We love the Garmin Forerunner line of smartwatches. Even older models, like the Forerunner 235 and 245, are excellent smartwatches and worth investing in. Unfortunately, even the best devices will act up every now and then.
While a faulty watch is frustrating, there’s usually a quick fix to get it up and running again. Whether your Forerunner is frozen or perhaps it needs an update, keep on reading. We’ve compiled the top tips to make your Garmin Forerunner troubleshooting go as smoothly as possible.
What to Do If Your Forerunner GPS Isn’t Working
While Garmin makes excellent GPS watches (including the Forerunner 945 LTE, which we included in our rundown of best GPS smartwatches), sometimes issues may interfere with a smartwatch’s navigation performance. A range of factors can affect your Garmin Forerunner GPS signal; some affect the device while some might be due to the area you’re in.
Key factors that can affect your GPS signal include:
- Being inside a building or inside a city with lots of buildings.
- Being in a remote area or a wooded area.
- Traveling away from the last place you received a signal.
A common myth is that cloud coverage affects GPS signals; this is actually false. If you want to improve your Forerunner GPS signal, try enabling a secondary satellite constellation. This will let your watch find a satellite quicker and improve the speed of the GPS signal. Note that this method can use up battery life faster.
Another key way to improve GPS signal is to move towards the area you last had signal. GPS can be weaker in select areas, so if you’re in a remote location you might have a weaker satellite signal.
Finally, if your GPS is still weak or not working, you might need to contact Garmin support for advice. The experienced team here can point you to a personalized solution or discover if your device needs a repair.
How to Reset Your Forerunner
If you’re wondering how to reset a Forerunner, we’ve got your back. These watches sometimes need a factory reset to restart them when they become unresponsive. Of course, this isn’t a common problem, so make sure you contact support if you don’t want to lose your data.
A factory reset is also a solution if you want to give your watch to someone else. This reset method will clear your data off of the device, so don’t use this method unless you’re sure about starting from scratch.
This method can be used on all Forerunner models (including the 35, 45, 55, and Forerunner 245).
- Select the Menu icon and then select Settings.
- Select the System option and the scroll to and select Restore Defaults.
- Finally, select Yes. This confirms that you want to go back to the factory settings.
Once these steps are complete, all user data will be removed from your Forerunner smartwatch. This leaves you with a blank slate and a clear memory.
How to Update Your Forerunner
Keeping your smartwatch updated is crucial if you want the latest software and a smooth user experience. All Garmin Forerunner watches will need frequent updates.
Before you update your watch, check to see if you’re running the latest software. To check, go to Settings and About. You’ll see the Unit ID and the software version. Next, Google searches the device model and name + updates and downloads. This will tell you which software version is the newest for your watch. If your software version is the same as the latest update, you don’t need to perform any Forerunner updates.
If your software is different, you might need to perform a Manual Software Update, which lets you update the software by choice, not automatically.
Follow these steps to manually update your Forerunner:
- First, long press the top button and bring the system menu up.
- Select Settings and then select Start/Stop.
- Next, choose System and navigate to the bottom of the menu.
- Select Software Update.
- Choose the available software and select the Install Now button. An estimated time will pop up.
- If you’re ready to update, select confirm.
If you don’t want to make an effort to update the software on your Forerunner, you can opt for Automatic Software Updates instead. Within the Software Update menu, you can toggle the automatic updates via an on/off button. When this system is enabled, users can receive updates on their watch as soon as they are released.
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What to Do If Your Forerunner Freezes
One of the most frustrating issues is a frozen smartwatch. When your watch is stuck and unresponsive, there are a couple of ways to perform Garmin Forerunner troubleshooting before contacting support.
If there isn’t any sign of life in your Forerunner, try a forced reboot. This isn’t the same as a factory reset, so you don’t need to worry about losing any watch data.
To reboot your watch:
- Hold the power button down until the watch turns off. This usually takes 30 seconds, so keep it held down for this amount of time.
- Release the button after 30 seconds.
- Press it down again for 1-2 seconds.
If this reboot doesn’t start your Forerunner up again, you might want to try plugging the watch into a power source and completing the method again.
An unresponsive Forerunner might signal power issues. The best way to rule this out as an issue is to leave your device charging for an hour or two. Sometimes, your Forerunner might have run out of juice without you noticing.
If you leave your watch on charge for 2 hours and nothing changes, you might need to contact support for personal advice.
Garmin Forerunner Troubleshooting FAQs
Here are other common Garmin Forerunner troubleshooting questions.
How to change the Garmin Forerunner 35 strap?
A common question about the Forerunner range is how to change the strap on the 30 and 35 models. This can be completed easily with the band replacement kit.
- Remove the screws with a small screwdriver on the white section that holds on to the old band.
- Remove all parts of the old band before installing the replacement.
- Use new screws when installing your new band and make sure they’re fastened securely.
Once screwed in, your new band should be ready to go!
Why is my Garmin Forerunner not charging?
If it appears that your Garmin Forerunner isn’t charging, make sure the charger is making a good connection with your device. You should also check that your cable isn’t broken or faulty. If your charger appears to be fine, use a Q-tip to gently clear the Forerunner charging port.
If your Forerunner charging doesn’t improve after these checks, contact support or a store in-person to see if there is a hardware fault.
Why is my Garmin Forerunner not syncing?
When trying to sync your Garmin device, you want to make sure your Garmin Connect App is working well. If your device isn’t syncing, close the app and reopen it again. If this doesn’t work, power the Forerunner down and start it up again and repeat with your smartphone. Finally, you can also try to delete the app and reinstall it.
Why is my Garmin Forerunner not counting steps?
The most common reason your Forerunner might have stopped counting steps is that it needs a software update. When new visions are released, older software sometimes becomes more faulty. A common explanation for steps and other metrics not working is that they simply need an update.
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The Bottom Line
If you’re using a smartwatch, you want it to run smoothly at all times. To avoid frequent Garmin Forerunner troubleshooting, make sure you’re careful with your device and always keep the software updated. Though these watches are designed to last, they need care and attention to keep them running well. For more tips, check out Garmin’s online Forerunner manuals.
Want to learn more about the Garmin Forerunner range? View our complete guide here.
Last Updated on February 24, 2022
Isobel is a freelance copy and content writer who regularly contributes to Superwatches. Well-versed in all the ins and outs of the smartwatch industry. Isobel specializes in Fashion and design and is a First Class fashion design graduate.
Currently lives in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.