How to Fix a Fitbit Charge 5 Charger That Is Not Working

How to Fix a Fitbit Charge 5 Charger That Is Not Working

How to Fix a Fitbit Charge 5 Charger That Is Not Working

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a highly sought-after fitness tracker that boasts a range of impressive features, including built-in GPS, Active Zone Minutes, and Daily Readiness Score. Despite its popularity, however, the device is not immune to issues that may arise during its usage. One of the most common complaints from Charge 5 owners is related to charging problems, such as the device not charging or the charger not working.

If you are one of the users experiencing such issues, it is important not to panic. Instead, there are several troubleshooting steps that you can take to try and resolve the problem. These steps may include checking the power source, ensuring that the charging cable is securely connected, and resetting the device.

By following these simple steps, you may be able to get your Fitbit Charge 5 working again and continue enjoying its many benefits.

Make Sure the Charger is Properly Connected

Before diving into complex troubleshooting, first ensure that the charger is properly connected to both the Fitbit and the power source. Here are some tips:

  • Examine the charger and ensure no pins are broken or damaged. All 4 gold pins on the charger need to make solid contact with the 4 gold pins on the back of the Fitbit.
  • Check that the charger cable is pushed all the way into the port on the back of the Fitbit, until it clicks into place. Wiggling it slightly helps ensure full contact.
  • When plugging the USB end of the charger into a wall adapter or computer, be sure it is fully inserted.
  • Verify that the wall adapter or USB port you are using is functioning by trying another device like a mobile phone.
  • Try charging your Fitbit using multiple outlets throughout your home and even an alternate USB cable if you have one available.

If the charger is properly connected on both ends and the Fitbit still won’t charge, move on to some additional troubleshooting tips. But taking the time to properly insert the charger cable into the Fitbit and power source is an easy first step that could resolve many charging issues.

Make Sure the Charger is Properly Connected

Clean the Charging Contacts

Dirt, oil, and other debris on the metal charging contacts can prevent a solid connection. Carefully clean the contacts on both the charger and your Fitbit to remove any buildup.

Clean the Charger Pins

  • Use a dry cotton swab to gently rub each of the 4 pins on the charger. Slowly spin the cotton swab around each pin to remove debris.
  • Dampen the swab slightly with rubbing alcohol if needed for more cleaning power. Let any alcohol fully dry before reconnecting the charger.
  • Check pins for any remaining dirt or oil and re-clean if necessary. The pins should look shiny and new when properly cleaned.

Clean the Charge 5 Charging Port

  • Before cleaning, power off your Fitbit by holding down the side button for 3-5 seconds until you see the power off icon.
  • Use a dry cotton swab and gently rotate inside the Charge 5’s charging port to clean the pins and remove any built up dirt or oil.
  • You can also use a can of compressed air to spray out any debris from the charging port. Hold the can 2-3 inches away and spray in quick bursts.
  • For deep cleaning, use rubbing alcohol on the cotton swab. Take care not to get any moisture in other openings like the microphone.
  • Allow any alcohol to fully evaporate before reconnecting the charger.

Thoroughly cleaning both sides of the charging contacts is an important step in troubleshooting charger issues. The connector needs to be free of any particles that impede the electrical connection.

Update the Fitbit Firmware

Outdated firmware can sometimes cause charging problems. Connect your Fitbit to the Fitbit app and ensure you install any pending firmware updates.

Here is how to update the firmware:

  • With your phone nearby, open the Fitbit app and tap your profile picture.
  • Scroll down and tap “Check for Update” under the “Firmware Version” listing.
  • If an update is available, tap to begin the process. Keep the tracker nearby and plugged in during the update.
  • Once complete, your Fitbit will reset and reboot. Allow it to fully restart before unplugging from power.

Updating to the latest firmware only takes a few minutes and helps rule out any bugs with older versions that may be affecting charging capabilities. Keep firmware updated whenever you get notifications of new versions available.

Try a Hard Reset

If your Fitbit is still not charging after trying the above steps, performing a hard reset can help troubleshoot further. The reset will force your Fitbit to restart and clear any software glitches that could be preventing charging.

Here’s how to hard reset a Fitbit Charge 5:

  • Make sure your Fitbit is not plugged into the charger.
  • Hold down the left side button and right side button simultaneously for 10-15 seconds until you see the Fitbit logo appear.
  • When you see the logo, release both buttons.
  • Your Fitbit will now restart. It can take up to 10 minutes to fully reset.
  • Once restarted, plug your Fitbit back into the charger and see if it begins charging normally.

Resetting your device essentially gives the Fitbit a fresh start, often resolving quirky software issues in cases where other troubleshooting failed. It’s worth trying this step before further hardware troubleshooting or contacting support.

Check for Debris in Charging Port

It’s rare, but sometimes dirt or debris can get lodged deep in the charging port, preventing the charger pins from making proper contact. Carefully inspect the port and use a clean toothpick to gently dislodge any particles that may be obstructing the pins.

Here are some tips for safely cleaning out the port:

  • Power off your Fitbit before sticking anything into the charging port.
  • Visually inspect the port under bright light at multiple angles. Look for any obstructions stuck to the metal pins.
  • Take a clean toothpick and gently insert into the port, swirling and twisting to dislodge debris.
  • Try adding a small piece of tape to the end of the toothpick to help grab onto any stuck particles.
  • When finished, use short bursts of compressed air to clear out any remaining dust.
  • Visually re-inspect the port and repeat if any noticeable debris remains.

