Some users who have purchased a Fitbit Charge 4 are reporting a blank screen issue which is preventing them from setting up their new device. Here are our tips on what to do to resolve the issue.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Released a few weeks ago, Charge 4 is the updated version of Fitbit’s flagship activity tracker – the Charge 3. The main upgrades are built-in GPS and NFC as default. Apart from a few software extras, everything else has been ported over from the predecessor device.
Well, it seems that this includes an issue that sometimes plagued Charge 3 users – a blank/black display. We wrote about this about a year ago. The Fitbit Community forum has hundreds of posts discussing the problem.
What happens is that the display simply stops responding. The fitness tracker remains active, vibrates when buttons are pushed or notifications come through, and still syncs fine to the app. But you can’t see anything.
Some Charge 4 owners are saying they are hitting the problem when trying to set up their new device. Their fitness tracker is dead on arrival!
Blank screen during initial setup
If you’re one of the unlucky ones and are hitting this issue right from the start, here are some things to try. These suggestions are also valid if you have managed to set up your Charge 4 but the display has gone blank at some point.
First, try plugging the charging cable into another power outlet, ideally a UL-certified wall charger instead of a USB hub or PC. Whilst you do this, make sure the pins in the cradle are properly aligned with the pins on Charge 4.
You should feel a vibration when there is a proper connection – this means your fitness band has started charging. Soon you’ll see a battery/icon percentage along with a smiley face. When you charge for the first time, it might take up to 15 seconds for this to occur.
Even if you see this the display might go blank if it times out. Make sure you follow the instructions to set everything up quickly enough. If it has timed out, take the Charge 4 off the charger for 10-15 minutes and plug it back in. Try not to let it time-out next time during the installation.
Now at least you know your Fitbit is working. With the display on and the device charging, you should be able to complete the setup process.
Blank screen during use
You have your Charge 4 working, and it’s tracking your steps, sleep and activity and syncing to the app. Hopefully all should be well from that point on. Unfortunately a few users are reporting the blank screen issue even if their tracker is up and running.
The suggestions on resolving this are exactly the same as for Charge 3. The first thing to always do if you’re experiencing a problem with your fitness tracker or smartwatch is a hard reboot. This restarts the device but does not wipe any data off of it.
To restart press and hold the button on the left of its screen for 8 seconds. When you see a smiley icon and the tracker vibrates, your Charge 4 has restarted. It should be ready for action now.
The other solution is a bit more long winded. It consists of first unpairing the device from your account in the smartphone app, removing the Charge 4 from the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone, restarting the fitness band and setting it up again in the smartphone app. This is actually the solution that Fitbit Support suggests people try.
Finally, also worth a mention is something that Charge 3 owners have found works. It consists of changing the clock face in the Fitbit app. It seems this caused the issue in some cases. Once synced, your screen may spring back to life.
All of these solutions are worth a go. If the screen on your Charge 4 is still blank, perhaps you have a faulty device. In this case it’s best to contact Fitbit Support directly.
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