Garmin Watch Green Light Not Working? How to Fix

According to a recent Harvard report, EGS (electrocardiograms) generated by smartwatches are up to 95% accurate at identifying different types of heart attacks. That is why I always wear my Garmin Fenix 7 with the wrist heart rate monitor enabled. I don’t want a heart attack to catch me unawares and make me a statistic.

If you use a Garmin gadget to monitor your heart health like me, you know that Garmin smartwatches use a green light to indicate regular heart rate readings. The light only goes out when the heart rate sensor has a problem. So, if your Garmin’s green light has stopped flashing, there’s cause for concern.

But don’t freak out; every problem has a solution. This piece will show you how to fix common problems associated with Garmin. Take notes.

Garmin Heart Rate Sensor Stopped Working After Latest Update – What’s the Fix?

If you visit Garmin Forums today, where Garmin users post their questions and seek assistance, you’ll encounter a few common queries. Among the top 10, you are likely to come across multiple concerns regarding:

  • Garmin watch sensors not working
  • Forerunner 945 heart rate sensor not working

These two queries are not inherently different. After all, the Forerunner 945 is a Garmin smartwatch. And from what I’ve discovered from Reddit, most Forerunner 945 users have encountered heart rate monitor problems at least once.

If you have a Forerunner 945 or any other Garmin device with a heart rate sensor that has stopped working after an update, check if the heart rate widget is enabled. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as enabling the widget. If that doesn’t work, check if you’re wearing the gadget correctly. You should wear it snugly below the wrist bone and ensure the back of the device makes direct contact with your skin. If the issue persists, restart or reboot your smartwatch.

Additionally, software glitches sometimes interfere with a Garmin heart rate monitor’s ability to work. And when that happens, the company releases updates that fix the glitches. If you suspect software glitches are the source of your woes, check if Garmin has released pertinent firmware updates.

Read Also: Should You Wear a Garmin All the Time?

Most Common Garmin Problems and How to Fix Them

Garmin Watch Green Light Not Working How to Fix

Besides heart rate issues, Garmin fitness trackers are often affected by a couple of other issues, including the ones listed below. I’ve encountered most of them while using different Garmin products, from Vivoactive 3 to Fenix 7S Pro.

1. Continuous Boot Loop

While using Fenix 7S, I encountered this issue a couple of times. After digging online, I discovered that most Garmin products are susceptible to this problem, but Fenix watches are the most affected. The culprits that often cause this issue include corrupted firmware, software glitches, and defective hardware.

Best Solutions

  • Restart the watch by pressing the power button for around 15 seconds. The power button is usually located on the gadget’s right-hand side. If you have a gadget with no buttons, like my Vivosmart 3, check the user manual for a recommended course of action.
  • Factory reset your gadget using the right button combinations. The exact process may vary depending on your smartwatch, so research extensively before attempting anything. That said, generally, the process involves powering off your smartwatch and powering it back on while simultaneously pressing and holding the Back/Set button. A prompt with “Reset Default Settings” should appear. Select “Yes” and wait for the reset to complete.

Read Also: How Do I Reset My Smart Fitness Tracker [Factory Reset]

2. Failure to Sync With a Smartphone

Garmin smartwatches are compatible with a wide range of smartphones. According to the company, the minimum compatibility requirements for the Garmin Connect app include devices with IOS 15.0 and above or Android 7.0 and above.  

Considering the above, sometimes Garmin devices fail to sync with compatible smartphones for various reasons, including Bluetooth connection problems. I’ve encountered this issue several times and fixed it with the hacks below.

“One of the most frequent issues we see with Garmin devices is failing to sync properly with smartphones. Restarting both the phone and watch can often resolve this connectivity problem.” – Martin Hill, smartwatch repair specialist

Best Solutions

Here are a few hacks that can help your fitness tracker to start syncing with your smartphone. Try them out one after another until the issue is resolved.

  • Restart both your Garmin fitness tracker and the connected smartphone.
  • Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone.
  • Check if you have the latest version of Garmin Connect installed on your smartphone.
  • Remove your device from the Garmin Connect App and start the pairing process from scratch.

3. Corrupted Data

Sometimes, Garmin fitness trackers put out corrupt data files that fail to sync with the Garmin Connect app. If you try to upload corrupt files to Connect manually, a prompt with this message will appear: an error occurred with your upload. Please try again.

Numerous issues can lead to file corruption in Garmin. The most notable are power loss causing incomplete transfers, interrupted software and firmware updates, and bad GPS data.