Take extreme care not to push any debris further into the port. If you can’t reach or see the obstruction, contact Fitbit support before prodding further to avoid damage. With care and patience, using a toothpick is an effective way to clean the port as a last resort.

Test With a Paperclip

As a way to pinpoint if the issue lies with your Fitbit or the charger, you can test the charging port using a bent paperclip. Here’s how:

  • Unbend a standard paperclip into a straight line.
  • Carefully insert one end of the clip into the charging port, gently guiding it to make contact with the 4 pins.
  • Optional – Use tape to cover all but 1/4 inch of the paperclip, avoiding contact with any other internal parts.
  • Connect the other end of the paperclip to your charging cable.
  • Plug in the charger and check if it begins charging your Fitbit as normal.

If charging commences when using the paperclip, the issue likely lies with the charger pins not contacting properly inside the port. But if it still fails to charge, the Fitbit itself may have a hardware problem that requires service or replacement. This is a useful way to determine if the Fitbit or just the charger is malfunctioning.

Check Charger Voltage and Amperage

Check Charger Voltage and Amperage

Fitbit Charge 5 requires a 5V, 1A power source for charging. Trying to use chargers, cables, or power adapters that don’t match these specs could prevent proper charging.

Check your charger or USB power source to confirm:

  • Voltage is 5V (volts). Typical USB ports and chargers supply 5V.
  • Amperage is at least 1A (1000mA). Higher amperage like 2A is fine, but lower may not work.
  • The cable is not for charging only and can transmit data. Charge only cables do not work.
  • Wall adapters and power banks designed for phones or tablets often meet these needs.

Using a multi-meter is the most accurate way to measure voltage and amperage from chargers and power sources. But checking your charger specs or using a known good 5V/1A USB source can also help validate proper wattage. Insufficient power can cause charging issues.

Try an Alternate Charger

One of the best ways to determine if the issue stems from a faulty charger is to test charging with an alternate Fitbit charger.

Friends or family who also own a Fitbit may be willing to lend you their charger for testing purposes. You can also buy an official replacement Fitbit charger or inexpensive universal options.

To test properly:

  • Completely power off your Fitbit if possible.
  • Clean both the Fitbit and alternate charger charging contacts.
  • Connect your Fitbit to the alternate charger and power source.
  • Leave charging for at least one full hour before assessing results.

If your Fitbit successfully charges, the issue was likely your original charger malfunctioning. But if it still fails to charge, the problem rests with your Fitbit itself. Getting your hands on an alternate charger for testing is the best way to rule out charger problems.

Contact Fitbit Support

If you have carefully tried all of the above troubleshooting tips and your Fitbit Charge 5 still fails to charge, it’s time to contact Fitbit support. Customer service can further troubleshoot and ultimately arrange a replacement if needed.

When you contact Fitbit, be prepared with:

  • Details of troubleshooting steps you have tried. This helps them diagnose.
  • Fitbit serial number which can be found in the Fitbit app or on the tracker itself.
  • Proof of purchase like a receipt may be required if seeking a warranty replacement.
  • Shipping address and contact info if overnight shipping a replacement.

Fitbit may first walk through additional troubleshooting before determining if a replacement is needed. But their support team can validate hardware issues and send a replacement Charge 5 if required.

Some key ways to contact Fitbit support include:

  • Live chat direct from your Fitbit app.
  • Support phone number at 1-866-216-1072.
  • Online support request form on their contact us page.
  • @FitbitSupport on Twitter.

Getting help right from the source is the ultimate solution if you can’t resurrect your Charge 5 on your own. Fitbit’s customer service aims to keep you satisfied and active.


  1. Why does my Fitbit Charge 5 have a blinking red light when on the charger?

A blinking red light typically means your battery is critically low and does not have enough charge yet to power on. Leave it charging for at least one hour minimum to give the battery sufficient juice before troubleshooting further. As the battery accumulates charge, the blinking will typically transition to a solid green or blue light.

  1. Why won’t my Charge 5 charger click into place properly?

If the charger does not click or snap into the port securely, the issue is likely debris buildup or damage. Carefully clean the charger pins and port with alcohol and cotton swabs. Inspect for any obstructions or damage to the pins and port. Bent pins can prevent the proper click connection.

  1. Can I use the same charger for my Fitbit Versa 3 and Charge 5?

Yes, Fitbit uses the same charging standard across devices. So long as the charger is an official Fitbit branded charger, you can use the Versa 3 charger to charge your Charge 5 and vice versa. Just be sure to keep the pins and ports clean.

  1. Why does my Fitbit only charge to 90 or 95%?

It’s perfectly normal for lithium-ion batteries to never reach a full 100% charge. The last few percentage points are limited to prolong overall battery lifespan. Unless your Fitbit is draining abnormally fast, reaching around 95% is expected behavior, not a defect.

  1. How can I tell if my charging issues are the cable or Fitbit?

Using a paperclip or alternate cable to test charging can isolate the issue. If charging works fine via paperclip but not your regular cable, the cable is likely defective. But if neither method works, your Fitbit itself requires replacement or service for hardware failure.

In Summary

Having problems getting your Fitbit Charge 5 to charge can certainly be frustrating. But in most cases, some systematic troubleshooting and cleaning can get your tracker charging again without the need for replacements.

How many Fitbit bands are available? To ensure optimal performance and troubleshoot charging issues, start with proper connection and cleaning of the charger contacts. Update firmware, reset your Fitbit to factory settings, and remove any debris lodged in the port. Testing with alternate charging sources helps determine if the issue stems from the cable or your device. And remember, Fitbit’s customer service can further diagnose problems and send replacements if truly needed.