The Upwork Desktop App is a collaboration and time tracking tool. But like any tool, it has its limitations. If your Work Diary isn't showing your time the way you'd expect, you can read through common issues and how to resolve them below.

You forgot to log time with the Desktop App

We encourage all users to toggle on their time tracker prior to starting work. If you forgot, contact your client to explain and ask for permission to add the time to your Work Diary manually.

You were tracking time, but there are blank periods in your Work Diary

In some situations, you may be logging time, but your Work Diary will have blank or empty segments. This happens, because the Desktop App stops tracking time when you've gone idle or recognizes that there is no trackable activity, such as keystrokes or clicks.

If you were working during a period when the Desktop App recognized you were idle, you should discuss adding the time manually with your client.

You logged time on the wrong contract

Unfortunately, each contract has a separate Work Diary. There's no way to move time from one contract to another while keeping the logged data, such as screen captures, intact.

You should talk to your client about deleting the time from your Work Diary and adding it as manual time to the correct contract. If your client has disabled manual time, you can remove the time from the wrong contract and discuss with your client about turning on manual time or releasing a bonus payment to cover the time you worked.

Your anti-virus software is interfering with the Desktop App

Some anti-virus or anti-malware products may prevent the Upwork Desktop App from connecting properly our server. This can cause unexpected behavior, such as missing screen captures or preventing the cache of data logged from uploading at all.

You can test this by temporarily disabling the anti-virus program or adding the Upwork Desktop App to a whitelist of allowable programs. You should refer to your anti-virus provider's user manual or support site on how to do this.

If you still encounter caching issues after changing your anti-virus configuration, you may consider disabling the anti-virus program while using the Desktop App or using an anti-virus program that is compatible with the Desktop App.

The Desktop App went into caching mode and didn't reconnect

Caching mode allows you to log time and continue to work through minor internet connectivity issues or during Upwork site maintenance windows. Usually, the time you cache with the Desktop App will be automatically uploaded as soon as your connection to Upwork is reestablished. 

The cache can hold approx. 4 hours at a time. You must reconnect to upload your time before the end of the workweek. Click here to learn more.

You accidentally logged non-working hours

If you accidentally logged time with the Desktop App for time spent on leisure or non-work activities, you should immediately delete the time from your Work Diary. Logging time for activity not related to work is considered inappropriate and is likely to lead to a dispute or conflict with your client.

Depending on when the time was logged, and when you noticed it, you have a few options.

  • If you have enabled desktop notifications in the Desktop App settings, you can simply click the trash icon on the screen capture notification to remove history for that work period. If you've already stopped working, you should also toggle time tracking to OFF.
  • If you missed the desktop notification, and the time was logged during the current workweek, simply delete the time from your Work Diary.
  • If you no longer have the ability to edit the time in your Work Diary, you can issue a refund to your client.
You accidentally deleted a screen capture for work activity

Unfortunately, we're unable to recover activity for deleted screen captures. You should reach out to your client to discuss adding manual time or the possibility of releasing a bonus for the time you worked.

Screen captures are appearing blacked out in your Work Diary

On the Windows and Linux versions of the Upwork Desktop App, there is a feature under the advanced settings called Stop Tracker on Screen Lock. If enabled, the Desktop App will be prevented from capturing the screen while your computer is locked. It will resume capturing once the computer has been unlocked or your screen saver has been deactivated.

If you worked in the 10-minute period before or after your computer was locked, your Work Diary may show a blank screen capture since it was unable to take a screen capture for this activity period. You activity for this time period will still be uploaded as normal.

To avoid having a blank screen capture in your Work Diary, you can:

  1. Disabled Stop Tracker on Screen Lock in your advanced settings
  2. Change your screen saver or screen lock settings to allow for additional time


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