How to import GPX routes to a Garmin fitness watch

Most Garmin fitness watches come with the ability to navigate using either built in colour maps or breadcrumb maps. While the easiest way is to create a course in Garmin connect. You have downloaded a GPX file want to import this to your Fenix or Forerunner watch. If so, then continue reading to learn how to install a GPX onto a Garmin watch.

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The process to import a GPX file onto a Garmin fitness watch is simple, but you will need to make sure you have the following before getting started.

  • PC or MAC
  • A GPX file ready to import.
  • Compatible Garmin device.
  • The Fenix charging/sync cable
  • a spare 15 minutes of time to complete the process.

This tutorial should work with most Garmin devices, but for I have tested it with the following Garmin fitness watches.

  • Fenix 3, Fenix 3 HR, Fenix 5, Fenix 5 Plus or a Fenix 6.
  • Forerunner 245, Forerunner 945

If you prefer, you can use watch this video below.

Import a GPX on a Garmin Fenix device

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Mac users you may have to follow this guide to access the “NEWFILES” folder on your Garmin Fenix device.

  1. Connect your Garmin device. Wait until it shows up as a mounted device on your computer. On my Mac, it shows up as a “Garmin” drive.

  2. Open the Garmin folder and there you will find  “New Files” folder.

  3. The “New Files” folder should be empty. You can now drag any GPX files in here that you want to use on your device.

  4. Un-mount the device by ejecting the “Garmin” drive. Your Garmin Fenix may reset.

  5. The device should now read the files and turn them into internal courses (and they will have disappeared from the “New Files” folder the next time you connect the device).

  6. Now follow the instructions for your Garmin watch to navigate the course you have imported.

If you have followed the instructions, you will now have a course imported on your Garmin Fenix 5 watch using a GPX file.

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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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