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How Long Should a Fitbit Last? What Damages It?

Are you planning on buying a new Fitbit to track your steps and other daily activities but aren’t sure how long it will last? I have Fitbits before, and I’ll tell you what damages it and how long it lasts for me. It will surprise you how long before you should replace your Fitbit device.

On average, a Fitbit will last around up to 18 months with daily use, depending on how often it is exposed to water, how it is charged, how it was cleaned, how often it was reset and which Fitbit you buy.

In addition to sharing how long a Fitbit should last, I have also included the answers to similar questions like what causes this device to stop working, whether the temperature affects it, and whether a Fitbit can go bad.

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How Long Should a Fitbit Last?

Fitbit devices are designed to last between one to two years when given proper care. But the exact lifespan of your Fitbit watch depends on the model you buy. Other trackers need a new replacement after only 16 months of use, depending on their cleaning, maintenance, and water resistance issues.

People expect to wear their Fitbit watches for at least four to five years. It’s perfectly understandable because everyone wants to invest in something they can use for years. However, from my own experience and the hundreds of online reviews I read, Fitbits don’t last that long.

According to reports, the average lifespan of a Fitbit watch is two years. However, each Fitbit model is not the same as they are rated differently based on their useful life. Typically, some models can last up to 2 years, while others are only good for 18 months. Therefore, it’s important to consider user feedback before buying a specific model.

The following issues may affect your Fitbit’s lifespan:

  • The quality of the hardware in Fitbit devices mainly affects their overall length of service. Hardware issues such as crashes usually cause failure for the tracker to detect body motions and vital information. Also, damage to the hardware can significantly shorten the lifespan of your Fitbit watch. The internal hardware in Fitbit Sense is much more advanced than in Versa 2.
  • Not all Fitbits have the same ability to resist water due to the unique capabilities of each model. Some trackers can be completely submerged 15 meters underwater, while others are only designed to repel some splashes of water. Ideally, swimmers should get the Fitbit watch with a WR50 rating as you can use it 50 meters underwater. However, it’s still recommended to avoid wearing the device during high-impact water sports activities because it can damage some internal watertight components.
  • A single charge can last a Fitbit for five days.However, more apps and using the device more frequently can quickly drain the battery. Overcharging can also damage the battery and the watch, so avoid charging the device overnight or longer.
  • The frequency of resetting Fitbits also affects how long they function. Heavy data and using the device near its capacity may lead to glitches. To avoid the need to reset your Fitbit, use fewer apps. You can also back up your data on your tablet, computer, or smartphone to reduce performance issues.
  • Regularly cleaning your Fitbit is important. These devices easily get dirty, especially when you wear them every day at the gym. Make it a habit to wipe your Fitbit watch to remove sweat and dirt at the end of the day. Use a mild cleanser and water to clean the band and dry it. Never use any chemicals to avoid damage.

If you want to use your Fitbit with your Samsung phone, read my article to determine whether Fitbits are compatible with Samsung and other phones.

What Causes a Fitbit to Stop Working?

The most common issue that causes Fitbits to stop working is a drained battery. If it still holds a charge, it could be an internal problem such as damaged components due to impact or water content. Another reason is a dirty Fitbit, which causes the device to stop functioning due to debris buildup.

Keeping the display on all the time can quickly drain the battery and affect its overall battery health. It’s better to disable the always-on display to extend your Fitbit’s battery life.

You can also change the settings so the device will automatically turn off when you don’t use it. Most Fitbit models only last for about two days, while the Charge 3 can be worn for seven days.

The battery usually deteriorates faster in extreme temperatures, such as extreme heat or cold. Here are some other reasons your Fitbit may fail to work:

  • Drained battery.
  • Software update.
  • Dust in internal components.
  • Weak connection.
  • Incorrect file formats.
  • Heavy impact damage.
  • Being submerged in the water.

If your Fitbit suddenly stops working, simple maintenance such as updating the software and cleaning the device can help resolve the issue. However, for more serious problems like hardware damage, it’s better to contact the support team to find a fix.

Want to save more battery? Turning off your Fitbit GPS will save a lot of, to learn how to do it consider read my article about turning off your location on Fitbit models.

Does Temperature Affect Fitbit?

According to Fitbit’s website, Fitbit trackers can work in temperatures between 14°F to 113°F(-14°C-45°C).You can wear the device in the infrared sauna or steam room but not in a traditional sauna with a temperature of 177°F (47°C). Extreme temperatures can damage your Fitbit.

Fitbit’s safety instructions guide says you should not expose the device to extremely low or high temperatures.

Extremely hot temperatures, for instance, won’t affect the calorie count but could potentially damage the internal hardware of your Fitbit. On the other hand, your Charge 4 may stop working during cold weather because an extremely low temperature affects the lithium-ion battery.

I wear my Fitbit when jogging outside on sunny days, and it works just fine. However, I’ve noticed that it does affect the battery charge a bit. When I use the device in cold temperatures, there’s also a slight issue as my Fitbit suddenly stops working or fails to count my steps. One hundred thirteen degrees Fahrenheit is the lowest temperature the device can tolerate.

Whenever I encounter a problem, here are some troubleshooting steps that I usually take:

  1. Try another charger or outlet to ensure the device is properly charging. A defective charging rig usually causes some problems.
  2. Clean all the connection points, including the charging cable. Ensure they are free from dirt and completely dry before charging your Fitbit.
  3. Change the cable if it is broken or malfunctioning. You can borrow a cord to see if your Fitbit still works before getting a new line.
  4. Check if the device is connected to your Bluetooth. If it doesn’t appear in your smartphone’s Bluetooth menu, click scan to connect the device. Just tap on it to automatically pair your Fitbit to your mobile device.
  5. If the device doesn’t appear when you open your Bluetooth and scan for available devices, move closer so that your phone can find your Fitbit. Remember, Bluetooth works best when the pairing device is within 30 feet.
  6. Check for new updates that are available for your Fitbit app and device.
  7. Format your drive by deleting audio files on the Fitbit and re-upload them. Make sure the files are in WMA, MP4, and MP3 formats. You can also convert other audio files to any of these formats, except for Podcasts that are not MP3 files.

If you need to keep tabs on your wellness, read my article about getting your Fitbit wellness report using an easy guide.

Can a Fitbit Go Bad?

A Fitbit can go bad for several reasons, including overheating or a faulty battery or water damage which can wreak havoc on the device and affect its internal components. When a Fitbit overheats, it will shut down and may even cause a mild burn on your wrist. It’s because these devices can only resist heat to a certain point.

Generally, Fitbits work well for around 18 months and then go bad and die over time. The most common cause of this is hardware failure due to damage to the watertight components. For example, wearing your Fitbit while taking a shower or swimming allows water to penetrate the inner parts.

With water damage, the electrical components inside the Fitbit become vulnerable to failure. Other issues that water damage will bring to the device include battery failure, component destruction, and overheating. If your Fitbit shuts off randomly and the device no longer serves its purpose, contact the support team and see if you are still covered by the warranty and get a replacement.

If you want to know how to use water reminders on your Fitbit device, read my article about setting water reminders on Fitbit.