Your old Garmin watch is getting a new lease of life with a free software update

Man wearing Garmin FEnix 6 watch with orange strap
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has rolled out a new beta software update for several of its older watches that makes some important fixes. Watches in the Fenix 6 and Marq lines are both receiving updates that solve a bug that can cause the watches to shut down unexpectedly.

Software version 24.85 also includes a more minor fix that resolves a problem where the watch sometimes wouldn't prompt you to calibrate the altimeter.

The update is currently only available to members of Garmin's beta testing program, but will hopefully roll out to all watch owners very soon. If you want to try it now, check out our guide to joining the beta program, plus our list of the pros and cons of testing beta software.

If you do decide to join the program, your watch should receive the new software update automatically when you sync it with Garmin connect on your phone.

Acting on Instinct

As Notebookcheck reports, there's also a new beta update for the Garmin Instinct 2 series, which fixes the same altimeter bug, and adds a reminder to choose an activity profile when you launch a workout from the calendar glance widget, which shows what's coming up throughout your day.

Beta software version 11.14 also makes some important updates to the Race Day widget, which helps you prepare for events. The update resolves a problem where the widget sometimes showed the wrong temperature (which could have been a problem if you were using it to plan what to wear), plus a bug that sometimes caused the watch to crash,

For a full list of all the tweaks and updates, take a look at the complete release notes on Garmin's forums.

Person rock climbing wearing Garmin Instinct 2 Solar watch

The new beta software update for the Garmin Instinct 2 series fixes a bug that sometimes caused the watch to crash (Image credit: Garmin)

If you're looking for a cheap GPS watch, Garmin's older devices are well worth considering. Not only are they built to last, the company also supports them with software updates for many years after launch. The Fenix 6, for example, launched back in 2019 and is still getting fixes to this day.

For the best offers on Garmin watches, sat-navs, and other sports tech, including older devices, take a look at our guide to today's best Garmin deals.

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.