Screen turned black not responsive - but still functioning?

Hi there,

I am writing to report a problem with my new watch (firmware 8.27), no apps installed, but the problem has occurred every day almost since I received it (for the past 4-5 days), between 9-4pm (which is a strange pattern).

The issue is that the screen/watch won't wake up/light, and it's unresponsive to any gesture, touch or button presses.

I note that these phases occur when the watch is over 70% charged.

  • Auto-upload to Wi-Fi is disabled
  • GESTURE : ON (gesture function works properly)
  • AUTO-LOCK is set to : general use

I am not doing anything with the watch when the problem occurs. I simply try to look at it/the time. The screen no longer turns on, gestures, touch, or buttons do not work.

If I hold down the top right button for 15 seconds, it probably activates the assistance mode (because it vibrates quickly three times). So, the watch is on. LED's also green...

Holding for more than 20 seconds to perform a hard reboot is the only FIX. This is unfortunately erasing all the data collected for the day. (BB, Stress, HR).

I observe that more and more posts are starting to appear on forums about this problem.

Here's one link:

Could you investigate it and find out if it is a software problem or a problem with a defective batch?

Thank you for your attention...

PS : Such a great watch; new model... so many issues... this is so sad as I had no other issues in 3-4 year with 3 other garmin watches..

PPS : BONUS > Sometimes -  I also get random restart when navigating graphs such as body battery... so all of these seam software issues on top of software issues...

* later edit : I have to mention that I have not encounter any other issues with this watch, works perfectly for everything else. the issues seams display/software related from my POV

* I've attached a picture as a point of reference, for when the "blackouts" happen. The gaps coincide with an approximation time when the watch becomes unresponsive and needs a restart, losing some data. I have to repeat that I just use this watch > only as a watch, and these issues appear while sitting at a desk... working on the laptop...

  • I confirm, the same thing happens to my watch - sometimes

  • Sometimes is OK, but every day or every other day is not :/

  • All,

    We are sorry to hear about this disruption. Please reach out to your local Garmin Support team to look into available options for you. 

  • While I did talk to Garmin Support and they did agree after some investigation, to send me a new watch... I am still thinking about this... as I haven't had any issues in the past days... and I do really think it's software; And all I did changed was :

    • AOD : OFF (was already off before)

    Anyway If issues will appear in the next week or so, I will probably go for a watch change after the holidays...

    <hope this helps anyone with these type of issues>

  • I have to say that although I got a brand new watch replacement ( VIVOACTIVE-5 ) for my "already new watch" from GARMIN (thanks)... the watch straight out of the box still has the same issues as before; unfortunately... still a lot of "mini freezes" - the watch doesn't respond to screen-touch or buttons, while the led is on... This happens while at desk, or when I try to "wake" and check the time... no activities or anything... default watch-faces...

    • AOD : OFF

    The software is 8.28 - and the "good part" is that the watch responds in 30-60 seconds and doesn't require a forced-restart !!!

    I didn't want to replace the watch as I told GARMIN support this looks like a software issue, but I've accepted just out of curiosity...

    While is nice to have a new watch replacing my already new watch - this didn't solved the issue(s) and waited like 3 weeks... to get it back...

    Hopefully these issues will be solved in a future software update...

  • Hi, I have exactly the same problem - seller gave me new watch, but the problem still exist. I bought watch on 1st of January and almost everyday - on the first and the second watch I am noticing those freezes. I've also reported it to the Garmin Support. If you will have any ideas how to fix it, please write about it. 

  • What solved my older issues (BIG FREEZE watch not responding > needed forced restart) was...

    • AOD : OFF

    Now I'm left with the mini freezes, which is still an improvement :)

    So many emails and posts and people involved, so much logistics and money wasted > to get a brand new watch with the same issues... SAD ! While I appreciate the GARMIN brand loyalty program and taking care of users... the last models Venu 3 and Vivoactive 5 have these issues on a bigger scale... I do suspect it's something software that will someday be solved... but for the moment it seams it's easier for them to just replace new watches with other new watches... it's all they can do!

    PS : I just signed to BETA and got a 9.19 software update... will report later...

  • Thank you, but turning everything off reduce functionality :/ 

    This is my first Garmin watch (and I think the last one), everybody recommended it to me... previously I had huawei watch gt2 for almost 4 years and nothing incorrect happened during those 4 years.

  • Thank you for your reply... I am on BETA 9.19 at the moment... I will report back in the next few days... Hopefully these issues are already solved via this software update...

    later edit : nope... still there; I'm gonna try and do a video with this (just for context)...

  • At the beginning of January I received a Garmin Vivoactive 5 to replace my broken Vivoactice 4. I can't say whether it was brand new, but it seemed to be...

    Unfortunately, there have been a few times recently when the screen has gone black and stopped responding, but the watch was still on because the back was flashing. After a short time, it worked again without me doing anything or doing a force reset.

    But now it didn't start at all this morning, the display is black even though there was still enough battery and this time it seems to have run out completely... I hope that charging the watch later will "wake it up" again...

    Is it already clear what is causing these problems and whether they can be fixed?

    And are approx. 4 days battery without GPS activities and with normal settings usual?