Fitbit Troubleshooting For Six Common Problems

Fixes for drained battery, update issues, dirt, weak connections, and more

What to Know

  • Clean connections > try using a different charger or outlet > replace charging cable > bring phone closer.
  • Check Bluetooth connection > disconnect other Bluetooth devices > restart Fitbit app > check for updates.
  • Verify connection to phone in Settings > turn off Do Not Disturb > re-pair Fitbit > clean Fitbit > format Fitbit.

This article details how to determine, and deal with, several types of issues you may run into when using a Fitbit fitness tracker.

How to Fix Fitbit Problems

Here are some general troubleshooting tips you can try to get your Fitbit working again if it starts giving you trouble:

  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.

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 do I change the time on my Fitbit?

    Change the time on your Fitbit by changing the time on the device it syncs to, then re-syncing both devices through the Fitbit app.

  • How do I change my Fitbit band?

    Changing a Fitbit band is a process that will differ based on the model. For most Fitbits, press the release clips (or model-specific equivalents) located on the back of the watch case, close to where the band is connected. Then place the new band connections over the necessary attachment points on the watch case.

  • What is the newest Fitbit?

    The newest Fitbit is the Versa 4, which is more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker, and is typically priced at $229.95. There are several other Fitbit models that are currently available, however.

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