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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. Laura

    THANK YOU! After noticing my fitbit was not on my yesterday morning, I searched my entire house after work. In a desperate attempt, I looked up how to find a fitbit, and found this website. I downloaded the BTLExplorer last night and walked the house… clearly my fitbit was not there. Walked around work this morning, in all my normal spots- still no sign of it. Went out to the plant and it immediately picked up my one. After slowly creeping for about 10 minutes, I found it hidden behind a drum. I NEVER would have found it without this app! YAY!!!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Thanks for sharing your terrific news!

  2. Joe

    Dowloaded BTLE. Had to play hotter or colder in my house for 30 min. Found it on the floor of my closet.

  3. Denise

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Luckily my son the IT person is home for the holidays. I did the research but he understood what I found on this site. We knew it was in the house because it was still syncing in the kitchen, dining room and family room. After reading about the Silent Alarm we gave that a try without success. Then my son downloaded the bluetooth thing on my iPad and starting searching. Got a little frustrating because we never got below 80. For awhile we thought it was in the freezer. I was in one lower kitchen cupboard and my son in another one (on either side of the stove because of all the holiday cooking we have been doing) and we were at least in the 70s. Needless to say my kitchen is totally torn apart. Not such a bad thing because I’ll do a little reorganizing. So down to the basement we went because we were over where the laundry is done in the basement. Got lower readings. Thought of the person who found his in the washing machine so I checked there. Nothing. Then out of the corner of my eye on the floor next to the washing machine there it was. What is it about fit bits and washing machines? Are they going to join all of those missing socks. Happy New Year to all.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Great to hear that you found your missing Fitbit – if only I could find socks that go missing in the laundry with an app!

  4. Johan

    I just found my fitbit force after lost for 1.5 days
    It is below my bed frame.

  5. Tara

    OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Your app recommendation helped me find my fitbit one!! I recently bought my fitbit after Christmas. It’s been lost for 2 hrs, I never lose things! I’m pretty good when it comes to stuff I love but somehow in the midst of running around after my sister’s two small munchkins, it was missing. Shortly after downloading the app and slowly walking through the house, I found it in a drawer. I have no clue how it got there?! I was just wearing it!! Thanks again!!

  6. Rick

    Great suggestion, BTLExplorer. Wore FITBIT One for two days, then lost it. Using App with iPhone, went on a Treasure Hunt. Found the ‘dang’ device in the pocket of a sneaky grandsons extra set of PJ’s. Will be more careful with FITBIT in the future, but nice to know this App is available and works great.

  7. Kristi

    what is the signal strength we are looking for the force to be in?

  8. Clay

    Looked without anything luck old fashion way but thank you for the BTLE explorer advice. Found it in 5 minutes.

  9. Dee Lightful

    Is there an app for an Android phone? I still haven’t found my fitbit it’s been 6 days :(

    1. Boyd Chan

      You can try Bluetooth 4.0 Scanner in the Play Store – just change the scanning mode to Low Energy and you should be able to use that for finding your Fitbit :)

  10. Bec

    is there an app for Windows phone to help locate my fitbit!!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Bec, unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any apps for Windows Phone 8 to scan for Bluetooth LE devices. The Black update for Nokia Lumia handsets supposedly added support for Bluetooth 4.0 but scanning for devices through Settings doesn’t seem to have them show up.

      We may need to wait until Windows Phone 8.1 is released next month in order for the appropriate access to be opened up in the operating system by Microsoft so such apps can be developed. For now, you’ll need to use an iPhone or Android device.

  11. Brooke

    If I could hug you right now, I would! I misplaced my FitBit One about two weeks ago and it’s been driving me crazy trying to find it. I tried the trick of syncing it with my iPhone so I knew it was in the house, not my vehicle or at work. I tried the silent alarm after I read this post with no luck, then installed the BTLExplorer. It took a minute to figure it out, but sure enough, it led me right to where my FitBit was hiding – in a rarely used robe pocket! I was worried it was in the cat box for a minute, but the app actually kept getting more accurate until the proverbial light bulb went off. Thank you so much and great app!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Well done, Brooke! Happy to hear that you managed to locate your Fitbit :)

  12. Joe

    That was money! Took about 10 minutes and the reading ended up around -55 db. when I found it. BTLexplorer was a great call…

  13. Alec

    Fitbit Finder is also an app you can use–got the job done for me. Works on iPhone 4s+.

  14. Neil

    Thanks for this article and comments. I was able to find my Fitbit using the first tips did not have to install BTLexplorer.

  15. JanetM

    We tried the sync and knew it was in the area. We tried the alarm but ultimately it was an app called fitbit finder that worked to find my husband’s fitbit. It works on the same principle as BTLexplorer. It was great. It gives a pinging sound for hotter and colder. We never would’ve found it. It had attached itself to a spoke on my bicycle! It must have hopped on for a ride when my husband took my bike out of the truck after a bike ride. Talk about weird. I just can’t believe that they don’t have some way to find it built into the device. My husband is now thinking of painting it florescent green.

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