5 Common Dexcom Errors and How to Fix Them

DexCom G6 Products
DexCom G6 Family

The Dexcom G6 is no doubt one of the most useful gadgets for monitoring glucose levels. Like any other modern piece of technology, it also has a few shortcomings that can come up when something goes wrong – which is what we call common Dexcom errors.

While there are plenty of things that can go wrong, there are only about 5 issues that tend to come up often.

That is why we decided to list only those for now, and if you need help with anything else, please let us know about it in the comments section down below.

With that out of the way, let us get right into it!

Related Reading:

1: Dexcom G6 False Low Bug

The Dexcom G6 can automatically alert you in case that glucose levels fall at an unacceptably low level. However, there are plenty of reasons why it can also throw a false alarm.

More often than not, this seems to happen when the user is asleep.

So, we can safely assume that it’s a compression issue where you’re pushing down on the device, and it pushes on to a muscle.

Dexcom errors

So, the easiest fix to that is to just not lay on it if you can.

If not, you could also turn off the alarms for the night by disabling Bluetooth, muting your phone with headphones, or anything that’s going to mute the alarm for the night.

Another common reason why this happens is due to medication. Certain meds can mess with the intestinal fluids and create both false lows and false highs.

So, pay attention to when the false alarm comes up and when you’re taking your meds. In that sense, it’s not even a false alarm. But, ask a professional if you can – to be safe.

Working out or dehydration can also temporarily affect your glucose levels – particularly when the Dexcom is too close to an area where more glucose is being burned. That’s normal.

It can also happen due to a bad fit, bad calibration, bad insertion, or generally a bad setup.

In which case, all you can do is re-install it and make sure that everything was set-up correctly.

Last but not least, there’s always a small chance that you either got a defective unit or that it got damaged somewhere along the way.

If it comes down to that, all you can do is contact tech support.

2: No Readings

Not getting any readings for quite some time is one of the most common Dexcom errors. If you don’t get anything for at least 20 minutes, there is a good chance that there’s something either wrong with the setup or a technical issue.

More often than not, this happens due to either long distances or objects that block the signal.

See, Bluetooth isn’t the best when it comes to range. You are generally not going to be able to get too far away from your smartphone, smartwatch, or any other device that connects to the Dexcom without losing the signal.

So, if that’s what is going on, wait until your device reconnects to Dexcom or force disable and enable Bluetooth to reconnect manually.

One more common reason that creates this issue is water. It can sometimes happen when you are taking a shower or go for a swim.

This can also happen during sleep if you are lying on the device and putting pressure on it.

So, generally, make sure that you’re not too far away from your device, and there’s no water involved – and also try not to lay on the Dexcom while sleeping.

Check out the adhesive patch that you are using with your Dexcom G6 sensor. Here are some of the good Dexcom patches available from Amazon.

Worst case scenario, try setting up everything from scratch and keep in mind that re-connection and sync can take as long as 3 hours.

If nothing works, call 1-844-607-8398 (Dexcom’s tech support) and see if they can do anything about it. There is always a chance that it’s a technical defect.

3: Signal Loss

Dexcom uses Bluetooth to connect with your device. In case you’re not familiar with it, Bluetooth is a wireless technology that’s meant to work in close-range proximity.

And “close-range” is the keyword here cause one of the most common Dexcom errors is signal loss due to long-range connectivity.

A Dexcom G6, or any other Bluetooth device, can only stay connected up to a certain range and only withstand so many objects before losing the signal.

So, more often than not, the Dexcom signal loss issue is nothing more than you being too far away from your phone/watch or there are too many objects like furniture, walls, or anything like that.

If you’re near your device and you still end up losing the signal, it could be due to water after taking a bath or a dip to the sea.

Sometimes, laying on top of the sensor while sleeping can also create this issue. But, more often than not, you’re going to get a false low reading.

Some common fixes include:

  1. Turning the Bluetooth off and on
  2. Restarting your device
  3. And updating your app in case, you’re not running the latest version

Finally, if nothing works, there is a small chance that you’re dealing with a technical issue.

In which case, we’d highly recommend communicating with the Dexcom tech support at 1-844-607-8398.

4: Dexcom G6 App Not Working

One of the most common Dexcom errors isn’t even on Dexcom but its app. To be more specific, in the Dexcom G6 app. It’s no surprise that it has an average rating of 2.5/5.

Sometimes it may stop sending notifications or refuse to connect even when there is nothing wrong with Dexcom.

And the most common fix to such an issue is the most common one, “Have you tried turning it off and on?”

You can either try restarting the app on its own, or you can also reboot the smartphone as it is. Alternatively, the last resort is clearing the data off the app.

