A reboot of your Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch restarts the device, but does not delete any data – a factory reset is something else entirely. It erases all of its data and settings.
Make sure you are clear which of the two you want to perform. A restart of your Fitbit is entirely harmless. Think of it as a soft reboot. In fact it can do your Fitbit tracker good, particularly if it’s experiencing issues.
A factory reset should only be done if you want to re-install your fitness tracker and start with a clean slate, sell it or gift it to someone else. It can also be used as a last resort if you are experiencing serious issues with the fitness tracker.
So make sure not to confuse the two! With that out of the way, let explain how to do to a soft and hard reset of your Fitbit.
Check out our ‘How to‘ section for many other problem-solving articles.
How to restart your Fitbit
Let’s start with the easier of the two. Further down the page we will explain how to do a full factory reset of your Fitbit. We also show how to unpair a Fitbit from your account – all of this is important to know.
Restarting or doing a soft reset of your Fitbit tracker is the go-to solution if your wearable is not responding to button presses, taps, or swipes, if it is not connecting to the app or if it is not tracking your activity.
It is a troubleshoot for fixing many internal problems with your Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch. And it is very effective at doing so. So whatever you issue, try this first. It might save you lots of hassle.
Resetting your Fitbit by model: a step-by-step guide
- Reset Fitbit Ace and Alta series
- Reset Fitbit Blaze, Ionic, Versa series or Sense series
- Reset Fitbit Ace 2, 3 or Inspire series
- Reset Fitbit Charge 2,3,4
- Reset Fitbit Charge 5
- Reset Fitbit Flex and Flex 2
- Reset Fitbit One
- Reset Fitbit Zip
- Reset Fitbit Surge
- Plug the Fitbit tracker’s charging cable into a USB port and attach to the device to begin charging.
- Press the button on the end of the charging cable three times in quick succession. You’ll notice the display will switch off after a while.
- Wait a few more seconds and the Fitbit logo will appear and the tracker will vibrate briefly.
- The device has now restarted.
- Press and hold the back (left) and bottom (right) buttons until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen. This should take no more than 10 seconds.
- Let go of the buttons.
- On the newer Fitbit Versas and Sense series there’s only one button. So do this exact same procedure by pressing on it.
- Press any button to switch it back on.
Alternatively, you can also turn your watch off directly through its settings. Then press any button to switch it back on.
On the Fitbit Blaze navigate to the Settings screen by swiping right to left on the home screen. Scroll down to Shutdown and confirm. On Fitbit Ionic and Versa open the Settings app, tap on About and then Shutdown.
- Connect the Fitbit Ace 2,3 or Inspire series with its charger and plug into a USB port.
- Press and hold the button on the tracker for five seconds.
- Release the button.
- When you see a smile icon and the tracker vibrates, the device has restarted.
- Place your Fitbit into its charger and plug into a USB outlet.
- Press and hold the physical button on the left for around 8 seconds (4 seconds on Fitbit Charge 2).
- When you see a smiley icon (on Fitbit Charge 3 and 4) and the tracker vibrates, your Fitbit has restarted. You are now ready to use it again.
If you have the first generation Fitbit Charge, the procedure is pretty much the same. You’ll just need to hold the button for longer (10 to 12 seconds), until you see the Fitbit icon and a version number.
How to reset Fitbit Charge 5
As far as Fitbit Charge 5, that one doesn’t have a physical button. So the procedure is a bit different to its predecessors. To reset you’ll need to.
- Swipe down from the clock screen
- Find and open the Settings app > Restart Device > Restart
- To do a restart on the Fitbit Flex 2, remove the core unit from the wristband and slot it into its compartment on the charging cable while it is plugged into a power source.
- Locate the button on the charging cable below the tracker compartment.
- Press it three times in quick succession. A vibration will let you know each time you’ve pressed it successfully.
- After a few seconds, the tracker will confirm that it has restarted by flashing all of its lights simultaneously.
The procedure for the first generation Fitbit Flex is the same. The only difference is that instead of pressing the button, you’ll need to insert a paperclip into the small pinhole on the back of the charger for 3-4 seconds.
This is similar to what you do when removing a SIM card from a phone. It is a bit of a hassle but hopefully you will not need to do this too often.
