Troubleshoot Work Diary

The Upwork desktop app is a very accurate tool. But like any tool, it has its limitations. Check below for some of the most common culprits if your Work Diary isn't showing your time the way you expect:

You didn’t turn logging on

A simple answer with a simple solution: Toggle logging on in the app when you start working. If you forgot, contact your client to explain, do your best to prove your work, and ask for permission to add the time to your Work Diary manually.

Note—You cannot log time to the Work Diary just by keeping an page open in your browser. Download the app here.

Your computer was idle

In some situations, logging may be on, but your Work Diary segments will remain blank. This happens because you went idle (had no trackable activity, such as clicks or keystrokes). The billable time that can't be logged with the app will need to be discussed with your client unless you already have an agreement with your client that manual time can be used.

You chose the wrong contract and sent your time to the wrong Work Diary

Unfortunately, there's no way to move time from one Work Diary to another while keeping logged data intact. If you have agreement from your client, you can delete the time from the wrong Work Diary and add it as manual time to the correct Work Diary. If your client has disabled manual time, please remove the time from the wrong Work Diary anyway. You may also be able to negotiate a bonus payment to cover the time you need to delete.

Antivirus or antimalware software interference

Some antivirus or antimalware products prevent the Upwork time tracker from connecting properly. This can cause unexpected behavior in the Work Diary (like missing screenshots or preventing the cache from uploading at all). You can test for this by temporarily disabling the antivirus/antimalware program. If this causes the time tracker to return to active tracking, then your antivirus/antimalware software is interfering with time tracker’s behavior. Most antivirus/antimalware products have configuration options to allow programs to access the Internet and prevent this interference. If you still encounter caching issues after setting up this configuration, you will need to uninstall or disable the antivirus/antimalware program while using the time tracker.

The app went into caching (offline) mode and didn’t reconnect to upload

Caching mode enables you to continue logging work through minor Internet connection issues or Upwork site maintenance. Usually, the cache will automatically upload as soon as your connection is reestablished. The cache can hold about four hours at a time. You must reconnect to upload it before the end of the work week. Click here to learn more.

Accidentally Logged Non-Working Time

You should only log the time you are actually working for upload to your contract’s Work Diary. Time spent on non-work activities is considered inappropriate and is likely to lead to a dispute or conflict with your client.

Inappropriate time logged to your Work Diary needs to be fixed right away. How you go about fixing this problem depends on whether you discovered the problem when the app takes a snapshot, later during the week, or after the Work Diary is locked.

  • When the Upwork desktop app takes a snapshot (with Notify enabled in the Preferences), it shows it to you in the corner of your screen. You have a few moments to delete the snapshot (and its associated activity) if you weren't really working. If you're done working, toggle logging to OFF.
  • If you failed to catch it before upload, but you logged this time during the current week, simply delete it from your Work Diary. You can edit your Work Diary until it’s invoiced on Monday at 12:00 UTC.
  • If it’s after 12:00 UTC on Monday (or you can no longer edit your Work Diary because the contract ended), you can issue a refund to your client.

Blacked-Out Screen Snapshots

On the Linux and Windows versions of the Upwork desktop app, the most common cause for black screenshots in your Work Diary is a setting called Stop while the computer is locked or screensaver is on. This stops the time tracker from taking screenshots and resumes when the computer is unlocked or the screen saver is deactivated.

You may have worked in the 10-minute span before or after the computer was locked or the screen saver was in use. When this happens, the Work Diary shows a black screen for that segment (since the computer was locked when the snapshot was taken), but still uploads the activity so that you get credit for the work you performed. Without this preference selected, the Work Diary would show a snapshot of the screensaver or locked screen for these segments.

You have two options if you want to avoid the black screenshots

  1. Always turn off time logging before your computer locks.
  2. Change your screensaver or screen lock settings to allow for a little more time.

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