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Why is the Fitbit app prompting me to turn on location services?

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If you’re setting up or syncing your tracker with an Android mobile device, you may be prompted to turn on location services. Each device is different, but on many you can find the setting at Settings > Location.

Why does the Fitbit app need my location?

Google changed its permission requirements beginning with Android OS 6.0 (Marshmallow). As a result the locations permission is necessary to sync your tracker with your Android device.

Rest assured, Fitbit does not track your location unless you are recording an exercise or activity with GPS. For more information, see How do I track my exercise and activities with Fitbit?

Why did syncing stop working after I turned on location services?

If the Fitbit app prompted you to turn on location services and you denied the request, you have an extra step after turning on location services. To tell the Fitbit app that it has permission to access locations, go to Settings > Apps > Fitbit > Permissions (the exact path may vary depending on mobile device).

Can I still use power savings features?

If you use power savings features, location services may be turned off automatically when your battery power is running low. You should be able to set up and sync normally after you charge your mobile device.

Where can I get more information about Android permissions?

The Fitbit app needs the locations services option on your phone to be turned on in order to perform the Bluetooth low energy scans required to sync your tracker. For more information about how your tracker syncs, see How do Fitbit trackers sync their data?

Google added the locations permission requirement to alleviate concerns that Bluetooth beacons can be used to track your location without your permission during a Bluetooth low energy scan, such as the scan required to sync your tracker. By granting the Fitbit app permission to access your location, your tracker will be able to sync, but your location won't be recorded or tracked by Fitbit.

For more information about Bluetooth technology, please visit the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) at https://www.bluetooth.com

For details about the latest Google permission requirements, see Google's Android 6.0 Changes document.

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Last updated: January 7, 2017
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