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Fitbit won't turn on? Here's how you can try to fix it

You can usually prevent problems by guarding your Fitbit against dirt and impacts.
By

Published onFebruary 14, 2024

Those of us covering health and fitness tech sometimes have mixed opinions about Fitbits, but we think most journalists would agree they’re an overall positive. They get sedentary people exercising, and they can help some people take their fitness to the next level. That is to say that if your Fitbit won’t turn it on, don’t junk it — try these fixes, or at least talk to Google about repairs.

Why is my Fitbit not turning on?

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Propped Up
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

There are a variety of possible reasons, not the least because Google sells a variety of Fitbit models ranging from trackers for kids through to full-blown smartwatches.

There are some general explanations we can offer. An obvious one is that you may have exhausted your battery. Another is that your charging gear could be dirty or damaged, resulting in the same low battery problems. Less likely but still possible is a software glitch. Google has even accidentally bricked some Fitbits with past updates, most recently the 194.91 update for the older Charge 5. For that reason, we recommend searching the web for anecdotal reports before installing any new Fitbit software.

How to fix your Fitbit that won’t turn on

It’s best to go through this list in order. We’ve organized it to cover easier potential options first, leaving more serious or complicated ones for later. If a particular idea seems to make more sense in your situation, though, feel free to skip ahead.

  • Make sure the power button isn’t stuck. This might almost seem too obvious, but physical buttons can get jammed from time to time. If your Fitbit’s power button isn’t actuating, try clearing out any debris and/or wiggling it until it moves. Just don’t be rough.
  • Inspect your ports and charging accessories for damage. This step is potentially critical. Things like bent prongs, eroded contacts, or frayed cables may have blocked charging, and could now pose a shock or fire hazard. That’s especially true if you notice any browning, scorch marks, or exposed wires.
  • Clean your Fitbit’s charging connections. Another thing that can halt charging is the presence of dust, lint, grime, and other kinds of debris, which are bound to accumulate on a Fitbit’s charging port over time, and sometimes its accessories too depending on how you store them. You should be able to use air and a toothbrush to get most debris off. Avoid using soap or harsh chemicals. You may be able to use a damp cloth as well, but wring out excess water first. Many Fitbits are water-resistant, even good enough for swimming, but you don’t want to degrade this resistance any more than you need to.
  • Leave your Fitbit charging for an extended period of time. Whether or not you’ve found any problems with damage or debris, it may be that your Fitbit’s battery is so low that it needs an extended charging session to gain usable power. That could be as long as 3 hours, and it can’t hurt to go even longer. Charge overnight if it’s a convenient option.
  • Attempt a restart. The exact method for restarting your Fitbit will depend on the model you have. In all cases, though, you’ll want to plug in your charger first, and you should expect to use one or more buttons on your charger or your Fitbit.
  • Attempt a factory reset (if possible). Here at Android Authority we often describe factory resets as the “nuclear option” for DIY troubleshooting. That’s because you’ll have to set up a device again as if it were new, and there’s no guarantee a reset will actually fix anything. With Fitbits, resets are normally done via the on-device interface, so in this situation they may not be viable. Look up your model’s specific instructions.
  • Contact Fitbit support. If nothing else has worked, you’ll probably have to contact Google/Fitbit’s support teams. The company offers live chat, a phone line, and the @FitbitSupport account on X (a.k.a. Twitter). If your device is still under warranty and the problem is a defect, Google may be willing to repair or replace your Fitbit for free. Otherwise you should expect to pay repair fees that might eclipse the cost of buying a new one. Get an estimated cost from Google before committing to a repair.