Fitbit stuck on looking, searching, or no device found? Here is how to fix it

Does the Fitbit app on your mobile device keep saying it’s looking for your Fitbit device? Is your Fitbit stuck on searching” while you’re trying to pair it with your watch? Or perhaps you are seeing “no device found”?

No need to worry. There are plenty of solutions for these issues with some of them being very simple. All you have to do is follow our instructions and, hopefully, everything is going to turn out fine.

So, without any further ado, let us get right into it!

Quick checklist

myhealthyapple quick checklist icon

Before troubleshooting for device not found or looking for errors in the Fitbit app, try the following tips

  • Update the Fitbit app to its latest version
  • Update the operating system of your mobile device so it is also up to date
    • For Apple devices, go to Settings > General > Software Update
    • For Android devices, go to Settings > About Phone or About Device > Android Version
  • For Android devices, make sure you allow the Fitbit app to run in the background
  • If your Fitbit connects to multiple devices in your household (like a phone and a tablet or if you have two phones–one business and one personal,) try turning off those other devices (or disable Bluetooth on them) and then see if your Fitbit device shows up
  • Temporarily disconnect any other Bluetooth devices from your mobile phone, tablet, or computer and check that your Fitbit device is connected via Bluetooth
    • Check that there are no other Bluetooth devices that may interfere with your Fitbit’s BT connection to your mobile device
    • You can also try toggling or turning Bluetooth off, wait a few seconds, and toggle it back on to refresh the BT connection to your Fitbit device
    • Try forgetting your Fitbit’s Bluetooth connection from your mobile phone/tablet then rescan available Bluetooth devices and connect again to your Fitbit
  • Charge your Fitbit to at least 50% total capacity or more
  • Make sure you place your Fitbit in close proximity to the phone, tablet, or computer that you use with the Fitbit app–we’re talking inches, not feet from each other!
  • Force quit the Fitbit app, then reopen it and try again
  • Try using the Fitbit app on a different phone, tablet, or Windows 10 computer or use Fitbit Connect for Macs and older Windows PCs

Related reading

1: Try rebooting your phone or restarting the Fitbit device

One of the most common fixes when a Fitbit is stuck on searching or looking is the good old method of, “Have you tried turning it off and on?” approach. All you have to do is perform a reboot and hope that it solves the problem.

The exact process is slightly different from phone to phone depending on the OS, its version, and, if you are using an Android device, your OS skin as well (One UI, MIUI, etc).

How to reboot most smartphones or tablets

  1. Hold down the power button or perform the restart process for your device
    1. For iPhones, go to Settings > General > Shutdown iPhone settings app shutdown option
  2. Select “Restart,” “Reboot,” or “slide to power off” Google Fit not tracking activities
  3. Wait until your phone boots again or manually power your device back on by pressing the power button
  4. Check if the Fitbit app finds your Fitbit device. If not, try restarting your Fitbit itself or try pairing your Fitbit device again to the app

How to restart your Fitbit device how to restart fitbit versa 2 and versa lite

Unfortunately, there is no one way to restart all Fitbit models. Below are instructions for the most popular models. For detailed instructions, see this article Need to restart or reset your Fitbit device? Learn the steps

  1. For Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, 2, and Lite, press and hold the button for 10 seconds until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen and then release the button
  2. For Fitbit Versa (original) and Fitbit Ionic, press and hold the back and bottom buttons until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen, then release
  3. For Fitbit Inspire, Charge, and Ace 2
    1. Charge your Fitbit and keep it charging
    2. Press and hold the button or buttons on your tracker for 5 seconds (Charge 2, Inspire Series & Ace 2) or 8 seconds (Charge 3 and 4), then release
    3. Wait for the smiley icon or Fitbit logo and for your Fitbit to vibrate, then it automatically boots up smile icon or smiley face on Fitbit when rebooting

Why restart?

The main reason restarting and rebooting your Fitbit or your mobile device often works is that software is complicated. There are lots of things that can go wrong in a single session and rebooting starts every single app along with every single piece of the operating system from zero. That is why it often fixes certain bugs.

Mind you, this is not the same as performing forced restart or factory reset – which is something that we are going to be mentioning as a last resort. So, more on that later.

