Your Garmin watch can now help you find a lost phone – wherever you left it

Hiker checking sports watch
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Garmin is pushing out a new software update that will help you find a missing phone, no matter how far away you dropped it, or put it down. Software version 19.18 is rolling out now to Garmin Forerunner 965 owners, and will hopefully be coming to even more devices in the near future.

If you own a Garmin watch, you're probably already familiar with the basic Find My Phone feature, which helps you track down a missing handset that's relatively nearby. Provided your phone is within Bluetooth range, it will guide you towards it by indicating whether you're getting hotter or colder (moving closer or further away) and making the phone emit a loud chime.

It works brilliantly if your phone is only a few meters away, but it's not going to help if your handset fell out of your pocket while you were having lunch, or you left it in the changing room at the gym.

The new feature works differently, working out the last point at which your watch had a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone and plotting a route back to that point. Once there, you should (hopefully) be able to reconnect, and use the other Find My Phone tool to find exactly where it is. 

Unlike something like a Tile tracker or Apple AirTag, it won't let you see your phone's location if it's been moved or stolen, but provided the handset is where you left it, you should be quickly reunited.

More features and fixes

As Alex Alderson of Notebookcheck explains, software version 19.18 also adds a bundle of other features and fixes, such as pin drop navigation (which lets you send and share locations from Apple Maps) and the ability to switch dynamically between your watch's heart rate sensor and a chest strap heart rate monitor, depending on which is providing the most stable signal.

The update also solves a problem that meant jump rope activities would sometimes fail to upload correctly, and one where activity profiles would sometimes appear in a different order on your watch face, and on the Garmin Connect mobile app. For a complete list of changes, check out Garmin's release notes.

The software should be rolled out to your watch automatically via Garmin Connect, but you can also activate the update manually by pressing the Menu button then selecting System > Software Update > Check For Updates.

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.