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 don't generally display error codes on the watch face. If you're working out and it breaks down, here's are some Fitbit troubleshooting tips you can try.

Common Causes of Fitbit Problems

A Fitbit can fail to respond due to a number of reasons, including a drained battery, a software update, dirt interfering with the controls, 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 the wearable, as can heavy impact damage, or being submerged in water.

In most cases, simple maintenance like cleaning the device on a regular schedule and regular software updates will prevent most problems.

How to Fix Fitbit Problems

  1. 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.

  3. Replace the cable, as it may be malfunctioning or broken. If possible, borrow a cable to test your Fitbit before you buy 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 your Fitbit's 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 your phone may be paired with.

  7. Close the Fitbit app, then turn off and reactivate Bluetooth.

  8. Check for Fitbit updates for both your Fitbit and the Fitbit app.

  9. Go to the settings menu in the Fitbit app by tapping your device, and ensure 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 to ensure it's not in quiet or Do Not Disturb mode. If you're missing text notifications, check that the text app is open on your phone to the correct conversation.

  11. Unpair your Fitbit from your phone, and then re-connect it.

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

  13. Delete any audio files you've stored on your Fitbit and reupload them.

  14. If 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. Look at 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.