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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.

176 comments

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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+.

    1. Bill Martin

      The app fitbit finder did not help me at all still looking for mine the support did not help at all said let them know if I couldn’t find it. I did all stuff and then bought the app and that was even more confusing my fitbit one was every where. I lost mine only had it for 11 days and its been lost for 4 days :(

  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.

  16. Dawn Shedlarski

    After a good dinner with very special friends at a restaurant over 1 hour away, I came home to find I lost my fitbit!!! A little panic set in. I got up in the morning & still couldn’t believe my fitbit was missing. I synced it! Zero steps! Hmmm…it is here somewhere! I used your site & directions to find the illusive fitbit! It was in the closet- not on the floor but it caught on the hem of my jacket!! Little side note – battery was low so I wasn’t sure how long it would last. Thanks so much!

  17. Seraphina

    BTLExplorer found my fitbit! Wahoo! Thanks for sharing such helpful info!

  18. Eric Wright

    I just lost my fitbit, the first thing I did was change my nickname to my name and my phone number. This way if someone else finds it and it comes up with the welcome, it should show my phone number so they can contact me if it syncs. Hopefully it will sync with either my device or someone else’s device…ugh, the case for these things is HORRIBLE!!!

    1. Boyd Chan

      Good ideas, hope that your Fitbit turns up soon!

  19. Justin Martin

    I thought I lost my Fitbit One, I was wondering around on where I thought it was and it was syncing. So I set several alarms one minute from each other, synced it again, and listened/felt for the vibration and found it.

  20. Jill W.

    Thank you thank you for this post! I lost my fitbit One in my house for three days…it was still able to sync to it so I knew it was nearby. I downloaded the brlexplorer software and coupled with the silent alarms, it led me right to it!! My reading was at -65 when I found it. Thanks again!!

  21. Keith

    Awesome write up. I lost my fitbit one for about 12 hours. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t wearing it until 2 days after I last checked it. Then I go to check my usual place: my last pair of pants that I wore and nothing. I had my phone with the app on it but all it was showing was whether it was syncing which it was so I knew it was in the house somewhere. But after downloading the Bluetooth Scanner app i played hide and seek constantly clicking scan until finally finding it in my gym shorts crumpled up on the bathroom floor. Signal strength was like -55db. That was actually kind of fun.. lol

  22. LV

    Lost my fit bit force today! My last sync on my iphone was at 6:07pm, I figure I was in my mud room grabbing my shoes before leaving. Didn’t notice that it was gone til I got back three hours later, so I tried the re-sync trick, it syncs but only in a corner of the mudroom where the purse goes, it’s not in there, I can put my purse in another room and it still syncs in that one spot. i set up a few alarms to try to hear it vibrating, no go. I then downloaded the BTLExplorer app and walked around the house, nothing below -96. I crawled all over this one spot for 10 minutes and the lowest I got was -88 for a quick second. I don’t use anything in this area except to hang my purse but I tore the place apart anyways. How close would you need to be for it to get into the -40 to -50 range? Does the amount of battery life in the force make a difference (it just went to low at the 6:07pm sync)?

    1. Boyd Chan

      You would have to be within a few feet to get a reading around -50dB – what you may find is if your home has multiple levels is that you may be above or below it and you are receiving the radio signal through the floor or ceiling. Otherwise, the Fitbit could be on the other side of the wall where you are getting a successful sync or maybe inside something metallic (washing machine perhaps?).

      I am not certain if the battery level in the Fitbit Force (or any of the Fitbit products for that matter) impacts the output radio strength.

  23. Melissa

    I used this site as an idea but I actually set the silent alarm at one minute intervals and my daughter comes running down the stairs saying mom something is scratching in my room over and over again. It was the alarm vibrating. :-)

    1. Boyd Chan

      That’s hilarious! Glad you both managed to find the Fitbit :)

  24. Melissa

    How do you set the silent alarm for a fitbit flex to help with locating a lost fitbit. If I know when it was lost but not the location should I purchase the Apple App–will it help me find the location like how the find my Iphone locater works?

