Fitbit display screen black and not working or turning on? Let’s fix it!

Fitbit blank screen

Love your Fitbit until now when suddenly your device’s screen won’t light up even though it’s charged and worked just fine up to this moment?

If your Fitbit isn’t firing up, no matter what button you push or how long you charge it, we’ve got you covered with our top tips.

Many users discover that although their Fitbits appear unresponsive with dark screens that won’t display anything, the Fitbit device is actually still collecting data and syncing it with their Fitbit app and account!

Related reading

First, charge it up to 100%

If your Fitbit isn’t fully charged, first place it on its charger and wait for it to reach its full capacity.

It’s better to charge your Fitbit via a wall outlet than your computer’s USB ports–that’s due to some limitations on your computer port’s power. Fitbit Versa 2 and Versa 3 charging on charger

Once you fully charge your Fitbit, try seeing if the screen now shows up and is responsive.


If your Fitbit isn’t charging, check out this article: Fitbit Versa not charging? What to do if your Fitbit won’t charge


Remove any case or screen protector

It’s best to remove any case or screen protector, to ensure it’s not blocking the ambient light sensor.

Your Fitbit’s ambient light sensor looks like a black dot on the side of your Fitbit device. If that’s blocked, your screen usually dims automatically.

Check your display brightness settings

Oftentimes, we need to adjust our Fitbit’s screen brightness. We suggest you go to a dark room or wait for nighttime and then take a look at your Fitbit.

If you can make out something on the screen, it’s likely your Fitbit is dimmed.

  1. Open the Settings app on your device
  2. Tap Screen Brightness and change to Max (if available) or Normal from the options or choose off for the Dim Screen option adjust your Fitbit's screen brightness to Max or Normal, not the Auto setting
  3. Also, check that Sleep Mode is not turned on–this mode automatically dims the screen
    1. Sleep mode doesn’t automatically turn off unless you set a sleep mode schedule, so if you want to use this function, make sure you tap Sleep Interval and set your sleep mode schedule
    2. Go to Settings > Quiet Modes > Sleep Mode and turn it off or go to your Quick Settings and tap the half-moon icon to turn off Sleep Mode.

Make sure to have set Screen Wake to auto (automatic) Fitbit Versa Quick Settings for screen wake

    1. Access your device’s Quick Settings 
      1. Ionic, Versa, Versa Lite Edition, and Versa 2—Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the quick settings icon 
      2. Sense and Versa 3—swipe right from the clock face
      3. Inspire Series, Charge Series, and Ace Series–press and hold the button or buttons and tap Screen Wake
    2. Tap the icon that looks like a watch to enable Screen Wake 

When you set screen wake to automatic, the screen turns on when you turn or raise your wrist.

If you instead set the screen wake to the manual setting, press the watch’s button or tap the screen to turn on its display.

Learn more about screen wake in this article: How to turn on or off raise or tap to wake screen on Fitbit Sense, Versa, Ionic, or Blaze

Try restarting

If you see a black or blank screen on your Fitbit, the first thing to try is a restart or a forced restart (also called a long restart.)

Restarting your Fitbit forces it to reboot–and often fixes problems like a black, blank, or non-responsive device.

How you restart or force restart depends on your model, so it’s best to check your Fitbit’s user manual.

Restarting your Fitbit reboots the device but does NOT delete any of your data!

In general, restart smartwatches like the Fitbit Sense, Versa Series, Ionic, and Blaze Fitbit logo on-screen of Fitbit smartwatch

  • To restart your watch, press and hold the button (or the back and bottom buttons) for 10 seconds until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen. Then release the button
  • You may need to try this process a few times
  • If your device does not restart when following these instructions, remove any case or screen protector and then try again

In general, restart Fitbit trackers like the Charge Series, Alta, Ace, or Inspire

