Advice on how to fix problems with the accuracy or connectivity of a Garmin GPS

Garmin is the gold standard when it comes to sports watches, and there is just no competition. You can guarantee that there is a Garmin that will track whatever it is that you’re interested in. But despite how well they work, these technologies do not come without flaws. If your Garmin is having trouble locating or connecting to GPS, try the solutions outlined in this article.


  • Why should I use GPS?
  • Different varieties of global positioning systems
  • The solution to the situation where the Garmin is not locating or connecting to the GPS
  • The data from my Garmin GPS is not reliable.
  • Why should I use GPS?

In this day and age, a built-in GPS chip is standard equipment for every sport watch worth it’s salt. Some of them also include compatibility with additional satellite constellations, including Galileo and Glonass.

With GPS, you won’t have to worry about any of your running numbers being inaccurate. It consumes a significant amount of battery, and locating a signal might be challenging at times. Despite this, the rewards are absolutely commensurate with the effort.

The capability is achieved by establishing a connection with a constellation of GPS satellites. The signals are received by the watch, which then computes the distance between itself and the satellites. After that, it makes use of this information to figure out exactly where it is located on the ground.

In the past, there were very few options for sports watches that had a built-in GPS. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. There are still some that do not have a GPS receiver built-in, but the majority of them will come with something that is termed “Connected GPS.” This is a more eloquent way of stating that the gadget has the capacity to ride along on the satellite signal sent by your smartphone. It is not ideal since it requires you to have your phone on you at all times while you are working out outside.

There are a lot of upsides to using GPS. It indicates that the watch on your wrist does not depend on the number of steps you take but rather on the global positioning system to determine the distance you have travelled. Because of this, the accuracy has significantly increased, which is vital for any runner, biker, or someone who participates in any other activity that takes place outside. This means that you are aware of the specifics of how your training is progressing in real-time.

The use of GPS in the air, on the water, and on land comes with a plethora of additional advantages. This kind of capability is useful in sports and other types of physical activity for anybody who needs to keep track of where they are. Whether it be for locating their location on a map or for determining the speed at which they are travelling, These kinds of equipment are popular not just with athletes who participate in more traditional sports, but also with skiers, hunters, and hikers, to mention just a few examples.

Different varieties of global positioning systems

The most often chosen alternative is GPS.

There are a number of different satellite positioning systems available. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is by far the most popular and accessible choice. The abbreviation for “Global Positioning System” may be seen in the three letters.

Because the United States Department of Defense (USDOD) was responsible for establishing GPS, the federal government of the United States now legally owns the system. On the other hand, everyone is allowed to utilize the system at no cost. In 1973, a small number of satellites were sent into orbit for use by the military. Since then, this number has increased to 31 spacecraft, all of which have been operational since 1993 and have been made accessible to the general public in the following year.

Each and every one of these satellites completes two orbits around the Earth every single day. Every one of them has a well-defined orbit and the ability to broadcast their whereabouts in real-time. This makes it possible for gadgets like sports watches to connect to them and determine their precise position on the planet.

A device has to be linked to at least three satellites in order for it to be able to determine your latitude and longitude. In addition, you will need to be linked to four satellites in order to do an altitude calculation. This may seem like a lot, but in reality, a watch will link to eight or more satellites in the sky at any one time. It is dependent on a number of circumstances, including the location you are in, the time of day, and other elements.


In addition to the Global Positioning System (GPS), other positioning systems that are quite comparable to it are also in use. The majority of Garmin watches that have GPS built-in also have the capability to connect to GLONASS and GALILEO, and some of them can connect to BeiDou.

The Russian space-based system known as GLONASS was first put into operation in the year 1976. It also enables worldwide coverage thanks to its fleet of 24 satellites.

You might be wondering which satellite navigation system, GPS or GLONASS, is superior. The first one has an accuracy ranging from 3.5 to 7.8 meters and contains seven more satellites. The GLONASS system has an accuracy of 5–10 meters. Therefore, GPS is superior to the Russian system in terms of accuracy, signal strength, and the simplicity with which it may be connected.

Because of this, GLONASS is seldom used by itself in modern smartwatches. However, they are utilized in combination with GPS since GLONASS is an excellent backup alternative that may be employed in the event that your GPS signal is lost.

Different locating systems are also available.

There are many more satellite positioning systems than those that were mentioned there. There is also the Chinese-made BeiDou system, which was described earlier. It has in excess of 30 satellites.

Galileo is a relatively new addition. This is the equivalent document that was developed for the European Union (EU) by the European Space Agency (ESA) in the year 2016. One of its goals is to reduce the degree to which European states are dependent on the systems of other countries.

Galileo intends to reach its maximum operating capability of 30 satellites over the next several years, which would require it to raise its current number of satellites from 26 to 30. All of them are now or will soon be travelling at an altitude of 26,000 kilometres above the surface of the planet. Galileo, which is an interesting twist, has higher accuracy than GPS (less than one metre).

Finally, another deserving name to bring up is QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System). This is the Japanese adaptation that is currently being worked on to improve the GPS systems that are managed by the United States in the Asia and Oceania areas. However, Japan is the primary target of its attention.

How to fix the Garmin’s inability to locate or connect to the GPS signal

Outside, a GPS should work in every possible location. You won’t have much success, though, if you attempt to use the feature when you’re indoors, in caverns, or while you’re underwater.

