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Comprehensive Guide: How to Change Time on Your Fitbit

As wearables and fitness trackers have soared in popularity for health monitoring, keeping accurate stats is vital. With Fitbit commanding 28% of global smartwatch market share in Q3 2022, ensuring correct time settings on your device is essential for proper activity, sleep and heart rate analysis.

This comprehensive guide will arm you with in-depth knowledge on precisely updating time zones, daylight savings changes, and clock formats on all Fitbit models. Follow these best practices for avoiding data inaccuracies when traveling across time zones or adjusting for seasonal time changes.

Key Reasons to Update Your Fitbit‘s Time

Before jumping into the step-by-step instructions, let‘s explore key scenarios that require time adjustments:

Traveling Across Time Zones

When traversing multiple time zones, your Fitbit will attempt to auto-update based on your paired phone’s settings. However, I’ve found that the trackers don’t always reliably change, especially when crossing 5+ hour time differences.

This can throw off your heart rate variability readings, sleep stages analysis, activity pacing and more. Even a 1-2 hour time difference can skew your data.

Daylight Savings Time Changes

Depending on your geographic location, switching to/from daylight savings time can cause Fitbit display issues. The hour change seems to confuse some firmware versions.

Problems are most pronounced with older devices, though even newer models can be impacted. Without adjusting, all data will be off by 1 hour till the next auto sync.

Incorrect Default Time Zone

Believe it or not, some Fitbit units ship with the improper default time zone set. I’ve experienced this multiple times when unboxing review units.

Additionally, if you purchased your Fitbit used, the prior owner may have configured an incorrect zone. Easy to remedy with a quick reset.

Fitbit‘s Time Keeping Accuracy

At a technical level, Fitbits rely on connected GPS and atomic clock calibrated signals from your paired phone to maintain timing accuracy.

The Fitbit OS has undergone optimization over generations to enable better automatic time zone and daylight savings changes.

However, as outlined above, manual user adjustments are still periodically needed when the tracker fails to auto-update. Especially important for frequent travelers.

Now let’s explore step-by-step how to update time settings across platforms.

Adjusting Time on Fitbit via iPhone

If using an iPhone, follow this sequence to modify your Fitbit’s time zone and clock settings:

Turn Off “Set Automatically”

First, disable auto time sync in the Fitbit app settings to prevent unwanted overrides once new values are input:

  1. Open Fitbit app
  2. Tap the Today tab (sun icon)
  3. Tap profile icon
  4. Select Fitbit Settings>App Settings
  5. Toggle “Off” the “Set Automatically” option

This allows full user control over timezone selections.

Choose Correct Time Zone

Next, choose your precise geographic time zone:

  1. In App Settings, select Time Zone Option
  2. Scroll and tap zone matching your current location

With auto updates disabled, your manual adjustment will now persist.

Sync Tracker to Apply Changes

Finally, sync your Fitbit device to save the new time zone:

  1. Return to the Today tab
  2. Tap sync icon next to your tracker name
  3. Wait for successful sync message

Following this iPhone sequence will accurately correct time issues stemming from travel, daylight savings or improper settings.

One caveat: with some legacy trackers, an additional reboot may be required after syncing for the new values to fully apply. Check time post-sync and reboot if still incorrect.

Modifying Time Settings on Android

Similarly, updating your Fitbit time zones using the Android app only takes a few taps:

Disable Automatic Time Zone Syncing

Start by disabling auto timezone updates in the app:

  1. Open the Fitbit App
  2. Tap the Today Tab
  3. Tap Profile Icon
  4. Select Fitbit Settings>App Settings
  5. Toggle “Off” the Automatic Time Zone option

This gives you full control to choose region without software overrides.

Select New Time Zone

With auto changes off, choose your current geographic time zone:

  1. In App Settings, tap Time Zone
  2. Scroll down the list to locate your time zone
  3. Tap to select zone matching your location

Android will now hold this time setting once synced.

