How Do I Get My Fitbit Off Swim Mode? Fitbit Swimming Guide


One of the most common issues of Fitbit watches is getting stuck on swim mode. If you’re having the same problem, there’s a quick fix for this and you don’t even need to factory reset your device to get it back to normal. I’ve dealt with this issue before so I will show you the ultimate hack to get your fitness tracker out of its water lock.

To get your Fitbit off swim mode, factory resetting your device can correct this issue. If you don’t want to erase your data and settings while fixing your Fitbit, double-tap the button on the side at the right speed. Imagine double-clicking your mouse, this will disable swim lock mode.

Keep reading to get some helpful tips on how to unstuck your Fitbit from swim mode. I’ve also included the most important questions including how Fitbit knows you are swimming, is it accurate in tracking swimming laps, and does Fitbit Sense track swimming?

How Does Fitbit Know I Am Swimming?

Fitbits rely on automated exercise recognition software in order to determine what you’re doing such as swimming. This is not enabled by default on all Fitbit watches so you need to calibrate the device with your app to get this feature. For accurate lap count, you also need to set the pool length.

Your Fitbit watch will count a specific distance as one lap and measure how far you’re able to swim. There’s no guarantee that the device will track your swimming accurately, but I will show you how to increase the accuracy of your Fitbit watch. It’s so easy to calibrate your fitness tracker, just make sure to follow these steps:

  1. On your smartphone, open your Fitbit app.
  2. Go to Account, click Goals, and select Exercise.
  3. Tap on the Swimming button and then choose Auto-Recognize.
  4. Go back to Account, tap Settings, and select Advanced Settings.
  5. Click Swim Settings, enter the pool length, and choose from yards or meters.

Fitbit devices have an accelerometer for motion detection. The SmartTrack technology perceives repetitive patterns as a type of exercise. However, some users reported receiving a swimming record despite not going to the pool. Others have experienced their Fitbits stuck on swim mode without enabling the feature.

Swim mode or water lock mode prevents water from activating the Fitbit’s screen, but this feature is limited to a few models only. It disables the touch screen and buttons of the device from accidental swipes, touches, or apps suddenly opening while swimming or showering. If you enable water lock, the screen locks while alarms and notifications still appear on the screen.

If you’re experiencing water lock issues on your Fitbit device, get your phone and go to the mobile app, tap on Exercise and the gear. From the SmartTrack exercises, select Swimming and turn off the Auto-Recognize. This should resolve the problem, but it’s important to keep in mind that this technology will not always be 100% accurate.

If you want to give your Fitbit watch to a friend or your sibling, read my article about how you transfer your Fitbit to another person and get some helpful tips from this easy guideOpens in a new tab..

Is Fitbit Accurate for Swimming?

Fitbit is designed to track swimming and other types of exercises, but it doesn’t always guarantee accurate results. The device works best when you swim freestyle as mentioned in Fitbit advertisements. While it may sometimes be incorrect, you can calibrate it to get accurate data.

To make sure your Fitbit watch provides you with the correct lap count, avoid making unnecessary pauses during your swimming exercise. You can make mid-lap pauses as needed such as when you feel tired, need oxygen, or experience muscle cramps. However, these pauses will be considered a new lap.

Moreover, you will also experience inaccurately recorded movements with your Fitbit when you kick while swimming. Your arms and legs won’t move in a consistent manner while swimming and your feet might be the ones doing all the work. As a result, your Fitbit may underestimate how many laps you make as the device measures your movements based on your arms.

Another major issue is when switching from different styles of swimming during a single lap. Many swimmers switch their swimming styles in the first and second half of their lap. This makes it confusing for the Fitbit device to count laps and give accurate results. At the end of the day, you will not know the exact number of laps you’ve swum.

The best way to secure an accurate lap count is to change swimming styles every lap instead of mid-lap. Remember, your tracker will count your laps based on arm movements so the best method is to do freestyle in the pool. If you’re wondering which Fitbits you can wear while swimming, here are some great options for you:

  • Fitbit Ace 2
  • Fitbit Versa 1, 2, and 3
  • Fitbit Charge 3
  • Fitbit Ionic
  • Fitbit Inspire

Aside from Fitbit Sense, these are the most popular models that swimmers use today. They all provide excellent water resistance, consistent performance, and long-lasting battery. Most Fitbit watches can be safely submerged up to 50 meters underwater, making them suitable for swimming exercises in addition to walking and jogging.

If you’re curious about the actual size of Fitbit’s bands, check out my article on how wide are Fitbit bands and know if they fit your styleOpens in a new tab..

Does Fitbit Sense Track Swimming?

The Fitbit Sense is safe to use in the pool as it has a water resistance rating of 50 meters. It can track swimming if you want to make a few laps and reach your pool workout target. The swim tracking mode helps you monitor your swimming exercise and count your laps accurately.

Waterproof fitness trackers such as the Sense are designed to be worn even during workouts in the swimming pool. In addition, you can also wear it while taking a shower or diving into the pool for a quick morning lap. This pool-worthy device will show your swim pace, distance, duration, and laps while monitoring your activity through the app.

It’s important to know your lap count during your swimming exercise, and the Fitbit Sense is one of the most reliable fitness trackers you can find. It shows swim laps while other models such as the Fitbit Versa 3 don’t display it on the watch. This advanced device contains sensors that scan electrodermal activities while tracking skin temperature.

Features of Fitbit Sense

In addition to tracking your swimming laps, the Sense watch can also give you insights into your sleep cycles and even help you manage stress. Other features include tracking heart rate, monitoring blood oxygen level, and using it as an internal GPS for hikes and runs. The in-built speaker and microphone can be connected via Bluetooth to receive phone calls.

The best thing about Fitbit Sense for me is that it has a lasting battery that I can use for up to 6 days. It’s a perfect companion whether swimming in the pool, running around the neighborhood, hiking on mountains, or working out in the gym. No matter how sweaty you get, this fitness watch stays functional and reliable.

If you’re wondering how accurate Fitbits work, read my article about how Fitbit calculates average steps and learn how the device count steps as you walk on your treadmill or around the neighborhoodOpens in a new tab..

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