, a workout or a virtual medal to share and tap to select
  • Look for the Share button, which should be in the top right corner of the screen and tap.
  • You'll then see your options on how you can share and where you can share to, so emails, messages and you can save to your camera roll too.

How to stop sharing Activity data

How to set up and use Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

For those times when you don't feel in the sharing mood or for any reason you don't want others to your Ring totals, there are few ways to stop sharing everything. Here's what you can do:

Hide Activity progress on Apple Watch

To hide people from seeing your Activity stats, here's what you need to do:

  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Go to the Sharing tab and and select the friend you'd no longer want to be able to see your progress.
  • Tap Hide my Activity. Now they won't be able to see your Activity data, but you can still view their data.
  • You can also do this on the Watch by opening the Activity app, swiping left to view friends list, selecting the friend and then choosing the option to Hide Activity.
  • When you want to start sharing data again, repeat the process and choose to Show my Activity.

Choose to mute Activity notifications

  • To mute Activity notifications from a friend, do the following:
  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Next, head to the Sharing tab and then select the friend you'd like to mute notifications from
  • Tap to Mute Notifications to halt those updates.
  • Alternatively, you can go to the Activity app on your Apple Watch, select a friend and scroll down to mute notifications.
  • If you change your mind, you have the option to turn those notifications back on, simply follow those instructions and tap Unmute Notifications.

How to remove a friend

If for whatever reason you need to remove a friend from your Activity sharing, you do have the option to do that too. To remove a friend from Activity sharing, do the following:

  • Go to the Fitness app on your iPhone
  • Go the Sharing tab and then select the friend you want to remove
  • Tap Remove Friend.
  • You can also do this from the Watch itself. Simply go to the Activity app, select the friend and scroll down to the option to Remove Friend.
  • After removing a friend, you won't be able to see their data and they can't see you. If you want to add them again, you'll need to send an invitation to them as explained earlier.

There you have it. That's everything you should need to know about how to share Activity stats on your Apple Watch, what you can share and how you can stop sharing. Now get to sharing on closing those Rings.

TAGGED Apple Watch

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

Related stories