    1. Boyd Chan

      If you want to set an alarm via your computer you can follow the guide @ https://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/articles/1108504 but in order for the Flex to activate the alarm it needs to be in range of the paired smartphone or computer.

      You can also do it via the iOS app which should be free.

  25. Claire

    I lost my fitbit last week! Been searching house… I able to sync so I know it is close. Downloaded the app but I don’t understand how it works. See Flex appear under peripherals and some numbers which I guess are readings… Yet I don’t know how to interpret them. Hoping you can help.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Claire,

      The numbers represent the strength of the signal received from the Fitbit to your device. The higher the number the closer you are (so -40dB is higher than -60dB as -40dB is less negative in comparison).

      Usually, if you can get closer to -40dB you are very close, if not, on top of the Fitbit.

  26. Sheila

    I lost my fitbit while working in my flowerbeds around the perimeter of my house. I had been kneeling in the grass, stepping into ground cover, etc. To find that fitbit with my bare eyes would have been like finding a needle in a haystack, combing an area of at least 300 feet! Well, I googled “how to find lost fitbit” and this was one of the first sites to pop up. My first step was to download the BTLExplorer, as mentioned above, and I had success in my smart phone “finding” the fitbit ONE, but within a large range, not anywhere close. Standing still, the reading jumped up and down by 8 or more, so I wasn’t getting anywhere close with it – I was in the -90’s and as I got closer (to where I eventually found it) the numbers did not change. Also, it is slow in sending the data, so it doesn’t give you updates every second – so you have to move VERY slowly and keep refreshing to get a new reading. After about 30 minutes of that, I decided to download the Fitbit Finder ($4.99) and found my fitbit in under 10 minutes, nowhere near the BLTExplorer had first “registered” my One. WELL Worth the $5 I spent, since the free option didn’t work for me. THANK you for this post, as I wouldn’t have found my fitbit otherwise!!!

  27. Fitbit 90291

    I FOUND a FITBIT yesterday (JUNE 23,2014) while walking in VENICE, CA 90291.

    I called the FITBIT company and they said send it back to them and they would try to find owner but could not guarantee.
    The FITBIT rep said that when you lose one- they send a replacement?

    I have posted a FOUND ad on CRAIGSLIST (Los Angeles).
    Also found this page and AM hoping the person might look here for “HOW TO FIND TIPS” and I can simply return to them.

    If you notice on any FITBIT community pages- someone who lost one in Venice Beach, CA- please pass along.
    THANK YOU :)

  28. ASC

    Awesome
    Thanks so much the article. BTLExplorer found my fitbit! I had just gotten it today and it must have come off when I was cooking. I had been looking around the house for an hour (all the while not capturing steps) and finally thought there had to be a technology solution to this problem. Thanks again!!

  29. Defigo

    I know this may be a silly question, but is there a way to find the owner of a fitbit? We found one in the parking lot.

  30. Linda

    Thank you SO much!!! Found my Fitbit within minutes using BLTExplorer in my laundry room about to go in the washer!! Would be nice if Fitbit had a locator alarm built in!!

  31. Bill

    Lost my Fitbit One while trimming trees in our woods and one look at the duff on the ground had me pretty gloomy about ever finding it. I knew it was out there because I could sync but searching didn’t turn up anything other than a lot of leaves and rotting wood. :( I searched “find lost fitbit” on the Interwebz and turned up your site right away. BTL Explorer got me close and the silent alarm showed me exactly where it was–took all of 5 minutes, one of which was waiting for the alarm and another was doing the “found my Fitbit” happy dance.

    Thanks to you and all the commenters for the help!

    1. Trish

      Bill a thousand thank yous. I lost my fitbit and followed your advice re BTLExplorer and found it under the bathroom vanity.
      I am so grateful.

  32. Cathy Hill

    Any way to track down a lost FitBit after the battery has died?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Cathy, unfortunately not as the device doesn’t include GPS nor does it transmit that information somewhere :(

      You would have to trace your steps and keep a sharp eye out for it.

