Most Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers, these days, come with vibrating notifications. This includes Fitbit Sense, Versa, the Charge range and more. The function is very useful as it provides a discrete way of knowing when someone is trying to reach you. On some devices you can also read messages, meeting alerts, as well as app updates on the display. But sometimes everything is not working as it should.
How to view notifications on a Fitbit
Notifications should appear on your Fitbit when it is near your phone. They will stay there for a few seconds before disappearing. Depending on your settings and device, this will be accompanied by a vibration. This is so that the text or call catches your attention.
If you’ve not had a chance to interact with the notification, simply swipe down from the top and you’ll be able to see it again. There you’ll also find a Clear All option which allows you to delete the notifications from your wearable.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The text that appears should be a replica of what comes through on your connected Android phone or iPhone. But it is good to educate yourself on what to expect from the device on your wrist. The responses are not always meant to come through and this is by design.
Read on for everything you need to know about notification support on Fitbits. This includes our step-to-step guide on what to do if notifications stop coming through on your Fitbit or if the vibrations are not working.
Fitbit notifications – troubleshooting steps
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to fix Fitbit notifications not coming through or vibration motor not working
- Check that notifications are enabled on your Fitbit
If your notifications are not working, are delayed or missing, start off by checking that notifications are enabled on your Fitbit. To do this, open the Fitbit smartphone app, tap on the picture of your device to open the settings menu and open notifications. You can enable them from there.
Some Fitbit devices have a notification setting on the device itself. Check that this is toggled to on by pressing and holding the button on the clock screen (for Ace 2, Charge 2, Charge 3 and Inspire series), holding the top right button for a few seconds (Blaze), and holding the back button and swiping to the quick settings screen from the clock screen (on Ionic and Versa range, Sense). You can also navigate to the setting via the touch-display on devices that don’t have a physical button.
- Your Fitbit should be close to your smartphone in order for notifications to work.
Ensure your phone is within 30 feet of your Fitbit device. This is the maximum range within which you will receive notifications.
- Make sure the do not disturb or driving mode is not active
Remember, the Fitbit on your wrist only shows new and unread notifications. So if you’ve read the text on your smartphone, it will not display on your Fitbit device. The same is the case if your phone is unlocked – the notifications will not come through because the Fitbit is assuming you will read them on the phone. Also make sure that the do not disturb or driving mode is active on your smartphone.
The same applies to the Fitbit. If you want to read notifications, the do not disturb or sleep mode should not be switched on.
The other thing worth checking is your device lock. If it is active on your Fitbit and you have not entered your PIN recently you’ll need to do that.
- Make sure that your watch’s vibration motor is working
On some Fitbit devices, such as the Versa or Sense, you can check if the vibration motor is working by going into Timers on the device and choosing Stopwatch. Tap the play icon to start. Your watch should vibrate.
For devices without this function you can always test whether the vibration motor works via the alarm clock settings in the app. The other option is to test it via the hourly reminders to move.
- Make sure that all is ok with Bluetooth settings on your phone / Reset Bluetooth
Check that your phone’s Bluetooth connection is switched on. Your wearable communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth for notifications, so needs this to be working properly.
Simply go into the Settings screen on your smartphone, choose Bluetooth and make sure it’s toggled to the On position. If this is okay, open up the list of connected devices and check that your Fitbit is amongst these.
Fitbit says having too many Bluetooth devices connected at the same time with your smartphone might impede with notifications. So try and switch other devices off if you are experiencing problems.
One more thing you can do is turn off the Bluetooth on your smartphone. Wait around 10 seconds or so and then switch it back on. Open the Fitbit app to sync your smartwatch or fitness tracker.
- Check Fitbit app’s permissions on your phone
If your Fitbit notifications are not working, you should also check that the Fitbit app has appropriate permissions in your phone’s settings. This is done by going into your smartphone’s settings, choosing Notifications and selecting Fitbit. Make sure the Allow Notifications tab is switched to the On position.
- Restart the Fitbit app and your Fitbit device
Force quit the Fitbit app and then open it again. Whilst you at this, it’s a good idea to restart your Fitbit smartwatch or fitness tracker, as well. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.
- Refresh notifications / set up notifications again
To refresh notifications, go to the today tab in Fitbit’s smartphone app and tap on your profile picture. Tap on notifications and switch all of them off. Restart your phone and enable all notifications back on.
Finally, you can also try setting up notifications again from scratch. Tell your smartphone to “forget the device” by removing the Bluetooth connection between the phone and your Fitbit. This is done in the Bluetooth settings on your phone. Then head over to the Fitbit app and set up notifications again.
Hopefully one of these fixes has helped if your Fitbit notifications are not working. If not, you can always contact Fitbit’s Customer Support Team. They might offer additional solutions and if your device is faulty can start the warranty process.
The simplest way to do this is to go to contact customer care in the Fitbit app. Navigate to the trouble shooting section and select online chat.
How to choose which Fitbit notifications to allow through
Depending on your device, you’ll see a choice to enable calls, text messages, calendar events and individual third-party app notifications. Make sure the ones you are interested in are enabled. The choice differs depending on the Fitbit that you own.
You can toggle which of these to allow through. The setting can be found in the Fitbit app, by going to Account and selecting your Fitbit wearable.
Click on App Notifications to choose which third-party apps can communicate with your Fitbit. You might find it is a long list or a short one. This entirely depends on what apps you have installed on your smartphone.
How to use Fitbit Quick replies
Those with Android phones can utilize Quick Replies. These are essentially customized responses to messages from certain apps with Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Charge 5, Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Luxe, Fitbit Sense, or Fitbit Versa series.
Quick replies are automatically turned on so there’s nothing for you to do there. They enable users to send one of five pre-populated quick replies to text messages and apps such as Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Line. Users are also be able to add their own replies, as long as they are up to 60-characters long. This can be set up by going to Notifications>Quick Replies in the Settings section of the Fitbit smartphone app.
It is important to note that devices paired to an iPhone can only respond to Fitbit app notifications, such as messages, cheers, taunts, and friend requests. The reason for this is that the Apple ecosystem is more closed off than Android.
To use Quick reply open the notification. They simply choose the text icon to reply to a message from the list of canned responses.
Your other option is to select the emoji icon to respond with an emoji. Tap on More replies or More emojis to see additional choices.
You can also use voice replies with Fitbit Sense, Versa 2 and 3
The good news for those with a Fitbit Sense or Versa 3 is that their device has a microphone. This allows users to reply to notifications via voice. The software comes with an algorithm which converts what you say to text. Just make sure to turn on the Microphone setting is in the Settings section of the Fitbit smartphone app.
Similar to quick replies, open the notification. Then tap on the microphone icon to trigger the functionality. This is located in the response options.
Use your voice to reply and then tap on Send. You also have the option to Retry or Undo. This is useful if the voice reply has not been transcribed correctly. Fitbit offers support for several languages – you can change this setting by tapping Language.
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