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

Fitbit Versa 3 not turning on shows black and 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 still collecting data and syncing it with their Fitbit app and account!

In a hurry? in a hurry graphic

If time is short and you don’t need a thorough step-by-step, follow our top 3 recommendations to get your Fitbit’s screen device up and running!

Related reading

First, charge it up to 100% charging status for Fitbit Versa 3 or Sense

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.

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


Verify your Fitbit isn’t in water lock mode water lock icon for Fitbit

Some Fitbits include a water lock mode, which disables the screen and button(s) from responding to touches and swipes.

To turn off the water lock, dry your Fitbit and then double-tap your screen (Inspire and Luxe) or long-press the side button (Sense and Versa 3) to turn off its water lock.

You may need to repeat this a few times to get it unlocked.

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.

Clean your device AND its band things needed to clean fitbit

There may be dirt, salts from sweat, lint, grease, or other grime interfering with your Fitbit’s charging contacts or even clogging your Fitbit’s button(s.) So give your Fitbit a good, old-fashioned cleaning!

  1. First, clean your Fitbit’s charging contacts (the bronze or gold pins on the back of your Fitbit) and clean the pins on your charging cable.
    1. Use a soft toothbrush or microfiber cloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Always add the rubbing alcohol to the toothbrush or cloth–do not put it directly on the Fitbit.
    2. Wait for it to fully dry before attempting to use it.
  2. Next, clean your Fitbit’s screen and button(s) with a lint-free cloth and a little rubbing alcohol. You can also use screen wipes, eyeglasses cleaners, or disinfecting wipes as long as it does not include bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
    1. Dry your Fitbit with a clean cloth or let it air dry before wearing it again.
  3. Finally, clean your band. We suggest removing the band to clean all of its surfaces. You can use a soft toothbrush, Q-Tip, or a microfiber cloth with a bit of water, rubbing alcohol, soap-free cleanser, or disinfectant to clean the band. 
    1. Dry your Fitbit’s band with a clean cloth before wearing it again.

Check your display brightness settings

Often, 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 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. Fitbit sleep mode
    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) Screen wake icon ON in Fitbit Quick Settings

    1. Access your device’s Quick Settings.
      1. Ionic, Luxe, 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 Fitbit Sense or Versa Series side button

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

  • 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 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 or the Fitbit logo, then release.
  • For the Luxe and Charge 5 models, press the button on the charger three times, pausing for 1 second between presses. Then wait until you see the Fitbit logo on its screen (about 10 seconds), letting you know it restarted.
  • When you see that icon or logo, 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 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.

  • lace 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 Gallery Gallery tile in Fitbit app for clock faces and apps
  • Choose Clocks from the top tabs
  • Choose one of the standard By Fitbit clock facesFitbit app see clock faces made by Fitbit
  • Tap Install to download it to your Fitbit Install a clock face made by Fitbit
  • Choose Sync Now and see if your Fitbit screen activates and is responsive Sync Now feature in Fitbit app

Perform a reset

Are you 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
  • When the Fitbit logo disappears, then release the bottom right button
  • Once you feel a vibration, 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.


Do you see 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 for long restarting 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.

Is it 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!

52 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.

    • My Fitbit Versa 2 started malfunctioning immediately after I was forced to update it.

      Several days later my screw went black. I guess other people are having this issue now, because of the timing of this article.

      I followed the instructions but it didn’t help. Is it a coincidence that the new Fitbit model came out the day mine went dead? Apple Watch, here I come.

  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.

    • Same thing. Tried holding Iin my single button 30 second. Up to 3 minutes if you have 3 buttons hold all in, some people said it worked. Seems they the all last the year and few days…meaning meaning you have no warranty! So it makes me wonder are they shutting down the phone. They constantly asked me if I wanted buy premium products for my particle watch.
      I was happy with what I had.
      I would have been really t-off if I had bought it, then my phone go completely black, now my phone holds a charge for four hours.

      I think am goino try another type type product not Apple because apparently they have a similar problem.

      But then again all this stuff’s made in China they’re TRACKING US.

    • 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.

    • I had one go black a couple of months after I got it. They replaced it as it was under warranty. It was working perfectly fine yesterday. I got a message stating that a update was needed. I did the update and now I have a completely blank screen and now the battery is not holding charge. It was only needing charge every 3-4 days. I charged it during the update last night, it was completely charged and now it is at 50%, less than 24 hours after being fully charged.

