Getting started

Getting started with ActivityWatch is as easy as installing, starting it, and setting up autostart (if your installation method doesn’t do it for you).


Download and run the Windows installer for the latest release on GitHub.


The aw-qt application is the easiest way to use ActivityWatch. It creates a trayicon and automatically starts the server and the default watchers.

If you’ve installed by extracting a zip archive, simply run the ./aw-qt binary in the installation directory (either from your terminal or on Windows by double-clicking). You now should see an icon appear in your system tray.

You should now also have the web interface running at localhost:5600 and within a few minutes be able to view your data in the Activity view!

If you want more advanced ways to run ActivityWatch (including running it without aw-qt), check out the “Running” section of Installing from source.


If you are running GNOME 3 or another desktop environment that does not support system trays, or if for some reason Qt can’t be used on your machine, read Running on GNOME.


If you are using a proxy ActivityWatch might not work out of the box. To fix this you can set the environment variable NO_PROXY to include before starting aw-qt. How to set an environment variable depends on your operating system; use Google if you are unsure how to do this.



Autostart is set up automatically by the Windows installer.