Your old Garmin watch is getting yet another big bug-squishing update

Garmin Fenix 6 watch
(Image credit: Garmin)

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a Garmin watch is that the company will continue to support it with software updates, new features and bug fixes for many years after its launch. Although the Garmin Fenix 6 launched in 2019, it's still getting plenty of love, and has just received its second beta update in six weeks.

The latest update, beta version 26.85, corrects five issues that have been troubling watch owners, including one where training load would sometimes be calculated incorrectly when the watch is paired with a Garmin HRM heart rate monitor, one where audio prompts play incorrectly during workouts, and two issues with automatic tracking during ski activities.

This update is currently available to members of Garmin's public beta testing program. It's simple to join and gives you early access to new features and fixes, but there's always the chance that beta software may contain bugs or not work quite as intended. After all, the whole purpose of beta testing is to pick up any flaws before the update rolls out to everyone. If you're thinking about joining, take a look at our list of reasons why you should and shouldn't install beta software on your watch, and how to join Garmin's beta testing program.

As Alex Alderson of Notebookcheck explains, beta version 26.85 isn't available to download wirelessly, so you'll need to download it from Garmin's official forums, then connect your watch to your computer via its USB cable and follow the instructions.

What else is new?

This brings the total number of updates since the last stable software release (version 26.00) to 19. Other features available to beta testers include the ability to back up and restore your system settings so you don't lose them if you need to perform a factory reset, and the ability to check for software updates via Bluetooth.

Beta testers have also received fixes for heaps of potentially irritating bugs, including one that could make the watch shut down if you viewed a map while fishing, and one where alarm tones wouldn't activate if the watch was set to max battery.

It's not yet clear when stable software version 27.00 will be released, bringing these updates to all users, but hopefully it won't be much longer.

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.