This free software update will give your old Garmin watch a new lease of life

Woman paused during run, using sports watch
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the best things about choosing a Garmin watch is that the company supports them with free software updates for years after their launch, adding new features and fixing bugs to keep them running like new.

This week there's good news for anyone who owns a Fenix 6, Enduro, Tactix Delta, Quatix 6, or one of the original Marq watches. Software beta version 26.96 is available now for all these watches, some of which are now five years old.

As Polly Allcock of Notebookcheck explains, this is a relatively small update, which adds support for sensor sampling rates up to 100hz for Connect IQ apps. Put simply, this should supply more accurate data for your watch apps.

In its official release notes, Garmin explains that "this beta cycle introduces improvements to the auto run feature during ski and snowboard activities." This change has already been implemented for many newer watches, and means that your watch will no longer pause while you're riding a chairlift between runs, instead tracking metrics continuously throughout the whole session.

How to get the update

To get this update, you'll need to join Garmin's public beta testing program, which allows you to receive new software early in return for providing your feedback and helping identify any issues before it's rolled out globally. As a member of the program get to try new features first, but it's worth remembering that beta software might contain bugs that stop your watch working as expected.

If you'd like to go ahead and join, visit and log into your Garmin account. Click the small watch icon at the top right of the page, then select your device from the list that appears. Provided your watch is supported, you'll see a link giving you the option to join the public beta testing program. Select this, read through the terms and conditions, and click 'OK' if you're happy to go ahead.

Some software updates are installed automatically 'over the air' if your watch has W-Fi connectivity, but if you want to install beta version 26.93, you'll need to do so manually. See the instructions on Garmin's forum to find out how to do this.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.