Having issues with the Time Tracker? Check out our troubleshooting articles. If you use a Linux operating system, go here. For Windows and Mac operating systems, go here

✔️ We are making updates to the Upwork Desktop App and starting on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, we will gradually send out an automatic pop-up notification to customers to complete the update.

Things to know:

  • We will not send the update while you are actively logging time on a contract (we don’t want to interrupt your work). We’ll wait until you’ve turned the Time Tracker off to send the update. 
  • You’ll be required to update to the latest version of the app immediately once you see the pop-up. The update is needed for authentication reasons and cannot be scheduled for later. The update will also streamline the sign-in process going forward.
  • Once you’ve updated to the latest version, you’ll be asked to log into Upwork again and then redirected back to the desktop app. You’ll need to log in there as usual to access features such as Upwork Messages.

IMPORTANT: If you are using Linux 32-bit, you will need to upgrade to a supported operating system because Linux 32-bit will no longer work with the app. Supported systems are: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS 64-bit, Windows 11 64-bit, Windows 10 64-bit, and macOS 13 Ventura.

To help you focus on the important stuff, like doing excellent work, we try to make the rest easy. So we made sure that billing your time using Time Tracker in the Upwork Desktop App is as simple as can be.

To log your time
  1. Open the Upwork Desktop App
  2. Log into your Upwork account
  3. Select the correct contract
  4. Toggle the On/Off switch to turn on logging
  5. Enter a note about what you are working on in the memo box and choose an activity label if your client is using activity labels
To change the description of what you’re working on
  1. Switch back to the Time Tracker window
  2. Edit the information in the in the memo box and select a different activity label if needed
To change your memo or activity label after your time has been uploaded
  1. From your home page, hover over the My Jobs tab and select Work Diary
  2. Hover over the screenshots of the time group you want to edit — checkboxes will appear 
  3. Check the boxes of time increments that belong with the memo or activity label that you are going to edit
  4. Once you start checking boxes, Edit and Remove options will appear near the top of the page — choose Edit Activity and Memo
  5. Make the changes you want, then press Save
To switch to working on a different contract
  1. Select the contract name at the top of the Time Tracker window
  2. Select the correct contract
  3. Choose the On/Off toggle switch to turn on logging
  4. Enter a memo and choose an activity label if needed
To change your app settings
  1. Open the Upwork desktop app
  2. Log into your Upwork account
  3. Choose your name at the bottom of the Time Tracker window
  4. Choose Settings in the menu
To report a problem with the app

First try our troubleshooting articles, it's usually the quickest way to resolve any issue. For Windows and Mac operating systems, go here. If you use a Linux operating system, go here

  1. Open the Upwork Desktop App

  2. Log into your Upwork account

  3. Choose your name at the bottom of the Time Tracker window
  4. Choose Support and Feedback
  5. Add a detailed description of the issue and submit
To send feedback about the app
  1. Open the Upwork Desktop App
  2. Log into your Upwork account
  3. Choose your name at the bottom of the Time Tracker window
  4. Choose Support and Feedback
  5. Add your feedback and submit

Three views of your time: Current Session, Today, and This Week

Your current session time displays to the left of the ON/OFF toggle switch. It looks like a stopwatch that counts the time since you turned logging ON. Please refer to the Today and This Week counts in the app (or your Work Diary) to confirm your time billed. This stopwatch doesn't take into account the Work Diary’s 10-minute segments or that you may have gone idle while logging time. We only invoice time segments with uploaded user activity, and every segment with activity will be billed, so some rounding may occur.

Choose View Work Diary near the bottom left side to review what we’ve uploaded and make adjustments, if needed. Choosing This Week will take you to this week’s timesheet report.

You may see different versions of your Work Diary in some places, like when you access it from your contract workroom. We are working to update all Work Diary pages soon.

What does the app upload when I log time?

Screen Captures

When you have logging turned on, the app takes random screen captures six times per hour — once per 10-minute billing segment. Anything visible on your screen will display in your Work Diary. You can choose whether you want to be notified each time a screen capture is taken. By default, notifications are on and you’ll have the option to remove the screen capture before upload if you’d like to. You may also remove screen captures from your Work Diary until the end of the weekly billing cycle.

