WiFi Problems with your Garmin smartwatch? Try these steps

WiFi problems and issues connecting with Garmin watches

Garmin’s fitness trackers work very well when they do. Unfortunately, several users with Garmin smartwatches (such as Vívoactive 3 Music & 4, Venu, Forerunner models, and the Fenix models) report a wide range of WiFi problems and errors when trying to operate the device. In particular, many Garmin smartwatch users complain that they cannot connect to any of their home or office WiFi networks!

Last year, the company had to release a brand new update to fix a major Wi-Fi error plaguing most of its smartwatch product lines. The Error ‘WiFi 0200’ was a major pain for many users and could only be fixed by downloading and applying the relevant software update published by Garmin.

Does your Garmin smartwatch keeps saying “password incorrect”?

In particular, quite a few Vivoactive readers report errors such as ‘Incorrect Password’ when trying to launch apps, like Spotify, that use WiFi.

This has also been a problem with several readers who own the Venu model smartwatch.

Quick checklist myhealthyapple quick checklist icon

If you are a Garmin user and are facing weird WiFi problems, run through this checklist

  1. Verify that your Garmin device is connected to either the Garmin Connect app for mobile devices or to the Garmin Express application on your computer before you try to connect to a WiFi network. So, please make sure you first configure WiFi using Garmin Connect or Express!
  2. Verify that your Garmin watch and your mobile phone (or another device) connect to the same Wi-Fi network
  3. Make sure the WiFi network you want to connect to supports 2.4 GHz frequency AND the 802.11g wireless standard–the 802.11n standard is backward compatible and supports 802.11g devices. However, some readers discovered they needed to set-up an 802.11g 2.4GHz Wireless LAN Access Point for their Garmin devices WiFi to work! You can also change your router’s transmission mode to 802.11g via the router’s admin settings
  4. Keep your SSID (network name) visible, instead of hidden. Check your router’s manual for how to disable hiding your networks’ SSID
  5. Use a secure network with password-protection, not an open or public network
  6. Make sure your WiFi password uses ONLY alphanumeric characters including numbers and both upper and lower case letters
  7. Try changing your WiFi security standard to WPA2 or WPA-PSK. Quite a few readers tell us the WiFi does not work when their security is set to WEP
  8. Check for firmware updates via Garmin Connect or Garmin Express and update your device
  9. Turn on Auto Upload in your Garmin’s WiFi settings. On your Garmin smartwatch, go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Auto Upload > On
  10. If available on your Garmin smartwatch’s model, turn on the feature Automatic software updates when connected to WiFi via Settings > System > Software Update > Auto Update and turn it on

Related reading

Check your Wi-Fi connection using the Garmin Connect app

  1. Open Garmin Connect on your device
  2. Tap the following based on mobile OS
    1. Apple iOS and iPadOS: the ••• More button
    2. Android: the hamburger menu icon (three lines) Garmin Devices menu in Garmin Connect app
  3. Select Garmin Devices then select your device 
  4. Go to General > WiFi Networks Wifi networks in Garmin Connect app
  5. Choose your WiFi network then select Test connection > Connect

Check your Wi-Fi connection in Garmin Express

  1. Launch Garmin Express
  2. Select Device > Tools & Content Utilities in Garmin Express app for your computer
  3. Choose the Utilities tab

Are you able to successfully connect and test the Wi-Fi Network?

If not, power off your Garmin device, wait 60-90 seconds, then power back on. After that soft reset, try connecting again to a WiFi Network.

If restarting doesn’t help, reset your Garmin’s device settings

  • On your Garmin smartwatch, go to Settings or Menu > System > Reset reset default settings on Garmin smartwatch
  • Choose Reset Default or Restore Default
    • This resets all of your device’s settings back to their factory default values BUT saves all your user data, stored music, and history

Remove the WiFi network and rejoin

With most electronic gadgets, the most common fix for Wi-Fi related issues is to completely remove the network out of your smartwatch or fitness tracker and then re-join it. Try it and see if it helps with your issue.

