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Why Is My Fitbit Not Turning On?

Last Updated Mar 9, 2021
Fitbit watch on a womans arm wearing white.

Fitbit launched its first tracker in 2009 and has since released a steady lineup of smartwatches and wearables that have become very popular with fitness enthusiasts. Thanks to a steady evolution of wearable technology, Fitbit devices now perform a wide array of tracking, from pulse and blood pressure to sleep cycles and more. So, what to do when your tracker is no longer tracking or turning on?

If your Fitbit is not turning on, it’s likely a charging issue, or it needs to be reset. But, like any smartwatch or smartphone, there are plenty of tips and tricks that will get your Fitbit back up and running in no time.

Since there are several different Fitbit devices, there is no one-size-fits-all fix. Keep those manuals handy, and be sure to download the Fitbit app on your smartphone or tablet. Being proactive solves problems before they have a chance to ruin your day.

Why Your Fitbit May Not Turn On

The following are a few reasons why your Fitbit may not be turning on like it should:

Dim Displays

Often, your Fitbit device is actually running and performing all of the tracking features you would expect, even though it looks like it’s not on.

  • If you have screen or case protectors on, try removing them. Sometimes these protective casings end up blocking the light sensor, which will dim the screen automatically.
  • Take your Fitbit to a dark room and see if you can see anything on the screen. If you can, your display settings are off, and you’ll have to change them through the settings.
  • Be sure to turn the dim screen option off and maximize your screen brightness. Also, make sure to check that your sleep mode is accurately set for the appropriate time.

Are You Sure It’s Charged?

Most Fitbit lines use magnets or pins/contacts/prongs to charge. Like truly wireless headphones, it only takes a small amount of obstruction––sweat, water, and dust––along those connections to interfere with a charge.

If your Fitbit is not turning on, make sure it’s clean, especially the contacts, and try to charge it again. Rubbing alcohol works best with a soft bristle brush, q-tips, or cotton swabs.

Also, check your USB input and output, especially where the magnets connect. Corrosion and dust are detrimental to the device and the output. The connection points should look like a brand new penny.

  • Fitbit Versa Series: Versa comes with a charging cradle. The contacts are on the backside of the watch and line up with contacts in the charging cradle.
  • Fitbit Ace and Inspire: Magnet charger with connectors that align with pins on the back of the band.
  • Fitbit Flex: The Flex comes with a charging cradle, like the Versa series, with the watch disconnecting from the band.
  • Fitbit Blaze: Like the Flex, it has to be removed from the wristband and has contacts on the watch’s backside and within the cradle.
  • Fitbit Ionic: The Ionic has a charging cable with a magnetic tip that must be inserted in the watch’s back.

Whether it has a cradle, a magnetic strip, or pins, be sure to clean the contacts periodically. It doesn’t take much to disrupt a charge.

After thoroughly cleaning the contacts on both the output from the charging cable and on the watch, be sure to charge it for a full cycle, like you would when going to bed. If your Fitbit is still giving you trouble, move on to resetting the device.

Resetting Your Fitbit

Software glitches are common in any smart device, and a simple reset will solve the problem most of the time. Most Fitbit watches reset in the same way; some are different. It’s usually just a matter of holding down a button or two for some time.

If possible, try to have your Fitbit connected to a charging cable while you reset it.

  • Fitbit Versa and Versa Lite: Press and hold the left buttons for at least ten seconds or until you see the Fitbit logo. Once you’ve reset the device, you will have to access the app and set up the device again.
  • Fitbit Alta HR, Ace, and Ace 2: There is a button on the charging cable that you need to press three times within ten seconds. Make sure there is a pause between presses. The Fitbit logo should appear at this point, indicating that the device has been reset.
  • Fitbit Inspire Series: Make sure the device is plugged into the charging cable and press and hold the left button for at least five seconds or until a smiley face appears on the screen.
  • Fitbit Charge 3 and 4: When the devices are connected to their charging cable, press and hold the tracker button for at least eight seconds or until the Fitbit logo appears.
  • Fitbit Versa 2, 3, and Sense: These three are the easiest to reset. Hold the left button for 15 seconds, or until you see the Fitbit logo, and that’s it.

What If My Fitbit Still Doesn’t Turn On?

Fitbit has a customer service line that you can contact Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST. They also have a live chat, troubleshooting communities, and are available on social media.

However, cleaning your charger contacts—including the output from your charger cord—or performing a simple reset will ultimately resolve most problems and should have you back to tracking your daily regimen.

Fitbit not responsive, even when you tap the screen? Check out this article for troubleshooting tips.

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