May 10 2012

How to Find a Missing Fitbit

Edit 11/02/2013 – Included tips from Hedy and Brad in the comments, thanks folks! 🙂

Edit 14/02/2013 – Included another tip from Denise in the comments – top stuff! 🙂

If there’s a feature missing from the Fitbit and Fitbit Ultra it’s the ability to easily locate one that has been lost. I found this out myself when I was at the gym and somehow managed to lose my Fitbit while on the treadmill.

Building in GPS functionality into the Fitbit would probably not be an option given the power and space requirements in such a tiny device. However, I reckon some sort of beeper, speaker or maybe even a vibrating motor that you could activate when within proximity could perhaps be something small enough to fit inside the device. Anyway, this will be something I suggest to Fibit.

In the meantime, how can you find a lost Fitbit?

Firstly, you need to try and narrow down where it became lost. You may need to retrace your steps, remember when you last knew you had the Fitbit on you, etc. This might be very difficult if you have been out for a ten kilometre run though but, if you manage to narrow the general area in which the Fitbit was lost then there’s hope.

If you have access to a laptop and a mobile broadband connection then take your laptop and your Fitibt base station to the area where you believe you lost your Fitbit. When you are in the area, do the following:

  1. Fire up your laptop, tether it to the mobile broadband connection but leave your Fitbit base station disconnected,
  2. Login to your Fitbit dashboard online and take note of the last sync time and date,
  3. Connect your Fitibt base station and wander around,
  4. Refresh the webpage with your Fitbit dashboard on it and see if the date and time of last sync updates. If it does, you’re near your Fibit so search more thoroughly in the general area!

I was lucky enough to fit my Fitbit in the narrow gap between the belt on the treadmill I had used and the sidestep using this technique after it had fallen out of its belt clip. I contacted Fitbit about my tale and asked them if they could spare me a couple of belt clips given that my current one had cracked after daily use for around eighteen months and, fortunately for me, they are shipping two complimentary belt clips to my USA mail forwarding address – thanks Fitbit!

However, if you have a Fitbit One you have another option as outlined by Hedy in the comments below where you can attempt to setup your Fitbit as a new device with an iPhone and walk around until it says “Fitbit found.” Otherwise, Brad recommends using the BTLExplorer app and walking around until you see the Fitbit One appear in the list as “One” with a signal strength of -60dB to -40dB indicating that it is close by.

Another suggestion, kindly put forth by Denise in the comments below, was to set a silent alarm on your Fitbit One via your Fitbit dashboard which should help you pinpoint the location of your Fitbit if you’re still stumped using the above approach.

Ideally, we all want to get the most out of the Fitbit before the battery eventually dies and we have to get a new one so I was quite relieved that I managed to find mine fairly easily. I can only hope others have as much luck as I did.


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  1. Sharon

    I lost my fitbit force. I found your blog.. thank goodness. I downloaded both BLTexplorer an the light blue app. Both have a reading of -96 to -89 in one section of my house. The rest is -100 up to 100. I checked the front yard, my van, the garage and in that area(including the one section of my house) it is always -96 to -89. It never gets better. Does that mean it is definatley in the general area? Or could it be picking up something else?? My moms iphone for example?? re these apps picking up my fitbit for certain is what I guess I am trying to ask??

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Sharon,

      If the name comes up as “Force” or “Fitbit” then yes it would be your Fitbit. What name shows up when you are using the scanning app?

      1. Sharon

        hi Boyd,
        On BTLExplorer it just says “Unknown device Name” (-94 dBm)
        the number gets to -82 in my driveway but that’s the best it ever gets. On Lightblue, when I click on log, its says : “discovered nearby peripheral” but doesn’t ever name it.
        So I bought the Fitbit finder at the app store for $4.99. I don’t get a reading ANYWHERE. not in my house or my garage or driveway.

        Here’s my question – does my fitbit have to be on or awake in order to get a reading? Because it isn’t. It hasn’t had a sync since 15 November. I tried setting silent arams but that does nothing. 🙁

        Any thoughts?

        1. Boyd Chan

          Yes, your Fitbit needs to have power in order to be detected over Bluetooth but the display doesn’t need to be on. However, if it has run out of juice then your only hope is looking around manually for it.

          1. Sierra

            Please give me some tips to help find me my Fitbit charge he and it is dead and I really need it for a up coming marathon

          2. Boyd Chan

            If it’s run out of battery then really your only option would be to look high and low for it, unfortunately.

  2. Michelle

    BTLE has to be -50 or less to find it. Great app!

  3. Scott

    When u turn on the app it says searching, do u need to do anything else? Still searching, mine fell off my wrist!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Shouldn’t need to do anything else – if you are within range of your tracker it should then say “sync” so maybe try walking around and see if it manages to move to that next stage in the Fitbit app.

