Fitbit keeps pausing during workouts? Let’s fix it!

Fitbit is pausing when working out with Exercise app

One of the main reasons I own my Fitbit Versa 3 is to track my workouts using the Exercise app or just letting it automatically track my walks, runs, and other workouts. I love reviewing my stats and seeing my progress for my daily exercise goals.

One of my biggest pet peeves with my Versa is that it often and randomly pauses during my workout and stops tracking it–while I am in the middle of my workout.

It’s so frustrating!! I often don’t even realize it’s on pause until I look at my Fitbit to either see my current stats or end the workout. And sometimes, it stopped tracking early into my workout, and I’ve lost most of it.

And I know I’m not alone. So here are a few things I did to get my Versa 3 to stop pausing during my workouts–at least most of the time. Although it still occasionally happens, it’s now a rarity instead of a regular occurrence. 

So let’s get to it.

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Turn off auto-pause auto pause settings on Fitbit

If your Fitbit pauses during a run or bike ride, there is a setting deep in your Exercise app for automatically pausing your workout if your Fitbit detects you’re no longer moving. It should resume your workout once it detects you’re moving again…but often does not!

Unfortunately, this automatic pause feature works sporadically, so we recommend turning it off. Not all Fitbits offer this option, AND it’s only currently available for Run and Bike workouts. 

So, if you own a Charge 4+, Luxe, Ionic, Sense Series, or Versa Series Fitbit, turn off auto-pause for these workouts.

  1. On your Fitbit, open the Exercise app.
  2. Choose Run or Bike.
  3. Scroll or swipe and locate the Auto-Pause settings and turn it off. Exercise app on Fitbit turn off Auto Pause setting
  4. If you are in the middle of your workout, return to your exercise stats and press the play button to resume your workout.
  5. Repeat the steps for Run or Bike, so you turn this feature off for all types of supported workouts.

Prevent accidental button pushes Fitbit watch side button for Sense and Versa 3

One of the biggest reasons our workouts pause on our Fitbits is an accidental touch of the side button(s), particularly on models with solid-state inductive buttons (instead of physical buttons) like the Sense, Versa 3, Inspire 2/3, Charge 5, or Luxe.

Many people don’t realize that tapping the back button pauses your workout!

Accidental touches happen when your wrist or forearm contacts the side button and triggers your workout to pause. This frequently occurs when you bend your wrist and wear your Fitbit with the button facing your wrist (usually on the right arm.)

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no option to disable this button while working out. So in place of that feature, try wearing your Fitbit with the button facing your elbow instead of your wrist. That’s the left hand for most people. 

Or, if you want to keep it on your current hand, turn it upside-down, so the button faces your forearm and not the wrist.

Some other options include wearing your Fitbit higher up on your arm, so it’s a couple of inches away from your wrist to avoid accidental touches when bending. And remember to wear it snug enough, so it doesn’t slip down!

Fitbit on the inside of left arm to avoid accidentally pausing workouts

I’ve also discovered that wearing my Versa 3 on the inside of my left arm, instead of the outside, with the button facing my forearm helped me avoid most accidental button presses. 

Turn off your Fitbit’s button shortcuts

If your Fitbit opens an app when you accidentally touch the button, try turning off your button shortcuts and see if that stops your Fitbit from pausing your workout unexpectedly. 

Fitbit only offers button shortcut options on certain watch models, including the Sense, Ionic, and Versa Series.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Shortcuts
  3. Scroll down to Press & hold and turn it off. Press and hold options for Fitbit side button turn it off
  4. Scroll down to Double Press and turn that off as well. Toggle off side button double press options

Cover your Fitbit’s button

If you tried all these steps, but your Fitbit is still pausing your workouts, try covering your Fitbit’s side button with a piece of non-residue tape, like surgical or medical tape.

Or purchase a screen protector case that adds some additional depth to avoid unwanted touches on the side button. 

Neither of these options is ideal, but many Fitbit users say they work. 

Turn on screen wake and always on display Automatic On or Motion setting for screen wake on Fitbit

If you find yourself frequently tapping the screen or the side button to check your workout’s stats, turn on Screen Wake, so you don’t need to press the side button or tap the screen to check.

Turning on the Always-On display also helps your Fitbit recognize when you look at your Fitbit’s screen and prevents the screen from turning off during a workout. 

Just note that not all clockfaces or Fitbit models support always-on, and this feature decreases your device’s battery life.

Turn on your Fitbit’s Screen Wake 

  1. Open your Fitbit’s Quick SettingsScreen wake icon ON in Fitbit Quick Settings
  2. Turn on Screen Wake to the Automatic setting.

Turn on Always-On Display for your workout

  1. On your Fitbit, open the Exercise app.
  2. Choose your preferred workout.
  3. Scroll or swipe and locate Always-On Display and turn it on. Exercise app on Fitbit settings for Always on display while working out
  4. Return to the exercise screen and tap the play icon to start your workout.

Add a feature suggestion Feature suggestions site for Fitbit users

We really need Fitbit to release some kind of option to disable the button(s) during any workout, like the water lock feature when swimming that prevents accidental button touches.

Since there’s no way to currently lock your Fitbit during workouts, consider sending in your feedback to Fitbit and ask them to add this as a feature for a future firmware update.

Go to Fitbit’s Feature Suggestion Board and either create a new request, search for a similar suggestion, add a comment, or vote for that feature.

Final thoughts

I hope one of these tips helped sort out your Fitbit’s issue with pausing during your workouts. For me, wearing my Fitbit on my left hand and the inside of my arm during exercise worked.

If you have any other tips for getting your workouts to track continuously without unintentionally pausing, let us know in the comments!

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A. Beth Whittenberger
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. Additionally, I was a writer, content producer, and editor on the popular tech blog AppleToolBox. 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! Connect with me on LinkedIn!


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