  • On your Garmin smartwatch, go to Settings > WiFi
  • Choose My Networks
  • Select your current WiFi network and tap Remove remove or forget a wifi network on your Garmin smartwatch
  • Restart your Garmin smartwatch
  • Go to Settings > WiFi > Add Network
  • Wait for your device to search for local networks
  • Choose an available network and enter in the password, if applicable
  • Wait for your Garmin to connect and look for the on-screen message Connection Succesful add wifi network on Garmin smartwatch and get message that connection is successful

Turn on WiFi Auto Upload auto upload on Garmin smartwatch in WiFi settings

The auto upload setting for WiFi automatically sends your activity data to your Garmin Connect account as soon as your Garmin smartwatch finishes recording the activity.

Several readers noted that once they turned on this setting, their WiFi problems disappeared!

  1. Open Settings > Wi-Fi
  2. Turn on Auto Upload

Test your Garmin using a GUEST Network guest network on iPhone WiFi list

Most modern routers include the ability to set-up a guest network. For testing purposes only, follow the instructions for your specific router and set-up a guest SSID using the 2.4 GHz band with no password protection.

Then, configure that network using Garmin Connect or Garmin Express and then test on your Garmin smartwatch.

If it works with your guest network, remove the network from Garmin and then try adding a password to that guest network. See if that works.

Reboot or reset your WiFi router

  1. Reboot your WiFi router and check if you can join the network following the reboot.
  2. Factory Reset your router and give it a try

Use your phone or mobile device as a personal or mobile hotspot personal or mobile hotspot on iPhone or Android

  1. Try connecting your Garmin smartwatch to your phone’s personal hotspot instead and see if that works
    1. For Apple iPhones, see this article on how to set up a personal hotspot
    2. For Android, see this support article on how to share a mobile hotspot

Seeing error message “unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Error code 010”? Garmin unable to connect to Wi-Fi network. Error code 010

Are you getting an error code of 010 when trying to connect your Garmin smartwatch to WiFi? First, if your router uses WEP security change it to WPA-PSK and see if your Garmin now connects.

If not, try these steps:

    1. In your Watch’s System Settings, turn on Automatic Software Updates (also called Software Update or Auto-Update), if available for your model Software Update function on Garmin smartwatch
    2. Delete your WiFi Network
    3. Add and reconnect to that WiFi Network again

Other suggestions for WiFi problems with Garmin smartwatches

  1. Wi-Fi Error 0700 – If your Garmin unit is unable to connect to your home Wi-Fi and showing error code 0700, you should definitely reach out to Garmin support. This is an extremely rare error code and Garmin has typically replaced the customer device when users found themselves stuck with this annoyance.
  2. Network Error, Try Again Message – If you are getting this error when trying to connect your Garmin fitness tracker or Smartwatch, the error typically indicates that the configured Wi-Fi network does not support the 802.11b or 802.11g (2.4 GHz frequency) wireless standard. Here is Garmin’s complete guidance on this issue.
  3. Connection failed errors – If your Garmin shows that the WiFi connection failed, try temporarily disabling the 5GHz signal on your router. See if your Garmin can then connect to your WiFi’s 2.4 GHz transmission. If so, once it successfully connects, you should be able to re-enable the 5GHz and still get your Garmin to work

Wrap up

We hope that this short article provided you with some helpful pointers that help solve the Wi-Fi problems on your Garmin Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker.

In Summary, most of the time when your new Garmin tracker does not work with your Wi-Fi network, it is most likely due to the 2.4Ghz/5.0Ghz channel-related issue and requires you to exclusively use the 2.4 GHz.

If the Wi-Fi problem shows up on your existing Garmin device and you tried and tested the Wi-fi router, check if there is a new Garmin software update and also try to delete the Wi-Fi network and re-add and join.

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!


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