Fitness trackers are extremely useful in our everyday lives. They can track our number of steps taken, heart rate, quality of sleep, number of calories burned, and they can even help steer users away from serious issues like cardiovascular disease. But what happens when your fitness tracker stops working? That happens more often than one would expect, especially considering how often fitness trackers get used from day to day.

If you happen to own a Fitbit device, and I’m sure many of you do, you may have experienced a problem or two throughout your device’s lifetime. If you’re having issues with your Fitbit device, we’re here to help. Here are some of the most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them.

Note: Not every Fitbit device will have these issues, and it is more than likely that you won’t come across any of these problems at all.
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May 7, 2017

Problem #1 – Syncing issues

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Fitbit trackers sync with Android devices via Bluetooth, and unfortunately that technology can sometimes be unreliable. If you’re having trouble syncing data from your Fitbit to your Android device, your solution may lie in your Fitbit app’s Settings menu.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure the Fitbit app is installed on your Android phone. You’ll also need to make sure your phone has Bluetooth turned on (Settings>Bluetooth>On), and that you’re only trying to connect your Fitbit to one Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet.
  • Ensure the Always Connected option in the Fitbit app is on. To do this, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then scroll down to the bottom and make sure the Always Connected toggle is turned on.
  • Ensure the All-Day Sync option in the Fitbit app is on. To do this, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then make sure the All-Day Sync toggle is turned on.
  • If your smartphone is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, you may need to manually grant the Fitbit app permission to scan for Bluetooth devices.
    • To do so, head to your phone’s Settings menu, then select Apps or Applications, select the Fitbit app, then choose Permissions. Once you’re there, turn on the Location permission toggle.
    • In addition, your phone’s location services need to be turned on to scan for Bluetooth devices. To do so, head to your phone’s Settings menu, then select Privacy and Safety, then Location. Once you’re there, turn on the Location toggle.
  • You may need to force quit the Fitbit app. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Apps>Fitbit>Force Stop.
  • Try turning Bluetooth off and on again. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Bluetooth, then turn the Bluetooth toggle off then on.
  • Try restarting your mobile device.
  • If all else fails, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Fitbit app.

Problem #2 – Fitbit not receiving notifications from Android device

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Sometimes Fitbit trackers won’t receive notifications from Android devices. If this is happening to you, you may need to restart your fitness tracker or mess with your phone’s Bluetooth settings.

Potential solutions:

  • First, make sure you’re within 20 feet of your mobile device. As stated earlier, Fitbit trackers connect to smartphones via Bluetooth, so you’ll need to make sure you’re in range to stay connected. If your tracker and mobile device are too far away from one another, you won’t receive notifications or they may be delayed.
  • Make sure you don’t have another Bluetooth device connected to your smartphone. This may cause interference that prevents notifications from appearing on your Fitbit tracker.
  • If you’re receiving delayed notifications on your Fitbit, your Bluetooth connection may be unstable. From the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then Call and text notifications, then make sure the Enable Notification Widget is turned on.
  • Fitbit Surge users: swipe over to Settings and make sure Notifications is set to On.
  • Fitbit Blaze users: hold the top-right button for a few seconds and make sure Notifications is set to On.
  • Make sure your smartphone isn’t in Do Not Disturb mode.
  • You may need to force quit the Fitbit app. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Apps>Fitbit>Force Stop.
  • Try turning Bluetooth off and on again. From your mobile device, head to Settings>Bluetooth, then turn the Bluetooth toggle off then on.
  • Try restarting your mobile device.
  • Try restarting your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • If all else fails, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Fitbit app.

Problem #3 – Fitbit not charging properly

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Nobody likes to wake up in the morning to a dead Fitbit. If your Fitbit tracker isn’t charging properly, you may need to switch charging cables or clean your device.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure your Fitbit tracker and charging cable are clean. Dust and debris can accumulate over time, which could prevent the device from charging properly. Here’s a guide on how to clean your tracker.
  • Try plugging your Fitbit charger into a different USB port. Using a UL-certified wall charger will work, as will a simple USB input on a computer. Your Fitbit may not charge properly if you’re using a USB hub.
  • Make sure your Fitbit device’s pins are properly lined up on the charging cable. If the charging pins on your Fitbit device aren’t perfectly lined up on your charger, your device won’t charge properly. We’ve found this to be particularly common when charging the Alta.
  • You might need to restart your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • If you notice your Fitbit’s charger is a little beat up, you might need to replace it. You can buy a new charger at Fitbit’s website.