  • Attach your tracker to its charger, then press and hold the button on your tracker for 5-10 seconds until you see a smiley face on-screen, then release
  • When you see that smiley face and the Fitbit vibrates, the tracker restarted smile icon or smiley face on Fitbit when rebooting
  • If this doesn’t work the first time, try this restart procedure a few times
  • If your device does not restart when following these instructions, remove any case or screen protector and then try again

For Fitbit Charge 2 or 3, try the following:

  • Plug the device into its charger and hold the button down for 15 seconds, then release
  • Remove the device from the charging cable and pause for 5 seconds. Then, plug your Fitbit Charge back into its charger
  • Wait for the smiley face icon to appear on the screen fitbit charge smiley face or icon

Learn how to restart your exact Fitbit by the model in this article: Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps


Change your Fitbit clock face to a standard face

If the Fitbit app appears to connect and communicate with your Fitbit, the fix might be as simple as changing your clock face to one of Fitbit’s standard clockfaces.

  • Place your Fitbit near the mobile device or computer with the Fitbit app (or Fitbit Connect)
  • Tap the Today tab > your profile picture or icon and select your device
  • Tap Clock Faces Clock faces option in Fitbit app
  • Choose  All Clocks from the top tabsAll Clocks and clock faces in the Fitbit app
  • Choose one of the standard Fitbit clock faces
  • Tap Select to install it choose new Fitbit clock face in the Fitbit app
  • Choose Sync Now and see if your Fitbit screen activates and is responsive Fitbit app Sync Now

Perform a reset

Still stuck with a blank screen after a restart? Try a reset, if possible. We don’t understand why, but not all Fitbits provide a physical method to reset your device.

And note that when you reset your Fitbit, you lose any data that wasn’t previously synced with the Fitbit app or Fitbit Connect.

How to reset smartwatches using just the buttons on the Fitbit

Fitbit Versa

  • Hold all the Fitbit buttons for 10-15 seconds to initiate a hardware reboot
  • Wait for the Fitbit logo to appear and then disappear. Only then release the bottom right button but continue holding the left and top right buttons until you feel a strong vibration
  • Wait for the Fitbit logo to appear again and for your Fitbit to display Fitbit.com/setup

Fitbit Ionic

  • Remove the Ionic from your account
  • Delete the Bluetooth pairing
  • Press and hold all buttons on the device until the Fitbit logo appears
  • Wait until the Fitbit logo disappears, then release the bottom right button
  • Wait until you feel a vibration, then release the other buttons
  • Wait for the Fitbit logo to appear again and for your Fitbit to display Fitbit.com/setup

Learn more about resetting your Fitbit and the differences between restarting versus resetting in our article Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps.


Seeing error code 001 on your Fitbit’s screen?

Fitbit error 001 on screen

If your Fitbit shows error code 001, try a normal restart first if you can.

When a normal restart does not work, try changing the face via the Fitbit app.

If it’s still not working, let’s completely turn off the Fitbit (shutdown) or perform a long restart, if available for your device.

Since this error usually occurs on Fitbit Charge models, here’s the direction on how to long restart the Charge. Please follow these instructions step-by-step.

How to perform a long restart on a Fitbit Charge

  1. Plug the charging cable into your Fitbit and connect to power for charging
  2. Once you plug it in, press and hold the side button down for 15 seconds. We recommend you use a timer, like on your phone, to ensure a full 15 seconds pass
  3. After 15 seconds elapse, remove your finger from the button and remove the Fitbit from its charger. You should see a black screen and not the smiley face icon
    1. If you see the sad smiley face or error code 001 again, repeat steps 1-3
  4. Wait a few seconds and then plug the charging cable again into the Fitbit
  5. Wait for the happy smiley face icon to appear on the screen

Is your Fitbit under warranty? warranty for Fitbit

If you’ve tried restarting, resetting, or changing the clock face via the Fitbit app, but you can still not get your Fitbit to display anything on its screen, consider reaching out to Fitbit Support.

If you are still within your device’s warranty period (usually one year (for Americas) or two years (Europe) from purchase or receipt as a gift,) contacting Fitbit’s customer support for warranty assistance is your best option.