  33. Anne

    Thank you for the Btle app recommendation or I would not have found it until I moved in another week. My Fitbit is part of a corporate challenge and isn’t mine until I complete 90 day challenge. I’m in the process of moving and found it under a bed in the spare bedroom. So relieved!!! Glad I found this site. I found it once it reached -51.

  34. Rick

    Hello fit bit ,
    We bought my wife a fit bit force last year for Christmas. She loved it….. It had fallen off her wrist a time or two but she was able to find. We went to a fundraising event on a Sunday afternoon her fit bit must have falling off her wrists and disappear. I did read your warranty policy and understood, if it was a lost that I really have no recourse. I was curious if there’s anyway that you could track this device? Hopefully you can she just loves this thing…….
    Rick

    1. Boyd Chan

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your comment but unfortunately I am not Fitibt – I’m just a guy with a technology blog :)

      You would need to contact Fitbit via their website @ https://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/emails/new and you can see if they are feeling generous in replacing your device. It does happen but not guaranteed.

      There’s no way to remotely track the device given its lack of GPS so the only known method is the one outlined in this article.

      Boydo

  35. tonya

    Thanks so much for this very useful advice! I lost my fitbit one two days ago. I found it using a combination of isolating the approx. location with btlexplorer and then silent alarm to finally track it down. It was somehow lodged in with the stuffed animals hanging from a net on the wall in my kid’s room. I never would of found it without your help.. Thanks ever so much!

  36. Lauren

    I downloaded BTLExplorer and the FitbitFinder App. Both pick up a signal but it is very light. 3 hours of walking around my house and neighborhood, turning over couches, cleaning my already organized house. Taking everything out of bookcases, cabinets, and hampers I still haven’t found anything. I am actually further from finding anything. The fitbit only syncs to my laptop and app in my living room, but I get the highest signals in my bedroom, on the other side of my house. My battery has about a day left on it. I guess I am just going to have to cut my losses. Any ideas?

  37. Rachel

    Thanks! I just used your technique to find my fitbit! :)

  38. Marisela Lopez

    Hello,

    I lost my zip fitbit. I came across this site. Followed all the suggestion. However its the zip can the Bluetooth locate it and if so what should it read

    1. Boyd Chan

      Yes, it should also work with the Zip as it uses Bluetooth LE like the Fitbit One.

      As for readings I am not very sure as I don’t own a Zip myself and most of the feedback from others here seems to be with the Fitbit One with some comments about the Flex. I would guess it might show up aS “Zip” or “Fitbit” or something similar.

  39. Libby

    What are the chances of getting a design for the bracelet that it will not randomly fall off? I have not lost 2. I had already lost 3 clip-on ones before I moved to the bracelet. When you get a new design, let me know, otherwise I am moving to another brand.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Good question and one for Fitbit to answer!

  40. Jeff Norton

    I lost my Fitbit, after recharging it just this past Tuesday – searched, and searched – no avail. I used the Bluetooth Finder app for Android, got close, but no cigar.

    I used the alarm method, given here by the faithful reporters, and found it within two alarm periods in the fresh laundry basket, waiting to go upstairs in our town home.. Bravo! Kudos for the great help and suggestions!!!

  41. Robin

    Thanks to the advice herein I just found my Fitbit One. Two days ago I had put on a pair of jeans and inserted the FB to a pocket and then decided I’d wear a different pair. The next day I checked the pair of jeans for my FB and guess what … no sign of it.

    I used both the app and the alarm and the alarm buzzed in my jeans shelf … then I found it.

    Thanks, I can’t live without my FB.

  42. Sue

    Thanks so much! I wasn’t sure how app worked until I read this…found mine in a closet I rarely go into…never would have looked there!

  43. Steve

    Thanks for the info about btlexplorer. I was able to quickly find my One in my house where it had fallen. It had been driving me crazy trying to retrace my steps to find it before using the app.

  44. Anna

    Thank you for the info! Took me a while but I used the app and was able to rule out rooms. Finally found my fit bit attached to my pajamas :-)

  45. Jason

    I’m trying to find but I keep getting a message to tap Fitbit to wake up. Any suggestions?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Are you getting this message on your phone? If so, what phone do you have?

  46. 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?

  47. 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

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