If your Garmin has been giving wonky GPS readings, here's how to fix it

Garmin Venu 2 watch with gray strap
(Image credit: Garmin)

If your runs, hikes, and bike rides appear to have been drifting off course in Garmin Connect recently, you're not alone. Thankfully, there's now a fix. 

Not all Garmin sports watches were affected, but the problem was severe enough that some owners were left wondering whether their watch might be broken. Now, the company has explained the situation in a support article, and assured watch owners that the issue has now been resolved.

"Garmin experienced a recent issue where saved outdoor GPS activities recorded displayed a track in Garmin Connect that shows a significant deviation from the actual path taken," the article says. "This issue has been resolved as of July 3rd. Within the next 24 hours, your watch will automatically download the latest satellite position data to your watch during a sync with the Garmin Connect app."

How to fix your Garmin

If you've noticed your routes drifting off-course, you can also update your Garmin watch's GPS data manually in one of four ways: 

  • Let your watch achieve a GPS lock then 'soak' for five minutes'
  • Sync your watch using Garmin Express on a computer
  • Sync your watch via Wi-Fi (if supported)
  • Restart your watch and wait two hours before syncing manually

If your best GPS watch seems to throw up strange results occasionally, it's usually a temporary problem and nothing serious. GPS drift is a well known problem that can be caused by the radio signal bouncing off nearby buildings, electrical fields near the Earth's magnetic equator, and space weather created by activity on the sun's surface. Although Garmin hasn't confirmed the reason, it appears that this instance may have been the result of a software error.

Unfortunately it's not possible to correct any mis-recorded runs, but Garmin assures owners that biometric data (such as heart rate) is unaffected.

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.