Fitbit doesn’t turn on clock when you tap it? Screen wake not working? Let’s fix it!

Fitbit screen isn't waking up after tapping or raising wrist

Are you tapping your Fitbit’s screen a dozen or more times, but it still doesn’t wake up and show you its clock face? Or tapping seems to work intermittently at best? And the only thing that seems to work is to press a button(s) on the side of your Fitbit to wake it up.

It’s usually a setting or two that’s caused this problem. So let’s dive in and see if we can get this quickly fixed.

If your Fitbit screen wakes up without issue but doesn’t stay on very long, check your Fitbit’s Settings > Display > Screen Timeout setting instead. Then, increase the amount of time before your Fitbit’s screen turns off. Not all Fitbit’s offer this option, such as the Inspire Series.

Related reading

Check if you enabled Sleep mode Display sleep mode in quick settings on Fitbit versa 3

It’s a little confusing since Fitbit offers a lot of features that include the word sleep.

To be clear, sleep mode is different than sleep tracking!

With sleep mode, your Fitbit turns off your screen while also muting things like notifications and other functions so you can get a good night’s sleep. 

Unfortunately, it’s easy to turn on Sleep mode on your Fitbit unintentionally!

And when it’s on, you disable your screen from waking automatically when you lift your wrist.

Plus, it dims your screen, so even if you tap your screen awake or use the side button to wake it, your screen may be difficult to see.

Not all Fitbits include Sleep Mode–currently, this feature is available on the Inspire 2, Charge 3 & 4, Sense, and Versa Series.

Turn your Fitbit’s Sleep mode off

To check if you turned on Sleep Mode, go to your Fitbit’s Quick Settings menu (see information on how to do that below) and look for the crescent moon icon. Fitbit quick settings menu option for sleep mode

If it’s highlighted, it’s on. Tap it once to turn it off–it should gray out.

Check if you scheduled Sleep mode sleep mode scheduling on Fitbit Versa 3 using Settings app Quiet Mode

If you have constant problems with your Fitbit stuck in Sleep mode, you might have set it on a schedule where screen wake disables each night automatically at the same time and then turns off in the morning.

To look at your sleep mode schedule 

  1. Open the Settings app on your Fitbit.
  2. For the Sense and Versa Series:
    1. Choose Quiet Mode > Schedule mode and check if the toggle for Off-Hours is on. off hours scheduling toggle for Fitbit sleep mode for display
    2. If so, you enabled Sleep mode on a set daily schedule–scroll further down to change those hours or tap Off-Hours once to turn it off.
  3. For the Charge and Inspire:
    1. Select Sleep Mode and see if you turned on Schedule. To change its times, tap Sleep Interval or tap Schedule once to turn it off.

Find your Fitbit model’s Quick Settings menu Quick Settings menu on Fitbit watch

  • Fitbit Charge Series and Inspire Series, press and hold the side button for a few seconds until a menu appears on-screen.
    • When you turn off a setting, its icon dims and shows a line through it.
  • Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense, go to your clock face and swipe to the right.
  • Fitbit Ionic, Versa, and Versa 2, on your clock face, swipe down and tap the Quick Settings icon (looks like two sliders.)
  • For Versa Lite, swipe down on your clock face, scroll down past all your notifications and open Control Center, and then choose Quick Settings.

You can also change your screen wake settings using the Fitbit app or Fitbit online account dashboard.

  • For the app, tap the Today tab > your profile picture or icon > your Fitbits device image. Then, scroll down and turn Quick View on for the automatic setting) or off for the manual setting.) Quickview settings for screen wake in Fitbit app
  • For your online dashboard, under your account name, choose the Settings gear icon and select your device’s image. Then, scroll down and turn Quick View on “show clock” (automatic setting) or off (manual setting.) Quick view settings for screen wake on Fitbit website account dashboard

Turn on Always On Display mode, if available Fitbit always on display for watches

Using always-on display mode keeps your clock face visible at all times. This feature is currently available on newer model watches and not available on Fitbit trackers, like the Charge or Inspire Series.

Turning always-on display modes does drain your battery quickly and requires you to charge your Fitbit frequently.

However, when your Fitbit’s battery is critically low, the Always-on display automatically turns off.

