Sync / Connection Troubleshooting Guide

  • The following checklist attempts to cover all possible reasons of failing synchronization. If you encounter connectivity problems, please read it carefully and eliminate one point after the other, not skipping any, even if you think it cannot help. All of the points are listed because they did help other users in the past cases. More tips will be added, if found useful.

Most common way people use for resolving this kind of problems, is uninstalling and reinstalling the application. Sometimes it can help, but often only temporarily, because you usually did not really resolve the true problem. So, although it is also a way how you can try fixing the issue, let us focusing also on other alternatives, and trying to find and eliminate the problem.

  1. A quick fix that works often when the connection gets stuck only occasionally, is toggling Bluetooth off and on, on the phone (swipe down the top status bar to access the BT icon), or (in a more persistent case) forcing the Garmin Connect Mobile app to stop and restarting it.
  2. First of all check out whether the latest version of software (firmware) is installed on your watch. If you can successfully connect to the watch with Garmin Express via the USB cable, try whether syncing works at least over the cable, and check also for the latest software update with it. Otherwise, look up the watch software version directly on the device (typically: long-press the Menu button » Settings » About, but it may depend on the watch model), and verify with the support page for your model on Garmin's website whether there is an update available.

  3. The next step to try would be soft reset (typically - holding the Light button for some 20s, until the device shuts down), or powering down and powering up the device. It often fixes weird behavior, especially after firmware updates. Also shut down the GC Mobile app (iOS: swipe it up in the iOS App Switcher; Android: Android Settings » Apps » Connect » Force to Stop), and then restart it. No data, and no settings are being lost, during the soft reset (unlike at the master reset), so no need to worry about doing it.

  4. In the Privacy Settings of your Garmin Connect Web, make sure the options Storage & Processing and Device Upload are enabled

  5. In Device Settings in Garmin Connect Web, verify that the option Activity Tracking is enabled, and also verify whether the option Preferred Activity Tracker is checked in the Device Settings » Activity Tracking.

  6.  reported in this thread that the clearing the cache of the Garmin Connect app helped to fix the problem on his Google Pixel 2 phone. Accessible in Android Settings » Apps » Connect

  7. Check out the Sync Audit on the phone app, and search for any error messages of warnings. You can browse through the history of the audits on the screen GC Mobile Menu » Settings » Device Sync Audit (note the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen to review also previous reports, and not only the last one)

  8. One of relatively frequent reasons for a stalled syncing is a corrupt FIT file, mostly a file of a recent Activity. Open the storage of your Garmin device over the USB cable in a file manager (such as File Explorer in Windows or File Finder in MacOS), and download the un-synced files from the folder //GARMIN/Activity (the date is used for the file names). Try importing those files by dropping them onto the Import page of Garmin Connect Web. In case some of the files triggers errors during the import, delete it from the device, and try repairing and reimporting the file using the Section Remover of  FIT File Tools (without removing anything), or consult the thread How to repair a .fit file?

  9. In some cases, especially with older devices, full storage may cause faulty FIT files and/or sync problems. Clean up regularly the folder /GARMIN/Activity, making sufficient room for new activities. You can also remove unneeded workouts (//GARMIN/Workouts/), courses (//GARMIN/Courses/), and language text files (//GARMIN/TEXT/)

  10. If the sync seems to be working OK (the circle around the watch symbol closes and the green do appears), but data like heart rate, steps, or activities does not appear on the phone,

    then your device might be misaligned with the GC account. Follow the instructions from the thread Troubleshooting guide for (some) data missing after syncing to resolve the issue.

  11. You sould also try turning off completely both your phone and the watch, waiting a moment, and then turning them back on again. Make sure Bluetooth is on, on both sides.

  12. When you go to the Bluetooth details on the phone (swipe down the top and long-tap the BT symbol), is your watch visible? If not, tap Scan up right. If yes, then in wich section? Available or Paired? If it is in the Available section, follow the installation instructions from you user manual and pair the devices.

  13. Try disconnecting all other BT active devices, such as headphones, etc.

  14. If the Garmin device is already paired with another phone (or a tablet, pc, …), remove the pairing.

  15. Check the menu on the BT screen (on the phone), check the Advanced options, and verify all parameters. On some phones there is an option for clearing the Bluetooth cache. If you find it, use it. If you don't, google it up for your phone model, or use the search function on the Android settings screen.

  16. Try removing the pairing of the watch from phone's BT devices, and re-pairing it from the phone's BT page (unlike what Garmin's User Manual suggests). If it does not help, remove the pairing again and try initializing the pairing from the watch, just like the User Manual tells. Sounds a bit foolish, but there are many users whom it helped.

  17. Verify all application permissions in Android Settings » Apps » Connect » Permissions. Check also other sections of the application page in the system settings. The manufacturer of the phone may have added additional parameters. Check all for any susceptible limitations. The Permissions are also accessible from Garmin Connect menu » Settings » Phone Permissions, they should be all turned on

  18. Try some troubleshooting guides from Garmin Support:
  19. Check the following troubleshooting guide for HUAWEI (should work for Honor and other clones too). It may apply to your phone perhaps too:
  20. Another tip for HUAWEI, although for notifications, may perhaps help for certain phones and syncing too:
  21. And yet more tips for HUAWEI owners:

  22. Another HUAWEI owner reports that disabled GPS location service caused troubles with the GC synchronization 

  23. If you skipped the previous points, thinking it did not concern you, check out (on your phone) battery saving parameters, mobile data permissions or saving settings, and lock screen settings - all of them can hinder the communication in some cases (for example disabling the Bluetooth communication at low power, blocking web access when on mobile data, blocking the Garmin Connect background process when the screen is locked,...).