Best Solutions

  • If your Garmin has corrupt data problems, the following can help you fix them:
  • If you have a backup of the data, try to restore it. Open the Garmin Connect app on your phone, tap the watch icon, navigate to “Settings”, and click “Backup & Restore”.
  • If you don’t have a compatible smartphone and rely on Garmin Express instead, use your computer to delete the corrupted file, which should be indicated in Garmin BaseCamp. Press Windows + E, select “This PC”, and open your Garmin drive. Then, open the JPG, GPX, or JNX folder, depending on the corrupted file. Find the affected file and delete it.
  • If all the hacks mentioned above don’t solve the issue, perform a factory reset.

4. No Smart Notifications

Besides a few devices, most advanced Garmin fitness trackers have the Smart Notifications feature. Its primary function is to allow users to receive and respond to calls, emails, and text messages from compatible devices.

But sometimes, Garmin smartwatches stop receiving smart notifications courtesy of culprits like a disabled notification widget and Bluetooth connection issues.

Best Solutions

Try the following hacks if your Garmin isn’t receiving smart notifications when it should be:

  • Check if your phone’s Bluetooth connection is on. Without this function, your Garmin can’t connect to your smartphone and receive notifications.
  • Review your notifications settings via Garmin Connect. Open the app from your smartphone, find the menu, and select “Settings”. Then navigate to “Notifications” and click on “App Notifications”. Check if you’ve enabled all smart notifications. The process may vary depending on your phone. You can find more detailed instructions for different devices here.
  • Verify if you’ve enabled “Do Not Disturb”. Open the settings function on your smartwatch, go to “System”, and locate “Do Not Disturb.” Ensure the toggle is off.

5. Battery Drain

Depending on your Garmin smartwatch, its battery can last anywhere from a couple of days to over a week. For instance, my Garmin Fenix 7S can last up to 11 days on smartwatch mode. On the other hand, an advanced gadget like Vivofit 4 can last over a year on a single charge.

“Some charging problems with Garmin devices stem from the buildup of dirt or debris on the charging contacts. Gently clean the contacts on both the watch and cable to restore connectivity.” – Alex Moore, Garmin support specialist

With that in mind, sometimes Garmin gadgets fail to live up to their potential by draining quickly. This problem often stems from excessive backlight, non-stop notifications, and GPS tracking.

Best Solutions

Does your Garmin battery drain quicker than usual? Try the following:

  • Check the backlight settings. If it’s at 100, reduce it. To access the backlight settings, open “Settings” on your smartwatch, go to “System”, and tap “Backlight”.
  • Turn off GPS tracking and only turn it back on for specific functions like navigation or recording data while working out.
  • Reduce the number of additional sensors connected to your smartwatch, like Bluetooth headphones and HRM chest straps.
  • Limit the smart notifications that your phone shares with your smartwatch. If you get too many notifications, the excessive buzzing and vibrating will drain your battery.

Final Thoughts

Garmin users often experience a beaver of issues. Common ones include inactive heart rate monitoring, premature battery drainage, and lack of smart notifications. All these have their solutions, and I’ve recommended them above. But they are not guaranteed to work in all instances.

At some point, you will go head-on with a stubborn issue that won’t respond to the hacks I’ve suggested. When that happens, contact Garmin support immediately. And remember that a factory reset will wipe everything from your gadget. So, before doing it, consider backing up crucial data. 

Read Also: Is Suunto Better Than Garmin? GPS, Build Quality, Battery Life, Accuracy, Software and User Experience

Common Questions

Why is the green LED light on my Garmin watch not turning on? 

Typically, when the green light doesn’t turn on during an activity, it means the heart rate monitoring is not functioning. Common causes include poor wear/skin contact, software bugs, and faulty hardware.

How can I get the green light on my Garmin watch working again?

Try tightening the band for better skin contact, updating software via Garmin Express, cleaning the sensor, resetting the device, and ensuring no obstructions between the sensor and your skin.

My watch’s green light works sometimes, but not always – what’s the issue? 

Intermittent issues can be due to inconsistent wear position, loose band, tattoo ink blocking sensor, or a failing LED that needs replacement.

The green light stopped working after a software update – what should I do?

A buggy software update can affect the optical HR sensor. Try restarting your watch and syncing it to Garmin Express to install any available updates.

I tried troubleshooting but the green light still won’t turn on during activities. Is my watch broken?

If basic troubleshooting doesn’t restore the green LED light function, the issue may require internal repair to replace a faulty optical heart rate module.  

How much does it cost to fix a Garmin watch with no working green light?

Depending on the model, official Garmin repairs for a failed LED/optical sensor range from $70 – $170. Some local watch repair shops offer lower-cost fixes.

Can I still record activities if my Garmin’s green light is broken? 

Yes, you can still start activities without optical HR. But heart rate data won’t be captured unless you use a compatible chest strap monitor.

Read Also: Is There a Smartwatch that Monitors Blood Sugar