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Fitbit Won't Hold a Charge: Here's What to Do

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Megs Bell started using a Fibit Flex this year, along with her whole family. The device worked well for about four months, but then it started to have problems holding a charge. The battery would drain after less than hour, leaving Bell unable to track her workouts and daily steps.

"It's really frustrating," said Bell, who lives in Maryland. "My family and I, we all compete," to get the most weekly steps, Bell said. So when she opens the Fitbit app and sees her step count dropping with each passing day, "it makes me really sad," she said. [Best Fitness Tracker Bands]

Bell's experience is not unique. While it's unclear how common the problem is, some Fitbit Flex users have posted on forums and social media sites about experiencing issues with their Flex holding a charge after just a few months of use. (The Flex battery generally lasts five days between charges, according to the company.)

For example, Karen Hamilton, a Fitbit user who said she received her tracker as a gift, posted on a Facebook thread in July that her two-month-old Flex was unable to hold a charge for an hour.

If your Fitbit device does not hold a charge, Fitbit recommends the following:

  • Clean the charger contacts.
  • Try charging from a different USB port.
  • Try charging from a computer USB port instead of a USB hub.
  • Reset your tracker. (For the Flex, this involves pulling the tracker into a USB port, and using a paperclip to press down on a small pinhole on the back of the charger, for three to four seconds.)

Both Bell and Hamilton said that they still experienced charging problems even after trying all of Fitbit's recommendations. If this is the case, Fitbit may replace the tracker free of charge. Hamilton said the company replaced her device, even though it was a gift.

"I love the product (despite the failed battery) but would not have gone out to buy a replacement," Hamilton told Live Science. "My fear of the same issue caused me not to want to make the investment. But I was highly pleased with the way the support team handled my case."

Bell said that out of the four members of her family, she is the only one with a charging problem. Bell also contacted Fitbit customer support, and received an email from the company saying that her Fitbit was draining unusually fast. Bell answered questions about her case by email, and Fitbit sent her a replacement tracker. The new tracker "works like a charm," she said.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Rachael Rettner
Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.