Problem #4 – Problems with Quick View and tap recognition

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Most of the latest Fitbit devices come with a feature called Quick View, which allows you to simply raise your wrist to wake the display. Some of these devices – like the Alta, Charge 2 and Charge HR – also come with tap-enabled displays, meaning you can’t swipe through menus like you would on a normal touchscreen device. Instead, all it takes is a simple tap near or on the display to swipe through your daily stats.

Unfortunately, many Fitbit users claim to have problems with both Quick View and tap recognition being too slow to respond. If you’re in this boat, the answer may lie in your Fitbit app’s Settings menu.

Potential solutions for Quick View problems:

  • In order for Quick View to work properly, your Fitbit device needs to know which wrist it’s being worn on, and whether you’re right handed or left handed. To check if this is the problem, open the Fitbit app, select Account, select your tracker, then make sure the Quick View toggle is turned to on.
  • On that same screen, you’ll see options to change your wrist placement and “handedness”. Make sure you’re wearing your Fitbit on the correct wrist, and that you’ve chosen whether or not you’re right or left handed. This will have a big effect on whether or not Quick View works properly.

Potential solutions for tap recognition problems:

  • Make sure you’re tapping your Fitbit device in the right spot. Fitbit recommends aiming toward the bottom of the display, where the tracker meets the band. Also, make sure you’re not tapping too hard or too softly.
  • If there’s a second-or-two delay from the time you tap your device, that’s normal. Just make sure you’re giving your device time to react. If you’re having trouble with tap recognition, try slowing down your taps.

Problem #5 – Fitbit isn’t updating properly

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Some people have problems updating their Fitbit device’s firmware. If this happens to you, you may need to restart your tracker or try syncing with another mobile device or computer.

Potential solutions:

  • Try restarting your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
  • After that, try updating your device again. If it’s still not working, try restarting your mobile device.
  • If you’re trying to sync your Fitbit with your mobile device, try removing the Bluetooth connection from your mobile device.
    • To do this, navigate to Bluetooth in your mobile device’s settings menu, find your Fitbit device, then choose Forget.
  • You might need to try updating your Fitbit via another mobile device or computer. To do so on a computer, head to this link, log into your Fitbit account and try updating your firmware.
  • If you still can’t update, try removing your Fitbit device from your Fitbit account.
    • If you’re using a mobile device, head to Account>[Fitbit device]>Remove this device.
    • If you’re using Fitbit’s website, log into your account, click the gear icon on the top-right of your screen, then click Settings>Devices>[Fitbit device]>Remove this device from your account.
      • Next, you’ll need to add your tracker back to your Fitbit account. Under the Account portion of the Fitbit app, choose Set Up a Device and follow the instructions. Once your device has been re-connected, tap Update Now.

Problem #6 – Fitbit’s silent alarm stopped working

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Most Fitbit devices have the ability to wake you up in the morning via silent alarms. If your silent alarms aren’t working, there unfortunately aren’t a ton of options. You’ll need to check your Fitbit’s vibration motor using the steps below. If that doesn’t work, Fitbit recommends you contact Customer Support.

Potential solutions:

  • First, make sure you have a silent alarm set on your Fitbit device. To do this, open the Fitbit app, choose Account, select your Fitbit device, then choose Silent Alarm.

If that wasn’t the problem, here’s how to test your Fitbit’s vibration motor:

  • Fitbit Blaze – Swipe over to the Timer screen, then tap it. Tap Stopwatch, then tap the play icon. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Alta – Clip your Alta to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press the button on the charging cable to check vibration.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Clip your Charge 2 to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate when you connect the cable.
  • Fitbit Charge and Charge HR – Press and hold the side button on your tracker to enter exercise mode. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Flex 2 – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit Flex – Tap below the row of lights on your Flex device. You should feel your tracker vibrate and enter sleep mode.
  • Fitbit Surge – Plug your Surge into the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate.
  • Fitbit One – Clip your One into the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Your tracker should vibrate.

Problem #7 – Fitbit band breaks

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Fitbit devices are pretty high quality pieces of technology, but they’re definitely not invincible. If your Fitbit’s band is starting to break, you’ll need to take advantage of the company’s warranty policy.

It’s worth noting that if you own a Fitbit Alta, Blaze, Charge 2 or Flex 2 and are out of warranty, you can simply buy a new band without replacing the whole unit. If you have an older tracker like the Charge HR, Surge or Flex, you’ll want to follow the steps below to get it replaced.

