Can A Fitbit Overheat?

As you might have recently heard, there have been some serious recalls on the Fitbit

In fact, as NPR reports, Fitbit has recalled 1.7 million of their smartwatches due to their batteries overheating, leading to people’s skin getting burned. 

This lithium-ion battery is being assessed and addressed, but overheating is not a new issue for the Fitbit.

Can A Fitbit Overheat?

Older Fitbits sometimes tend to overheat, especially if water has gotten through a broken watertight seal and started wreaking havoc on the internal electrical components. If your Fitbit is shutting off, you will need to contact customer service and see about getting a replacement if your device is still covered by the limited warranty.

The recall itself is for the Fitbit Ionic, and none of the other smartwatches Fitbit makes are part of the recall. 

But that does not mean that those other Fitbits won’t overheat; it just means you aren’t likely to get a burned wrist just for wearing your Fitbit.

For some users, the Fitbit will overheat to the point where it shuts itself down. 

That might lead you to wonder, “Can a Fitbit go bad?” Is there something wrong with a Fitbit that constantly overheats? Is it bad to leave your Fitbit charging overnight, or is it safe? We all have these questions when our Fitbit device starts to overheat.

I’ve been there, as several of my Fitbits have eventually developed overheating problems.

Granted, I have never had my wrist hairs singed by an overheated battery. 

But I have had a Fitbit overheat to the point where it shut itself down while I was trying to use it.

Frustrated, I took to Google and the Fitbit community forums to get answers. 

Let me clue you into what I learned about Fitbits overheating.

Are Fitbits heat resistant?

Fitbits can resist heat – to an extent. 

While it is perfectly able to go with you into an infrared sauna, a traditional sauna would be way too hot for the Fitbit. 

Fitbit has said before that their watches should work just fine in temperatures ranging from will work between 14° to 113° F (-10° to 45° C). 

You should not expose your Fitbit to extreme cold or hot temperatures since this can damage these devices.

What causes a Fitbit to stop working?

There are a number of reasons that your Fitbit might have stopped working. 

Could it have overheated and shut itself off? Potentially. 

There are also other common problems, such as a drained battery, dust or dirt getting into the hardware, a software update is required, incorrect music streaming file formats, or simply a weak connection to your paired smartphone.

Cleaning the connections is important since dirt and debris can wreak havoc. 

You might also want to try connecting to a different charger or wall outlet since those can cause problems too. 

The cable might need to be replaced if it is failing to properly charge the Fitbit. 

You will also want to check your Bluetooth connection to ensure that it is strong and running.

You might need to disconnect some other Bluetooth devices, close out of the Fitbit app on your phone, unpair your Fitbit, or even reformat the drive. 

Of course, sometimes simply restarting the Fitbit can resolve problems that might cause overheating.

Can a Fitbit go bad?

Fitbits generally last somewhere between two and four years. 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find one that lives longer than that without any issue. 

The Alta, for example, has a projected lifespan of just 1-2 years.

So, yes, some models do tend to die faster than others.

And they definitely can go bad over time.

One of the biggest issues – outside of hardware failure due to age – is the breakdown of the watertight seals. 

When this happens, water can seep into the watch when you take it swimming or wear it in the shower. 

This leaves the internal electrical components vulnerable to water damage. 

If water has gotten inside of your Fitbit, it could lead to overheating, component destruction, and battery failure.

Is it bad to leave your Fitbit charging overnight?

You can occasionally leave your Fitbit on the charger overnight without risking any damage. 

But is it something you should do on a nightly basis? Possibly. 

But here is what Fitbit gurus recommend you do:

  1. Only use a Fitbit branded charging cable with your device.
  2. Plug your Fitbit charger into a USB port on a computer or another type of low-energy device.
  3. You can use a UL-certified USB wall charger if need be.
  4. Don’t use a battery pack or USB hub to charge your Fitbit.

Leaving your device on the charger for longer than needed likely won’t impact the battery life, but it is generally just better to be safe than sorry.

What can you do if your Fitbit is part of the current recall?

If you own a Fitbit Ionic that is part of the current voluntary recall, then please stop using the device, effective immediately. 

Fitbit urges you to visit their refund center and gives you access to a special promotional discount for your trouble. 

You will need to apply for the refund, which takes about 3-6 weeks to process and get deposited into your account.

Even if your Ionic is working just fine, Fitbit encourages you to stop using it and take advantage of the recall process.

Should you contact Fitbit’s customer support for help?

If your watch isn’t part of the recall and you are still having trouble with overheating, you should contact Fitbit’s customer service

Open up a live chat with an agent to get your questions answered and learn more troubleshooting techniques. 

They can also tell you whether or not your device is still under warranty.

You will definitely want to know this in case your device is, in fact, beyond repair.

Closing Thoughts

Fitbits are electronic devices and prone to overheating issues. 

There can be multiple reasons why this happens. 

Since this is a wearable device that rubs up against your skin, you should be leery of any overheating, as it could possibly harm you. 

As we’ve recently seen with the Ionic models, the burns these devices can cause are no joke.

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