How to Use Fitbit as a Tracking Device GPS Feature for Fitness

How to Use Fitbit as a Tracking Device: GPS Feature for Fitness?

Can a Fitbit be used as a tracking device? That’s a question many people ask. The answer is, it depends on the model you have. Some Fitbit devices come with a built-in GPS that tracks the route of your activities, while others don’t. In this blog post, we will discuss how to use Fitbit as a tracking device and which models have the GPS feature. Stay tuned!

With a Fitbit that has a GPS tracker, you can do passive tracking. By turning on the GPS tracker and then syncing it with the device you can know about the location history at the end of the day.

You are not up for a lot of excitement if you are looking to use Fitbit as a live location access device as Fitbit currently doesn’t offer this feature but with the increasing demand for this feature, there may soon be a few launches that shoot your dopamine level up. 

How do I use Fitbit as a tracking device?

With a Fitbit that has a GPS tracker, you can do passive tracking. By turning on the GPS tracker and then syncing it with the device you can know about the location history at the end of the day.

You are not up for a lot of excitement if you are looking to use Fitbit as a live location access device as Fitbit currently doesn’t offer this feature but with the increasing demand for this feature, there may soon be a few launches that shoot your dopamine level up. 

How do I use GPS on my Fitbit device?

With GPS, you can elevate the level of your workout by trying outdoor adventures and sports. This is why Fitbit with GPS offers an extra edge over other smartwatches.

 If your Fitbit has a GPS onboard, then it will be used for tracking workouts and sports. In case your Fitbit doesn’t have a GPS, you can use the Fitbit app to record the GPS data.

Two perquisites for GPS usage with your Fitbit are:

  1. A Fitbit device will fully charge (Built-in GPS can work on the battery of your device quite quickly).
  2. One should be out in an as open environment/surroundings as possible.

To make sure the GPS connection is stable, one should be patient for at least 25-40 seconds and then when the connection is ensured on the device visually, you are good to go. Syncing your device with the Fitbit app, at least once daily, allows you to save time that a built-in GPS sensor would take to connect with the satellite. 

For iOS devices (iPhone or iPad):

  1. Select Allow to let the app use Location Services information as needed. 
  2. Select Don’t Allow to prevent access.
  3. Select Ask Next Time to choose Always While Using App, Allow Once, or Don’t Allow, as you wish it to be.

For Android devices:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen. 
  2. Select and hold Location. If you don’t find the Location option
  3. Select Edit or the Settings option. Then drag Location into your Quick Settings.
  4. Select App location permissions. Under” Allowed all the time,” “Allowed only while in use,” and “Not allowed,” find the apps that can use your phone’s location.
  5. To change the app’s permissions, select it. Then, choose the location access for the app.

We would like to suggest that if the above-mentioned points don’t give up to the mark results, then one should always reach out to the device manufacturer.

Do Fitbit Track your Location?

Fitbit does not track your live location but with the usage of GPS in it, it does allow for some sort of passive tracking. If you enable the GPS feature then you can have some sort of location history at the end of your day. Although with the increasing demand for this feature, there may soon be its induction into Fitbit’s artillery.

Steps, distance, active minutes, calories, floors, heart rate, stationary time, cardio fitness score, and more such data can be exported from your Fitbit.

One can export up to 1 month of Fitbit data or an archive of the Fitbit data for the lifetime of your account.

To export your recent Fitbit account data:

  1. Go to and log in with your Fitbit account
  2. From the dashboard, select the gear icon.
  3. Select Settings Data Export.
  4. Select the period and data you want to include, and the file format.
  5. Select Download.

To export a complete archive of your Fitbit account data:

  1. From the dashboard, select the gear icon.
  2. Select Settings Data Export.
  3. Under Export Your Account Archive, select Request Data.
  4. You’ll receive an email at the address linked with your Fitbit account, from that you can confirm the data archive request.
  5. You’ll receive one more email with a link to download your Fitbit account data.
  6. Download and save the data file to your computer. If you have a Fitbit family account, you’ll see separate folders for each child’s account.
  7. Note that if you have a large amount of Fitbit data it can take up to a few days to generate your account data archive.

Can a Fitbit be used as a tracking device?