Once Fitbit support confirms your warranty coverage, they usually offer options to repair or replace your current malfunctioning unit.

Not covered by Fitbit’s warranty?

If your device is outside of the standard warranty period, you may still have some extended benefits if you purchased your Fitbit using a credit card that offers additional warranty coverage.

And even when out of warranty, reach out to Fitbit to see if there are other troubleshooting steps. And if nothing works, Fitbit will likely offer a new purchase discount when the Fitbit is out of warranty.

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!

17 COMMENTS

  1. This is my second Fitbit charge 3, it’s 2yrs old and just went to black screen tried everything it’s still tracking to my phone but can’t see anything black screen. My first was charge 2 only lasted just over 1yr. Don’t know what to do next.

  2. I have had my Fit Bit for a year this Christmas. And the screen is black it still works with my IPhone. I have tried to get the screen on to no luck I like my watch. Can you help me .

    • Hi Ida,

      Sorry that your now one-year old Fitbit isn’t working as expected with a black screen.

      Please let us know the model (i.e. Versa, Inspire, or so forth) and we’ll see if there are any other tips.

      Additionally, although your Fitbit is likely out of warranty, contacting Fitbit Support often helps so we suggest you do that as well.

    • Hi Ida,

      Do you mean the Fitbit Charge 3? If so, let’s try this process on that device:

        Plug your Fitbit into its charging cable and start charging it
        With the Fitbit plugged in and charging, hold the side button down for 15 seconds, then release the button
        Unplug your Fitbit from the charging cable, then immediately plug it in again
        Wait for the smiley face icon to appear on the screen
        Open the Fitbit app and change your Clock Face to something new

      If this process doesn’t help, please contact Fitbit Support for further assistance and instructions.

  3. The screen on my Fitbit Charge 2 has also gone black after 3 years. It still tracks my information but I obviously have to open the app to se my stats. I have tried the restart and reset to no avail. Is there anything left that can be done?

    • Hi Robert,

      Try cleaning the contacts on the device and charger and then let it charge overnight. After that, try turning it on again. You may need to restart a few times in a row to get your screen to work.

  4. My charge 3 is 2 years old.
    No display and none of the suggested fixes work for me.
    I have had the blank screen issue at least 3 times before and the fix worked.
    It still syncs with the app but is useless as a watch.
    Thanks for nothing, Google.

  5. Fitbit Blaze has died. Charged it as usual. I was getting the sensor on the back but now that’s died too. Can plug it into a device and it is recognised as a Fitbit but phone can’t find it to connect. Reset doesn’t work.

  6. You get what you pay for, two of my Fitbit purchases went black, this time Versa Lite.

    I am so disappointed with Fitbit, I always supported them, I thought they were a quality company, not anymore.

    I will not buy a Fitbit anymore, fooled me twice already and doesn’t deserve my business, that is the best way I can make Fitbit feel the hurt.

    • Hi Lindsay,

      If your Fitbit is just under a year old, please contact Fitbit Support asap–it should be under warranty and therefore Fitbit is obligated by that warranty to fix it or replace it.

      But don’t wait to contact them. Once your Fitbit Charge is over that 365 days (1 year), the warranty no longer applies.

  7. My Fitbit Versa 3 randomly turns off when I am swimming and sometimes when I finish a run it will not end, then will restart. Is there a fix, I am on my second Versa 3 as first one would not charge. Thanks Tamara

  8. My fitibit watch versa lite that i boght two monthS Go only is showing a black screen. It is new 🙁 !
    Please help me i’ve tried everything!

    • Hi Rushi,

      We are very sorry to learn that your Fitbit Versa Lite is stuck on a black screen. Since you purchased it just two months ago and none of our troubleshooting tips worked, we suggest you contact Fitbit Support immediately as your Fitbit should be within the 1-year warranty period.

      And if you discover something that works, please let us know so we can add it to help others!

      Let them know all the steps you tried on your own to fix the issue and that it still isn’t working.

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