Can’t change the clock face on your Fitbit? Let’s fix it

Fitbit smartwatch Sense and Versa clock face selection using the Clocks app

Choosing a Fitbit clock face reflects your mood, style, and personality. And it can also help to keep you on track with your day’s fitness goals! 

Unfortunately, many people experience issues when trying to change their Fitbit’s clock faces.

If you receive error messages such as unable to install: install failed, please try again later, or your Fitbit displays Clock Error, you are not alone!

Hopefully, these quick fixes banish those error messages, and you can install a clock face of your choice.

Try these tips when your Fitbit isn’t changing its clock face

  1. Restart everything.
  2. Review your Fitbit’s saved clock faces.
  3. Change to a Fitbit branded clock face.
  4. Plugin and charge both Fitbit device and phone.
  5. Force close the Fitbit app and reopen.
  6. Update your Fitbit’s firmware (operating system.)
  7. Remove and re-add your Fitbit.
  8. Uninstall and reinstall the Fitbit app
  9. Check your Fitbit’s internal storage.
  10. Check clock face permissions.
  11. Turn on always connected or on all-day Sync (for legacy app versions and devices.)
  12. Unpair Bluetooth.
  13. Factory reset.

Before we go into detail on each suggestion, remember that for most Fitbit smartwatches to update the clock face on your watch, you must have no more than 38 apps installed. 

Also, Fitbit watches allow you to save up to 5 total clock faces and switch between them. 

If you try to add another, you first need to delete one of your saved clock faces and then add your newest!

Restart—everything!

You hear it all the time for almost all technology products–try a restart!

Well, it’s true for Fitbits too. So before you spend a lot of time troubleshooting, perform a restart of both your phone (tablet, computer) and your Fitbit device.

You may need to try multiple restarts if the issue isn’t solved the first time. Fitbit watch side button for Sense and Versa 3

You can restart most Fitbits via the Settings app or hold the side button(s) until you see the Fitbit logo or a smiley face on its screen.

For older Fitbit wearables

  1. Connect your Fitbit to its charging cable and make sure it’s plugged in and placed properly.
  2. Hold down the button for between five & ten seconds. You usually see the Fitbit logo or a smiley face icon appear or the screen flashes. smile icon or smiley face on Fitbit when rebooting
  3. Release the button or buttons when this happens.
  4. Disconnect the tracker from its charger and turn it back on if necessary.

To see the exact instructions for restarting/rebooting your Fitbit, check out this article: Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps.

Restarting your phone is usually a simple power it off, wait 20 seconds, and powering it back on.

Review your Fitbit’s saved clock faces

  1. On your Fitbit smartwatch, open the Clocks app Fitbit smartwatch clocks app
  2. Swipe left or right on the bottom row of dots to see your 5 saved clock faces. see your 5 saved clock faces on your Fitbit watch
  3. If you find the one you want to use, switch by tapping it.
    1. Only Fitbit watches offer the Clocks app.
  4. In the Fitbit app, tap the Today > your profile picture or icon > your device image. Choose Fitbit Versa 3 inside Fitbit app
  5. For Fitbits with WiFi, check that your Fitbit is currently connected to WiFi.
    1. If not, scroll down on your device settings and tap Wi-Fi settings.
    2. Tap a listed network or add a new network and verify that your device lists that it is Connected!. Connect your fitbit to WiFi
  6. Open Clock Faces.
    tab for clock faces in Fitbit app
  7. For watches, please scroll down and scroll down to My Clock Faces (or Installed Clock Faces.) Fitbit app change your clock face
  8. To switch to a saved clock face, tap the clock face and choose Select.
    Fitbit app change to a different clock face

    1. Wait for it to download and update on your device, then tap Done.
    2. If it doesn’t update to your device, force a sync using the Sync Now feature.
    3. If it failed, check that your device is connected to WiFi again.

For Fitbit trackers, review your current clock face and switch to a different one

  1. In the Fitbit app, tap the Today > your profile picture or icon > your Fitbit tracker image.
  2. Choose the Clock Faces tile.
  3. Tap the top All Clocks tab to see the available clock faces Fitbit tracker choose a new clock face inside the fitbit app
  4. Select a clock face to see its details.
  5. Tap Select to add the clock face to your Fitbit tracker. Fitbit tracker switch to a different and a new clock face
  6. Wait for your tracker to update its face.

Remove a saved clock face from your Fitbit (watches only feature)

  1. When you remove a saved clockface, any personalization or settings changes you made to it are also lost.
  2. Open the Fitbit app.
  3. Tap the Today > your profile picture or icon > your device image > Clock Faces > My Clock Faces.
  4. Tap a saved clock face and select Remove clock face and confirm. Fitbit app removed saved clock face for smartwatch

At this time, you cannot remove clock faces using your Fitbit’s Clocks app–you must use the Fitbit app.

Not seeing a clockface at all? Change to a Fitbit one

If you see this clock face error on your Fitbit’s screen after updating it, open the Fitbit app and choose a clock face made by Fitbit, not a third-party.