Always on display for Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 and Versa 2

Change how you wake up your Fitbit screenAutomatic On or Motion setting for screen wake on Fitbit

Most Fitbits offer a couple of ways to wake the screen. You reach this setting via your Fitbit’s Quick Settings menu (discussed above.)

  • Automatic (also called Quick View, Motion, Motion & Button, or On)–the screen turns on when you raise your wrist to look at your watch or tracker.
    • Upside–don’t need two hands to turn it on!
    • Downside–often turns on when you don’t need it and may drain your battery.
  • Manual (also called Button, Button Only, or Off)–wake the screen by tapping the display or pressing a side button(s.) 
    • Upside–only turns on your watch when you really want to see it.
    • Downside–need two hands to turn the Fitbit on!

The Inspire series also has an additional option of the Double-Tap in the Settings app Double Tap on Fitbit Inspire Series

With Double Tap ON, you can wake up your Fitbit with a very firm double-tap on its screen.

Double Tap only works when your Fitbit’s screen has been asleep (black) for more than 10 seconds. 

Tap your band instead of your Fitbit’s screen Tap Fitbit's band to turn on its screen

Have you tried all types of taps, from really hard ones to double or even triple taps but still the screen doesn’t light up and respond? 

If you like the manual setting, try tapping on the band right above or below the Fitbit pebble instead of tapping on the screen

Don’t want to tap or press a button(s) to wake your Fitbit’s screen?

Use the automatic setting to turn on raise to wake. This setting turns your Fitbit’s screen on every time you lift your wrist to look at your device.

This automatic setting does drain your battery faster than the manual option.

Set your Fitbit screen to wake automatically when raising your wrist

Open your Fitbit’s Quick Settings, then tap the screen wake icon (looks like a watch) and change your Fitbit’s screen wake option to Automatic, so every time you lift your wrist to look at your Fitbit, it automatically turns on. Screen wake icon ON in Fitbit Quick Settings

Depending on your model, the automatic screen wake may show up as Auto, Motion, On, or a bright screen wake button (icon looks like a watch or lightbulb.) Fitbit Charge and Inspire Quick Setting for screen wake

Update your Fitbit’s firmware using the Fitbit app or Fitbit Connect for Mac and Windows

If there is an update ready for your Fitbit, take advantage of the bug and security fixes that come with firmware updates.

Another benefit of updating your Fitbit is that it often fixes other issues!

Check your Fitbit’s current version number vs. the latest release number

Check out this Fitbit page to see what the current firmware version is for your specific model.

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

  1. Put your Fitbit on its charger and place it near your phone, tablet, or computer where you use the Fitbit app.
  2. Open the Fitbit app.
  3. Tap the Today tab > your profile picture or icon > choose your device’s image from the list. choose your Fitbit device from the Fitbit app account list
  4. Tap the pink Update banner. Fitbit app update tracker or watch using the app
    1. You only see if banner 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 Fitbit Connect check for update for firmware

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. 

Restart your Fitbit or reset itShutdown, turn off, or reboot fitbit

Restarting often fixes many problems by rebooting the Fitbit’s operating system.

You can restart most Fitbit smartwatches and trackers using the device’s Settings app and choosing Shutdown, Reboot, or About > Reboot Device.

For smartwatches like the Versa Series, Sense, and Ionic, you can also tap and hold the side button (or the back and bottom buttons for Ionic and original Versa) for 10 seconds and release when you see the Fitbit logo on the screen.

To review step-by-step instructions on restarting your Fitbit by model, see this article Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps.

Reset your Fitbit back to its factory settings

If all the other tips failed to get screen wake working for you, setting it back to its factory standard is the last resort.

The downside of a factory reset is that it removes all your data, including any apps you added, all your personal information including health and fitness metrics, any credit and debit cards for devices with Fitbit Pay, and other stored settings.

So before you reset, sync your Fitbit with the app or Fitbit Connect to preserve as much of your device’s data as possible.

After successfully syncing, tap the Settings app on your Fitbit and choose Clear User DataAbout > Factory Reset, or About > Clear User Data. 

To learn how to factory reset your specific model, see this article Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps.

Summary

Hopefully, you are now able to wake your Fitbit’s screen. If not, it might be something else that’s causing your Fitbit not to show its screen.

Check out some additional tips in this article for dealing with a Fitbit that screen remains black.

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!

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