Fitbit can be used for passive tracking but not so much so for live location tracking. By turning on the GPS tracker and syncing it with the device you can know about your location history at the end of your day.

Will Fitbit be used for live location tracking in the future? Maybe, as there is a big increase in the demand for this feature. Of course, even to use passive tracking you will need to have the GPS enabled in the device. 

Does Fitbit need Location on All the time?

Well if you want to not turn on the location services then you can do so by turning off the location services on your phone. The location permission helps the Fitbit device sync the Fitbit app on your phone and supports features like the Weather app, notifications, and GPS, depending on the device.

If the Fitbit app prompted you to turn on location services and you denied the request then you’ll have an extra step to complete after turning on the location services. 

To tell the Fitbit app that it has permission to access locations, you’ll need to go to Settings, then go to Apps, then to Fitbit Permissions (the steps may vary depending on your phone specifications).

Which Fitbit has built-in GPS?

A built-in GPS can help you in a big way in utilizing your device for tracking purposes. We have tried to list a few of the devices which have this feature built into them.

The following Fitbit devices come with built-in GPS:

Fitbit Charge 4

  • Fitbit Charge 4 is the latest Fitness band that comes with the Built-in GPS Tracker and many more attractive features. The device comes with its GPS tracker, and it doesn’t require your phone to record the route.
  • The device also comes with a variety of sensors that will track one’s steps, distance, calories, active zone minutes, sleep, heart rate, elevation, speed, VO2 Max, and Female health tracking. It is also equipped with an SPO2 sensor that tracks the blood oxygen levels, if the blood oxygen level is low, then it will be an indication that something is wrong with your body, and you should contact the doctor

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic is a proper smartwatch that comes with all the amazing features which you can expect from a brilliant smartwatch. It is having a built-in GPS tracker, which can be used to record one’s activity route.

It also comes with many useful features such as a Coloured OLED display, waterproofing, multi-sport tracking, automatic exercise recognition, personal coaching, NFC for mobile payments, and many more. The device is also capable of tracking your step counts, distance, calories, heart rate, active minutes, sleep, elevation, VO2 Max, etc.

Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Health & Fitness Tracker

  • Fitbit Charge 5 is an elegant fitness band designed for the fitness buff in you. It has all the cool features like a Daily Readiness score, Heart health monitoring, important health metrics, stress management, and built-in GPS.
  • The built-in GPS allows you to track your outdoor activities without depending on your phone. No phone means no distraction when you are outdoors enjoying a good run.

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch 

  • Fitbit Versa 3 is another awesome smartwatch from Fitbit that comes with built-in GPS. Thus you don’t have to rely on your phone for the GPS connection for the smartwatch.
  • Other flagship Fitbit features are present in Fitbit Versa 3 making it a complete package for tracking and monitoring health and fitness.

Can you track a lost Fitbit?

The Fitbit stolen can I track it?

Oh no! You wouldn’t want that to happen. But if you do end up messing up and getting your Fitbit lost, here are a few steps you can follow to get out of trouble:

  • Check the Fitbit app to see when was the last time your device synced. If it synced recently then it’s likely to be within the range of your smartphone.
  • Try to search the area where you think you lost your device, with your phone and try to sync. If your device syncs then it’s nearby.
  • Try to utilize the Bluetooth locator app to help you find your device. For iPhone, the LightBlue Explorer app works pretty well. For Android, you can check out the Bluetooth Finder.

If you own a Fitbit Inspire 2, you can use the Tile app to locate your misplaced Fitbit. To find your lost or misplaced Inspire 2 with the Tile app you can follow the steps – 

  1. Open the Tile app on your smartphone
  2. Now, Tap Inspire 2 and then tap find
  3. When the Tile app finds your Fitbit Inspire 2, your fitness band will start vibrating
  4. Once you find your fitness tracker, you can tap Done to complete the process.

Can I use Fitbit to track my child?

Well you can’t have real-time access to your child’s location by using a Fitbit but if you turn on the GPS tracker in the device and then sync it with the device then you can know about their location history at the end of the day, passive tracking is what we can call it. Of course, this can only be done with a Fitbit that has a GPS tracker.

If you use the family account option then you can easily track your child’s activities. Activities such as steps, calories, sleep trends, and other metrics can be kept track of by using the tracker.