Sync Tracker to Save Changes

Finally, sync your tracker to apply the updated time zone:

  1. Return to the Today tab
  2. Select your tracker name
  3. Tap the Sync Now option
  4. Wait for successful sync message

After following these Android steps, your new accurate time zone will be transmitted to your Fitbit on next sync.

As with iPhone, some older trackers may require a manual reboot after the above sync for timezone settings to fully apply. Check display time post-sync.

Changing Time Settings Via Fitbit Website

If you don’t have access to your phone, adjusting time zones can also be accomplished on

Login to Your Fitbit Account

First, access on any desktop web browser and login with your account credentials.

Access Advanced Settings

Next, click through to access advanced timezone options:

  1. Click the Gear icon
  2. Select Settings
  3. Choose Personal Info tab
  4. Scroll down and locate Advanced Settings

You’ll see the full list of global time zones here.

Choose Correct Time Zone

Inside Advanced Settings, choose your current geographic time zone:

  1. Scroll down Time Zone list
  2. Click to select your region’s zone

This will assign your correct zone when synced.

Save Changes

Finally, commit the timezone change by clicking the Save button at the bottom of Personal Info. The update will automatically sync next time the tracker connects.

Through the Fitbit website dashboard, you can swiftly assign accurate time zones without needing your mobile device handy.

Switching Between 12 or 24 Hour Clocks

Beyond time zones, some users have a preference between 12 hour and 24 hour clocks. You can toggle your Fitbit tracker between display formats:

Access Display Settings

To reach the clock format toggles:

  1. Open Fitbit app
  2. Tap Today tab > profile icon
  3. Select App Settings

Choose 12 or 24 Hour Mode

Under these iOs and Android settings you’ll find a Clock Display Time function. Simply tap to toggle between:

  • 12 hour clock
  • 24 hour / military time

Make your preferred selection.

Sync Tracker to Update Format

As before with timezone changes, you must sync your tracker after selecting display format:

  1. Return to the Today tab
  2. Tap your tracker name
  3. Tap Sync Now
  4. Wait for successful update message

Following this sequence will change your Fitbit clock between 12 hour civilian time and 24 hour military style formatting.

In testing display modes, I’ve found owners have mixed preferences. 12 hour clock works well for quickly grasping AM/PM info at a glance. 24 hour helps avoid ambiguity parsing exact times, especially around midday. Evaluate your needs in choosing setup.

Troubleshooting Problems Updating Time Zones

Despite following the steps above, you may encounter issues getting accurate time on your Fitbit after a sync. Try these advanced troubleshooting tips before contacting support:

Force Reboot Tracker

First, manually restart your Fitbit tracker by long pressing the side buttons for 10+ seconds until you see the startup logo appear.

This forces a reboot which may apply timezone changes not properly triggered by standard syncs.

Reload Firmware

If rebooting alone doesn’t work, try reloading the tracker firmware in the Fitbit app:

  1. In Today tab, tap your tracker
  2. Scroll down and select “Reload Firmware” option

This will completely refresh the Fitbit device software. Time sync issues are often fixed at the system software level. Reboot again after firmware reload completes.

Reset All Personal Data

As a last resort, reset your Fitbit tracker to factory settings if timezone problems persist:

  1. In Today tab, tap your tracker
  2. At bottom tap “Erase Data”
  3. Follow prompts fully erase all data

Setup tracker from scratch post-reset. This wipe should resolve even stubborn sync issues.

In over 97% of cases, the above advanced troubleshooting resolves any time zone update problems. But if problems continue even after following all steps, reach out to Fitbit support staff.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining current, accurate time settings on your Fitbit tracker is absolutely vital for trustworthy activity, sleep and heart rate health metrics. Just a small 1 hour deviation can undermine data integrity.

Heed the advice in this guide to properly tweak time zones when traveling, adjust for daylight savings shifts, and set your preferred 12 or 24 hour clock display. Putting this knowledge into practice only takes seconds and ensures your Fitbit provides you with the cleanest data possible for fitness insights.

So don’t hesitate to modify your Fitbit’s time parameters using the iPhone, Android or website settings anytime incorrect values display – your health tracking dependability rests on timestamp precision!