If you use two monitors, you can choose whether to capture screenshots from both monitors or only the active monitor in the desktop app settings under Screen Capture. Note that the desktop app does not support using more than two monitors. If you attach three or more monitors, it may only capture screenshots from one.

Important to know:

The option to delete screenshots is great for situations where you had to step away from your computer or the screenshot captured something unrelated to your project. However, if you delete a screenshot you also delete that time’s segment activity, which means the time will not be billed to your client and you will not be paid for the time.

What You Are Working On

You can describe what you’re working on in the memo section of the Time Tracker. If your client is using activity labels, you’ll also need to choose from options in the activity dropdown box that appears when you’re editing the memo. To qualify for Upwork Hourly Protection, you need to accurately describe what you are working on with these memos and activity labels. To help you get full protection, we give you the option to set a reminder in the app to ask you for a memo and activity updates while you are working. You can also update the memos and activity labels in your Work Diary until it’s locked for invoicing.

If your client files a dispute against the hours you log and you do not have adequate descriptive memos or activity labels, the dispute manager may award the dispute in the client's favor.

Camera Snapshots

Adding camera snapshots can make your Work Diary feel more personal. This feature is optional and disabled by default. If you choose to enable the camera, snapshots (not video) will be uploaded six times an hour. You can delete the camera snapshots from your Work Diary without changing the time segment’s activity.

User Activity

The app logs your activity level by counting the number of mouse clicks, scroll actions, and keystrokes you make. It also records the name of the application you’re using and its active window at the time of the snapshot, to your Work Diary.  

Each screenshot uploaded to your Work Diary, one every 10 minutes, is displayed with a green bar underneath. The green bar includes 10 boxes, one for each minute of the 10 minute period. If the Upwork Desktop App catches at least one of the above-mentioned activities in a given minute, it will color the box green for that minute. 

Antivirus software, firewalls, and system overloads can sometimes prevent the app from tracking your activity properly. If you believe this has happened, you may need to mark the app as safe in your antivirus software and firewall. You can also check your available RAM and CPU and, if they are reaching their limits, you can try to free up resources by closing other programs.

The app does not record the following:

  • What you click
  • What you type
  • Non-visible information like ***ed-out passwords
  • Lists of applications you use
  • Images or video footage through your webcam

Time Tracker also does not intentionally capture information about the files you access or inactive applications you may have open (such as with tracking cookies). However, this information could be captured and visible in your screenshots in the Work Diary.

Times when you’re working but not active on your device’s mouse or keyboard may not be captured, such as phone or video calls with your client, for example. You may need to enter that time manually.

Not all contracts allow manual time, and manual time is not covered by Hourly Payment Protection. So, before you do work that isn’t countable, check with your client to ensure that they have enabled manual time and are willing to approve it. Learn more about entering manual time.

You can learn more about how we use the recorded and uploaded information in the Privacy Policy.

Time Tracking supported operating systems

The Time Tracker with the desktop app (for freelancers tracking time on an hourly contract) is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 11 64-bit
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • macOS 13 Ventura
  • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS 64 bit

Although the Time Tracker may work with other versions or operating systems, we don’t officially support them, which means that we are limited in the troubleshooting and resolutions we can provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an activity label and memo?

A memo is the note you create to describe what you are working on during a session. These are important to add so your client knows what you were working on, and to make sure you qualify for Upwork Payment Protection. If your client is an Enterprise client or on a Plus plan, they can also create activity labels for you to use. Clients sometimes use activity labels to track their spending on certain types of work, especially if they are working with multiple freelancers on a variety of projects. It’s important to choose the correct activity label to help your clients keep accurate accounting records, but they can also edit the label you selected, if needed.

Why is there an Activity heading with just a dash underneath it?

If your client uses activity labels, you will see a dropdown with choices under the Activity heading when you are adding memos. If there is just a dash there, your client is not using activity labels, and you don’t have to choose one.


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