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Garmin Watch Problems: Troubleshooting 8 Common Issues


Garmin smartwatches are all about optimized performance and long battery life. In theory, they’re supposed to be the more than perfect timepiece that monitor and deliver the best metrics as intended. In reality, they’re not immune to watch problems.

The most common Garmin watch problems include failure to connect to GPS, turning off after a few seconds, faulty display, not connecting to Wi-Fi, failing to charge, and failing to connect to phone. In some cases, the watch may fail to turn on, at which point it becomes useless.

While these issues can be frustrating, especially if you use your Garmin on a daily basis, you can fix them and get your watch back on track.

Let’s see how.

8 Common Garmin Watch Problems and Their Fixes

The following are some of the issues you might face with your Garmin watch and the recommended way to fix them:

1. GPS Issues

If you have GPS complications on your Garmin watch, it could be the watch has a system glitch or a random bug. Restart the watch to fix this, as it helps to close conflicting apps and delete cached files.

The companion app may also be outdated. So if connected GPS on your phone is not working with your watch all of a sudden, you should update the Garmin Connect app to get back on track.

Be sure to check my guide on Garmin GPS not working for more troubleshooting tips.

2. Power Issues

Based on the analysis I’ve done so far, power issues tend to be the most common with Garmin watches.

For example, the watch may fail to charge, it may fail to hold charge during the charging process, or it may not even turn on altogether.

The first power related issue is the watch failing to work. Here’s a summary on why you might have this issue, as well as what you can do to fix it. 

 Probable CausePossible Solution
1.Your Garmin smartwatch’s battery is bad.Contact Garmin customer support to have the battery replaced. Also, ensure you develop a proper charging habit for the watch.
2.The power button is faulty.Use a clean, dampen piece of cloth to clean the power button. Ensure you remove anything that may be causing obstruction.
3.Your Garmin smartwatch has a system glitch.Restart the watch and update the firmware to the latest version if there are any updates.
4.The watch is simply low on battery.Charge the battery so it has enough power to operate the watch.  
5.You Garmin watch is too old to function properly.Your watch has reached the peak of its lifespan. If you’ve used yours for 7 years and it starts to develop power issues, get a new model for replacement.

Be sure to read my post on Garmin watch not turning on for a complete troubleshooting guide.

3. Garmin Stuck on Activity Screen

One of the most common display problem with Garmin watches is the display sticking on the activity screen.

But this one is easy to fix. 

First, restart the watch. If that doesn’t work, back up your health and fitness data and then reset the Garmin watch.

4. Syncing Issues

There are several reasons why your Garmin watch has connection and syncing issues, and they’re as follows:

 Probable CausePossible Solution
1.Connection between Garmin and your smartphone failed.Restart your Garmin watch. If that doesn’t fix the problem, back up your data, reset the watch, and reconnect it to your smartphone.
2.The UltraTrac mode is active on the watch.Turn off the UltraTrac mode. Remember, your health and fitness data will still sync with the power saving mode active only that the data will not sync in real-time.
3.Your Garmin has an issue with Bluetooth connection.Check if the Bluetooth connection on your phone and the watch is off and turn it back on.

I’ve done a complete guide on why Garmin watch doesn’t sync with phone. So, be sure to check that out for detailed troubleshooting.

5. Connection Issues

Connection issues between your Garmin watch and smartphone can be frustrating. But it’s important to know what causes the problem and what you can do to fix it.

There are two main reasons why Garmin keep disconnecting from phone.

First, the watch and the phone are obviously not in range. To fix this, bring the two devices closer together.

Second, it may be that the watch has a system glitch. Apps tend to conflict in the background and even cached memory can cause system errors. 

Again, restarting the watch should be enough to fix the error.

6. Charging Issues

The worst smartwatch issue I’ve ever had to deal with is the inability to get the battery to charge, especially after being dead.

Below are some of the common reasons why this happens, as well as what you can do to fix each error:

 Probable CausePossible  Solution
1.You don’t have power at home.Wait for power to get back or use an alternative power source.
2.The charger is not in good condition.Get a new Garmin charger for replacement.
3.Your watch might be having a system problem.You should restart or reset your Garmin smartwatch.

Be sure to check my Garmin watch not charging post for a more detailed troubleshooting guide on the same issue.

7. Notification Issues

If you’re having notifications issues on your Garmin watch, it’s likely that you have not set up the device to receive alerts from your smartphone.

Also, it’s possible that Bluetooth is not active on both devices, which is necessary for notifications to work.

  • Ensure that Bluetooth is always on.
  • Allow the Garmin Connect app to access notifications on your phone. 
  • Make sure you toggle the apps from which you want to receive alerts in the Garmin Connect app.

Also, check out my post on Garmin notifications not working for more troubleshooting tips on the same issue.

8. Heart Rate Issues

Garmin uses your heart rate data to give you useful insights about your health and fitness.

For example, the data helps to optimize the intensity of your workout, show the number of calories burned during workout, and give you useful insights into your heart health and emotional wellness.

You can’t access this information if the watch can’t track your heart rate.

So to fix this:

I’ve done a detailed post on Garmin heart rate not working. Be sure to check it out for more information.

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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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