  • In the Fitbit app, select your Fitbit device and open Clock Faces.
  • Tap the All Clocks tab at the top.
  • Scroll down and select a face from By Fitbit. Clock faces by Fitbit in the Fitbit app

Plug both your Fitbit and your phone into their chargers

Some people solved the issue of not installing a new clock face by simply plugging their Fitbits and phones (or tablets) into the chargers. We recommend charging it to at least 50% before proceeding. Fitbit smartwatch charging

Place your Fitbit in its charger, connect your phone to its charger, wait a few minutes, and restart both devices.

After restarting, open the Fitbit app or use the Clocks app on your Fitbit smartwatch and try again to change its clock face. 

Force close the Fitbit app

Forcing the Fitbit app closed (force stopping it) and then relaunching often gets clock faces to show up.

Force Closing or Stopping an app ends all of the Fitbit app’s foreground and background processes immediately.

How to force close the Fitbit app on Apple and Android 11+

Fitbit app close it on Android or Apple

  1. Go to your Home Screen.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom and pause in the middle of your screen to open the app switcher.
    1. For older Apple devices, double press the Home Button.
  3. Locate the Fitbit app by swiping right or left. 
  4. Swipe up on the Fitbit app’s preview to force close the app. 
  5. Restart your phone.
  6. Open the Fitbit app and check if you can change your device’s clock face.

You can also force stop the Fitbit app on Android by visiting the Settings app and locating the Fitbit app in your Applications. Then, select Force Stop or Force Quit. force stop Fitbit App on Android or uninstall it

Update your Fitbit’s firmware 

If you tried changing your Fitbit’s clock face but discover that the Select button of your preferred clock face is greyed out, you likely need to update your Fitbit’s firmware.

Unfortunately, your device’s firmware download may not be immediately available. That’s because your Fitbit downloads that update in the background when you sync your device with the Fitbit app.

For example, Fitbit’s Charge 4 requires an update to enable Clock faces, and this update can take up to 48 hours to complete.

How to update your Fitbit’s firmware in the Fitbit App

  1. Put your Fitbit on its charger and place it close to your phone, tablet, or computer.
  2. Open the Fitbit app.
  3. Tap the Today tab > your profile picture or icon > select your device’s image from the list. look for the pink banner to update your Fitbit firmware and Fitbit OS
  4. Tap the pink Update banner.
    1. This option only appears if an update is available and ready to download to your Fitbit.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to update.

Try updating your device using Fitbit Connect.

If your device works with Fitbit’s Connect app for Mac and Windows, try updating your device with that. 

  1. Connect your Fitbit device to your computer and open Fitbit Connect.
  2. In the Main Menu choose Check for device update. Fitbit Connect check for update for firmware

Remove and re-add your Fitbit

Sometimes, removing your Fitbit from your list of devices and then adding it back helps fix features that give errors or don’t show up. 

  1. Open the Fitbit app and choose the Today tab.
  2. Tap your account’s profile picture or icon and choose your Fitbit from the list. fitbit device in fitbit app
  3. Wait for your Fitbit to sync or tap the Sync Now button. Sync Now feature in Fitbit app
  4. For Android, tap the trash can and for Apple, scroll to the bottom and tap remove this device. 
    1. When you remove a Fitbit from your phone, it unpairs your Fitbit, and any data that was not synced is lost. Remove a fitbit from the Fitbit App using an Apple Device
  5. Once removed, add your Fitbit device back to the app.
  6. Choose the option that says Set up a New Device. Fitbit app set up a new device
  7. Select your model, place it on the charger if it’s not already on it, and follow the on-screen steps
  8. When the Fitbit app finds your device, look at your Fitbit’s screen for a pairing code and enter that into the app.
  9. Follow the remaining on-screen instructions to choose your preferences and add your Fitbit back into the app.

See this article for an in-depth tutorial: Got a new or replacement Fitbit? How to set-up it up so you don’t lose data.

Uninstall and reinstall the Fitbit app

Uninstalling the Fitbit app and reinstalling it has solved changing clock faces for some Fitbit users.

When you uninstall the Fitbit app, you need to download it from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store and sign back into your Fitbit account.

  • For Apple devices, press and hold the Fitbit app icon until the Quick Actions Menu appears, choose Remove from the menu, then tap Delete App. Fitbit app remove and delete from iPhone or iPad Apple devices
    • You can also delete apps in Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Fitbit app > Delete App.
  • For Android devices, touch and hold the Fitbit app icon and move it slightly until you see Remove or Uninstall options at the top of your screen. Drag the Fitbit app to Uninstall and confirm you want to delete it. Uninstall Fitbit app from Android delete or remove app from device
    • You can also uninstall apps from Settings > Apps or Application manager > Fitbit app > Uninstall.

Check your Fitbit’s storage space and remove anything unused or not needed

Lack of device storage is a common issue, especially on Fitbits, where you have lots of apps or have filled it with music. 

