How to soft reset my Garmin Fenix or Garmin Forerunner watch

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How to soft reset my Garmin Fenix 3, Fenix 5 or Forerunner watch

From time to time a user of a Garmin watches like a Fenix 5, Fenix 3, Fenix 3 HR or a Forerunner will need to soft reset the Garmin watch, due to it becoming unresponsive or simply behaving oddly.

Looking to do a factory reset: Check out this factory reset guide

So before I begin taking you through the process of performing a soft reset of your Garmin watch, let me explain why you would perform this method and the results you will get on your Garmin watch.

Performing a soft reset on your Garmin Fenix 3, Fenix 5 or Forerunner watch – Why you would do this?How to reboot a Garmin Fenix 5

You may want to perform a reboot of your Garmin watch if it’s not responding or if the Fenix 3, Fenix 5 or Forerunner watch is not behaving as it should and this is called doing a soft reset of your Garmin watch. This method reboots the Garmin watches software, just like in the same way you would reset a computer if it was running slow or performing an update.

This method will not clear any settings or data from the Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 3 or Forerunner, such as;

  • VO2max and LTHR
  • Distance, elevation totals or any achievements.
  • Saved Bluetooth or ANT+ sensors such as HR, power meters or foot-pods and the associated calibration
  • Apps, widgets, watch faces or anything downloaded from Garmin IQ store.
  • Sports profiles or customisation you have done to the data screens or layout.
  • Any maps you have saved on the device.
  • Any of your saved workout data

You may want to perform a hard or factory reset of a Garmin watch to fix issues that cant be fixed that are not corrected with a soft reset. I would also advise doing a full factory reset when you are selling your Garmin watch to a friend or on eBay for example as leaving data on the device is not wise, given it could have GPS location data for instance that could be used to locate you.

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Reboot or soft reset Garmin watch

The following Garmin watches are covered for this how to reboot / factory reset Garmin watch guide.

  • Garmin Fenix 3 soft reset
  • Garmin Fenix 3 soft reset
  • Garmin Fenix 5 soft reset
  • Garmin Fenix 5s soft reset
  • Garmin Fenix 5x soft reset
  • Garmin Forerunner 645, 735, 935 soft reset

These soft reset methods may work on other Garmin watches, but I have only tested it on the above devices that I have access to.

How to soft reset my Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 3 or Forerunner watchHow to reboot a Garmin Fenix 5, 3 or a Forerunner

How to soft reset Garmin Fenix 5, Forerunner or Fenix 3 – Option 1

  • Hold the power/Light key until the menu appears.
  • Choose power off.
  • Press the power/Light key again to restart.
  • Garmin watch rebooted

how to soft reset Garmin watch – Option 2Soft reset a Garmin watch

This method can be used if your Garmin watch is not responding

  • Hold the power/Light button for 20-30 seconds.
  • Garmin watch rebooted
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Must read: Connect IQ store tips

So that’s the end of the how to soft reset Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 3 or Forerunner watch. I hope this is useful and if so, please share using the social media buttons. If you have a comment or question, then please leave it below

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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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Allan Lance
Allan Lance

Thanks for the reset details, however, my Fenix 5X was off and wouldn’t charge or power on. What worked for me to get the watch powered on was to press all 4 corner buttons (power/light/back/down) and hold them down for 10 seconds. the watch powered on and after I wiggled the charge cable it started to take charge

Bev Morrison
Bev Morrison

I have done that. Just bought Fenix 5s today. In the shop is synced to phone and Garmin connect now it won’t connect to phone or Garmin connect?

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