Garmin Watch Charging Problems: 6 Common Issues (Explained)

With various sport-specific watches, users are spoiled for choice. But, the Garmin brand has established itself as one of the best fitness-tracking wearables.

Unfortunately, there have been numerous reports from disgruntled users who have experienced charging issues with their Garmin watches.

In this article, we delve into the issues surrounding these charging problems and provide helpful solutions for resolving them.

There is a Loose or Improper Connection

One of the most common issues is a loose or improper connection between the charging cable and the watch.

Here’s why there is a loose connection:

  • Wear and Tear: Frequent use of the charging cable can lead to wear and tear, causing the connector ends to become loose over time.
  • Physical Damage: Accidental drops or mishandling of the charging cable or watch can cause physical damage to the connectors, resulting in a poor connection.
  • Obstructions:  Dust, debris, or even sweat residue can accumulate on the charging contacts of the watch or the cable, preventing a proper connection.
  • Inadequate Alignment:  Sometimes, the charging cable may not be properly aligned with the charging port on the watch, leading to an incomplete or intermittent connection.

Here are some user-friendly solutions to address the loose or improper connection problem between the charging cable and your Garmin watch.

Check the Connection: 

Ensure that the charging cable is securely connected to the watch. Gently push the connector into the charging port until you feel a firm connection.

Clean the Charging Contacts: 

Use a soft cloth or cotton swab slightly moistened with water or isopropyl alcohol to clean the charging contacts on both the watch and the cable. This will remove any dirt, debris, or sweat residue that may be hindering the connection.

Inspect for Damage:

Carefully examine the charging cable for any visible signs of damage, such as frayed wires or bent connectors. If you notice any issues, consider using a new or replacement cable.

Remove Obstructions:

Ensure that there are no obstructions on the charging contacts of the watch or the cable. Gently wipe away any dirt or debris using a soft cloth.

Align Properly: 

Pay attention to the alignment of the charging cable and the charging port on the watch. Ensure they are properly aligned before connecting them to ensure a secure and complete connection.

Please also check out our article about the Garmin watched calorie count

The Charging Contacts are Dirty

The charging contacts of your Garmin watch, as well as those on the charging cable, are responsible for transferring power from the charger to your device. 

When these contacts become dirty, the transfer of power can be disrupted, resulting in a slow or inefficient charging process.

Here’s how dirt gets into the charging contact:

  • Everyday activities can expose your Garmin watch to dirt and dust particles, which can settle on the charging contacts.
  • During workouts or intense physical activities, sweat can seep into the charging contacts, leading to corrosion and blockage.
  • Small particles such as lint, fibers, or tiny debris can find their way into the charging port and hinder the contact points.

The solution would be to carefully clean the charging contacts.

Below, we have a few tips on how to clean the charging contacts:

  1. Before cleaning the charging contacts, power off your Garmin watch and disconnect it from the charging cable or any power source to avoid any potential damage.
  2. Dampen a soft cloth or microfiber cloth with distilled water or isopropyl alcohol. Make sure it is only slightly moist, not dripping wet.
  3. Gently wipe the charging contacts on both your Garmin watch and the charging cable. Use smooth, circular motions while applying light pressure to remove any dirt or residue.
  4. If the accumulation is stubborn, dip a cotton swab or Q-tip into the water or alcohol and carefully clean the contacts. Avoid applying excessive force or pushing debris further into the contacts.

If there are hard-to-reach areas, you can use a toothpick or a soft brush to dislodge any debris gently. Be cautious not to scratch or damage the contacts.

Once cleaned, use a dry part of the cloth or a fresh cloth to wipe away any remaining moisture.

Allow the charging contacts to air dry completely before reconnecting your Garmin watch to the charging cable. Make sure there is no moisture left to avoid potential damage.

To prevent excessive accumulation, make it a habit to clean the charging contacts regularly. Aim for weekly or monthly cleaning, depending on your usage and exposure to dirt or sweat.

The Charging Cable is Faulty

If you’re experiencing issues with charging your Garmin watch, one possible culprit could be a faulty or damaged charging cable. 

Over time, charging cables can undergo wear and tear, leading to various issues that prevent them from functioning correctly.

Here’s why a Garmin charging cable might become defective:

  1. Repeated bending, twisting, or accidental tugs can cause the cable to fray, break, or develop loose connections. This damage can occur at any point along the cable’s length, including the connectors.
  2. The connectors on the charging cable may accumulate dust, dirt, or debris, hindering proper electrical contact with the device. Bent or misaligned pins within the connectors can also result in charging problems.
  3. In some cases, the cable may have had manufacturing issues, such as poor soldering or insufficient insulation, leading to early failure or intermittent charging problems.

Before exploring solutions, it’s essential to determine whether your Garmin charging cable is indeed defective.

