Fix a Fitbit Ultra Flashing Display

Fitbit Ultra

Fitbit Ultra

If you’re looking for a way to fix the flickering or flashing LCD display on your Fitbit Ultra, I’ve got a few tips to help you on your way.  This post is basically broken into three parts – how to revive a Fitbit Ultra, my experiences with Fitbit’s support, and an update about me.

1. How to Fix the Fitbit Ultra LCD Display Flashing “FITBIT 4.14”

I bought my Fitbit Ultra about 15 months ago and misplaced it about six months ago, only finding it again on Wednesday.  The device was entirely unresponsive, so I plugged it into the USB charging base overnight.  The next morning it would flicker and flash the LCD display saying only “FITBIT 4.14”.  Here’s what I did:

  • Found Fitbit Ultra, plugged into USB base overnight.  The result was the LCD display flickered and flashed only “FITBIT 4.14”.
  • Unplugged Fitbit, pressed the button, and discovered the only thing it would do is flicker “FITBIT 4.14”.
  • I plugged it back into the USB base, pressed the button, and it still flickered the same message.
  • With the Fitbit connected to the USB base, I turned the base upside down and inserted the end of a paperclip into the recessed reset button. The Fitbit still flickered the same message.
  • I let the Fitbit remain connected to the USB base for another entire day.  At the end of that day I discovered that I could cycle through the display options – but the time on the Fitbit was entirely wrong.
  • I re-downloaded the Fitbit Ultra software, re-installed it, re-logged into the software, and let it sync with the Fitbit.  After a few minutes of this, the Fitbit was back to life!

2. Experiences with Fitbit Support

In trying to revive my Fitbit, the first thing I tried was searching the Fitbit website and support forums, without success.  After that I reached out to Fitbit’s support team explaining I tried the basics.1 The response from Fitbit’s support was that their records reflected my Fitbit was out of warranty and that they were making a “a one-time offer, for one (1) Fitbit One Tracker” for $49.  I found this response incredibly disappointing.  I would have appreciated something, even a token effort at helping me to fix my Fitbit instead of an upsale.  I realize they’ve got a business to run, but offering “one-time offers” for upsales it not a suitable substitute for actual product support.  While I would assume a warranty would cover a product’s functions, I wouldn’t have expected that they would abandon support after the warranty period.

3. Personal Update

A little over a year ago I bought a Fitbit Ultra to help me track steps, activity, etc towards my ambition to lose weight and be more active.  While I tried to introduce more activity and made a point of checking out the steps I had logged, using an online food diary called was easily the most helpful thing for me.

Last year was very successful, overall.  From 222.5 pounds in January 2013 I dropped to a low of 193.0 in June.  Since that time I’ve slowly gained a some weight – back to 203.5 now.  The most important things I did to lose weight were to eat something for breakfast, walk a little more, and eat less.  I tried to cut out or cut back on potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice and increase eggs, cheese, yogurt, protein, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and drink more water.

In the months since June, I haven’t been walking as much, have been eating more delicious pizza, sandwiches, and burritos.  I want to feel a little remorseful about this, but I just can’t.  :)

  1. Restart, reinstall, reboot, lather, rinse, repeat, etc, etc, etc []

2 Responses to “Fix a Fitbit Ultra Flashing Display”

  1. I managed to repair two fitbit ultras that were flashing that 414 error code. The above reset did not work. One ultra was replaced free by fitbit and since they allowed me to keep the broken ultra, I took it apart to see what had happened. Here is a walkthrough of the repair

  2. MakerBlock says:

    @Joseph: Thank you for your comment! My wife just put my Fitbit through the wash, so let’s see if I can revive it again. I left it to dry for a week, put it in the recharge base, and hit the reset button. So far I only get the 414 code, but I’m hopeful that I can get it charged back up again.