Fenix 6 guide: How to get the most of your fitness watch

Garmin has released the Fenix 6, its latest in its flagship line up, which has multiple new features and settings. If you want to get the most out of your new fitness watch, then continue reading this Fenix 6 guide.

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In this Fenix 6 guide you will get to understand how to set up up your watch for better battery life, improved mapping and the best choices for music on your wrist. I will also show you how to set up your watch up to ensure the data is as accurate as possible.

This guide is valid for the Fenix 6, Fenix 6s and the Fenix 6x. However the tips for maps and music are only relevant for the Pro/Sapphire versions.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Profile setupGarmin user profile

When you set up your Fenix 6 for the first time with Garmin Connect mobile. It should transfer your personal profile settings to the watch. But it’s worth checking several personal profile settings to ensure you get the best out of the data post workout.

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Height

Also, remember to check the resting heart rate and check this matches what the resting HR you have recorded. You can do this by going to

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • User profile
  • Heart rate

Remember to check that you have a resting heart rate in here. If not, you can use the one that has the watch has recorded, or if you know what it is, then enter it yourself.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Best settings

Sports appsFenix 6 sports profiles

The Garmin Fenix 6 comes with a load of activity profiles such as running, cycling, swimming and many more. But you may not know that your Garmin Fenix 6 has several other profiles hidden behind a menu in the Activity profile menu

To access these other fitness profiles all you need to do is scroll all the way to the bottom of the activity menu screen and then click on the + and this will then give you other sports profiles to add.

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My other tip is that you reorder the sports profiles in the order of your most used, this way you will get quick access to the most used profiles.

To reorder the activity go to the activity menu and then press the “up/Menu” button, then scroll down to “reorder”

WidgetsFenix 6 guide widgets

The Fenix 6 has had a UI upgrade to the widgets and now it’s called “Widget glances”. although the visual layout has changed, you can still have the same level of control over which the widgets that are visible and the order.

I suggest with the widgets you have these set to the ones you use regularly. You can again add and remove these by going to

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • Widgets
  • Edit

Safety settingsGarmin safety tracking guide

Like with other Garmin devices, the Fênix 6 has two safety features. The first one is incident detection, which will notify contacts defined if of an accident for certain activities. The second is assistant, which allows the user to send an alert to defined contacts that you need help with your GPS location.

To enable both features, you need to set them up in Garmin Connect Mobile. Open the app, go to “more”, then “Safety and tracking” and then “Incident detection and assistance”.

Once you have accepted the T&Cs, you then set up your emergency contacts.  Once setup, incident detection will activate if it detects an incident. Assistant can be activated by holding down the “Light” button on the Fenix 6.

Quick menu items

Yes, the quick control menu has featured in previous Fenix devices. But in the Fenix 6, you can now reorder, add and remove menu items for the first time. This is useful if you want to include settings that may not be shipped with the stock setup.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Data screens

The Fenix 6 is one of the best for the amount of data that is presented. The Fenix 6s can support up to 4 date screens and you can have unto 4 data points and 7 screens. You can also customise data screens per activity.Fenix 6x data fields

My best advice is before you go out for a run, bike ride or whatever activity you do is to set the data screens up and my top tip is to have the information you need at a glance on the first screen. So if you are on the bike or running at a pace you can quickly see the information you need quickly and if you need to look at other data when you are stopped you have the other screens all setup.

To edit the data screens, go to the activity you want to edit. Then press the “up/Menu” button, then select the data screens menu.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Battery life tips

While Garmin has included a new power manager feature in the Fenix 6 Series. Although this feature has a big impact on battery performance, you can also make several other changes to get most out of your Garmin watch.

Back light settings

Back light settings are important as the back light and the screen is one of the biggest battery drain on the Fenix 6. To access go to Settings, System, Back light

  • During Activity
    • Keys “on”
    • Alerts “on”
    • Gestures “on”
    • Timeout “15 secs”
    • Brightness “20%”
  • Not during activity
    • Keys “on”
    • Alerts “on”
    • Gestures “on”
    • Timeout “30 secs”
    • Brightness “40%”

Turn off mobile notifications

I turn off all mobile notifications on my Fenix 6 Plus and this is for 2 reasons. First, I don’t like them and 2nd being the constant Bluetooth ping between the smartphone and the Fenix 6 Plus will drain the battery.

To turn them off go to.

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • Phone
  • Smart notifications
  • Turn off

Battery saving modes

Garmin has included several automatic battery saving features, and they have split these into two categories.

The first can be accessed by holding down the light button on the watch, to access the quick access menu. You can then activate battery save mode, which will give you a big boost in battery life. This feature disables many of the more draining features to extend the battery life, this is something you had to do something manually in the past.Fenix 6 battery tips

While this feature is useful and will give you some massive battery life improvements, it is literally a kill switch for lots of features. So, if the default settings are too much, you can also edit the sensors and features that get disabled to suit your needs. You can edit these within;

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • Power Manager
  • Battery saver

Besides the battery saver mode, the Fenix 6x Pro also get Power Manager. You can find this feature in the sports profiles or in the settings.Power manager mode

These modes include;

  • Normal mode – This has everything turn on, runs the sports profile normally.
  • Maximum battery mode, which will turn off heart rate monitoring, phone notifications, music and only use GPS in UltraTrac mode.
  • Jacket Mode is for anyone that wears their watch over their jacket. This would be great for cyclists during the winter months or a swimmer in a wetsuit and again will disable heart rate tracking, music and notifications.

