Fitbit Troubleshooting For Six Common Problems

Fix your Fitbit and get back on track

A set of Fitbit Altas

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A Fitbit can take a beating, but when they break, they don't tell you. Fitbits generally do not display error codes on the watch face. If you're working out and it breaks down, here are some Fitbit troubleshooting tips you can try to get it working again.

Common Causes of Fitbit Problems

A Fitbit may fail for a number of reasons, including a drained battery, a software update, dust or dirt in the hardware, a weak connection to your phone, or incorrect file formats for music streaming. There's also the rare occasion when environmental conditions like extreme heat or cold can impact operation, as can heavy impact damage, or being submerged in water.

In most cases, simple maintenance like cleaning the device and regularly updating the software will prevent most problems.

How to Fix Fitbit Problems

Here are some general troubleshooting tips for a broken Fitbit.

  1. Clean the connections. Clean and dry the connection on your charging cable and the connection point on your Fitbit, then try charging the device again.

  2. Try a different outlet or charger. Some problems stem from an old or afulty charing rig.

  3. Replace the cable. The cord may be malfunctioning or broken. If possible, borrow a working cable to test your Fitbit before buying a replacement.

  4. Move closer to your phone. Bluetooth only functions within 30 feet of a device and quality may drop off considerably at further distances.

  5. Check the Bluetooth connection. If you don't see it in your device's Bluetooth menu, scan for it to see if your Fitbit appears. If it does, tap the device and it should automatically pair.

  6. Disconnect other Bluetooth devices. Other Bluetooth connections may interfere with the Fitbit's ability to pair. Turn those devices off to improve the connection.

  7. Close the Fitbit app. Then turn off and reactivate Bluetooth.

  8. Check for Fitbit updates. There may be updates available for both your Fitbit and the Fitbit app.

  9. Check the settings. Go to the settings menu in the Fitbit app by tapping your device. Make sure you've enabled your Fitbit to always be connected to your phone. You can also set notifications privileges on this menu.

  10. Check your phone settings. Make sure your phone is not in quiet or Do Not Disturb mode. If you're missing text notifications, check that the text app is open to the correct conversation.

  11. Unpair your Fitbit. Turn the Bluetooth connection off on your phone, and then re-connect it.

  12. Clean the Fitbit. Gently clean the face of your Fitbit with a cloth or paper towel and a small amount of non-abrasive cleaner.

  13. Format the drive. Delete any audio files you've stored on your Fitbit and then re-upload them.

  14. Check subscriptions. If you're using a streaming service, check that you have the correct subscription. Pandora, for example, will let U.S. residents download stations, but it won't interface with other services directly.

  15. Check the files you've uploaded. A Fitbit will only play MP3, MP4, and WMA files. You can convert other files to these formats, but Podcasts may not be in MP3 format.

  16. Restart your Fitbit. This process varies depending on which Fitbit you have.