      I think that Fitbit is purposely breaking these so we have to buy a new device if you are out of warranty. Not sure I every want to do business with this company again. I am very angry about this.

    • 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.

  9. The first Versa 2, screen went blank and they gladly sent replacement. Now the replaced Versa 2 started with the screen not swiping. I called no warranty. A few days later it starts back working. About a month goes by and now there’s a black screen. I truly believe they can control things on their end. I will never purchase another. My next watch will be Samsung! Not to mention customer service sucked!

  10. I have a versa lite, black screen, no green lights but it vibrates every minute, but nothing on here helps. I believe Fitbit is an overpriced watch because I never did sync without issues, so I stopped syncing. Some of those suggestions don’t make sense if you can’t turn the FITBIT on. Itt doesn’t turn on.

  11. Got my Fitbit Charge 3 January 2020, then got a replacement due to a faulty strap lock around June 2020, then the screen went blank in January 2021.

    After countless resets, still not working.

    Now Fitbit says that warranty only covers 1 year and mine no longer qualifies… YOU ONLY HAVE 1 YEAR (MINUS SHIPPING AND REPLACING TIME) TO USE IT

  12. This is my third charge 3 that has had a black screen just over a year old and my wife has had two with the same problem.

    Built-in redundancy I fear. Not going to buy any more have bought Apple Watch.

    • Theresa,

      Is your Fitbit Versa 2 still covered under its warranty, i.e. purchased within the last year. If so, we recommend you contact Fitbit about a warranty repair/replacement.

      Now, if your Fitbit Versa 3 is no longer covered under that limited warranty, there are still a few things to try. In particular, connect it to the charger so it’s charging and then try restarting it multiple times.

      Open the Fitbit app and check if your Versa 2 still syncs. If it does sync, that means your Versa still tracks your metric but is having an issue with its display. Try changing your clock face to a different one and see if that works. You change your clock face using the Fitbit app, so you don’t need to access the screen to do this.

      If nothing here helps, then it’s likely it’s a hardware problem. Contact Fitbit Support and see if they have any additional advice. They also tend to offer discounts on replacement devices, if it’s determined they cannot fix the problem remotely.

  13. I saved for 8 months and finally bought a versa 2.

    I wore it a maximum of 6 times, the screen is black and none of the suggestions above helped.

    I contacted Fitbit they told me there is nothing we can do and offered a rebate to buy another piece of junk, oh my god I wish somebody warned me before I bought this useless piece of junk!

    • Hi Fatima,

      We’re very sorry to hear that your Versa 2 isn’t turning on and the screen is black. Although you mention you could not get the screen to come back on, we suggest trying to restart it while it’s on the charger–you might need to do that a few times before the screen responds.

      To restart your Versa, press and hold the side button for 10 seconds or more until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen, then release it. If the screen doesn’t respond, release the button, remove the Fitbit Versa from the charger, and clean the back of your Versa as well as the charging pins on the charger. Once clean, place it back on the charger and run through the steps again.

      Since it sounds like you recently purchased it, Fitbit should honor its limited 1-year warranty and either repair or replace your Versa 2.

      Before you contact Fitbit, have a copy of your sales receipt on-hand so you can prove your date of purchase. Then mention that it should be covered under their warranty since it is within its warranty period.

      When you purchased this more than 1 year ago or other situations:

      If you purchased the Fitbit Versa 2 on your credit card, contact your credit card issuer and ask them if they offer any additional purchase protection for items bought using their card.

      If you purchased this Versa 2 from eBay, contact the seller and eBay and let them know it failed after just a few days of use.

  14. I received my fitbit versa2 as a Christmas gift 8 months ago and my screen went black and will not turn on. I have no receipt because as I said it was a gift. But I do still have the box it came in. What should I do??

    • Hi Shann,

      Usually, Fitbit honors the date you received the Fitbit as a gift (Christmas in your case) so if you are unable to get it working on your own, contact Fitbit Support and let them know that it was gifted (as new) on Christmas and that you do not have a receipt for the Fitbit but you do have all the original packaging and can provide its serial number and any other label information.

      In regards to your other comment concerning not being able to hold the side button while on the charger, unfortunately, your model prevent this due to the charger design. Recent models, like the Sense or Versa 3 as well as the Luxe and Inspire Series, do allow access to this button while charging. Sorry for the confusion!

  15. Hi guys, I had the same problem, tried everything you mentionned unsuccessfully until my wife noticed that the strap attachment was dirty and cleaned it ! Now it is working as before ! Good luck!