To do that on (stock) Android:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Apps & notifications
  3. See all apps
  4. Dexcom 6
  5. Storage & cache
  6. Then select “clear storage”

Dexcom errors

This is going to wipe everything off the app. So, it’s basically going to be like installing it for the first time.

Re-installing it isn’t the same cause the data usually remains even after uninstalling the app. But you could try that as well if you want to.

If you’re on iOS, chances are you won’t have to do anything since it’s a proprietary OS, and there’s not as much room for mistakes.

5: Sensor Error

The “sensor error’ is no doubt one of the most common Dexcom errors. And we’ve got both good news and bad news regarding that subject.

Dexcom errors

The good news is that more often than not, you can fix this for free.

The bad news is that since this seems to be directly related to the physical sensor, you’ll have to ask Dexcom for a physical transmitter/sensor.

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This problem seems to come up when the blood sugar rises above a specific threshold – and the exact threshold can greatly differ from sensor to sensor.

We’ve yet to see a software fix for this. So, all you can really do here is call Dexcom and hope that they’ll agree to a solution.

Bonus Dexcom Tips and Tricks

These are some of the most common Dexcom issues and what you can do about them. Before closing off, here are some endnotes to further help you:

  1. Always run the Dexcom app in the background. For iPhones, turn on background app refresh for the app in Settings > General > Background App Refresh. For Android, check your App Settings
  2. Please don’t close or force close the Dexcom app–it needs to be on standby and refreshing in the background to successfully work
  3. Don’t use battery savings or low power mode–this leads to errors with the Dexcom app
  4. Try turning off Bluetooth and then turning it immediately back on 
  5. Restart your phone by powering it off, waiting 30+ seconds, and powering back on
  6. If you don’t like Dexcom’s stock case, you can also find 3rd party ones on Tallygear, myabetic, shapeways, and even more, if you’re willing to make a Google search and look around.
  7. Keep 844-607-8398 at handy. It’s Dexcom’s customer support number, and you never know when you may need it
  8. Careful where you place the Dexcom. You don’t want to lay on it while you’re sleeping. Not only it’s uncomfortable – but it can also introduce false lows and false highs
  9. Set the follow high range a few points higher for your followers
  10. Dexcom sometimes gives free adhesives if you call them

Common Dexcom Errors: Wrapping Up

And that’s about it for now. If you need anything else, feel free to drop a comment, and maybe the MyHealthyApple team will come back to you as soon as possible.

If you liked this article, feel free to stick around for more health news, gadget reviews, how-to guides, and more like this.

Ever since my early teenage days, I have long been passionate about all-things-tech and long-distance running. After graduating from high school and finishing my military duties, I immediately started working as a writer in 2016, and to this day, I still share my passion with everyone online.

8 COMMENTS

  1. First day with the system. I spend more time without a signal than with. I located the sensor on my arm the same as the freestyle I had before. I’ve talked w/tec by phone multiple times today.

  2. I found the problem with the Dexcom g6 App.

    It needs to stay open on your phone.

    The phone I have is an iPhone XR and sometimes it’s hard to clean off the desktop without closing Dexcom g6.

    Maybe you can fix this so it would easy to use.

    • Hi Gary,

      Yes, you are correct that the Dexcom app works best when it’s always on standby. Another setting to check is that you enable background app refresh for the app–this helps communication errors.

  3. Dear Chris, I found this article to be one of the most informative articles I’ve ever read. Thank you so much for your helpful advice. I have been a dexcom user fro 3+years. I have type 1 diabetes and have had it for over 40 yrs. Dexcom helped me go from 7 shots per day to 2 or 3.

  4. I am concerned I may have messed something up.

    I was putting on my daughter’s Dexcom by ourselves for the first time, and I put the sensor in wrong.

    I didn’t realize you are supposed to put it in from the front tip.

    I had to pop it off and put it back on.

    When I popped the sensor out of the casing to put it back in, the thing in the casing it connects to lifted a bit.

    It laid right back down on its own. I popped the sensor in. Everything looks fine.

    But I cannot get it to connect via Bluetooth and have done all the troubleshooting.

  5. Great article. Would you address your thoughts on the issue of lower than actual readings when BG is less than 100 with the G6?

    Sensor readings will start to dive whenever my real BG readings fall below 100.

    For example, yesterday afternoon I did not feel low but I was receiving the 5 rapid beats indicating my BG was headed below 50 fast, and the G6 showed it to be at 59 at that time (arrow pointing down).

    I checked my BG using my meter and it was 94.

    Calibrating when the arrow is in any direction other than horizontal is a waste and leads to incorrect values later.

    It finally got to 42 before it came up almost as fast as it went down. The sensor is located on the abdomen about 1″ above the line of navel 3″ to left.

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