Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Sense plagued by battery drain issues since recent firmware update

If you have been experiencing battery drain issues with your Fitbit Sense in the past few months, take some comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. The culprit is not the watch. Effectively, it’s the fault of the Fitbit smartphone app. Mostly the iOS app but there are reports of Android problems as well.

The problem first started appearing back in late March/early April. The battery for some users started to empty out in a day or two. To remind, the battery on a full charge on Sense should be good for at least 6 days. So what’s going on?

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

At first, it was suspected that the SpO2 app might be the culprit. And in some cases perhaps this is true. But there is another, more important issue. The drainage started after a recent iOS app update.

To identify if this, indeed, is the cause switch off Bluetooth on your phone. That should kill the connection between watch and the phone. You should notice much longer battery life on your Sense. Here’s what the Fitbit team has to say.

“Our team is aware of the Sense not holding charge when syncing with iOS devices and they’re working to bring a fix as soon as possible. In the meantime, we recommend force quitting the Fitbit app on your iOS devices to prevent the battery from draining when syncing.”

So there you have it. It’s a bug in the software. Even when the smartphone app is closed the drain continues if the watch is still connected to your phone.

How to resolve the battery drain issue on your Sense

As of today lots of users still have the issue. Having said that a few (but not all), have reported that the problem was resolved. So make sure you are on the latest version of the smartphone app and Sense firmware. If this doesn’t resolve – you may be stuck with poor battery life for now. Unfortunately, there is no option on an iPhone to install an earlier version of an app.

A few users tried a factory reset and for some this has improved battery life. To try this, go to Settings on your watch, choose About Sense>Factory reset.

Essential reading: Dealing with battery drain issues on Fitbits

You could try other battery drain fixes but that most probably won’t work. Also, asking for a replacement Sense will not do anything as the problem does not lie with the watch.

A temporary workaround is to switch off Bluetooth on your phone, restart your Fitbit Sense and recharge it. Needless to say, that’s not an ideal or long-term solution but it does work. If you don’t want to switch the Bluetooth off, you can try unpairing Sense from the smartphone app.

Hopefully Fitbit will issue a software update soon that will work for everyone. It has already been more than two months that some users have been stuck with the battery drain issue.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

10 thoughts on “Fitbit Sense plagued by battery drain issues since recent firmware update

  • Hi I am wearing a Fitbit Sense watch and indeed observe the faster battery drain after the firmware update to The frequent charge after few days when battery gets empty results into faster battery degradation due to frequent charge cycle. I do not think that the workaround would fully give the benefits of wearing a smart watch. Could you help to check the possibility in reverting the previous firmware version and will update when bug is fixed? Your rely will be greatly appreciated!

  • My Fitbit drained completely during my sleep and now won’t charge at all. Notta bit.

  • I have the Ionic and same problem after the recent update. I’ve also lost my detailed sleep analysis and it’s recording about double my heart rate. Good for active minute stats ;-/ but not true recording…. I have unpaired my ionic, uninstalled app on iPhone and factory reset my Fitbit without success. Very frustrating!

  • After the latest update, my Sense (just over a year old) is now completely draining within a day and just last night starting showing the fitbit symbol on the screen (like when you restart) and i cant access anything on the watch… so frustrating that you pay so much money for a device that is now rendered useless as even a basic watch..

  • I purchased a Fitbit sense 2 weeks ago and I get a notification battery in low every 3 days very disappointing.
    My fitbit ionic I would get at least 7 day’s on a single charge. Till I was told to stop using the fitbit ionic due to battery causing serious injuries.

    • I am in the same situation. I have spoken to support but they tell me to turn everything off and put a simple clock face on and it still drains in 3 or less days. I wish ionic never got recalled because it was a much better watch battery wise!!!

  • I had to replace my Iconic due to a recall. I went with the Sense and I’m not happy with it. I have to charge it everyday day. I wish now I had replaced it with another brand.

  • I am disturbed , frustrated and most unhappy with the battery charging of my FIT BIt sense.
    It is less than 6 months old and cost about $300.00 . I understand it is because of an upgrade to the system . Well it downgraded my experience.
    This is unreasonable.

    Please let em know you you will resolve this issue for me .

  • My Fitbit Sense, barely seven months old, finally quit completely after recent problems with charging and syncing with my android phone. Battery just won’t charge (consistently shows 0% when plugged in). Fortunately, Fitbit covered this under the warranty and is sending me a new one. I hope they have fixed this problem.

  • Sense has always had charging problems I have now gone thru 2 Sense’s The cause in my case is the Charger, the magnet is to strong and it is hard control the speed at which the charger joins with the Sense. within 3 months I started noticed a significant difference in the height of the upper left pin.
    I have taken pictures, once it gets this bad the charger will not work. My battery is completely drained and I doubt replacing the charger will recover it. Thus I will need to purchase another Sense! And of course purchase more chargers.


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