I suggest that you look for the following signs:

  • Visible damage: Inspect the cable for any signs of wear, such as frayed or exposed wires, bent connectors, or loose connections.
  • Intermittent charging:If your device charges inconsistently or disconnects frequently during charging, it may indicate a problem with the cable.
  • No charging response: When connected to a power source, your Garmin device may not show any signs of charging or fail to turn on altogether, suggesting a cable issue.

Once you’ve identified a faulty charging cable, you can use the following solutions to resolve the problem:

  • Carefully inspect the entire length of the cable for any visible signs of damage. If you notice fraying, exposed wires, or other issues, it’s best to replace the cable.
  • If you have access to another compatible charging cable, charge your Garmin device using it. If the problem persists, it may indicate an issue with the device itself rather than the cable.

There is Insufficient Power Output from the Power Source

Insufficient power source issues can hinder the effective charging of your Garmin watch, leading to inconvenience and potential performance problems. 

Here’s why there is insufficient power output:

  • USB ports on some computers or low-power adapters may not provide sufficient output to charge your Garmin watch effectively. These ports are typically designed for data transfer and may not deliver the necessary power.
  • Non-standard or low-quality chargers may not deliver a consistent and adequate power output, leading to incomplete charging or even damage to your watch.
  • When charging multiple devices simultaneously, the power distribution might not be sufficient for each device, impacting the charging speed and effectiveness of your Garmin watch.

How can you solve this this?

Here are solutions to the issue:

Always prioritize using the original charger that came with your Garmin watch. The Garmin brand has established itself as one of the best fitness-tracking wearables. The original charger is specifically designed to provide the required power output, ensuring efficient charging and optimal performance.

If you don’t have access to the original charger or need an alternative charging option, invest in a high-quality USB wall adapter. 

Look for adapters that support fast charging and provide ample power output for your Garmin watch. Check the adapter’s specifications to ensure compatibility with your watch’s charging requirements.

To avoid power distribution issues when charging multiple devices, charge your Garmin watch individually.

There is a Battery Drain Issue

Your Garmin watch is a valuable fitness and tracking companion that relies on its battery to function properly. 

However, sometimes you may encounter situations where the battery is completely drained, preventing the watch from turning on or charging immediately.

Here’s why your Garmin battery drains too fast:

  • Extensive use of features such as GPS tracking, music playback, and frequent notifications can consume a significant amount of battery power, leading to faster drainage.
  • Occasionally, software glitches or background processes running on your watch may cause excessive battery drain.
  • Continuous connection with your smartphone, syncing data, or maintaining a constant Bluetooth connection can contribute to battery drain.
  • Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can affect the performance and lifespan of your Garmin watch’s battery.

Here’s how you can help your Garmin wearable recover from battery drain:

Connect your watch to a power source, such as a USB port on your computer or a wall adapter, using the provided charging cable. Make sure the connection is secure. After connecting your Garmin watch to a power source, allow it to charge for at least 15-30 minutes before attempting to turn it on.

Ensure that the charging cable is undamaged and properly plugged into the watch.

If your Garmin watch does not automatically power on after charging for a while, try restarting it. Press and hold the power button until the device restarts. This action may help kick-start the watch and initiate the charging process.

To avoid future battery drain issues, try this:

  • Adjust your watch’s settings to minimize battery usage. For example, reduce screen brightness, disable unnecessary notifications, and limit GPS usage when not required.
  • Develop a habit of charging your Garmin watch regularly, preferably overnight, to keep the battery level stable and prevent complete drains.
  • Avoid exposing your watch to extreme temperatures, as it can negatively impact battery performance. Additionally, store and charge your watch within the recommended temperature range specified by Garmin.

Are you having issues with your Garmin display? Head over to our article about common Garmin screen issues – with solutions. 

The Hardware Malfunctions

Like any electronic device, your Garmin watch can experience charging problems due to hardware malfunctions or defects. 

Here are possible hardware malfunctions with your Garmin watch:

  • Physical damage to the charging port can disrupt the connection between the watch and the charging cable. 
  • Accidental impacts or exposure to moisture can result in bent pins, debris accumulation, or corrosion, leading to charging difficulties.
  • Damage to the display or internal circuitry can interfere with the charging process.
  • Impact or water damage, for instance, may cause a short circuit or disrupt the flow of power, resulting in charging malfunctions.

The best solution to hardware malfunctions is to seek professional assistance by contacting Garmin’s customer support or taking the watch to an authorized service center.

Pros and Cons of the Charging Dynamics on Garmin Watches


Garmin watches have an extensive battery life span and can go as long as 14 hours on a single charge. This makes them perfectly suited for everyday way at the office and for workouts. 


Users can experience charging issues with their Garmin wearables when:

  • There is a loose or improper connection
  • Charging contacts are dirty
  • The charging cable is faulty
  • There is insufficient power output from the power source
  • There is a battery drain issue
  • The hardware malfunctions


What To Do When Your Garmin Has Trouble Charging

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