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've reported it to the Garmin Support (please report these problems to them! maybe more people could make more with it).

    They answered me that they are working to solve it, but they don't know how long it will take... ;)

    My watch had the same problem as yours when it had enough battery (about 35%). When I started to charge it, there was 0% battery what was impossible. 

  • Just via contact form or live chat / support ticket?

  • yes - garmin support in your country. 

  • Unfortunately this is my 2nd VA5, replacement brand new from the BOX, and it still has these mini-freezes 4-5-6 times daily... the watch is unresponsive to touchscreen or buttons, lights on the back still on... It "un-freezes" in 30-60 seconds I don't have to do anything... still annoying AF...

    I'm on BETA 9.16 right now and still have them... also the battery... yes I barely use the watch and get ~ 5 days; everything that can be turned off is turned off... no SPO2, GPS, Bluetooth... etc.

    While they can replace your watch or mine again... it's software related, and they are slow to solve... I gave up on garmin support, in this case, only time can solve these issues...

    The BETA made the battery a little worse. Also the touchscreen needs 2-3 touches or swipes or even more... So I'm with already some bad issues on top of other bad issues... don't GO BETA :)

    If the official next release can't solve the screen unresponsive, battery and freezes... I'll sell this one and move on...

    It's clearly a bad hardware or software - combination and needs more more more time...

    Meanwhile suckers like US paid 300$ for a very bad smartwatch experience...

    Surprisingly I had other 3 GARMIN watches with zero issues at all in 3 years +

    SO SAD!

  • I only had this “screen won’t come on, but watch otherwise operates” problem once when waking up from sleep mode. 

    i had the “sleep watch face” enabled and it sounds likes there might be a bug when you have a custom watch face (in my case it was Garmin’s lunar new year face) set and it tries to switch back to the uploaded watch face from the sleep mode face. 

    after disabling the special sleep mode watch face the problem hasn’t happened again. 

  • Lucky you - or maybe for a moment. In mine watch nothing changed (it doesn't care when it has no sleep mode or an original garmin face), I'm still waiting for the answear from the Garmin Support. 

  • Guys, do you still have the "freezes"?

    Mine didn't freeze within 1 week. Was there any software update which I missed?

  • Mine was also freezing up, but it seems to be resolved after removing a watch face from Connect IQ and reverting to a stock one.

  • This is happening to mine also! And it's not even 2 months old. I found this thread to help me

  • Unfortunately, I've started to have again these kind of "HANG-UPS" - watch not responsive to touch or buttons, green led(s) on... on top of that I've also started to have random restarts and loss of data, and BB or heart rate not registering...

    This definitely started after the latest 9.28 WF - UPDATE... Anybody else started to have "these" issues ?

    NOT SURE WHY, but today I had like 5 of these ugly unresponsive states, and had to hard reset/restart...

    With much regret I have to say that :

    • this has been the worst garmin product I've own (has been already replaced with a new one - thanks);
    • the worst SW updates I have ever tested, period, that actually makes the product worse not better...
    • the past 6-8 months of using a vivoactive 5 and getting betas on the watch + connect app and web - has been the worst PRODUCT/SERVICE + UIX experience/period ever... so much frustration and confusion...


    This after using garmin watches and apps/web service for years with zero this total MESS...

    I'm thinking about, just selling the damn watch and just stay away from GARMIN, it's not gonna get better, just uglier! This just paints a very dark future for garmin products... #from-my-point-of-view