How to Charge the Fitbit Charge 5

It sounds a little funny to ask “How do I Charge my Fitbit Charge?” Perhaps ironically for a device that literally has the word “charge” in its name, though, the Fitbit Charge 5 can be tricky to actually plug in and charge up. That’s because–like many Fitbit trackers–it uses a proprietary charging cable which can be a little finicky to use correctly.

Here’s the best way to charge your Fitbit Charge 5, and to troubleshoot issues when it doesn’t charge correctly or seems to run out of battery immediately after you charge it.

Charging Cable for the Fitbit Charge 5

Your Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker comes with a charging cable in its box. Don’t lose that cable! Unlike most cellphone charging cables, it’s not something you can easily go out and buy at the nearest Target or Walmart. The cable is actually proprietary, and has some hidden features, like a little button you can use to reset the Charge 5 if it freezes.

If you do lose the charging cable, it’s not the end of the world. You can buy a new one from Fitbit, and there are several brands that make aftermarket cables you can get for around $10. The best bet, though, is to hold onto the Charge 5’s cable.

What To Plug the Cable Into

Somewhat annoyingly, the Charge 5 doesn’t come with an actual charger. You just get the charging cable, and you need to supply a charger that outputs the correct power. The other end of the charging cable is a standard USB plug, so it shouldn’t be too hard to source a charger.

There are a couple of solutions here. You can plug the cable into your computer’s USB port. You can also plug it into a cellphone charger that has a large USB output port. If you’re in the car, you can plug it into the USB accessory port that many new cars have (usually near the center console) and charge the Charge 5 on the way to the gym. You can also buy a dedicated charger specifically to plug the cable in.

My favorite solution is to repurpose an old cellphone charger. I’ve used one designed for an old Android phone, and it works great. You don’t need a fast charger for the Fitbit Charge 5–any charger with a standard USB output will do. I also like using a dedicated charger from Anker.

USB charger for the Charge 5

How to Connect the Charge 5 to Your Charger

So you’ve got the Charge 5’s cable ready, and you’ve plugged it into a USB port or an old cellphone charger. What comes next?

Take a look at the other end of the charging cable. There’s a big plastic piece with several small metal dots. Take your Fitbit Charge 5 off you wrist and flip it over.

You’ll see some small metal dots on the back of it, too. Align the metal dots on your charging cable with the metal dots on the back of the Charge 5. As you move the charging cable towards the dots, magnets in the charging cable will engage, and it should snap into place against the back of the Charge 5.

If it doesn’t snap into place, try turning the end piece of the cable around. It should only snap into place magnetically if it’s oriented correctly.

How to Tell if the Device is Actually Charging

Once you’ve snapped the charger onto your Fitbit, it should just start charging, right? Wrong! The cable can be finicky, especially if the metal contacts on your device have gotten dirty over time. To ensure that the Fitbit is actually charging, gently lay it down on its side. Then, take a look at the screen, and make sure it indicates a percent of charge, and shows the battery charging icon.

Icon indicating the device is charging successfully

If you see the charging icon, the Fitbit should be charging properly. Remember to check for it each time. If you leave your Fitbit plugged into the charger for hours and it still shows low battery, a poor connection between the charger and the device is probably to blame.

If you don’t see the charging icon, try gently jiggling the charging cable around. You can also remove it from the Fitbit and then connect it again. If the Charge 5 still won’t charge, take a bit of rubbing alcohol on a Qtip and clean the metal charging contacts on the device. Also, remember to lay your Fitbit on its side while charging it instead of placing it screen-down, so you can check periodically to ensure it’s still charging, and you can see when it’s done.

With a name like the Charge 5, you’d expect an easy charging experience! While that’s sadly not the case, if you follow these steps, you should have your device charged and ready in no time.

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