  24. On some phones (namely reported on several SAMSUNG models), you may need to reset the network settings, typically under Settings » General management » Reset » Reset network settingsPlease note you'll loose all network settings for wi-fi and Bluetooth a will have to re-do them. (source)

  25. Samsung Galaxy S21 / S201 Ultra phone owners report a lot of problems with BT disconnections in general (not only with Garmin products). The phones seem to suffer from conflicts between the WiFi and BT. Try turning the phone's WiFi off to see whether it is your case too. If it helps, then try using a 5GHz WiFi instead of 2.4 GHz. Report the issue to the Samsung Support. (source 1, source 2)

  26. Google Pixel (and many other Android brands) cope with BT connectivity problems because of the battery optimizing feature called DOZE. Read more on the topic, and on the way to disable it:
  27. Google Pixel owners report serious BT problems with some OS versions, telling an update to v13 fixed it (at the time of writing v13 was in the beta phase). Otherwise, turning off the WiFi on the phone, allows using BT correctly. See the threads Does Garmin Connect work with Android 12? and Instinct 2 (Solar) constantly disconnecting and connecting till phone restart (Pixel 6 Pro) for more details.

  28. Enabling the new "Gabeldorsche Bluetooth stack" option in the developer options of the phone fixed the BT connectivity problems too, on some phones at several users.

  29. App Overlays (i.e. Skype, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. use them) may pose a problem on some models of phones, as reported in this thread. Read the thread if you do not know what App Overlays are, or when you want to learn how to disable them.

  30. Check the changelog of the last OS update of your phone, or contact their support to find out which of the changes of their software could have led to this outcome.

  31. If nothing helps and you know the previous version of Garmin Connect Mobile worked all right, consider installing an older version  from an APK archive. There are several unofficial APK archives available on the web (for example here). Use on own risk - there is no guarantee from Google or from Garmin that those files were not modified by a 3rd party (though I have only positive experience with the mentioned website)  

  32. And of course, if nothing of the above helps, and you did not do it yet, then contact your local Product Support - they may be able to give you additional hints, or may be able to analyze the logs on your device, and find the culprit.

Happy Syncing!

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  • Hi all, I'm on a long streak of hitting my step goals and injured my foot on friday so yesterday I just went for the bare minimum goal, to keep my streak going.

    I hit a little over my goal with my watch buzzing when I hit 10k for the day.

    Today I synced the steps and it's only synced over 9952 to my app thus losing the goal streak despite me getting that goal.

    Was it a glitch? Could It synced correctly? 

  • Was it a glitch? Could It synced correctly?

    When some data is missing after a sync, sync again and make sure the sync completes entirely and that the white sync ring closes and turns green. If not, try again. Also check the Sync Audit in GC Mobie Menu ad look it up for errors or warnings. Alternatively you can also sync over USB to Garmin Express.

  • Firstly thank you for the advice.

    Secondly, having done the above, it seems that all were successful, however I saw my watch hit the goal last night, also felt the buzz which alerted me to hitting my goal.

    However, looking this morning I was 48 steps off my goal (which last night I was around 20 over my steps) 

    Potentially, small problem yes, but this could impact my training going forward if it fails to sync correctly.

    Only a few steps on this occasion but quite clearly a mistake on the tech element that has now ended the current streak that I wanted to continue for the lifetime of the watch 

  • however I saw my watch hit the goal last night,

    The watch perhaps, but you need to get the data to the Garmin Connect, and if the sync was incomplete, or interrupted before completing, then some data may have gotten corrupted. You always better verify the current state of your account on Garmin Connect Web before midnight, so that you have the chance to fix it, if there is a problem.

  • Hallo, since 11. October no sync of vivioactive 4 (sw 5.10) running and swimming is working, but eg. heart reate will be displayed on Android App.

    So I restart vivioactive 4, re-installed app (sw 4.36), Now app shows me last activities before 11. October, heart rate, berathing, etc. should be displayd, but will not, devices are not shown, Ok, I got a message server is down and now heartbeat and other actual data will be displayed again. But how can I grab my swimming and running from vivioactive 4?

  • You have to be kidding me. I did not sign up to be full time IT support when I bought a watch. I'll just go back to using an analog watch.

  • You have to be kidding me. I did not sign up to be full time IT support when I bought a watch. I'll just go back to using an analog watch

    Yes, as you can see, the topic is complex and involves many factors that are often on the side of the phone (hence out of the control of the app, or of the watch). If you are unwiling to use the guide, you can always call the Support and let them leading you through the troubleshooting.

    This guide lists all known issues and tips for fixing them. You are completely free to accept the offered helping hand, or leave it, and trying either on your own, or with the help of Garmin Support. Nobody forces you to use the guide. Using an analogue watch, or just your own senses, is an excellent choice too Slight smile

  • Hallo Trux

    you are doing a great help on this complex topic, I really appreciate the way you support me as user.



  • This seems like a massive set of workarounds when Garmin should just fix their garbage software really. I appreciate the work that has gone into this forum but if I spent the same money on my dive computer than I did on my bike computer and it behaved like this I'd probably be drowned. Garmin devices have great features (I foolishly bought a 1030 Plus bundle) but I spend as much time trying to get it to work as I do using it currently. Garmin should be absolutely ashamed about the amount of effort that's been put into these forums because the basics don't work correctly. I won't be touching their products ever again unless this crap is fixed properly (I even contacted their support about Connect and my Edge not syncing and they just suggested trying Garmin Express so even they don't expect it to work).

  • This seems like a massive set of workarounds when Garmin should just fix their garbage software really.

    Big part of this guide addresses issues caused by phone settings, that are out of the control of the app. For example, there is little Garmin can do if the phone is set up to shut down the BT communication due to battery optimizing, or when locked. Garmin Express is an excellent alternative for the cases where the phone refuses to communicate.