The move goal of 60 minutes is more than that for adult users, which is 30 minutes. The company has recently set the move goal to 60 minutes in line with the daily physical activity recommended by the WHO.

Can Fitbit be used to spy?

With all the tracking information that Fitbit stores, they do have a lot of information and data about their customers that can be exploited by hackers.

The two models that are considered to be a potential cyber threat are the Fitbit One and the Fitbit Flex, they record activity data such as steps taken, distance covered in the day, calories burned, and sleep patterns.

This information can be used to doctor activity records or even steal personal data.

Fitbit secures this data with end-to-end encryption but research has demonstrated that this data can be accessed by hackers to exploit that information.

This data can be altered and used with spiteful intent e.g., blackmail or falsified evidence.

The security and privacy measures implemented in Fitbit continue to lag behind the pace of modern tech.

Can you use Fitbit GPS without a phone?

Before getting to the answer to this question, it is necessary for the user the understand the working mechanism for tracking location used by Fitbit devices. Fitbit devices come in two variants when it comes to GPS functionality.

With the Connected GPS feature, the Fitbit fitness band uses the Fitbit dynamic GPS to track the route and the speed of your run or outdoor walk. You will need to have your phone with you for accurate tracking. But if you don’t carry the phone with you, the Fitbit will still track your run or walk but the tracking will be an estimation rather than an exact reading.

But, if your Fitbit device has onboard GPS, it doesn’t need to depend on the smartphone at all. It will independently track all of your outdoor runs and adventures without a glitch.

How to turn off GPS on Fitbit charge 4?

The turning off of GPS for Fitbits is different for different devices, depending on how they connect.  

Most Fitbits do not come with GPS built-in. Instead, they connect to your paired phone’s GPS–called Connected- GPS.

  1. On your Fitbit, open the Exercise app.
  2. Select an exercise you don’t want GPS-tracked.
  3. Swipe up, and turn GPS off.
  4. Repeat for all exercises where you do not want GPS.
    • Exercises with GPS include walking, running, cycling, golf, and hiking–activities with physical distance.
    • Swimming does not include GPS.

What is Dynamic GPS on Fitbit charge 4?

Dynamic GPS indicates that your Fitbit Charge 4 will use the GPS of your phone if it is in close proximity to the phone instead of the built-in GPS. This will help Fitbit to extend the battery life as GPS drains out the battery rather quickly.

Fitbit Charge 4 sets the GPS type at the start of the workout and if you take your phone, Charge 4 uses your phone’s GPS sensors to map out your route. If your phone is nearby but not moving when you start the exercise then the Charge 4 uses built-in GPS.

  • Built-in GPS: Charge 4 uses built-in GPS sensors to track your route, pace, distance, and other stats. This option can reduce the battery life on your tracker.
  • Phone GPS: Charge 4 uses your phone’s GPS sensors to track your route, pace, distance, and other stats. This option can help preserve battery life on your Fitbit device.

Although if the GPS signal is lost during the exercise, Charge 4 doesn’t switch to a different GPS type.

Does Fitbit have a GPS tracker if lost?

There are a bunch of Fitbit smartwatches and fitness bands that have GPS in them but this GPS is made for passive tracking only and it cannot be used to locate the Fitbit itself when lost.

You can try other ways to track a lost Fitbit device. The “Find My Fitbit” app is a great way to locate your lost Fitbit. Find My Fitbit app hides two things. First- it hides all of your technical details related to your Fitbit. Second, it uses a unique and simple approach to finding your lost Fitbit tracker.

The app uses a Bluetooth signal that your Fitbit device emits and calculates the approximate distance between you and your Fitbit. It works well all Fitbit devices include Ace, Alta HR, Blaze, Charge, Flex, Surge, Ionic, and many more.

To use the “Find my Fitbit” app:

  1. Download and install the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store depending on your smartphone
  2. Once installed, launch the app and follow the step-by-step instructions. This is very important.
  3. If you see your lost Fitbit device nearby in the App, Tap on it
  4. Now, walk around. As you get closer to your Fitbit device, the indicator on your phone will display Cold to Warmer.
    1. When the distance between you and your Fitbit device is about 3 to 5 feet, the indicator displays “Hot”.