Image source: Fitbit

Your Fitbit Versa, Sense, Charge won’t turn on? Try one of these fixes.

As good as your Versa, Sense, Charge, Inspire, Luxe or other Fitbit is, sometimes problems will arise. You might find that your fitness tracker or smartwatch won’t turn on or that it has suddenly stopped working. Hopefully one of these ten troubleshooting steps will help get rid of the problem.

Common causes of a Fitbit not turning on

Fitbit has a great range of devices. There’s something for everyone whether you are serious about running or simply want to keep tabs on your health. Popular choices for fitness bands are the newly released Charge 5 and the more discreet Luxe or Inspire 2. Then you have the Versa range for those after a smartwatch. And let’s not forget Sense – the most high spec of the lot.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Generally Fitbits are pretty reliable. But at times they can be affected by glitches. That is the case for all wearables, whether they are an Apple Watch, a sporty Garmin or a sleek Samsung watch.

When you tap on the Fitbit display or when you move or turn your wrist the screen on your Fitbit should spring to action. But a problem can arrise where the screen just sits there unresponsive refusing to do a thing. It can be very frustrating. Don’t panic.

First, take some comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone. In fact there are some pretty long threads on Fitbit’s Community Forum about this very issue.

Here’s one such example. In that particular case some users on the Community Forum reported that they left their device charging, only to find out it switched itself off and is refusing to turn back on. Or their device would simply go dead, for no apparent reason, as dead as a dodo.

Well, there are reasons why this might happen – and they can differ. It could be a depleted or bad battery, a faulty charger or charging cable, a software error, etc.

The good news is that most of the time you can fix the problem yourself. It is only when there is a hardware issue, such as a screen that is faulty or broken, that you will need to contact Fitbit Support. If your Fitbit is defective, check out the warranty. You might be able to claim a replacement device.

Fitbit Charge 3 or Versa: which is right for you?
Image source: Fitbit

What to do if my Fitbit won’t turn on?

There are several trouble-shooting steps you can try to resolve the issue of an unresponsive display. In this article we list 10 of the most common ones.

As you can see from above, the cause of a Fitbit not turning on will not be the same for everyone – or every time. So take some time to go through these fixes one at a time. Resolving the problem yourself will save you time in the long-run.

Time needed: 15 minutes

Troubleshooting steps if a Fitbit won’t turn on or is unresponsive

  1. Restart the device

    The first thing you should always do when there’s a problem with a Sense, Charge Versa, Luxe, Inspire or any other Fitbit is to perform a restart of the wearable. For example, on the Versa this is quite easily done by pressing and holding the back (left) and bottom (right) buttons until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen. It should take no longer than 10 seconds. Let go of the buttons.

    Some users have suggested a solution where you hold down the buttons on the device for longer. One of them on the Forum says that trying a restart didn’t work but that he kept the three buttons down for about three minutes. Suddenly, the screen flashed up the Fitbit logo. It’s worth a try if the Fitbit won’t turn on. It might take longer than usual to restart.

    Don’t worry, your data will still be there sitting on the device. It is not going anywhere. This is because a restart is different from a factory reset in that it does not wipe away any data. So you will still get credit for those steps. Think of it as a “soft” reboot. The exact instructions on how to do a restart for each Fitbit can be found on this link.

  2. Has the battery been depleted? Try fully charging the Fitbit.

    Hopefully all is good and your fitness watch is back to life now. If not, perhaps there may be a problem with the charger and your Fitbit has simply run out of battery juice.

    Try charging it up to 100%. If you’re having problems with this, we’ve pulled together a detailed guide on what to do if your Fitbit is not charging.

    The gist of it is that you should make sure there is no residue on the tracker or charger cable, plus you should make sure the tracker is properly aligned with the charging pins. Also check if the USB port or electricity outlet is working. This is done simply by plugging the charger cable into another power outlet. On most Fitbits you’ll feel a vibration when the connection is successful. It could also be a faulty cable. This is easily resolved by purchasing a new charging cable – a $5-$10 expense.

