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Why isn't GPS working on my Fitbit device?

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If you’re having trouble with GPS, review specific requirements and troubleshooting for your device model.

Fitbit Blaze does not have built-in GPS. To get GPS data including pace and route for your workout, you must select a GPS exercise from the Exercise menu on Blaze and bring a GPS-enabled mobile device with you. This feature is known as connected GPS because Blaze relies on the GPS sensors in the mobile device. We recommend turning off Wi-Fi when you're using connected GPS to improve the experience.

Error messages

You may see the following errors on your tracker:

  • Phone not found—This means Bluetooth is turned off (preventing your Blaze from connecting to your phone) or your phone can't find a GPS signal. A weak GPS signal on your mobile device is often caused by environmental factors such as tall buildings, dense forest, steep hills, or even thick cloud cover. All of these can interrupt the connection between your tracker and GPS satellites.
  • Check Fitbit app—This means you may need to grant location permissions on your phone or change a setting on your tracker. See the requirements below for more information.

Requirements

  • Bluetooth is enabled on your phone and your tracker is connected (paired) to the phone. To confirm, go into your phone's Bluetooth settings and make sure you see Blaze on the list of devices.
  • (Android only) The Fitbit app is allowed to run in the background on your phone. For more information, see Why is the Fitbit app sending a notification to my Android phone?
  • You selected an exercise type from the Exercise menu that has a gear icon in the bottom left corner. The gear icon represents connected GPS.
  • GPS is turned on for the exercise type. Tap the gear icon and make sure the Use Phone GPS setting is on.
  • Your phone is within about 20 feet of your tracker.
  • Your phone can identify your location and can track your location when you're not using Wi-Fi. For more information on which phone settings you may need to adjust, see How do I use multisport or exercise mode on my tracker?
  • The Fitbit app is open on your phone or running in the background. Do not force quit the Fitbit app. 
  • (Android only) If your mobile device is running Android Marshmallow or later, see Why do I receive access requests from the Fitbit app on my Android mobile device?

Troubleshooting

After verifying all the requirements, try using GPS again by following the instructions in How do I use multisport or exercise mode on my tracker?

If you're still having difficulty, try these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Open the Fitbit app to reestablish a connection with your tracker.
  2. Reboot your mobile device.

If you still have trouble with GPS please contact Customer Support.

The connected GPS feature on Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Charge 3, and Fitbit Versa works with the GPS sensors in your nearby phone. To get GPS data, including pace and route for your workout, you must select a GPS exercise from the Exercise app on your device and bring a GPS-enabled phone with you. We recommend turning off Wi-Fi on your phone when using connected GPS to improve the experience.
 
When you choose a GPS exercise, your device vibrates when your phone finds a GPS signal. If your phone doesn't find a signal immediately, keep in mind that environmental factors including tall buildings, dense forest, steep hills, and even thick cloud cover can interfere with your phone’s ability to connect to GPS satellites. 
 
For best results, wait for your phone to find the signal before you start your workout. However, if you don't want to wait you can start your workout and GPS tracking begins when your phone finds a signal. 

Note that your device uses your step count to calculate distance until it finds a GPS signal. In this scenario, your total distance calculated for the workout may be slightly less accurate than if GPS data were available for the entire duration. For more information, see How accurate is GPS?

Requirements

  • Bluetooth is enabled on your phone and your tracker is connected (paired) to the phone. To confirm, go into your phone's Bluetooth settings and make sure you see Charge 2, Charge 3, or Versa on the list of devices.
  • (Android only) The Fitbit app is allowed to run in the background on your phone. For more information, see Why is the Fitbit app sending a notification to my Android phone?
  • You selected an exercise type from the Exercise app that uses connected GPS. To check on Versa, tap the gear icon (User-added image) on any exercise and check that GPS is listed and set to On. To check on Charge 3, swipe up on any exercise and check that Use Phone GPS is listed and set to On.
  • Your phone is within about 30 feet of your device.
  • Your phone can identify your location and can track your location when you're not using Wi-Fi. For more information on which phone settings you may need to adjust, see How do I track my workouts with my Fitbit device?
  • (Android only) If your mobile device is running Android 6.0 or later, see Why do I receive access requests from the Fitbit app on my Android mobile device?

Troubleshooting

After verifying all the requirements, try using GPS again by following the instructions in How do I track my workouts with my Fitbit device?

If you're still having difficulty, try these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Open the Fitbit app to reestablish a connection with your tracker.
  2. Reboot your phone.

If you still have trouble with GPS please contact Customer Support.

Fitbit Ionic has built-in GPS. When you select a GPS exercise, Ionic vibrates when it finds a GPS signal. If Ionic doesn't find a signal immediately, keep in mind that environmental factors including tall buildings, dense forest, steep hills, and even thick cloud cover can interfere with your watch's ability to connect to GPS satellites. 

For best results, wait for Ionic to find the signal before you start your workout. However, if you don't want to wait you can start your workout and GPS tracking begins when Ionic finds a signal. 

Note that Ionic uses your step count to calculate distance until it finds a GPS signal. In this scenario, your total distance calculated for the workout may be slightly less accurate than if GPS data were available for the entire duration. For more information, see How accurate is GPS?

If you still have trouble with GPS please contact Customer Support.

Fitbit Surge has built-in GPS. When you select a GPS run or exercise, you'll feel a vibration that indicates Surge has found a GPS signal. If Surge doesn't find a signal immediately, keep in mind that environmental factors including tall buildings, dense forest, steep hills, and even thick cloud cover can interfere with your tracker's ability to connect to GPS satellites. 

For best results, wait for Surge to find the signal before you start your workout. However, if you don't want to wait you may be able to use the Quick Start option. Quick Start begins tracking your workout without GPS until it finds the signal. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Quick Start is not available if you're tracking a bike ride because cycling requires GPS to track distance. 
  • If you see the Quick Start option and want to use it, press the Select button and then press Play. 
  • While Surge continues to look for the GPS signal it will use your step count to calculate distance traveled. In this scenario you can expect that your total distance calculated for the workout will be slightly less accurate than if GPS data were available for the duration. For more information, see How accurate is GPS?
If you still have trouble with GPS please contact Customer Support.
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Last updated: September 27, 2018
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