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Why is My Garmin Watch Not Turning On? (5 Issues and Fixes) 


Of all the Garmin problems you’ll ever have to deal with, none is going to be as frustrating as the watch not turning on. But why does this happen and what can you do to fix it?

Mostly, your Garmin won’t turn on because the battery is dead, the power button is faulty, the watch has a system glitch, or the battery doesn’t have enough power. Also, it’s possible that the watch has served its time, and not turning on is an indication that it’s time to get a new smartwatch.

My goal with this guide is simple:

I want to give you a troubleshooting walkthrough that you can use to bring a dead Garmin watch back to life.

So if you want to know how to get any Garmin watch model to turn on without spending a dollar in repair service, continue reading.

Why is My Garmin Watch Not Turning On?

The following table is a summary on why your Garmin watch won’t turn on, as well as the possible solution to each problem:

 ProblemPossible Solution
1.Your Garmin battery might be defective or dead.If dead, get a battery replacement for your Garmin watch.
2.The power button is not responding to presses.Clean the power button and try turning on the smartwatch again.
3.Your Garmin watch has a system glitch or software issue.Do a soft reset to clear software glitches.
4.The watch’s battery doesn’t have power.You should charge your Garmin watch for at least 2 hours.
5.Your Garmin watch has served its time.Get a new Garmin watch or an alternative to the brand as a replacement.
6.The smartwatch locked up or froze.First, put the watch to a charger and then restart to unlock or unfreeze.

How to Fix a Garmin Watch that Won’t Turn On

I’ve already given you a quick overview on why your Garmin watch is dead and won’t turn back on.

But there’s more to each problem than what I’ve already mentioned.

To get your Garmin smartwatch back on track, you need to know reasons why it won’t turn on, what causes each problem, and the best fix.

In this respect, here’s how to fix a Garmin watch that won’t turn on:

1. Clean the Watch’s Power Button

The first thing I can think of as to why your Garmin watch isn’t turning on is that the power button is unresponsive.

A possible explanation for this is that there might be dirt build up around the button. Or there might be a tiny object just beneath keeping the button from responding to presses.

Fortunately, fixing this is a no brainer. Simply take a clean toothbrush and clean the area around the power button.

2. Unlock or Unfreeze Your Garmin Watch

If your Garmin watch has power but it won’t turn on, it’s possible that it’s in the lock or frozen state.

The problem tends to occur due to system errors, but it’s easy to fix.

  • Press and hold down the power button for at least 30 seconds.
  • Release the button and connect the watch to a computer.
  • If the watch doesn’t turn on automatically, press and hold down the power button again for 30 seconds.

And that’s it.

3. Charge Your Garmin Watch

Garmin beats every smartwatch brand down to dust in terms of battery runtime on a single charge.

Series such as Fenix, Venue, and Forerunner can keep charge anywhere from 7 to 14 days, which is close to twice the runtime of a Fitbit and over ninety times that of an Apple Watch.

The duration of use on a single charge notwithstanding, Garmin batteries drain over time and eventually die.

So if your Garmin watch won’t turn on after cleaning the power button or unfreezing, check if the battery has power and charge it if it doesn’t.

Let the watch charge for at least 120 minutes before making a second attempt to turn it on. 

4. Get the Garmin Watch Battery Replaced

Smartwatch battery often damage because of bad charging habits. If you have the tendency to unplug the watch from its charging dock before its 100% charged, you’ll have a battery problem to deal with.

Interestingly, if your Garmin watch doesn’t have the charge to run on and run optimally, it’s possible that the battery is faulty. 

You have only one options to consider if you’re already dealing with a faulty Garmin battery. You should send back the watch over to Garmin for replacement or repair.

I’ve come across rather thin and unsatisfactory guides and YouTube videos that suggest how you can replace the battery yourself.

However, Garmin does not produce spare batteries, and it doesn’t endorse replacement batteries that are widely available on the internet.

In fact, Garmin makes it clear that its watches use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries are built-in and not user replaceable.

Once you send your watch back to Garmin, they will replace the watch at a small cost or free depending on the warranty status.

5. Buy a New Garmin Watch

Here’s the deal:

Your Garmin watch isn’t going to last for a lifetime. In fact, every model that the brand releases is a replaceable piece of technology that has a lifespan attached to it.

So if you’ve used your Garmin for 5 to 7 years and then it suddenly can’t turn on, it’s past time to call it a great run and move on.

That smartwatch has served its time.

And the best thing to do is to get a new smartwatch from the same brand for replacement. Or you can buy an alternative to Garmin such as a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Amazfit, or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Should I Do If My Garmin Watch Won’t Turn On?

If your Garmin watch won’t turn on, force restart, charge the battery for at least 2 hours, clean the power button if it’s dirty, or get it replaced if the battery is 100% dead.

If the watch has latest 5 to 7 years without an issue and then failed to turn on all of a sudden, it’s highly likely the watch has served it’s time and the best option would be to get a new model.

2. Why Won’t My Garmin Watch Turn on after Charging?

Your Garmin watch failed to turn on after charging because it didn’t actually charge for the two-hour period.

This could be an indication of two things: either the battery is dead and damaged or the charger is faulty.

Try a different charger. And if the watch still doesn’t turn on after another round of charging, send the watch back to Garmin for replacement, as the built-in battery isn’t user replaceable.

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Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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