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 we call common Dexcom errors.

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

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 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 onto 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 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 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 into 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.

Pick up the SKIN GRIP Dexcom G6 adhesive, waterproof patches, and extend your sensor life by more than 10+ days.Skin grip dexcom adhesive patches

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.

Dexcom App not working with Smartwatch?

Unable to get Dexcom readings on your wearOS Smartwatch?

The Dexcom app setup works pretty well for iOS users but, for some reason, has intermittent issues with the Android ecosystem. This is particularly the case for wearOS users trying to pipe their data from their Android phone into their wearOS smartwatch.Dexcom readings missing on wearOS Smartwatch

If you have issues getting the readings onto your Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch or Ticwatch, or other wearOS smartwatches from Dexcom, try these steps.

  1. Restart your phone, followed by
  2. Restart your Smartwatch
  3. Give it some time and check if the Dexcom readings start showing up on your watch

The better approach for Android users is to try and use the BYOD Dexcom app way and use Xdrip. You can use Xdrip to upload data into nightspot or tidepool if you want. That way, you have another source of data in the case Dexcom servers are down.

Dexcom blood glucose readings on Apple Watch with Always-on-display

Apple users tend to have a better experience with the Dexcom app on iOS. If you are looking for a richer Dexcom experience on your Apple iPhone and Apple Watch, we recommend trying out the Sugarmate app.

Why Sugarmate for Apple Watch?

For one, the Sugarmate app updates your readings more frequently than the Dexcom app. On your Apple Watch, it uses the Calendar complication to update. When you set up the Sugarmate app, follow directions to send Dev data to your calendar. Choose any Apple Watch face with a calendar component and put the calendar complication on your Apple Watch face.

You can create a new calendar called ‘Sugarmate readings’ and make it your default calendar.

Sugarmate on your iPhone can also help show your reading on your car dash when you plug in your iPhone.

Dexcom data not showing via Sugarmate on Apple Watch? Have you tried syncing data

For Apple Watch users who have intermittent data syncing issues with the Dexcom app, one of the things that really helps is forcing the watch to sync the data manually.Sugarmate app not showing dexcom readings on apple watch

  • Open the Watch app on your iOS device
  • Tap ‘General’ > Reset 
  • Tap ‘Reset Sync Data’ multiple times
  • Wait 5-10 minutes and check if the BG readings show up

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 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.

15 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.

  6. can dexcom G6 be synched with both an iphone and android phone at same time? I would like to be notified of highs and lows for my husband, and want our daughter to monitor also.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Dexcom actually creates an app called the Dexcom Follow app that can share your information with up to 10 people. With the Follow app, your family and friends can follow your glucose levels and monitor your glucose data directly from their own mobile phone or tablet.

      Here’s the app for iOS (Apple) devices. There’s even an app for Apple Watch!

      And here’s the app for Android devices.

      We hope this helps your family.

  7. My 20 yr old son has had issues w a visible bend at the infusion site for his pump tubing and waking up to a glucose of over 300.

    The hyperglycemia wakes him up, but why isn’t there a high alarm that will wake him up before it gets that high?

    I am a nurse and I have also had patients that end up in DKA bc it is >600 when they wake up.

    • Hi Libbe,

      Have you set a high alert alarm? To do so, open the app, then select Settings. Choose alerts, then select the High alert and toggle it on. Select Notify Me Above and choose the mg/dL alert setting you want. To save this setting, tap the Back button (iOS) or Save button (Android.)

      Verify the high alert is correct, then change the Repeat settings interval to how often you wish the high alert notification to repeat if action is not taken from 15 minutes up to 4 hours. Save this setting by tapping the Back button (iOS) or pressing the Save button (Android.)

      Repeat these steps for the Sound alert setting.

      Now, to actually get these notifications you need to make sure that Do Not Disturb is disabled; otherwise, your high alerts won’t come through since DVD automatically silences these.

  8. my Dexcom app randomly shows: for alarm/alerts to work as expected do not use the android pause feature with Dexcom app, set device operating system (os) battery optimization setting to off for Dexcom app.

    Dexcom app may not work as expected if battery optimization, pause, or os automatic updates are on always manually update device os, then open Dexcom app to verify its working correctly.

    I then have to press continue to open the app and it works ok.

    Also, I can’t enter my sensor or transmitter code manually due to contact tremor and find it hard to take photos of the code, what is the reason?

    Everything like the optimizations are all off I use a Samsung galaxy a10 n had to change to this recently as my other phone wouldn’t get updated in august 2021 updates

  9. What do I do if the sensor comes off my body? I had it on the right in the fatty area below the armpit. During my sleep some how it was pulled off and dangling by a piece of tape that is supplied with the sensor.

    • Hi Richard,

      Are you also using the Decom Overpatch? If not, order some from Dexcom (they are free and come with in a pack of 10 for a 30 day supply.)

      If you already use the Dexcom Overpatch then other folks with this problem recommend using Skin-Tac or SkinGrips.

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