  4. Candis

    If someone were to have taken in, will my phone still sinc to my fit but if I’m by someone ?
    Also the battery was low , and that was a week ago, it’s most likely dead right? And in that case there’s no hope to find it?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Yes, probably dead or very close to being dead. If the battery is dead then unless you physically spot it and identify it as yours then it is probably gone.

      If someone else has managed to recharge it and you are nearby then it will sync with your phone so long as they have no reset it.

  5. Patty

    Thank you for the idea to set the alarm. I knew which room it was in the house, but could not find it. Used the alarm and found it in the over the door shoe holder. I would never have looked there. Also am planning to put my phone number on the back of my One. A thousand thanks.

  6. nancy

    THANKS Lost my fitbit 1 and followed your instructions. Walked all around finally went to bedroom and started going through drawers. Bottom drawer was reading 45 took all the clothes out, and there it was on a pair of pants that should not have been in that drawer! I was down to less than 20% of battery, so lucked out!!

  7. Joanie

    Lost my Fitbit on a short “dog walk” yesterday and wonder if your device will work on my Amazon Fire? I don’t own an IOS device. I’ve retraced 4 times and am just sick that it’s gone!! Will setting the alarm help and can that be done from my computer? If anyone has other suggestions…I’d really appreciate!! THANK you!!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Joanie,

      If you are talking about the Amazon Fire Phone you should be able to find a Bluetooth scanning app in the Amazon app store and follow the same steps.

      However, it may not work as the Fire Phone did not include Bluetooth LE (which is what is needed to work with the Fitbit). Amazon did mention that they would ship an update to add Bluetooth LE but I am not sure if this has happened yet.

      Still worth a shot anyway.

  8. Maureen schutte

    I received my Fitbit for Christmas,2014. I wore it attached to my pant pocket but with the Fitbit in the pocket. A few weeks ago, it came up missing. You can see I am not using it. Could you replace it for me? I am missing it…thanks.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Maureen,

      Unfortunately, I cannot – I do not work for Fitbit!

      You need to contact Fitbit and put your case to them.

      Boyd Chan

  9. Marc Deveaux

    If you have an Android 4.3 above phone or tablet, give Bit Finder a try available here here.

    1. Daina

      thanks for the tip! What a great app! Found my fitbit in the garden!

  10. Trevor Plowman

    I couldn’t get holy of btlexplorer in the UK but downloaded Lightblue which is free and it worked a treat. Found it in minutes hidden in the depths of a bag I thought I had already searched thoroughly. An excellent cunning ruse. Thanks so much for the steer.

  11. Suzy

    I lost my fitbit one over night. It slipped out of the night strap. I was up more of the night going from room to room and the bathroom. My kids were sick. So I don’t know if it can out in one of the bedrooms or in the bathroom or in the trash. Is there a way to fit it.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Suzy,

      Solutions are offered in the article to which you replied. Pick one that is most convenient for you and give it a go 🙂

  12. Cheyenne

    I am trying to locate my lost fitbit also. I know it is somewhere in my bedroom considering my laptop is still syncing the fitbit every so often. However I only have an Iphone 4 therefore I do not have the fitbit app on it, I solely use my computer. I have tried to use the BTLExplorer app but no signal it seems ever gets picked up. I only have a day or two left before the battery in my fitbit dies. Does anyone know why the app isn’t picking up my fitbits signal?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Do you know what type of Bluetooth your computer supports?

      It needs to have Bluetooth 4.0 in order to detect the Fitbit properly. If the laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth 4.0 then you may be able to buy a small Bluetooth dongle that does support it to aid your efforts.

  13. Carolyn

    So I ran about 6 errands I I was In and out of my car. Just noticed my fit bit was missing. It synchs. Does that mean it’s in My house or could someone else have found it?

    1. Boyd Chan

      If it is syncing on your phone and you can see that the Fitbit is connected then it will be in the vicinity of the phone. If someone else had it then it wouldn’t show up as syncing.

      1. Sam

        My Fitbit flex has been lost and my iPhone 5 is syncing in various different places!! Unless I swallowed it it can’t be in all those different places!! Any ideas?

  14. Susie

    I lost my FitBit One, but my IPad and it would sink sporadically. It said I had little power left. THEN, it synced yesterday and it says FULLY CHARGED! The best part is I lost it in Florida in the u it, but now I am home on Canada.

    How can it be fully charged?

    Why does it sync only once every three weeks????!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Possibly, someone else found your Fitbit and already had the charging connector from an existing Fitbit One in their possession and using their smartphone or tablet every so often to sync the data.

      This is just a guess though.