However, owners of sports watches are aware that this is not always the case, despite the fact that GPS should, in theory, operate wherever outdoors. The vast majority of us have sat about for an extended period of time waiting for the indicator light on our GPS devices to change from red to green. Way too much time has passed!

Aspects of the surrounding environment: check to see if you are in an open space.

For a successful connection, GPS requires a strong signal. Therefore, it is best to steer clear of areas that are heavily forested, since the presence of large trees might cause interference with the signal. You may be able to get a signal in these kinds of places, but you shouldn’t be shocked if it keeps going out on you. A GPS signal may be degraded even by a very small yet dense crowd of people.

When using GPS, it is best to stay away from the heart of a city, according to Garmin’s recommendations. Given that many of us live, work, and play in metropolitan settings, this is easier said than done. When you first connect to GPS, you should make every effort to steer clear of places that are densely populated with tall structures. If you have waited calmly for five to ten minutes but have not been successful, you should try another location. While the GPS is trying to connect to your device, it is sometimes helpful to remain motionless.

In metropolitan locations, you may most likely see a decrease in the performance of your GPS device. If you run or ride a bike in a city, you will inevitably find yourself in close proximity to high-rise structures at some point. As a result, the signal can temporarily disappear before becoming stable again. This is regarded as standard practice.

You want to have a clear view of the whole sky without any obstructions in the way. In particular, when you are just beginning to create a relationship with someone. Therefore, you should make an effort to choose a spot from which you can view the maximum amount of sky possible.

But you shouldn’t be concerned if it’s going to be a gloomy or wet day. The capability of the watch to get a GPS signal is unaffected in any way by this.

When the connection has been made, hold off for a short bit.

It seems that your watch is now linked to GPS. Please hold on for a moment. When it first connects, this indicates that it has the minimal minimum number of satellites to which it must talk in order to function properly. If you wait for a little longer, though, the gadget will be able to locate a signal using more satellites before you begin moving. This is beneficial because it ensures that the system will still have access to data even if one of its satellite connections is lost.

You may be able to activate a secondary satellite constellation on some watches, such as GLONASS or Galileo. With the aid of this, you may be able to achieve a faster satellite fix and fill in gaps when the connection breaks off with the aid of this. It is important to keep in mind that activating both options simultaneously will result in a decrease in the amount of time that your device is able to operate in comparison to when it is simply utilizing GPS.

The device that you possess will determine the specific adjustments that may be made to this setting. Using the Fenix 6 as an example, you will need to travel to the following location:

  • Choose Your Favorite Games and Apps
  • Choose the contested endeavour (for example, Run).
  • Adjust the parameters for the activity.
  • Choose GPS

After that, choose the path that best suits your needs. To disable GPS, select OFF; alternatively, you can select GPS Only, GPS + GLONASS, or GPS + Galileo. There is an option available called Ultra Trac that captures track points and sensor data less often.

The process is pretty similar for more outdated devices like the Forerunner 935. You will need to start by opening the menu, selecting Activities & Apps, selecting the activity you want to customize, selecting Settings, and then selecting GPS.

You will need to choose the Settings icon > Activities & Apps > Choose an activity >Select settings > Choose GPS from the menu that appears on the Vivoactive and the Venu. Therefore, the stages are fairly similar to one another.

Garmin Connect must be synchronized with your device.

There is one more choice available to you in the event that the one described above does not work and you are still forced to wait for an interminable amount of time to get a GPS signal. Garmin Connect or Garmin Express should be used to synchronize your watch or fitness tracker.

This will guarantee that your wearable has the most recent software installed, which is important since it may have updated information on the satellite locations that are now accessible. If the device has not been used for more than a month or if you have travelled farther than 200 miles since your previous satellite connection, the data on this device may be out of date.

The data from my Garmin GPS is not reliable.

If you use a satellite navigation system like GPS or another method, your location will be monitored more precisely. Nevertheless, it is not flawless in every way.

The disparity between your real location and the position that is computed by your GPS device is referred to as GPS drift. It is inevitable that it will always be there, perhaps to a greater or lesser extent based on the reasons discussed above.

Garmin claims that the GPS position provided by their wearables is accurate to within three meters 95 per cent of the time. In the long run or cycle, this may add up to a significant amount. The good news is that significant deviations from the target are quite uncommon, and Garmin watches and fitness trackers are often regarded as being among the most accurate when it comes to GPS readings. Follow the actions outlined in the previous section to reduce the likelihood of a significant GPS drift occurring.

Turn on auto-pause

In addition, Garmin recommends using the auto-pause option on your device (if it even has one) so that you can get more accurate readings. This is due to the fact that it is widely believed that capturing GPS data when stopped is one of the primary factors that contribute most to erroneous distance computations. This issue may be remedied with the use of the auto-pause option, which also helps cut down on the amount of excess mileage recorded.

Enable the recording of every second.

On some Garmin devices, you are given the option to choose between the Smart Recording or the Every Second Recording mode. If you care about being accurate, you should go with the second choice. It uses more battery power than other tracking methods, but it provides more comprehensive information. If you want to save both your battery life and your memory, using the Smart Recording option is the best choice. Adjustments to these may be made in the Settings > System > Data Recording menu, as applicable.

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