You can also create your own modes based on your circumstances and you can do this within the Power Manager menu;

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • Power Manager
  • Power modes
  • Add New

Turn off Wifi syncing

Turning off Wi-fi syncing on the Fenix 6 will be another battery life saver. The watch will ping your Wi-fi network and if you have a connection to your smartphone, then you have no real need for Wi-Fi.

To turn off Wifi, go to

  • Settings (Hold down the Up/down key)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Disconnect

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Sensor setup

The Garmin Fenix 6 can pair to a variety of ANT+ sensors and Bluetooth for chest HR monitors. I have my watch attached to a host of different sensors from power-meters, speed and Cadence sensors. I also use mine in the gym with equipment such as wattbikes to collect power, speed and cadence data.Fenix 6 ANT+ settings

With your own sensors, these will be no doubt easy to identify. But with public gym equipment this can be a challenge as you may use different stations. So if you are connecting to different stations, you could connect to the wrong sensor and collect incorrect data.

So when you first connect to a piece of gym equipment, rename the sensor to something that you associate with. Then when you come to use the equipment again, you can easily connect the sensor again.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Bands & Straps

Just like the Fenix 5 Plus, with the Fenix 6 you can change out the bands to a colour or a material of your choice, but just remember two things before you try to change the style of your Garmin watch.Garmin quickfit strap

The first tip, the Fenix 6 series comes in different sizes, so don’t make the mistake of buying the wrong size band. The Fenix 6s is 20mm, the Fenix 6 is 22mm and the Fenix 6x is 26mm.

Remembering the right band size for your Fenix 6 watch could save you money and time.

While Garmin would love you to buy the original bands. Ensure you have a shop around and check out some online marketplaces for OEM bands rather than paying the Garmin prices. I have bought some nice bands for the fraction of the price and been happy with the quality.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Music & headphonesFenix 6 music support

  • Pro and Sapphire versions only

One of the headline features of the Fenix 6 is the ability to load music onto your watch and then remove the need to take your smartphone with you when out running or exercising.

In terms of music on your wrist options with your Garmin device, you have the following options

  • Spotify
  • iHeartRadio
  • Deezer
  • Amazon Music

My top tip is to invest in a decent pair of pair Bluetooth earphones. Shop around and buy ones that fit you and work for your given activity.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: GPS settingsFenix 6 GPS settings

Galileo support has been present since the Fenix 5 Plus. My top tip is to turn on GPS and Galileo together to increase accuracy. But you need to do this for each activity profile that supports GPS tracking. So if you set it for running and you also want it for cycling ect.

Todo this

  • When you are in the activity you want to enable for Galileo
  • Long press left menu button
  • Activity settings
  • Scroll down to GPS
  • Enable GPS and Galileo

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Wrist HR accuracy tips

The optical HR sensor accuracy on any device it is all down to how you position it and what activities you will use it for. For instance, if you are cycling or doing activities that involve a lot of wrists movement then don’t expect fantastic accuracy.

However, you can help improve the accuracy of the optical HR sensor on the Fenix 6 by tightening the band around your wrist before you start an activity which will reduce the amount of movement of the sensor. Then once you have finished the activity, you can loosen it to what you feel is comfortable.

However, the biggest improvement to HR accuracy is use a chest HR strap which can be connected to the Fenix 6 via either Bluetooth or ANT+.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Maps and Navigationdetailed topp maps for Garmin Fenix 6, Fenix 5 and Forerunner 945

  • Pro and Sapphire versions only

In 2017 when Garmin released the Fenix 5 series, only the Fenix 5x came with mapping. Fast forward to summer 2018, the Fenix 5 Plus Series featured maps across the range. Now we have the Fenix 6 which features maps in the Pro and Sapphire versions. Although Garmin has improved the maps over that time, being honest they are poor if you want detailed Topo maps.

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So if you want better maps for a fraction of the cost of what Garmin would charge you, then Follow this link to an article that shows you how to install third-party maps with contours for the fraction of the price that Garmin charge.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Watch facesFenix 6 watch faces

The Garmin Fenix 6 Plus allows you to customise the watch faces with either the preloaded watch faces or from the Garmin IQ store and you can find a good guide on the best Garmin watch faces below.

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My top tip to save battery is to use a watch face that has little animation. So try to choose a watch face that does not have things like a seconds hand going around or constantly moving graphics. These types of animations decrease the battery life and having a watch face that is static will help with battery performance.

Garmin Fenix 6 guide: Connect IQ StoreGarmin Connect IQ store

If you want to get more of your Fenix 6 watch, then you can turn to the Connect IQ Store. Here you will find watch faces, apps and custom data fields that you can install on your watch.

Until recently you could access the store via the mobile connect app, but now Garmin has released a dedicated app. With the Connect IQ app, you will find all the available downloads that work are confirmed working with the Fenix 6 into sections.

Keeping everything updated

Whilst the Garmin Fenix 6 has an auto-update function I have found sometimes that it does not always keep things up to date and you have to plug into a computer to get an update.

This is true in regards the map updates and I have found plugging into my computer once a week and connecting to Garmin Express I am getting regular updates for the Fenix 6.

Thanks for reading this Fenix 6 guide, hopefully this has helped you in getting more Garmin fitness watch. Don’t forget to subscribe for more tutorials and how to guides. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

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Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I cover Wearables, tech and smart home. My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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