  3. Throughly clean the device

    Pretty self-explanatory. Clean the device. In fact Fitbit recommends that you do this from time to time. There may be dust, grime or dirt interfearing with the tech.

    It should go without saying that you should not use soap or cleaning agents for this. Or cleaning wipes for that matter. Nope. Only use fresh water and a soap-free cleanser to clean everything. Also make sure to wipe the charging contacts and pins (charging ports) on the charging cable. This can also be done with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol. Dry everything with a cloth or tissue when done.

  4. Make sure that your Fitbit is not in water-lock mode

    Water-lock is something that you do not want to keep switched on. Inspire 2 has this and the functionality automatically switches on when you are in water. If not you can manually turn it on. Otherwise the Fitbit will not track your swim session.

    Water-lock should also be enabled when you are taking a shower or bath. The feature blocks the screen and buttons rendering them useless. As described here, you should double tap the screen firmly to get out of water-lock.

  5. Double-check the display’s brightness settings – perhaps it is too dark

    You may have inadvertantly switched the brightness setting of your Fitbit to dim. It has been known to happen. Or perhaps a software glitch caused this.

    The issue is easily rectified by navigating to the Settings menu on your Fitbit device. Choose the screen option and the setting for brightness will show up. Tap on it and you’ll be able to adjust. On some devices the choice is between dim, normal and auto. It really depends on the Fitbit that you own.

  6. Has the Screen Wake been set to auto? If not it will refuse to wake up when you raise your wrist

    The screen wake setting can be set to manual or auto. The first requires you to interact with the device (for example press a button, touch the display) in order for the display to spring to life.

    You can tweak this in the settings. On Charge 3 and 4 press and hold the button and swipe left, then tap Screen Wake. On Charge 5 and Luxe, swipe down from the top of the screen to access quick settings. You’ll find the option there. On Sense and Versa 3 you’ll need to swipe right from the clock face to open quick settings.

    Perhaps an easier way of doing this is via the Fitbit smartphone app. Fire it up, click on the Today tab and than on your profile image. Now select your device image. The Quick View function that controls this setting can be found on this page.

    Or go to the dashboard. Click on the gear icon and then on your device image. Then look for the Quick View option to tweak the setting.

  7. Change your clock face to a different one.

    Sometimes the clock face could be the cause of screen issues. Go to the smartphone app and choose a different one. Our suggestion is to go for a standard clock face – this is the safest option. Do a sync in order for the change to take affect. It might be worth performing a restart of your Fitbit after syncing.

  8. Make sure you are running the latest version of the firmware

    Installing the latest software does come with risks, but most of the time you are better off doing this. Subsequent versions of firmware are there to squash bugs and install fixes. Perhaps there is a glitch in the software that needs rectifying. You can check if there’s new firmware for your Fitbit in the smartphone app.

  9. Do a factory reset of the Fitbit

    A factory reset should be your last resort. Your Fitbit is still dead and unresponsive. It simply won’t wake up and you’ve gone through the list above. Do a factory reset.

    Remember – this is not the same as a restart. It will return the tracker to its condition when you bought it – so all the data that is on it will be tied off. You will start with a clean slate. A factory reset also unpairs the Fitbit from your account so you will need to reconnect it.

    How a factory reset is done differs depending on the Fitbit that you own. You can read our detailed guide on this link. For newer devices a factory reset is done by navigating to the Settings app on the device, choosing About, scrolling to Factory reset, and following the subsequent instructions to perform this. Give it a few minutes to do its thing and you might find that the screen has sprung back to life.

  10. Contact Fitbit customer support

    If none of this works, there is the chance your Fitbit is faulty or there is a problem with the charger. Which means you will need to replace one or the other with a new one. In this case it’s best to contact Fitbit’s Customer Support Team and 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.

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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.

18 thoughts on “Your Fitbit Versa, Sense, Charge won’t turn on? Try one of these fixes.

