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Missing GPS data? Apple proposes to wipe and restore devices

It wasn’t long after the release of watchOS 7 that some Apple Watch owners started reporting missing GPS data from their workouts.

Apple now has a proposed partial solution, but it seems that it will not recover the missing data …

We reported on the issue last month.

Some Apple Watch owners report missing GPS data after an update to watchOS 7. When recording a workout, only the starting point is saved […]

The reports span the Apple Watch Series 3, 4 and 5 – that is, all existing models that support the update. Some say that Apple has told them that it is a Strava problem, but others report the same with several apps.

Someone has managed to resolve the issue by unpairing and re-pairing the watch, but another user said this made things worse and lost existing data from their apps.

MacRumors discovered a new Apple Support document that addresses the issue. It seems that iOS 1

4 and watchOS 7 updates can cause a whole host of issues, not just missing GPS data.

After updating to iOS 14.0 and watchOS 7.0, you may notice:

  • Your workout charts are missing in the Fitness app on the iPhone for previous GPS-enabled workouts from Apple Watch.

  • Activity, heart rate, or other health-related apps are unable to launch or load data on the Apple Watch.

  • The Fitness app or the Health app cannot launch or load data on the iPhone.

  • The Health app or the Fitness app reports an inaccurate amount of data storage on the iPhone.

  • The activity app reports an inaccurate amount of data storage on the Apple Watch.

  • Your environmental volume data or the headphone volume data from the Apple Watch is missing in the Health app on the iPhone.

  • Increased battery life on iPhone or Apple Watch.

Apple’s proposed solution is the rather scary one of deleting and restoring both the Watch and the iPhone.

  • Disconnect the Apple Watch from the iPhone
  • Confirm your iCloud settings and make a backup
  • Delete all content and settings from iPhone
  • Restore iPhone and Apple Watch from backup

The support document contains detailed instructions for each step. It also includes a warning Apple does not need if it does not limit free iCloud storage to 5 GB:

Before making a backup, make sure you have enough iCloud storage.

From Apple’s wording, it seems that these steps will not recover missing data – it’s gone for good. It states that the procedure will only “prevent future data loss.”

Also note that you will need to re-add payment cards used for Apple Pay on both your iPhone and your watch, as these will not be restored automatically.

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