  15. Betty Huss

    My husband accidently ran over his fitbit, just wondering if we can send it in to be repaired?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Betty,

      My gut feel would be that it is highly unlikely as Fitbits aren’t really designed to be repaired.

      You can try asking though – the worst that will happen is that Fitbit says no and you’ll have to buy a new one. If they are feeling generous they may offer a replacement (either for free or at a discount).

  16. Joe Illingworth

    Note that to detect and ‘tract’ a BlueTooth Low Energy, BTLE, device like a Fotbit or UP24 band, the device does not need to be paired with the smartphone used to try to detect it.

  17. Carolyn

    I’m a “New” user…two days & I love it so far. I purchased the “Find My Fitbit” from my ITunes apps but don’t know how to use it. I don’t have a laptop. I have a desktop and an I-phone 4s. I don’t see an icon for this app. Please advise me. I really am a novice on all technology (Senior Citizen just learning) so would appreciate if you could simplify it for me. lol
    Thank you,

    1. DAWN

      did you figure out how to use the Find My Fitbit I’m rather peeved as i know it’s here as it’s syncing i’ve done the alarms and calling it but nada! and i the app just spins and spins in the radar mode..nothing comes up–i’m going nuts here trying to find it!!

  18. BobW

    Thanks for the tips…I used BTLExplorer on my iPhone to track down my wayward Fitbit One.

    The app reads out the signal strength of the Bluetooth signal from the Fitbit in dBm (decibels relative to 1 mW of power). The signal ranges from about -40 dBm to -110 dBm. It is important to note that due to the minus sign, the bigger number is a smaller signal.
    At -110 dBm, I was some distance away from the Fitbit but at -40 to -50 dBm, it was very close by.

    Another tip: I picked up the signal from my wife’s Fitbit which confused me a bit, so I wrapped her Fitbit in aluminum foil to shield it.

  19. Katie

    Okay so my fitbit is long gone. I lost it on the way to a job interview, I remember taking it off before leaving the car and it was gone afterwards. Pretty sure it fell of in the parking lot. The company says they never found it, I have searched and searched. Do you know if anyone having luck with the company being able to trace it by serial number? Can’t they at least then see if someone tries to turn it on and reformat it for themselves?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Katie,

      I am not aware of anyone being able to retrieve their Fitbit through the use of the serial number at this stage.

      I am sure it isn’t impossible for Fitbit to do but they just haven’t done so in the years since I originally wrote this article. It is also surprising that even with the high end Fitbit Surge which include GPS there doesn’t seem to be a function to locate it should it be lost (something like “Find my iPhone where it will occasionally report back its location via the connected phone).

  20. julie

    Thank you for the information about the BTLExplorer App. I misplaced my fitbit 2 weeks ago and knew it was still in my house because it would sync. I was able to use the BTLExplorer App to pinpoint the location. Saved me from having to purchase a new one. Thanks again!

  21. KC Thompson

    Does each Fitbit Flex have a serial number?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Good question, if it isn’t printed on the device itself I can only think it is stored in software on the Flex.

  22. Constance

    I found a Fitbit and want to know how to find the owner. I placed ads in two newspapers and posted it on Craigslist, but have not found the owner after two weeks. Can the company help me?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Constance,

      You can try contacting Fitbit and see what they are prepared to do to help find the owner. Other than that though, there’s not much else you can do!

  23. chris

    I found my fitbit using your advice to get the Blue Scan 4.0 and use the low energy scan to find my zip. i liked that the screen only showed my family’s other 2 zips…but not all the wi fi in the house, or on the street…just showed the fitbit zips. Of course, my zip was in a small box that i had carried down to my basement..i had meant to take my zip out, and leave it on my first floor…but must have gotten distracted.. and left it in the box.

    i was went from room to room..just did a couple things in each room to let the Blue Scan search..i found my fitbit within a half an hour. Too bad i didn’t get all the steps i did searching for my fitbit!


  24. Mimi

    I lost my FitBit Zip a week ago in an airport and it’s still syncs each day. It’s no where around me or in any bags. I have traveled alone to 3 cities and an island since i lost it. So it’s not on me and i doubt anyone is following me to that many places. Whoever has it is walking and running a lot. Each day they double the steps i would have gotten so it’s getting use. Is there still no way to find out where it is?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Mimi,

      Unfortunately not as there isn’t a “phone home” feature letting you know where your Fitbit is physically located. Pretty much what has been outlined in the article is the best you can do until Fitbit comes up with a solution.

