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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. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. Claire

    Thank you sooooo much! I found it! I really thought it was in my kitchen – with a reading of -88dB, From reading the posts, I thought I was close, yet when I read your response I knew I needed to get a better reading. So I wandered my house comparing readings from the BTLE and the ability to sync to tracker. When I went upstairs in my room it was -47dB and it instantly synced to tracker…. so the real search began. Within minutes, I found it – I am a bit embarrassed to say… it was in my underwear drawer – really! I have no idea how it got there…! Yet very happy to have found it! You are a life saver! Thanks again :)

  1. Fitbit – Lost and Found » Boydo's Tech Talk

    […] made it to the gym so it wasn’t worth looking in there but I thought I would give the advice gathered in this past article a go in order to locate it. I was able to remember where I went during yesterday until I realised […]

  2. I lost my Fitbit… and found it « Crossed Wires

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