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.
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Check if you enabled Sleep mode
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.
If it’s highlighted, it’s on. Tap it once to turn it off–it should gray out.
Check if you scheduled Sleep 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
- Open the Settings app on your Fitbit.
- For the Sense and Versa Series:
- Choose Quiet Mode > Schedule mode and check if the toggle for Off-Hours is on.
- 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.
- For the Charge and Inspire:
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
Turn on Always On Display mode, if available
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
- For the Sense and Versa 3, Swipe right from your Fitbit’s clock face to open your Quick Settings.
- For the Versa 2, swipe down from the top of your screen. Scroll past your notifications to open the control center and tap the Quick Settings slider icon.
- Tap the always-on display clock icon so it’s highlighted.
Only low-power clock faces support always-on display mode.
If your preferred clock face doesn’t support always-on, you instead see just the current time as an analog or digital clock.
Choose this setting in the Fitbit Settings app > Display > Always-on display, then choose Analog or Digital.
Change how you wake up your Fitbit screen
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
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
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.
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.)
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.
Then, compare that version to the one your Fitbit currently uses.
In the Fitbit app, tap the Today tab > your profile picture > your device image. Find the firmware version number just below your device’s name.
Firmware updates can take some time to download to your device, so even when a newer version is listed, it might not show up on your device.
How to update your Fitbit’s firmware in the Fitbit App
- Put your Fitbit on its charger and place it near your phone, tablet, or computer where you use the Fitbit app.
- Open the Fitbit app.
- Tap the Today tab > your profile picture or icon > choose your device’s image from the list.
- Tap the pink Update banner.
- You only see if banner if an update is available and ready to download to your Fitbit.
- 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.
- Connect your Fitbit device to your computer and open Fitbit Connect.
- In the Main Menu choose Check for device update.
Restart your Fitbit or reset it
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.
After successfully syncing, tap the Settings app on your Fitbit and choose Clear User Data, About > 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.
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.