Try freeing up some space on your Fitbit by deleting apps or music, restart your Fitbit, and then try changing its clock face. 

For Fitbits with local music storage, tap the Today tab > profile picture or icon> your Fitbit in the Fitbit app. Then choose Media, tap Personal Music, and choose to Remove All Personal Music. Delete all your personal music from your Fitbit using the Fitbit app

You can also delete individual playlists using Fitbit’s Connect App for Mac or Windows using Manage My Music. manage My Music for Fitbit using Fitbit Connect

Check the clock face’s permissions

Many clock faces also require access to your user statistics and other private and personal information.

If you turned off these permissions, it causes the clock face to stop functioning. 

To adjust what a clock face for your Fitbit has access to

  1. Open the Fitbit app and go to your device’s Clock Faces  
  2. Under My Clock Faces, choose a clock face and tap on it.
  3. Choose to See all details and tap Permissions. Fitbit app clock face details and permissions
  4. Update your permissions by turning features on or off. Allow fitbit clock face to access your settings and health information

Every clock face is different so that you won’t see the same types of permissions.

Turn on Always Connected or All-Day Sync

If you use an older model Fitbit, phone, or haven’t updated the Fitbit app, there are a couple of legacy settings to check.

Check that the Always Connected or All Day Sync option is on.

  • In the Fitbit app, select your Fitbit device and scroll to the bottom.
  • Turn on the Connected toggle or the All-Day Sync feature. all day sync option on fitbit

Unpair and forgetting your Fitbit from your phone’s Bluetooth settings

Some people found that removing their Fitbit from their phone’s Bluetooth settings solved the issue of a clock face not installing.

It may take several attempts until this works, so try it a couple of times.

  1. Go to your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
  2. Find your Fitbit from the list of BT devices and tap it.
  3. Select Forget or Forget this Device. Forget Fitbit from Bluetooth settings on Android
  4. Restart your phone. Do not pair at this point.
  5. Restart your Fitbit.
  6. Open the Fitbit app and pair your Fitbit with Bluetooth on your phone.
  7. Try to install the clock face again.

Factory reset reset to factory settings Fitbit Ionic

If the other options don’t fix your Fitbit issue, try a factory reset.

This action wipes all of your stored data and returns your Fitbit to its factory settings. So if you can sync your Fitbit before you reset, do that via the Fitbit app and the Sync Now function.

Most models have different factory reset methods, so check out this article for step-by-step instructions: Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps

If you have an older Fitbit model like the Fitbit Flex, Surge, and Blaze, these Fitbits that came out before 2016, cannot be factory reset.

FAQ FAQ frequently asked questions

How do I change My Fitbit clock face?

  1. With your device nearby, in the Fitbit app, 
  2. Tap the Today tab > profile picture or icon > your Fitbit’s name and image.
  3. Choose the tile for Clock Faces and select All Clocks.
  4. Browse the available clock faces. 
    1. While many are free, some third-party clock face developers require an additional payment–review the clock description for the cost before selecting it.
  5. Tap the clock face you want. 
  6. Tap Select to install it.
  7. Sync your device to see the change.

What are saved clock faces?

On the Sense, Ionic, and Versa series, you can store up to 5 clock faces to switch between them.

Your Fitbit automatically saves your clock faces until you reach that limit. 

To save a new clock face when you already have 5 saved clock faces, remove a stored clock face before installing another. 

If you install a new clock face without first removing a saved clock face, the new clock face shows up on your watch, but it isn’t added to your saved clock faces.

How do I adjust the settings of a clock face?

Many Fitbit users don’t realize that many clock faces feature different color themes or other settings.

To adjust the settings of a clock face, in the Fitbit app, tap the installed clock face and choose Settings, then tap SELECT THEME.

How do I contact Fitbit customer support?

You can contact customer support in several ways. For quick access, try Fitbit’s customer service chat!

Summary

I hope that this article has helped you to change your Fitbit clock face successfully and that your new clock face will inspire and motivate you in 2021!

If you have any more questions or anything to add, please feel free to let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section below!

If you liked this article, you can follow us on social media by using the social media buttons!

I have a first-class honors Physiotherapy degree and a second class honors Sports Science degree. I am also a certified Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist. Before completing my University education in the United Kingdom, I worked as a fitness instructor and athletics coach for many years. Since 2008 I have been practicing in the UK as a Chartered Physiotherapist, and traveling to European and World Cup tournaments with the Wales Masters field hockey team as their physiotherapist. I am passionate and actively involved in health and fitness and in the process of research and writing. I believe everyone should have access to the latest health and wellness research in simple, easy to understand language. In 2009 I published a research article ‘Is Yoga An Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain’ in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Currently, I am a freelance writer producing content relating to physiotherapy and health and wellness. I love anything animal! I have three rescued dogs and two parrots. I placed third lady in my city’s annual marathon (dressed as a bunny!) to raise funds for an animal welfare charity.

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