2: Check Bluetooth settings and make sure your Fitbit is not paired with another device

If you just got a new phone and the watch refuses to pair with it or you have many different mobile devices (or computers) in your household, there is a good chance that you simply forgot to unpair it with the old device.

With Fitbits, you can’t pair with two devices at the same time if you set-up notifications to sync to your Fitbit device. see your phone's notifications on your Fitbit device

When you push notifications from your mobile device to your Fitbit for things like calls, texts, calendar, and app notifications, you create a bond between that Fitbit device and that mobile phone or tablet. Fitbit devices can only be bonded to one mobile device.

In this case, you’ll have to go back to your old phone and unpair the Fitbit from its Bluetooth Settings before trying to pair it again with the new phone. And that may fix your Fitbit that’s stuck on searching.

Again, the exact steps that you’ll have to follow differ from smartphone to smartphone depending on the OS, its version, and its skin. But, generally, all you have to do is find the Bluetooth settings, then find the paired Fitbit smartwatch, and delete it.

How to remove a Bluetooth device on Android 10, go to:

  1. Go to Settings > Connected devices > See all
  2. Find your Fitbit tracker or smartwatch (usually named by model i.e. Versa, Sense, or Inspire)
  3. Click on the gear icon next to it
  4. Then tap “Forget

Does your Android device look different than these instructions?

When it comes to Android devices, each manufacturer has a different Android skin (MIUI, EMUI, One UI, Oxygen OS, etc).

Plus, there are often a different set of steps depending on your device’s Android operating system version.

So, the exact process to Forget a Bluetooth device like your Fitbit can differ even from one Android phone to another.

At the end of the day, find your Fitbit device in your Android’s Bluetooth settings and then choose to Forget it!

How to remove a Bluetooth device on the iPhone, simply head to:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth
  2. Under “My Devices,” tap on the “i” info icon next to your Fitbit
  3. Select “Forget This DeviceiPhone forget Fitbit Inspire in Bluetooth settings

After you are done forgetting the Fitbit, try pairing it to your current phone–hopefully, this time it works!

3: Do a full reinstall of the Fitbit App

Sometimes, it’s not your phone or the Fitbit device that has an issue–it just might be the Fitbit app itself.

In that case, the easiest way to solve that problem is by reinstalling the Fitbit app.

When you remove the Fitbit app from your phone, tablet, or computer, you remove everything contained within the app and its underlying operating code.

Since Fitbit stores your account’s data on its own servers, reinstalling the app won’t delete any of your Fitbit history from your account.

Again, the exact process is unfortunately slightly different depending on your smartphone.

So, to fully reinstall the Fitbit app on Android 10:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications and tap Apps or See all apps
  2. Find Fitbit and tap on it
  3. Select Storage & cache
  4. Then tap both Clear cache and Clear storageFitbit stuck on searching
  5. Next, choose to uninstall the app uninstall Fitbit app from an Android phone or tablet
  6. Once that’s done, do a fresh install of the Fitbit app from Google Play
  7. Open the Fitbit app
  8. Make sure Fitbit can use Bluetooth to pair and sync
  9. Sign in with your Fitbit account credentials and wait for the app to refresh your account history and connect to your Fitbit device

How to fully reinstall the Fitbit app on an iPhone

  1. Locate the Fitbit app on your iPhone and press and hold it until the quick action menu appears
  2. Choose Remove App remove the Fitbit app from an iPhone using the quick action menu on the home screen
  3. From the on-screen options, select Delete App
  4. Confirm you want to delete the app from your device Delete the Fitbit app and its data from iPhone, iPod, or iPad
  5. Once uninstalled, open the App Store and install it again
  6. Open the Fitbit app
  7. Allow Fitbit to use Bluetooth to sync give Fitbit app permission to use bluetooth
  8. Sign in with your Fitbit account credentials and wait for the app to refresh your account history and connect to your Fitbit device Sign into the Fitbit app

4: Fitbit stuck on searching or looking? Try performing a Factory Reset on the Fitbit

There is a chance that the problem doesn’t have anything to do with your app or the phone itself. Maybe there’s something wrong with the Fitbit tracker or watch.

