How to Set Up a Fitbit Family Account - dummies

How to Set Up a Fitbit Family Account

By Paul McFedries

If you want to get your kids doing the Fitbit thing, you probably want to get them a Fitbit Ace, which is a tracker designed for kids. However, to set up the Ace, you first need to create a family account, which is a special subset of your Fitbit friends that has only family members.

How to create a family account

Run through the following steps to get a family account set up in the Fitbit app:

  1. Select Dashboard→Account to open the Account screen.
  2. Select Create Family Account.
    The app displays an overview of the family account.
  3. Select Create Family.
    The app creates a new family for you and sets you up as the main guardian.

Wow, “guardian” sure sounds impressive, but what does it mean? A family guardian can add and remove other guardians, invite family members to join, and create accounts for children, which includes setting up a Fitbit Ace. The next few sections describe these tasks.

How to add a family guardian

Before you can invite a friend to be a guardian, that person must make their birthday info available so that Fitbit can make sure the person is at least 18 years old. So, your first chore is to ask all the people who you want to invite to be guardians to make their birthday available to their Fitbit friends. Here are the steps each person needs to follow:

  1. In the Fitbit app, select Dashboard→Account.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Select Birthday.
  4. Select the Friends radio button.
    Fitbit now makes the person’s birthday info visible to friends only.

Friends can also make their birthday info visible using Fitbit.com. They should log in and select View Profile→View Account Settings→Privacy (or go directly to Fitbit Privacy). Next, select Birthday and then select Friends Only.

With that out of the way, to invite one of your Fitbit friends to be a family guardian (which also adds that person to your family account), follow these steps in the Fitbit app:

  1. Select Dashboard→Account.

    You need to use the Fitbit app here because there’s no way to invite a friend to be a guardian online by using Fitbit.com.

  2. Select My Family.
    The app displays the My Family screen.
  3. Select Add Guardians.
    In the Android app, first tap the Add icon (+) and then tap Add Guardians.
  4. Select the Invite icon beside the person you want to invite to be a guardian.
    The app sends the invitation to the friend.

How to invite others to the family account

Want to invite an adult family member to join your family account, but you don’t want the person to be a guardian? Follow these steps to invite that person:

  1. Select Dashboard→Account.

    You need to use the Fitbit app because there’s no way to invite people to join your family account online by using Fitbit.com.

  2. Select My Family.
    The app displays the My Family screen.
  3. Select Invite Members.
    In the Android app, first tap the Add icon (+) and then tap Invite Members.
  4. Select the Invite icon beside the person you want to invite to join your family account.
    The app sends the invitation to the friend.

How to handle a family invitation

When a family invitation request comes in through Fitbit, one of the following occurs:

  • Android or Windows 10: You see a notification onscreen. Select View to open the invitation.
  • iOS: You see a badge on the Fitbit app’s Notifications icon. Tap Notifications, tap Messages if it isn’t already displayed, and then tap the invitation.

With the invitation displayed, select Join Family.

How to create a child account

Creating a child account means both setting up an account on Fitbit and pairing an Ace tracker with the Android, iOS, or Windows 10 device the child will use to run a scaled-down version of the Fitbit app. Here’s how it works:

  1. On the device your child will use to run the Fitbit app, install the Fitbit app, and then use the app to log in to your Fitbit account.
  2. Select Dashboard→Account.

    You need to use the Fitbit app because you can’t create a child account online by using Fitbit.com.

  3. Select My Family.
    The app displays the My Family screen.
  4. Select Create Child Account.
    In the Android app, first tap the Add icon (+) and then tap Create Child Account.
    The app prompts you for your Fitbit account password.
  5. Enter your Fitbit password, and then select Confirm.
    The Fitbit app displays some privacy info.
  6. Select Next, and then select I Agree.
    The Add Child screen appears. The iOS version is shown in the following figure.
    Fitbit's Add Child screen
    The iOS version of the Add Child screen.
  7. Fill in the child’s info, and the select Next.

    If you have an eyebrow raised because Fitbit want to know your child’s gender, birthday, and height, know that this information is visible only to you, to any other guardian in your family account, and to the child.

    Fitbit prompts you to pair the device with your child’s Ace. Make sure the Ace is nearby (within about 33 feet) before proceeding.

  8. Select Pair with This Device. When Fitbit asks you to confirm, select Yes.
    The Fitbit app switches to Kid View, which is the scaled-down app interface that your child will use.
  9. Select Set Up a Kid-Compatible Tracker, and then select Ace.
  10. Select Set Up Ace for Name, where Name is your child’s name.
    Fitbit displays its terms and policies legal stuff.
  11. Read (wink, wink) the terms and policies, and then select I Agree.
    Fitbit displays several introductory screens for the Ace tracker.
  12. Select Next on each screen until the Fitbit app locates the Ace tracker.
    Fitbit displays a four-digit number on the Ace display.
  13. In the Fitbit app, enter the four-digit number to pair the device to the Ace.
    If you see a screen telling you that an update is available for the tracker, select Update Ace.
  14. Follow the onscreen introduction to the Ace tracker by selecting Next on each screen that appears.
    When the introduction is complete, the app displays the Dashboard in Kid View.

On your child’s device, if you want full access to all Fitbit app features and settings, you need to switch to Parent View. Select Dashboard→Account→Switch to Parent View. When the app asks you to confirm, select Switch to Parent View, enter your Fitbit password, and then select Confirm. To return to Kid View, select Dashboard→Account→My Family, select the child’s account in the Children section, and then select Switch to Kid View.

If you need to delete a child account, select Dashboard→Account→My Family to display your family members. In the Android app, tap and hold down on the child’s name, and then tap Remove; in the iOS app, swipe left on the child’s name, and then tap Remove; in the Windows 10 app, tap the Edit icon (pencil) and then select the Remove icon (X) next to the child’s account. In all versions of the app, you now select Delete Child Account & Data, enter your Fitbit password, and then select Confirm.