  16. I have a charge 2 and it wAS WORKING AWESOME, I was changing the screen because it was broke and pulled the ribbon out now it won’t work. Did I damage the Lcd?

    I had this for more than 3 years and it worked perfectly.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Without actually seeing your Charge 2, it’s hard to diagnose what is wrong. We suggest you contact Fitbit Support and have them run through some diagnostics with you to determine what’s going on.

  17. I received my Fitbit Versa watch as a gift.
    Over the weekend I placed the watch on the charger to be charged. Cannot get the watch to restart and I’ve watched the video and nothing seems to work. Please advise me what needs to be done.

  18. I agree with everyone else. My screen is dark and no matter what I do I can’t get it to work. And it’s been about 2 years since I bought it. My solution. Never buy a Fitbit again!!!!

    • Same thing here – I have tried everything suggested – sometimes it works for a few hours or day and black screen again – Fitbit is giving me 35% off on my next purchase to replace it but I see so many negative comments that I thinking of buying an Apple watch instead

  19. I have struggled with a blank screen on my Charge 3 for some time now. Nothing works. I feel robbed.

    Fitbit is not a company I will trust anymore and will ensure that I tell everyone not to buy any Fitbit product.

  20. If the screen is black you can’t see what the settings are. Also, you can’t see that you have changed the clock face. I have tried ALL resets and changed the clock face.

    I try these numerous times every day and I still have a black screen.

    My charge 3 tracks and will sync with my iPhone but can’t see a damn thing. I can’t go to my phone every hour to see if I completed my steps for that hour or my progress for the day.

    There has to be something, an update, etc that can be done. If you take or care about your customers Read our reviews.

    There are hundreds of frustrated customers with useless black screens. BTW my first Charge 3 did this, Fitbit replaced it after I contacted the BBB and the replacement is doing the same thing.

    • Hi Effie,

      Sorry to hear about your Charge 3 showing a black screen. Since it is syncing with the app, that means it is still working and tracking your activity and other stats.

      Try these steps:

        Plug your Charge 3 into its charging cable, once connected hold the Charge’s button down for 15 seconds, then release and remove your Charge from the charging cable.
        Wait a second or two and plug it back into the charging cable
        Look for the smiley face icon to appear on its screen

      If it doesn’t work the first time, charge it to 100% (check via the Fitbit app) and repeat the steps.

  21. My Versa2 quit at 2:28 a.m. but not before displaying a big red exclamation mark. Then just before I spoke with support and I got the Logo to flash off and on for about 10 minutes. Then blank screen again.
    Support was no help. Watch is over warranty so I was offered a 35% discount.
    But my bigger concern is the big red exvlamation mark.

    • Hi Sean,

      This error means your Versa 2’s battery isn’t charging. Try cleaning the contacts on the Versa 2’s back and on the charger itself. Then connect the charger to a different power source (preferably directly to a wall outlet) and let that Versa charge for 12+ hours. Then, check again and see if it works.

      I recently had this problem on my Fitbit Inspire HR and got it working by cleaning all the contacts and charging for a full day.

      Hopefully, that works for you!

    • Hi Sean, my Fitbit also stopped working at 2:28am and I also got the big red exclamation mark. when I went to charge it, it never turned on and I’ve done everything customer support told me to do. They said it is no longer under warranty. It’s only been 15 months since I purchased it. Very odd that our watch stopped working at the same exact time!!

  22. I bought a versa 2(?) for my wifes christmas box last year. Went black recently and nothing is working.

    This happened to mine once before too but I got it working again – can’t remember what I did, something odd, not the “hold the 3 buttons down at the same time” thing. There *is* a way, I just can;t remember it. I’m in the EU, does that mean it’s still under warranty?

    I bought it end of october 20

    • Hi Charles,

      In the EU, the standard Fitbit warranty is 2 years if you currently reside in the European Economic Area (EEA) and you purchased your Fitbit product in the EEA. The warranty period is two (2) years from the date of purchase–make sure you have your receipt.

  23. I received my Inspire 2 Christmas 2020. It was working perfectly on December 31, 2021. On 1 January 2022 only the time display worked. By holding the buttons, a water logo message would display.

    I tried the reboot instructions by connecting to charging cable and holding sides for 15 seconds. The smiley face appeared and I disconnected. Now there is nothing that displays but the smiley face when I reboot it.

  24. Bought the Sense and took it back 3 times for replacement. Would not charge not even at the store. Stay away from this company.
    Previously had 2 other Fitbits (Blaze and charger)–all junk

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