Your old Garmin watch is getting an important update

Woman checking sports watch
(Image credit: Getty)

Several older Garmin watches are getting a new software update that will let them track calories burned more accurately, and fix various bugs that have been vexing users for some time.

Beta version 25.76 is available now for the Garmin Fenix 6, Enduro, and the original Marq collection (including the Athlete, Adventurer, Golfer, Captain, and Aviator). As Notebookcheck reports, it includes an interesting set of updates, including a new obstacle course racing activity (great if you've signed up for a Tough Mudder event this year) and improved calorie burn algorithm for swimming activities.

Winter sports fans will be pleased to know that their watch can now differentiate between time spent in a ski lift and skiing downhill. Voice prompts played during activities have also been improved.

The new software fixes a bundle of bugs too, including one that could prevent watch faces downloaded through Garmin Connect IQ from displaying properly, one that could make your watch shut down unexpectedly during strength activities, and one that would restart your music playlist when you connected a pair of headphones. Full details are available on Garmin's forums.

How to get the update

Garmin recently changed the way pre-release software works, making it easier to get your hands on new features and updates before they're rolled out globally. Previously, if you wanted to test new software first, you had two choices. Either you could join the public beta testing program and receive new software updates automatically via the Garmin Connect app, or if you were feeling more adventurous, you could plug your watch into your computer using its USB cable and download alpha software manually.

Now, alpha updates have been renamed 'early beta', and if your watch has Wi-Fi connectivity, you can download them directly to your wrist without using your computer.

However, this is a gradual process, and right now some updates still need to be 'side-loaded' by plugging in your watch. Beta version 25.76 is one of those. To get it, visit the post on Garmin's forum and select the link to download the right file for your watch model. Once that's done, extract the compressed ZIP archive, and follow the instructions in the file ReadMe.txt.

If you're not sure whether to try pre-release software, take a look at our list of reasons why you should and shouldn't install beta software on your Garmin watch,

Cat Ellis

Cat is Homes Editor at TechRadar and former editor of Advnture. She's been a journalist for 15 years, and cut her teeth on magazines before moving online. She helps readers choose the right tech for their home, get the best deals, and do more with their new devices.