How to unlock the Apple Watch Activity app on iOS 8.2, no jailbreak required

By , Mar 21, 2015

Activity App iOS 8.2

A few days ago, we showed you a detailed walkthrough video of iOS 8.2’s Activity App. Today, we’ll show you how you can go hands-on with this brand new app.

In the tutorial that follows, we’ll walk you through each step needed to get the iOS 8.2 Apple Watch Activity app running on your iPhone today, even though the Apple Watch is still weeks from releasing. No jailbreak required.

In a nutshell, we are taking a backup of the 8.2 firmware, adding a couple of plist files to unlock the Activity app, and then restoring the modified backup. It sounds super-simple, but it took developer Hamza Sood a lot of time and dedication to find the right plist values, so major props to him.

Notes: While it isn’t required, I recommend doing this on a fresh iOS 8.2 install. This tutorial assumes that your iPhone is connected to your computer. It should work fine on both Windows and Mac, but the tutorial was done on a Mac, so your mileage may vary.

Step 1: Download and unzip the file containing the two plist files needed

Step 2: Download and install iBackupBot [Mac | Windows]

Step 3: Open iTunes and backup your device locally using the “This computer” option

Step 4: Launch iBackupBot and load the backup you just created

Step 5: Navigate to System Files →  HomeDomain →  Library →  Preferences

Step 6: Click Import and select the from the System Files folder you downloaded in Step 1

Step 7: Navigate to User App Files → →  Library →  Preferences

Step 8: Click Import and select the from the User App Files folder you downloaded in Step 1

Step 9: Exit iBackupBot

Step 10: Open iTunes and click Restore Backup and choose the latest backup, which should be the one you just modified

Step 11: Once the device is finished restoring from backup, check the Home screen and you should see the Apple Watch Activity app. If it didn’t work for you, make sure you watch the above video again for anything you may have omitted.

Also, be sure to watch our full video walkthrough of the Activity app below:

Did this tutorial work for you? What do you think about the Activity app? Share your thoughts down below in the comments. Again, special thanks to Hamza Sood for figuring out all of the hard stuff.

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  • Dario Delo

    it will work also for ios 8.3?

    • Yes

      • Dario Delo


    • Yes. Works perfectly on 8.3

    • Guy Whelan

      Works on 9.0.2 also. Downside: If you dont have watch, its just something to take up room on you iphone. YOU MUST HAVE APPLE WATCH FOR IT TO GET ANY DATA!

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    how about the watch app?

  • Guest

    Better article would have been how to remove the apple watch app.

  • Rohit

    Any way to remove the apple watch app without jailbreak??

    • Here’s a video I made about how to hide apps. I hope it helps.

    • Ralph Castro

      Yes, hide it all the way back on your Utilities folder

  • pnh

    1. Wait until April 24th.
    2. Buy an Apple Watch.
    3. Pair the watch.

    • John

      1. Wait until April 10.
      2. Walk into an Apple Store.
      3. Pair demo Apple Watch from in-store
      4. Enjoy.

  • Cole Mahoney

    I cannot get past the welcome screen on the activity app

    • You must have missed a step then

      • Cole Mahoney

        I figured it out, used the same file twice but I works now 🙂 really nice app u should be able to use it without apple watch

  • justme

    is compatible for iphone 5 ?

  • leart

    Good old days

    • Zaid Syed

      “Good old days” — Sent from an iPad running iOS 6.

    • Sleaka J

      Jesus Safari was ugly back then. Thank christ for progress.

      • leart

        Back then is just 1,5 years ago and the difference between old safari and the new one, (except the progress obviously ). is that you can read for hours on the old one without geting eyes hurt

      • leart


      • Sleaka J

        You know that’s still there, don’t you?

      • leart

        Yeah, i have a device with ios 7, but trust me is not the same, all that whiteness after a while get boring and tired faster when reading long articles

      • vista980622

        Usability and visual contrast is king. LegacyUI is great 🙂

      • leart

        yeah, ios 6 was just perfect, but is not possible to use the same wonderful, perfect forever… a change after a while is always good

      • leart

        still in love with this interface, and im a old graphic designer

  • leart

    Some wallpapers .. the one with asphalt and sky is fantastic

  • Jackson Grong

    Hacker level: Forever alone

  • Guest

    ohh man u forgot to hide ur cell phone number is visible on itunes ….

  • ohh man u forgot to hide ur cell phone number …. its visible on itunes ….

  • Tony Chen

    will this have any impact when the Watch is released and trying to use the app properly?

    • Zaid Syed

      I would remove the .plist files before getting one. If it’s already configured before the Apple Watch is paired, there may be problems.

  • Poporopo00

    I might buy an Iwatch in 2020.

    • John Sawyer

      That’s also the year when no underwear will be worn

      • Poporopo00

        You got the point man!
        You got it.

  • Greg

    Will this impact trying to pair an Apple Watch in the future? In other words, will I have any problems trying to pair an Apple Watch in the future?

    • Zaid Syed

      I would remove the .plist files before getting one. If it’s already configured before the Apple Watch is paired, there may be problems.

  • Saajid Hasan Rizvi

    Well i find the title bit funny. as there is no jailbreak avlb for 8.2 .lol.Just Sayin !!!

  • Artur Bardo

    I got the app, but after I lunched the app it doesent show me the same like on your phone.

    This message I have when I lunch the App

    Program Activity is working with Apple Watch
    follow your activity and history of exercise.
    To start using this app on iPhone configure option
    activity on Apple watch.

    What do I do now

  • Rohit

    how can i download jailbreak 8.2

  • Eslam Magdy

    even if i did it will this app work without the watch ?

  • Ivan Diardo 

    How do I remove the Activity app now? I think it’s affecting my battery life. Reply soon! Thanks.

    • Chris

      Yes, I need to remove it too! I don’t know why I even decided to give this a try :/ hope someone helps out here and tells us how to remove it. Thanks

    • Chris

      Oh apparently it’s as easy as installing it. Just go back and repeat the same steps but instead of Importing the files just delete them because you already imported them last time. I tried it and it worked, thank goodness.

      • Ivan Diardo 

        Thanks man! 😀

  • disqus_JJrblYPPGL

    Doesn’t work with windows
    i followed the steps but when it comes to step 7 the .com fitness file does not show

    • John Smith

      Make sure you are showing all files?

  • Muhammad Ali Zali Zadeh

    how can i get the activity app on iOS 8.4 with jailbreak?

  • Tommy Lau

    does this work on iOS 9?