Potential solutions:

  • As noted on Fitbit’s Returns and Warranty page, you have the option to return your Fitbit device for a full refund within 45 days of your purchase date, provided you ordered the device from Fitbit.com.
    • In addition, products ordered in November and December may be returned through January 31 of the following year, or 45 days (whichever is longer).
  • Fitbit also offers a one-year limited warranty to the original purchaser of the product, guaranteeing that the Fitbit product is free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use. This means that Fitbit will fix the damages done to your Fitbit device within the first year, provided you’re the original purchaser of the device. If you’re not, unfortunately you may be out of luck.
  • For more details on the company’s policies, be sure to visit Fitbit’s Returns page, or contact the company’s customer support team to file a claim.

Looking for replacement bands for your device? You can of course head to Fitbit’s website to buy a replacement, or head to the Amazon links below for a cheaper alternative:


How to restart your Fitbit device

  • Fitbit Blaze – Press and hold the left and bottom right buttons (Back and Select) at the same time until you see the Fitbit logo. Let go of the buttons, and your tracker will restart.
  • Fitbit Alta – Clip your Alta to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press the button on the charging cable three times within eight seconds. A few seconds later, you’ll see the Fitbit logo on your device’s screen. After you see the logo, unplug your tracker from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Clip your Charge 2 to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press and hold the side button on your tracker for four seconds. You’ll then see the Fitbit logo, at which point your tracker will begin the restart process. Unplug your tracker from the cable.
  • Fitbit Charge and Charge HR – Plug your Charge or Charge HR to the charging cable, and make sure the cable is plugged into a USB port on your computer. Press and hold the side button for 10-12 seconds. You’ll see the Fitbit logo and a version number appear on your tracker’s screen. Let go of the button and unplug your device from the cable.
  • Fitbit Flex 2 – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Make sure the pins on the tracker are aligned with the pins on the charging dock. Press the button on the charging cable (below the tracker compartment) three times within five seconds. A few seconds later, the lights will begin flashing simultaneously. Remove the Flex 2 from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Flex – Plug your charging cable into the USB port on your computer, then remove the tracker from the wristband. Press the tracker into the charging cable. Insert one end of a paperclip into the small pinhole on the back of the charger for 3-4 seconds. Remove the Flex from the charging cable.
  • Fitbit Surge – Press and hold the left and bottom right buttons (Home and Select) for 10-15 seconds. You’ll see the screen flash and start to dim, at which point you can let go of the buttons. After your screen has turned off, wait 10 seconds and press the left button (Home) to turn your device back on.
  • Fitbit One – Plug your charging cable into your computer, then plug the One into the cable. Make sure the gold contacts on your tracker are aligned with the pins on the charger. Hold down your Fitbit One’s button for 10-12 seconds. Remove your tracker from the charging cable, then press the button until the screen turns on.

Still having issues? If so, be sure to speak up in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help!

Next:

The best fitness trackers

3 weeks ago
Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.
  • Danny Jett Jackson St-Fort

    Biggest problem with Fitbit, is the low build quality. Im currently on my 6th Fitbit charge HR because the rubber keep coming apart.

    • IHateLies

      I hope you didn’t pay anything for any of the replacements

    • I had the same issue, but I gave up at the second time. Nevermore I’ll buy a fitbit product.
      Xiaomi (mi band 2) sells a better product for a fraction of price.

  • Adrián Iriarte

    Now, Fitbit needs to make the final device

  • My problem isn’t here: Fitbit bought one of my favourite companies and is going to run it into the ground.

    • Leon

      Dammit, I came here to post the same

  • Noah.P

    Disabling all day sync. Gets me at least one full day if not 2 of extra use from my charge HR. Not to mention I don’t like having my Bluetooth on constantly. For power wastage and security reasons. There should be no problem just getting the app to sync whenever you open the app. All day sync is not a fix. Fitbit should fix their software.

  • +1 to “Biggest problem with Fitbit, is the low build quality. Im currently on my 6th Fitbit charge HR because the rubber keep coming apart.”

  • Chris

    I am having a very diffiult time using the connected GPS option on a Chargé 2. Almost never works. Tried mutiple times to reset Chargé 2 and also restart smartphone, but nothing seems to make the option work every time. I think it has worked twice out of 20 tries. I also have had many problems syncing the Chargé 2 with the smartphone thru Bluetooth (as you have already pointed out). I think Fitbit has inferior (or not strong enough signal software/hardware) in the Chargé 2. I doesn’t seem to me that it should be that difficult to sync with your smartphone. Smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android 5.0.1.