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How to extend your Fitbit’s battery life

Try these five handy tips

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

When your Fitbit dies in the middle of a workout or fails to register an excellent night’s sleep, it can be a frustrating experience.

Batteries deteriorate over time, which is an unfortunate fact of the tech-enthusiast lifestyle. But there are some settings you can change to squeeze as much juice out of your fitness tracker as possible. Here are some tricks to try.

Switch to a simple watchface

A Fitbit’s watchface can impact its battery in a major way: a more demanding screen can remove days from its life.

  • Make sure the Fitbit app is downloaded and paired to your device
  • In the Fitbit app, tap your profile image in the top-left corner
  • Tap the icon labeled “Clock Faces.” Select “All Clocks.”
  • From here, you’ll be able to browse the clock faces Fitbit has to offer. In general, brighter faces drain the battery faster. You also want to avoid designs with animations or those that constantly use Wi-Fi (such as faces that display the weather). If you’re not sure where to start, look for something dark and boring. I get a lot of use out of the Stats face, created by Fitbit.
  • Click “Select” on the watchface you want. You’ll probably need to give it permission to use the internet and run background processes before it installs.
  • Once the face has finished downloading, check your Fitbit screen — it should be there.

To swap back to a previous watchface, go back into the “Clock Faces” section of the Fitbit app and select “My Versa 2” (or whichever device you’re using). Here, you’ll see all of the clock faces you’ve used in the past, and you can toggle between them.

Turn off notifications

Having your Fitbit buzz every time you get a call or text is convenient for some users, but not everybody needs that functionality. To extend your Fitbit’s battery life, turn off notifications that you don’t want.

  • Click on the profile icon in the top-left corner of the app
  • Select your device and then “Notifications”
  • Toggle your notification categories to taste
  • Select “App Notifications” to block notifications from apps that send alerts to your iPhone (such as Messenger or WhatsApp)

Dim the screen

A bright screen can suck a lot of energy out of a touchscreen Fitbit (such as a Versa, Charge 3, or Ionic).

  • On your device’s screen, swipe left until you find “Settings.” Select that.
  • Scroll to “Brightness.” Tap that button to cycle through brightness levels. Keep tapping until you land on “Dim.”

You can also do this in Quick Settings. Swipe down on the Versa or Ionic and tap the icon on the far right (it looks like a set of toggle buttons), or tap and hold the button on the Charge 3. Tap the button with a sun icon to cycle through brightness levels.

Turn off Screen Wake

If Screen Wake is enabled, your Fitbit’s screen will fire up automatically whenever you turn your wrist. This can suck battery power, especially if you toss and turn a lot at night.

  • In the Fitbit app, click on your profile icon in the top-left corner
  • Select your device
  • Toggle “Quick View” off

Some users can also do this directly on their devices. If you have a Fitbit Ionic, Versa, or Blaze, swipe left to tap “Settings.” Scroll down to “Screen Wake” and tap it to toggle from “Auto” to “Manual.” If you have a Fitbit Ace 2, Charge 3, or Inspire, press and hold the button and tap “Screen Wake.”

You can also do this in Quick Settings on the Ionic and Versa. Swipe down and tap the icon on the far right. (It looks like a set of toggle buttons.) Tap the watch icon on the bottom right to toggle Screen Wake between Auto and Manual.

If you have a Fitbit Versa 2, you’ll also want to make sure that “Always-On Display” is turned off. Hop back into Settings (on your Fitbit), scroll down to “Always-On Display” and toggle it off. You can also do this in Quick Settings by tapping the clock icon on the bottom left.

Turn off move reminders

Some people swear by Fitbit’s periodic reminders to get moving. But if you’re already on top of your step game (or the reminders aren’t helping you get there), you can turn them off to extend your Fitbit battery.

  • In the Fitbit app, click on your profile icon in the top-left corner
  • Select your device
  • Tap “Reminders to Move” and toggle them off

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