How to Restart Fitbit Charge 3

Perform a reboot without losing your activity data

If your Fitbit Charge 3 is acting a little strange lately—it's not syncing properly, it isn't turning on when charged, or it's not tracking your steps—you can try a quick restart to get it on track again. Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to restart your Fitbit Charge 3 activity tracker, as well as how to do a full factory reset, if needed.

Restarting your Fitbit and resetting your Fitbit are not the same. A restart clears temporary files, while a reset will remove all your data so you can start fresh.

Why Restart Your Fitbit Charge 3?

You've probably found that your Charge 3 usually works without a hitch. However, there are times you may need to restart your Charge 3, including when:

  • It's not syncing with the app properly.
  • It's not tracking steps or the GPS isn't working.
  • It's not responding to your button presses, taps, or swipes.
  • It's charged up, but refuses to turn on.

Just like rebooting your computer when it's acting up, a restart (sometimes referred to as a soft reset) won't hurt your Charge 3, won't erase your data, and can help get your activity tracker working again in just a few moments.

How to Restart a Fitbit Charge 3 Activity Tracker

You have two options when it comes to restarting your Charge 3. The first option involves restarting the device from your wrist. If that doesn't work, you can go to the second option, which requires the use of your charging cable.

Restarting a Fitbit Charge 3 From Your Wrist

If you're wearing your watch and not near your charging cable, you can try restarting your Fitbit Charge 3 directly from your wrist.

  1. From the clock face, swipe right to get to the Settings screen.

  2. From Settings, scroll down and tap About.

  3. From About, scroll down, tap Reboot Device, then tap the checkmark below.

  4. Wait for the the normal watch face to appear. This confirms your Charge 3 has restarted.

Restarting a Charge 3 By Using the Charging Cable

If restarting your device while wearing it didn't work, or if the battery on your device needs to be charged, you can also use the charging cable to restart the device.

  1. To get started, get your Fitbit Charge 3 charging cable.

  2. Plug the charging cable into a USB port on your laptop or any UL-certified USB wall charger.

  3. Next, place your Charge 3 into the charging cradle. Make sure the charging cable is plugged in and the pins on the charging cable lock securely with the port on the back of the device. This is required to do the reset.

    The charging connections on a Fitbit Charge 3.
  4. Once your Charge 3 is in the cradle, press the touch sensitive button on the side. The watch face should light up and the device should vibrate when you press it.

    The touch button on a Fitbit Charge 3 while it's in the charging cradle.
  5. Now, press the touch sensitive button for a full eight seconds.

  6. After eight seconds, release the button. Wait for the the smile icon to appear and the tracker to vibrate. This confirms your Charge 3 has restarted properly. After the restart, the normal watch face should appear.

  7. Your Fitbit should now be working normally. If you're having issues restarting your Charge 3 or you're still having problems, contact Fitbit Customer Support.

What's the Difference Between a Soft Reset vs. a Factory Reset?

Restarting a Fitbit Charge is not the same as doing a factory reset. A restart doesn't erase your data. On the other hand, doing a full factory reset will remove all apps, stored data, personal information, and credit/debit cards (for Fitbit Pay-enabled devices).

Factory resetting is only available on the following Fitbit models: Charge 3, Aria 2, Inspire Series, Ionic Series, Versa Series, Flyer, and Ace 2.

Factory resetting can come in handy if you're preparing to sell your Fitbit and want it to revert it to a somewhat new, data-free state.

How to Do a Factory Reset on a Fitbit Charge 3

Doing a factory reset will erase all of your tracking data. To preserve this data, be sure to do a Data Export before factory resetting your device.

  1. From the clock face, swipe right to get to the Settings screen.

  2. On the Settings screen, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap About.

  3. Scroll all the way down again and tap Clear User Data. This will reset your Fitbit data to the brand new state with no synced data remaining.

    Fitbit Data Export menu

    If you want to save your data before deleting it, be sure to choose Data Export from your Dashboard menu. Fitbit will send you an email with instructions on how to complete the data export.