How to update Garmin Forerunner, Fenix, and other devices' software and maps

Installing the newest software and maps update on your Garmin Forerunner, Fenix, or any wristwatch or fitness tracker is usually a good idea. This frequently includes new information, significant bug fixes, security updates, and enhanced functionality. We’ll show you how to update your Garmin in this article. We also give pertinent links for you to obtain the most recent change-log files.

How can you tell whether your Garmin watch needs to be updated?

What is the most recent firmware version available?

Garmin does not charge consumers to access their data, unlike some other companies. A lifetime of free software upgrades is included with the purchase of a device. Having said that, the corporation will eventually stop distributing updated software. You may expect two to three years of updates for a new watch or fitness tracker. As a result, if you have an older device, the updates will eventually stop. Garmin, like many firms, uses this to make its next generation of gadgets more appealing.

It should go without saying that you’ll need a Garmin account to get maps and updates. You’ve already done this if your watch or fitness tracker is up and running and connecting with Garmin Connect. If you haven’t already done so, create an account and register your device before beginning the pairing process.

To begin, find out what the most recent version of the software for your device is. Garmin makes all of their firmware versions public, including complete change logs. It’s a good idea to go through this to see what new features will be accessible on your watch or fitness tracker after the software is updated.

The information is available on Garmin’s website. This link, for example, will take you to the website for Vivoactive software upgrades. Head over to this page if you own a Fenix 6. Unfortunately, finding the page can be difficult. You’ll need to conduct a Google search.

There are several methods for installing Garmin firmware upgrades.

Assume you own a Forerunner 935. To find out about the most recent system software version, do a Google search for “Garmin forerunner 935 updates.” This will take you to the Garmin website. When you go to the bottom of the page, you’ll see that the latest software is version 14.10. (at the time of writing this article). It was published on August 17th, 2019 and included bug fixes for golf, as well as a better pairing experience with ANT+/BLE sensors.

There is a separate page for Maps and Map Updates. Select your device. Some maps are free, while others demand a fee. Many GPS equipment, including golf course maps, bicycle maps, outdoor GPS maps, marine charts, aviation and avionics, offer free map updates.

Is the software on your Garmin up to date?

The next step is to see if your fitness tracker or watch is up to date. You’ve looked on Garmin’s website for the most recent software version, but is this the firmware on your device?

This can be done on wearables with a screen by heading to Settings>About. Again, let’s take the Garmin Forerunner 935 as an example. Press and hold the middle button for a long time. You’ll be taken to a menu as a result of this. Scroll down until you find Settings. Open it up and select About. Your unit device will be displayed on this page, along with the software version loaded on the watch.

Why should you install the most recent software update?

The programming that is in your watch is known as software (also known as firmware). It holds all of the intelligent stuff and acts as the device’s brain on your wrist.

As previously said, software upgrades are beneficial since they can sometimes introduce new features. They also supply bug fixes and security patches, which is even more critical. This happens every now and then. In most circumstances, we recommend upgrading the most recent firmware version available. However, you may want to be cautious at times.

Look into the discussion boards.

There have been cases where firmware updates, rather than fixing bugs, created new ones. Garmin isn’t particularly guilty of this, but other brands (who should remain nameless…) are. This is why progressive rollouts are so popular among businesses. This method helps them to keep track of if users are having any problems with the new software.

As a result, you might wish to visit the Garmin forums to see what other people’s experiences with firmware changes have been. This link will lead you to them. It’s also a wonderful place to report any problems you’re having with your watch, as other forum users who’ve had similar issues may be able to help.

The forums are divided into several categories. Each device also has its own space, making it simple to find what you’re looking for.

Why it’s vital to upgrade your Garmin firmware and how to do it

How to use Garmin Connect to update your device

Updates are usually installed automatically through the Garmin Connect App on iOS or Android. There is nothing you need to do because everything will be taken care of for you. It can take up to a week for a new release to be sent to your watch or fitness tracker.

When a new update is ready, you should be told and given the option of whether or not to install it. When doing this, make sure you have a good internet connection. Unfortunately, some watches will update their software automatically without notifying you.

On some devices, you may be able to disable automatic software upgrades. This is normally located on the device’s settings page. You should notice Auto Update with an on/off option under Settings>System>Software update. Make your decision.

There are some things that will not be installed automatically, unlike firmware upgrades. This offers information on the most recent maps and golf courses. You’ll need to install Garmin Express to get this to your device.

How can I use Garmin Express to update my device?

The Garmin Express software will automatically install any available updates. This is a programme that allows you to manage your device from a laptop or desktop computer, whether it’s a PC or a Mac. Go to this URL to get it installed on your computer. Choose whether you wish to install the software on a Windows or Mac computer, then run it and follow the prompts and installation instructions.

The progress bar will show you how long you’ll have to wait for the installation to finish. You must have your Garmin account information on hand and enter it when prompted.

There are several methods for installing Garmin firmware upgrades

Garmin express upgrades your maps, nautical charts, golf course updates, and more in addition to applying the newest firmware update. Just make sure you don’t unplug your device from the computer while the update is running.

By connecting your Garmin gadget to your computer via USB cable and using Garmin Express, you can sync all of your data. If you’re having trouble using the smartphone app or don’t have access to your phone, this could be an excellent alternative. It’s a nice option to keep in mind.

Without a computer, how to update Garmin maps and software

You may not be aware that you may update the maps and software on some devices without using a computer. This is accomplished by connecting your device to a Wi-Fi network, which requires that the device have WiFi enabled. This is not achievable with solely Bluetooth-enabled devices.

This method lets you keep your device current whenever you have internet access. It’s a good idea to charge your Garmin while you’re doing this because software updates can take a long time. Typically, they are huge files that must be downloaded and installed.

To begin, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. If this is not the case, go to the device’s settings and connect.

The device will automatically look for updates once the internet connection is established.

Go to Settings>Updates to see whether there’s anything new to install. You can do an installation if a “Update Available” notice displays under Map or Software.

Simply select Install All, Map>Install All, or Software>Install All from the drop-down menu.

Then finish the process by following the directions.

How to download and install the Garmin Beta software on your watch

You can also choose to participate in the Beta programme. A software update from Garmin is usually released in Beta form. Before moving to a public release, it will take a number of weeks to examine whether there are any critical bugs.

Of course, there is a danger involved. There’s no assurance that a Beta software release will work correctly with your watch or fitness tracker. However, if you’re feeling brave, you should know that installing Beta software is a little different. They are as follows:

Download the Garmin beta software, which may be found on the Garmin forums. A link to download any beta installations is usually found at the top of the device forum.

The file will be compressed into a zipped format. Once you’ve downloaded the software, extract it.

Connect your Garmin watch to a computer’s USB port. It’ll show up as a drive.

On your Mac or PC, open the File Explorer (Finder).

This will not function with some Garmin devices when using Finder. In some circumstances, you’ll need to download Android File Transfer to have access to Garmin device files and folders. Install the software on your Mac, connect the watch, then, if prompted, select MTP protocol on the watch. It will appear after a little while.

Copy the gupdate.gcd file to the newly opened drive’s Garmin folder.

Connect your watch to your Mac or PC and turn it off.

If everything is in order, the watch should recognise the update automatically.

Select install and follow the on-screen instructions to finish.

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