If you still have a working Fitbit One or Fitbit Zip – well done! These trackers are a number of years old. The fact that people still use these is a testament to the quality of Fitbit devices. Here’s how to do a soft reset of your Fitbit One.
- Attach the device to the charging cable.
- Press and hold the tracker’s button.
- You’ll notice the battery icon will disappear after about 5 seconds. Keep holding for 5-7 seconds longer until the Fitbit turns off.
- To switch it back on simply press the physical button again.
The procedure to restart a Fitbit Zip is quite different from the others on this list. That’s because it does not have an on/off button or rechargeable battery. It runs on a replaceable 3V coin battery, CR2025.
So in this case you’ll need to actually remove the battery from its compartment using the battery door tool. Wait 10 seconds and then slot the battery back in.
Make sure to put it in the right way around! The “+” side should be facing up. The Fitbit Zip will restart as indicated by a series of smilies.
- Press and hold the home (left) and bottom buttons until you see the screen flash or start to dim. This should take about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Let go of the buttons.
- Wait a few seconds and press the Home button to turn Fitbit Surge back on.
The other option is to press the home button and swipe to the Settings screen. Choose Shutdown and confirm. Then press the Home button to switch it back on.
If you’ve decided to give your Fitbit to someone else or sell it you’ll need to take some more drastic action. A full factory reset erases all of your data and unpairs the device from your account.
It also gets rid of any stored information, other personal data and saved settings. Sensitive info on any credit or debit cards you may have added on trackers that support Fitbit Pay will be wiped, of course. The procedure clears your data entirely.
If you’re gifting or selling your Fitbit, you’ll also want to unpair the tracker from your Account. And remove it from your phone’s Bluetooth’s settings.
Wiping of all the data on the Fitbit will typically be done automatically when the deviceis paired to a new account for the first time. But to be on the safe side, it is best to do it yourself.
You might also want to do a factory reset for troubleshooting issues – as this puts the software back to the state in which it was when you bought it. It is a rather drastic step, though as you’ll need to repair it to your account.
Luckily doing a full factory reset is very easy to do on Fitbit trackers that support the procedure. Most but not all the devices do. As mentioned, for those that don’t the information from the Fitbit will be erased once the tracker is paired to a new account.
For those with a Fitbit Ionic, Sense, Versa range, Charge 3 and 4, Inspire 2 series and Ace 2 and 3, do the following.
- Navigate to the Settings app
- Tap on About (or Device Info depending on the device that you own)
- Scroll to the section that says Factory Reset (or Clear User Data)
- The Fitbit will ask you whether you are sure you want to wipe everything from the tracker. If you are, hit “Confirm” or “Reset” for 3 seconds and release
- The device will do its thing and vibrate after a while. When the clock screen appears all your personal data from your Fitbit will have vanished!
Most people know that you can add more than one Fitbit tracker to your account. This is convenient as it allows you to switch between devices.
They will all work via the same dashboard. All the data is collated and even if you wear two Fitbit trackers at the same time, the software is clever enough to figure out which data to use.
However, if you are no longer using your Fitbit tracker or have given it to someone else you should remove it from your account. There’s no point in it sitting there.
Unpairing a Fitbit from your account can be done in one of two ways. The first is via the website dashboard, the second via the smartphone app.
Remember, when you unpair your Fitbit, any un-synced data will be lost. So make sure to do a final sync. Rest assured, any info that has already found its way to your account will stay there. So you won’t lose any of your historical Fitbit data. It would be kind of pointless if you did.
From the website dashboard, the procedure to unpair a Fitbit from your account is as follows.
- Open up the dashboard, locate and click on the gear icon.
- Click on the image of the Fitbit tracker that you want to remove from your account
- Choose the option to remove the device
- Follow the on-screen instructions to safely unpair the Fitbit.
From the Fitbit smartphone app do this.
- Click on the icon in the top-left corner of your Fitbit tracker.
- Chose the “Remove this” tab. Scroll down to the bottom until you see it.
- Confirm that you are happy to unpair your Fitbit when prompted.
- Once that’s done head over to your smartphones Settings page.
- Choose Bluetooth and find your Fitbit tracker in the list.
- Choose the option to forget the device.
If you’ve unpaired your device for troubleshooting issues and want to pair it back to your account make sure you’ve removed it from your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings. Then simply open up the Fitbit app and set up the tracker as a new device.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!