Review: FitBit Tracker Installation

fitbit

FitBit One

The FitBit tracker devices are simple, small, and even elegant looking devices that you wear to track specific heath related activities such as:

  •  Steps, distance,calories burned
  •  Stairs climbed
  •  Active minutes
  •  Sleep


The devices help you set goals for your particular fitness regimen and activity and will sync wirelessly to your profile on FitBit.com using your computer or smartphone (some models only).

The process of installing and synchronizing it for the first time is not very straightforward. The one issue I had was that the setup program could not connect to the internet, yet the computer and browser (Firefox) was able to communicate over the internet just fine.

I used the internet to see if there were others with this problem (there were) and went to the FitBit.com support page but there were no solutions to be found. A little sleuthing and using two computers helped me to find a fix.

The Problem:

The error message from the FitBit Connect program was: “Microsoft internet explorer cannot open site http://client.fitbit.com/tracker/client/outOfBand/login?p_lcl=en_US&enable_cooper=1&clientMode=PAIR,  operation aborted“. The FitBit support site led me around in circles looking at forums and other community help pages but did not contain any easily found references to this particular error. The rest of my search engine results turned up several others looking for a solution, with one response advising the user to go to the FitBit support page. (But there is nothing about this error there that I could find.)

Microsoft Internet Explorer is used as the web browser internally to the FitBit connect program. Internet explorer version 6 was on the computer giving the error and it encounters  the error because the FitBit website is using an active script to communicate directly with the FitBit Connect program. According to Microsoft, iExplorer version 6 has a problem doing this and aborts.So as long as you’re trying to use that computer, you will fail to add the device.

The Solution:

You must update Internet Explorer to version 8 for it to work.  If you don’t want to update your Internet Explorer try using a different computer to do the setup.

Take your FitBit tracker device and it’s companion Bluetooth transceiver (tiny USB plug-in module that comes with it) to another computer and set up your account from there. If you’ve somehow managed to create a user account without setting up a device, you’ll have to either log in and change the username email or somehow delete it entirely. Then recreate it or simply make a new user account with a different email address when you do the setup from the updated internet Explorer.

Once the account has been set up and the tracker is sync’d you can go back to your original computer and log in from there. Just don’t use the FitBit Connect program to do the sync.  Instead, RIGHT-CLICK on the FitBit Connect Icon on the status tray (lower right near the time) on your computer. Select “FitBit.com Dashboard” and your browser will take you top your account and you can sync from there.

Of course, anyone with a newer computer or Windows Internet Explorer should not have seen this problem.

Bottom Line:

I give high marks to this fitness device and the functions that it performs once installation completes successfully. It is easy to use and sync happens automatically. It’s surprisingly simple to use once set up.

The FitBit Connect program does not work on older computers using IE version 6. These are likely Windows XP computers, The support page for FitBit should have had this information right up front. Unfortunately, there is also a problem created when needing support without an account. If you set up a trial account, you can’t use the same user name email when you finally get to setting up your device. So, I give poor marks for the Support page architecture at FitBit.  It should not have been so difficult to determine why there was a problem.

Hope this helps anyone having this problem.

Bart

7 comments for “Review: FitBit Tracker Installation

  1. Carol Batson
    October 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I can’t set my account up

  2. Harleigh Kiffer
    November 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    continual connection problems-fitbit help is not very useful

  3. Helen
    February 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I cannot set up my fitbit tracker on my computer

  4. Diane
    March 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Hoping this does the trick – i am going to try another computer for now. I was using google chrome to set it up. You’re right – this should be told right up front as it would have saved me an hour or two restarting my computer and searching the internet for a fix. Thanks!

  5. Lynn
    March 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I have had a fitbit before lost it, replaced it. Now I cannot set up. Says ” the installation package could not be opened. verify that the package exists and that you can access it or contact the vendor to verify that this is a valid windows installer package”. support is one of the reasons I thought again about not purchasing a fitbit again. fix this crap or I will take it back. $159.00 and I am having problems? Really? New computer completely updated. It is not an update problem.

  6. Lee Anne gardiner
    May 13, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I set up Fitbit account then on my I pad. I want to change my e mail address on my iPad to the same as my phone .

  7. Laura Perley
    November 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I tried to setup my 2nd replacement Charge, after putting in the number appearing on the device, this message appeared Please wait, this may take up to 10mins. Then nothing happened for an hour, so i had to delete the Fitbit app from my iphone and start over, but now when i press the button for 3 seconds i just activate the stopwatch. My iphone is not seeing my Charge.

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