In that case, we can only hope that restoring it to its factory settings is going to help. So, to perform a factory reset on a Fitbit watch:

  1. On your device, go to Settings > About (for some devices, it’s just Settings)
  2. Choose Factory Reset or Clear User Data Factory Reset or Shutdown menu on Fitbit Versa

If you own a Fitbit watch from the Inspire series, you may see the Clear User Data option straight from the settings app.

Fitbit trackers clear user data

Once that’s done, you can try pairing your Fitbit smartwatch with the phone again. Preferably after you’ve already made a clean wipe and install of the Fitbit app.

If needed, reset your mobile device

And if resetting your Fitbit device doesn’t work either, the only thing that remains is to factory reset your phone as well.

Attention! This is going to wipe everything from your smartphone. Make sure you make some backups of important files on the cloud or on a computer so that you’ll be able to get them back after the factory reset.

How to Factory Reset Android 10

To factory reset an Android 10 device:

  1. Place your Android device on its charger
  2. Backup your device first via your preferred method
  3. Settings > System > Reset options
  4. Erase all data (factory reset)
  5. Erase all data

How to Factory Reset iPhone Devices

  1. Place your iPhone, iPad, or iPod on its charger
  2. Backup your device first via iCloud, iTunes, or Finder
  3. Settings > General > Reset
  4. Tap the option to Erase all content and settings How to factory reset iPhone
  5. Confirm your identity with the password if you have to
  6. Wait until the factory reset finishes and the phone boots up again
  7. Then set up everything and try pairing the watch again

Again, do not forget that this is going to wipe everything off your phone.

If you don’t have backups, you are never seeing any of your files again.

Also, make sure that there is enough battery charge for this process to finish.

If you run out of battery midway through a factory reset or software update you may end up bricking the phone.

Worst case scenario, you could try using a data recovery program in case something goes wrong. But you are doing all this at your own risk.

5: Create or use a different Fitbit account

Some Fitbit users discovered the problem was somehow tied to their Fitbit account!

When they created an entirely new account or used a family member’s Fitbit credentials instead, their Fitbits were able to connect to the app and the mobile device successfully.

If you go this route, all your Fitbit data, history, awards, and milestones to date remain tied to your old account and do not transfer over to a new account. So it is like starting fresh!

6: Reach out to Fitbit Help and Support Fitbit Help Fitbit Support

If you’ve tried everything to no avail, we are sorry to say that you may be dealing with a faulty Fitbit watch or maybe even a smartphone.

Try pairing the watch with another device or the phone with another Bluetooth device. And if the watch refuses to pair to any device at all, there is a good chance that you just got a faulty product. It happens to the best of us.

In that case, all you can do is contact Fitbit’s support and ask for a return or refund if applicable.

And in case you are exploring a new Fitbit tracker, Check out the new Sense or Fitbit Versa 3 which are full of new health monitoring and activity tracking features.

Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch with Tools for Heart Health, Stress Management & Skin Temperature Trends, Alexa Built-in, Carbon/Graphite, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
  • EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body's response to stress and a...
  • The Fitbit ECG app has received FDA clearance and is available in the U.S. Availability in other...

Or the cheaper Fitbit Versa 3 Offering 6+ days of battery life!

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days Battery, Midnight Blue/Gold, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
  • Run, bike, hike and more phone-free—and see your real-time pace & distance—with built-in GPS....
  • Active Zone Minutes uses your resting heart rate to gauge exercise effort and gives you a buzz when...

Wrapping up

If you are stuck in a situation where your Fitbit is stuck on searching, looking, or is showing the “Device not found” error, these are all the solutions that have worked for other people who experienced the same problem.

And, again, in case that nothing worked, there is a chance that your Fitbit watch is just faulty and there’s nothing you can do to fix it on your own. In that case, the best course of action is to contact Fitbit.

If your Fitbit is under warranty, Fitbit should replace or repair your device at no cost to you.

If you have any questions, feel free to let us know about them in the comments section down below. Also, in case you liked this article, feel free to follow us on social media by using the social media buttons below this article!

Last update on 2020-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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