  25. Tina Hinkle

    I lost my fitbit somewhere in my house. It has been over a week ago. it is syncing in my house and showing half battery strength, I d/l the Lightblue app and have no idea how to use it. I also DL the BTL Explorer app and i can’t figure that one out either. Please advise me on how to use these apps or any way to find my Fitbit! Thanks, Tina

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Tina,

      Basically, you want to walk around and see where you get the best signal strength. In LightBlue (never used the app by the way so going by screenshots) you want to try and get all five signal bars for your Fitbit to light up and the number beneath it closer to zero. The number will be expressed as a negative number so -30 will be closer to zero than -60.

      That’s about it so happy hunting 🙂

  26. neha hardiya

    i lost my fitbit charge yesterday , i am trying to sync it and its showing only the last time it synced probably…i looked in every room. I am sure its in my house somewhere but cant seem to find it . is there any other way to look for it ?

    Please let me know. Really worried !

    1. Boyd Chan

      The answer at this stage would be no. This article pretty much covers all available options to find a lost Fitbit.

  27. Bob Buckingham

    Hello Boyd,
    Like so many others on here I found your pages with a simple google search – I am so glad I did!
    I don’t normally bother with these forums and updating my experience but am very happy to make an exception in case it helps some others.
    I lost my ‘Flex’ Fitbit yesterday whilst I was in the garden pruning (actually hacking!) a large tree. This involved ladder climbing into the tree itself. By the time evening came I realised that my Fitbit was gone, although I know I had it on me during that pm.
    I trawled around the internet and read a few things that people were saying particularly a few on here. I am generally rubbish at following ‘help’ instructions especially those involving IT solutions.
    Anyway, I downloaded BTL tracker to my iphone – it took less than a minute. I then wandered around the garden trying to understand what the dBm number was telling me – it was like a kids game hotter, hotter as I got near and cold, cold as the number increased!
    With a bit of patience and moving the phone around trees and debris the signal reduced to around -65dBm and there it was hanging from a branch above my head!!
    What a great result – thanks everyone who bothered to post – and you, Boyd of course!

  28. John Simm

    Boyd, if you think that it is frustrating losing a Fitbit, you should try locating the owner when you find one.

    I found a Fitbit in Chester on 11 October 2015 and I know that it belongs to someone called Barbara.

    I have tried to advertise the find on Facebook, Twitter and even Flickr, where I have placed a photograph of it and, as I am lucky enough to have my own website at: http://www.jtsimm.com, I have advertised the find there too. I have Tag the website heavily and repeated the words in it, so it should be easy to find with a simple search such as “found fitbit chester” or “lost fitbit chester”.

    What has surprised me the most is that Fitbit.com/UK have told me twice that they don’t have a facility for returning it to its owner and have advised me to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner.

    Having seen how many have been lost, it would be a simple thing to have a finders notice board on their website.

    My opinion is that they only want to sell more of them, rather than repatriating them.

    Do you have any suggestions for finders?

  29. Lindsey V

    My daughter lost her fitbit at school, we think someone found it and made it their own. Is there an ID number on the fitbit that I am able to pull off it. It appears it has already been reset.

    1. Boyd Chan

      I don’t believe the serial number is printed on the Fitbit itself – it is stored electronically in the Fitbit.

      The only other places where the serial number is recorded is on the original box and with Fitbit support.

  30. Mario

    I lost mine 7 days ago, the last sync I received in my iphone was 4 days ago ” low battery ”
    before I purchase the Fitbit Finder App, If the battery is dead, Can I still use the Fitbit Finder App ??
    Thank you

    1. Boyd Chan

      If the battery is dead then you won’t be able to use an app to find it as it would rely upon the Fitbit having power to power the wireless interface used to detect/connect to it.

  31. Keri

    Thanks for the tips on the BTLExplorer! My Fitbit has been missing for over a week. I was ready to give up on hoping it would turn up but got a low battery message and found your site in my last attempt. I found the best signal in the house and still couldn’t find it so I set an alarm. It was still hard but it was stuck inside the cuff of my winter coat!!

  32. ltl

    yes this works!! it is an amazing app. i never got the signal strength to give me any indication but was able to find the One by watching the change in the dBm reading. as it falls, keep moving around to where it is the very lowest, then dig around and you’ll find the fitbit.

  33. Mark Makeford

    Searching the net as I’ve found a Fitbit in Hampshire UK. Hence me trying to return it to the owner. Can someone not set up a Facebook page called Lost and Found missing Fitbit? I’ll probably end up handing it in to the Police, but likely the owner will never collect it. shame really.

  34. donna free

    I tried several of the free apps like but only Fitbit Finder was able to find my lost Fitbit. It was worth the $6 to find it. The other apps either had no instructions on how to read the strength of a signal or just didn’t pick up the signal coming from the Fitbit hidden under the laundry. Hope this helps someone.

  35. Aubrey White

    This thing really, really works. Directed me to a location where I did not think I left my fitbit which was in a pair of pants. I am a believer.

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