  • My versa 2 says that data not cleared and can’t get it to start

    • My Fitbit app is tell me to allow to access what does this mean but I haven’t had the watch in like months but I just bought new charging so I’m lost on what to do next

  • I have done all pushing all 3 buttons 10 sec. And 3 min. Nothing cleaned it still won’t light up it says it’s completely charged

    • Hi, my fitbit versa has just gone blank and won’t turn on. I’ve tried all the suggested fixes but nothing has worked. This is the second time this has happened, the first time Currys (where I purchased the watch) replaced it for me with no fuss. Disappointed this has now happened for a second time as I like the watch and use it for lots of things in my everyday life. Help would be gratefully appreciated.

      • Exactly same problem for me.
        They replaced it once in November 2020 and now again it has just gone blank!!!

  • I can’t put the Fitbit on is getting hot in the charger so is charge but won’t turn on

    • dude same here..did you find any fix to this?

  • my Fitbit just randomly deis this is pretty much brand new and this is very frustrating please help

  • Battery compatibility dead. Tried all the suggestions and still nothing. I purchased mine 2019 February from Fitbit directly, less then a year later December 2019 I was able to get only 2-2.5 days with one charge. Called customer support since it was still under warranty and they made me do some charging tests and after few days they were able to see that it was not holding charge. They sent me a replacement tracker were very helpful but Fitbit completely failed to mention that replacements only have a 6 month warranty. WHAT? Fitbit also failed to mention that replacements what are sent out ARE refurbished and not new. That may have been a reason that 7 month later I started having a battery issues again and that is when it died so quickly I did not even realized that I had it only for couple of days and it was dead. I did end up resetting and using the suggestions from online and after a multiple tries I was able to bring it back to life. I called Fitbit again and that is when they told me I only had 6 month on replacement unit. And they told me the reason for 6 month is because the replacement trackers are refurbished. Again WHAT???
    April 2021 it died again completely and after multiple attempts I have still not been able to get Versa come back to life. Well it lasted little over 2 years and I gave Fitbit a try, now moving on to look for something else. Garmin, Polar, Samsung not sure but Fitbit has lost a customer. All 4 of us had the Fitbit trackers. They DO NOT STAND behind their product. Maybe that is why they came out with Versa 2 because there were so many battery and charge issues with original Versa.

    • Mines exactly the same! I’m having murder with them now as the face fell off first one then this time, stopped syncing then just went off! I’ve tried everything

    • Same thing happened to me!!! I am done with Fitbit; Garmin here I come!

  • I have tried everything . when hold the three buttons and logo come it also shows different languages but nothing else happens

  • I have a versa2 ive got battery issues won’t turn on won’t charge even got a new charger still not working help to fix

  • My Fitbit watch won’t turn on I have tried everything that has been recommended. It was a Xmas present on 2019

  • Fitbit is a terrible company and there should be a lawsuit for this so that customers can at least get a full refund for what they pay for these watches. I have bought a Fitbit for myself(Versa 2), my husband (Ionic) my mother-in-law (Inspire), and my daughter(ace). Mine stopped working with in a year and a half. My husband’s stopped working in less than a year. Mother-in-law’s stopped working within a year. Tried all the fixes with customer service multiple times. They only offered me 35% off a new device. They said they would replace my husband’s at the time which was under warranty and never sent the new one. They don’t even offer an option to send the watch in and have it fixed. Which leads me to The conclusion that they are just disposable pieces of technology trash. I spoke with customer service several times to no avail. Done with the company. $700 lesson learned. I’m getting an Apple Watch.

  • I bought my Fitbit versa lite on the 23 June 2021 it’s now gives me problems it only turns on when is in charger I have tried to troubleshoot it no luck.

  • My versa 2 is just a little older then a year,& has stopped working.Only logo shows of Watch Face.Got total run a round from Co Rep.Just an awful Company to do business with.

  • I absolutely love my Fitbit Charge 4 that I’ve had for decades; so many great features, including getting a notification on it when someone is calling me on my iPhone, etc. I almost think this is a newly added feature in 2022, because I don’t think that happened before, but I may be wrong. It was quite low, about 20% 2 nights ago, and I didn’t charge it up. The next day & today I haven’t been able to turn it on at all, despite trying all your suggestions. Please, any ideas?


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