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9 Fitbit Problems and Fixes: A Simplified Troubleshooting Guide

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Your Fitbit is a wearable that should be fully functional 100% of the time. But it can fail to auto detect activities, give wrong results, or fail to work altogether. So in this troubleshooting guide, I look at some of the most common problems, as well as how to fix them.

Some of the most common problems include freezing, failure to sync, broken bands, inability to hold charge, dirt buildup, and unresponsive button. Other problems include broken screen, a black display, notifications failure, and the app failing to update.

Fortunately, 99% of these problems are easy to fix. So, you can easily get back on track with only a few minutes of workaround.

The Most Common Fitbit Problems in Summary

The table below summarizes the most common Fitbit problems and the recommended fix for each issue:

 Common ProblemRecommended Fix
1.Fitbit unable to sync to the companion app.Activate Bluetooth, ensure the watch and phone are in range, and try connecting again.
2.The display of your Fitbit device keeps hanging (or freezing).Restart the watch to clear stored cache. Also, update the Fitbit OS to the latest version.
3.Your Fitbit device won’t charge at all.Clean the charger if it’s dirty. Get a replacement charger or charging dock if the current charger is broken or damaged.
4.One or both bands are broken.Get different bands for replacement and personalization.
5.You’re not getting notifications on the Fitbit.Ensure you turn on Bluetooth and allow the companion app the permission to send alerts.
6.The device is dirty and unresponsive.Develop the habit of cleaning the device regularly.
7.Fitbit is unable to hold charge for a long period.Deactivate unnecessary apps, turn of All-day sync, reduce screen brightness, and turn off notifications.
8.The device won’t track sleep at night.Wear the device to a snug and ensure heart rate tracing is active.
9.Fitbit screen broke by accident.Get a new Fitbit device for replacement, as warranty doesn’t cover broken screens.

9 Most Common Fitbit Problems – And How to Fix Them

In the following section, I address the most common Fitbit problems, as well as what you can do to fixe each issue.

1. Fitbit Won’t Sync to Smartphone

If your Fitbit won’t connect to phone, you won’t access detailed information about your health and fitness in the companion app.

Also, if your Fitbit smartwatch or fitness tracker fails to connect to Android or iOS companion app, it becomes difficult to synchronize the current time. And you can’t connect Fitbit to MyFitnessPal, Strava, and other apps supported by the brand.

To fix this problem:

  • Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone and Fitbit, and ensure the two devices are in close range.
  • Restart your Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch to clear software glitches and clear conflicting cache.

2. Fitbit Keeps Freezing

One of the most common Fitbit problems I’ve seen is the tendency to freeze.

You start noticing a slow response to taps. And, sometimes, even swiping between screens to access stats becomes a pain in the neck.

Then, the smartwatch or fitness tracker freezes, the display hangs, the watch becomes completely unresponsive.

Fitbit devices tend to freeze because of an obsolete operating system and because of conflicts from third-party apps.

But there’s an easy fix:

  • Close all the third-party apps running in the background.
  • Restart your Fitbit to clear stored cache. This will fix conflicts with third-party apps.
  • Consider removing apps that you don’t need or those that you use less frequently.
  • Update the Fitbit OS to the latest version so that your device is current.

3. Fitbit Battery Not Charging

In my experience, nothing is more annoying than a wearable device that won’t charge.

Sadly, failure to charge the battery is one of the Fitbit problems that you may have to deal with at one point in time.

If you ever experience this annoyance:

  • Inspect of the plate or pin alignment on the charger are misaligned. Try aligning them, but if that isn’t possible, get a new charger that’s compatible with your device.
  • Use a few drops of rubbing alcohol and a soft bristled brush, or a clean piece of cloth, to clean the charger to remove dirt and debris. 

After cleaning, connect the Fitbit device to the charger and the charger to the power outlet. Then run a five-minute charging test to determine if cleaning fixed the problem. 

Make sure you learn how to charge a Fitbit if you don’t know how to do that already.

4. Fitbit Bands are Broken

I haven’t read many cases of Fitbit bands breaking, but this is still one of the problems that a few people have had to deal with for some models.

Understand that wearable bands are made of different materials. Some are durable and other are susceptible to breaking easily.

Fortunately, a broken band isn’t something difficult to fix, as they’re easily replaceable.

Just find replaceable bands for your Fitbit online or in the local store, attach them to the lugs, and get back on track.

5. Fitbit is Not Getting Notifications

There could be so many reasons why your Fitbit is not getting notifications. But the main one is that you haven’t granted the companion app to push alerts to your wrist.

Seriously, you don’t have to scratch your head here.

Go to settings in the Fitbit app and toggle the notification option. You can even customize your options, so you get alerts only from the channels that matter the most to you.

Also, you need to ensure that Bluetooth is always active on your smartphone and your Fitbit.

6. Fitbit is Dirty

Have you tried taping and swiping your Fitbit’s screen but you get no response?

Other than a possible software glitch, which you can fix by restarting the device, there’s a high chance the display is dirty.

Again, this is a no brainer to fix.

You have to develop the habit of cleaning your Fitbit as often, especially if you use it outdoors for an extended period.

I recommend that you use a few drops of alcohol and a soft piece of cloth to wipe the display. In my experience, cleaning alone should be enough to fix the screen that won’t respond to touches.

7. Fitbit Unable to Hold Charge

I’ll be honest with you:

I hate charging a smartwatch every other day when, in actuality, I should be doing that after four or five days.

And I reckon I’m not the only one.

If your Fitbit drains so fast, the battery may not last longer than you expect. And having to juice it up frequently can be inconveniencing and equally annoying.

Fortunately, I’ve studied and experimented with different models to understand that it’s possible to fix this problem and use the smartwatch or fitness tracker for longer.

You should:

  • Reduce the screen display brightness to an optimal level for easier visibility and battery optimization.
  • Adjust the time allowed for “All-day Sync” or turn the feature off altogether.
  • Disable some notifications, making sure you leave only the alerts you never really want to miss.
  • Turn off the Fitbit when it’s not in use. v

8. Fitbit Unable to Monitor Sleep

The inability for Fitbit to track sleep is equally one of the most common problems that I’ve seen many people reporting.

In some cases, some users end up with inaccurate stats that they can’t use to determine whether they had enough rest or otherwise.

To fix this:

  • Wear your Fitbit properly. Ensure the watch fits to a snug on your non-dominant hand so that it can monitor your movements and heart rate.
  • Turn on the heart rate sensor if it’s off.

And that’s it.

Your Fitbit should automatically start monitoring your naps the next time you go to sleep and synchronize the data to the companion app.

9. Fitbit Screen is Broken

Unfortunately, you can’t repair a broken Fitbit screen.

And given that Fitbit warranty doesn’t cover broken screens, you’ll need to buy a new Fitbit device as a replacement.

In my opinion, the best way to keep Fitbit display from breaking is to prevent that possibility in the first place. And the best way to do that is to use a screen protector.

Final Thoughts

Your Fitbit device is more than just a timepiece. With it, you can track workouts, check on your health, immerse yourself into some entertainment, and even make contactless payments at the mall.

However, there may be times when your Fitbit develops problems, even when you least expect.

If that time ever comes, you should apply everything you’ve learned in this guide to get your Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch back on track.

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Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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