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Fitbit Charge 5's latest update is bricking it in some cases (Update: Statement)

Users are reporting excessive battery drain, followed by an unresponsive device, with no way of rolling back the firmware.

Published onJuly 10, 2023

A user models the Fitbit Charge 5 in front of a painted mural wall.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
Fitbit Charge 5
  • The latest update to the Fitbit Charge 5 is reportedly causing excessive battery drain and bricking devices.
  • Affected consumers with an active warranty are offered a 35% discount code from Fitbit toward device purchases.
  • There is no way to stop the Fitbit Charge 5 from auto-updating its firmware.

Update, July 12, 2023 (03:48 AM ET): Fitbit has provided us with a statement on the recent issue that consumers are facing on their Charge 5:

We’re aware that a small number of Charge 5 users are experiencing problems with their devices. We’re currently investigating and will update users when we’ve identified the issue. In the meantime, users should contact Fitbit Customer Service at to help troubleshoot the issue.

Original article, July 10, 2023 (04:10 AM ET): The Fitbit Charge 5 is a good fitness tracker, and it makes it to our list of best fitness trackers that readers should buy. However, review assessment of products takes into account the state of the product at the time of review. There are instances where products improve significantly after launch, and there are instances where they go in the other direction thanks to updates. The latest update for the Fitbit Charge 5 is reportedly bricking the fitness tracker for many users, so you may want to hold off on updating to the newest firmware.

Fitbit announced the latest v194.61 update for the Charge 5 with an extensive changelog. There are new clock faces, support for global language characters and right-to-left text notifications, availability of all exercise modes in the Exercise app, and general bug fixes and improvements.

However, users who received the update and installed it have been complaining of excessive battery drain and an eventual black screen. There are multiple reports on the Fitbit forums from users with unresponsive devices after having installed the latest update.

As a solution to affected consumers, Fitbit’s customer support is reportedly offering a 35% discount code for purchasing a new device from their store, presuming your Charge 5 is under warranty. If not, then you do not get a resolution. There does not appear to be any way to stop the Charge 5 from auto-updating. We don’t know if the update rollout has been paused, as new brick reports have continued to pour in up to this point.

We’ve reached out to Google and Fitbit for a statement and will update the thread once we hear back from them.

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