Pairing Problems With Garmin Watches: 5 Common Issues (Explained)

Garmin watches are popular fitness and smartwatches that offer a range of features for tracking activities and providing wearers with real-time data. 

While they are generally reliable devices, there can be some common pairing problems between devices that wearers may encounter. 

This article looks at 6 common pairing issues with Garmin watches and their solutions.

Pairing Code Mismatch

Pairing Code Mismatch is a common issue that some wearers have experienced when connecting their Garmin watch with their smartphone. 

During the pairing process, you may be prompted to enter a pairing code or verify a code displayed on both the watch and the smartphone.

However, there are times when a mismatch occurs, indicating that the code entered on one device doesn’t correspond with the code displayed on the other device.

It is a good idea to double-check that you accurately enter the pairing code on the Garmin watch and the smartphone.

It’s pretty easy to tap the wrong number on your device’s screen accidentally, so paying close attention to the code you input can make a significant difference. 

Moreover, ensure that the codes displayed on both devices are identical. 

Another aspect to consider is the possibility of the codes timing out or expiring. In some cases, the pairing process must be completed within a specific timeframe. 

If you take too long to enter the code on either device, it may expire, causing a mismatch between the two. 

If this happens, simply restart the pairing process and be mindful of the time limit provided.

Please also read our article about problematic Garmin watches restarting or resetting.

Bluetooth Connection Failure

One of the most frequently encountered problems when trying to pair a Garmin watch with a smartphone or any other device is the failure to establish a Bluetooth connection. 

This is a frustrating issue as one of the reasons Garmin watches are so enticing is their wireless or Bluetooth features. 

Bluetooth connection failure could be caused by:

  • Incompatible Bluetooth versions
  • Software glitches
  • Interference caused by other nearby devices

To overcome this and successfully establish the Bluetoon connection, there are several steps you can take.

Firstly, attempt to resolve the problem by restarting both your Garmin watch and the device you’re attempting to pair it with. This simple action can often help reset any temporary issues that might be hindering the Bluetooth connection.

You can also try to reestablish a connection by unpairing and repairing the connection with the steps below:

To unpair and repair the Bluetooth connection between your Garmin watch and another device:

  1. Access the settings menu on your Garmin watch by pressing the menu button or swiping down on the watch face.
  2. Look for the ‘Bluetooth’ or ‘Connectivity’ option and select it.
  3. Access ‘Settings’ on the paired device experiencing connection issues.
  4. Find the option to unpair or forget the device and confirm your choice.
  5. On the device you want to pair with, go to its Bluetooth settings.
  6. Select the Garmin watch from the available devices to initiate the pairing process.
  7. Follow the on-screen prompts on both devices and accept any necessary permissions.
  8. Once the pairing is complete, test the Bluetooth connection for proper functionality.

Please also check out our article about common Fitbit Bluetooth problems.

It is also vital to verify that both the Garmin watch and the intended paired device are operating on the most up-to-date firmware or software versions.

Keeping these devices updated ensures compatibility and often resolves potential pairing issues. 

In addition to updating firmware or software, restarting both the Garmin watch and the device you wish to pair it with can solve your issue.

Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve temporary glitches or conflicts that impede successful pairing. 

By powering OFF, and then ON on both devices, you initiate a fresh connection attempt, which might overcome any previous obstacles.

Another approach worth considering is clearing the Bluetooth cache on your smartphone. Over time, the Bluetooth cache can accumulate outdated or conflicting data, leading to pairing problems. 

Clearing this cache refreshes the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone, potentially eliminating any underlying issues. 

Clearing Bluetooth Cache on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Scroll down and select ‘Apps’ or ‘Applications’ (the name may vary depending on your device).
  3. Look for the app called ‘Bluetooth’ or ‘Bluetooth Share’ and tap on it.
  4. On the App Info screen, tap on ‘Storage’ or ‘Storage & cache’
  5. You should see an option to ‘Clear cache’
  6. Tap on it to clear the Bluetooth cache on your Android device.
  7. Once the cache is cleared, restart your Android device.

Clearing Bluetooth Cache on iOS:

Please note that iOS does not provide a direct option to clear the Bluetooth cache.

However, you can try the following steps to potentially resolve any Bluetooth pairing issues:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on ‘Bluetooth’ from the list of settings.
  3. Locate the paired Garmin device in the list of connected devices and tap on the ‘i’ icon next to it.
  4. On the device information screen, select the option to ‘Forget This Device’ or ‘Unpair’
  5. Confirm your selection when prompted.
  6. Restart your iOS device.

Inconsistent Syncing

One frequently encountered problem reported by Garmin watch owners is inconsistent syncing.

This refers to the situation when the watch is successfully paired with a device or app but fails to sync data reliably. 

This issue often leads to missing or delayed activity data, notifications, and other important information.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to address this problem and ensure a smooth syncing experience.

Firstly, it is important to check whether the Garmin Connect app or the connected app on your smartphone is up to date. 

Outdated versions of these apps can introduce compatibility issues that interrupt data syncing. Updating the app to its latest version can resolve many glitches and improve the syncing process.

Here’s how to upgrade the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone:

  1. Open the app store on your smartphone. For iOS devices, it’s the App Store, and for Android devices, it’s the Google Play Store.
  2. Search for ‘Garmin Connect’ or the name of the specific connected app you are using in the search bar of the app store.
  3. Then, tap on the app to open its store page.
  4. If there is an available update for the app, you will see an ‘Update’ button. Tap on this button to initiate the update process.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the update. This may take a few moments, depending on your internet connection speed.
  6. Once the update is complete, you will receive a notification or see a confirmation message indicating that the app has been successfully updated.
  7. Open the updated app and check if the syncing issue with your Garmin watch has been resolved.

Struggling to Pair with Multiple Devices

One of the attractive features of Garmin watches is their ability to pair with multiple devices. 

This functionality, while convenient, can occasionally present challenges, particularly when you attempt to pair the watch with a new device while it is already connected to another.

To ensure a smooth pairing process with multiple devices, it is necessary to verify that your Garmin watch is not actively linked to any other device. 

If the watch is currently connected to another device, it may stop the pairing process with the new one. In such cases, it is recommended to disconnect the watch from the current device before initiating the pairing process with the new device. 

Once the watch is disconnected, you can pair it with the desired device, allowing you to enjoy the full functionality and features offered by your Garmin watch on the new device.

Please also read my article about the wide array of devices and apps that Garmin watches are compatible with.

Device Not Found

Some Garmin watch wearers have noted that their watch fails to detect nearby devices during the pairing process. 

There are instances where the Bluetooth connection fails, leading to the “Device Not Found” error.

One possible culprit for this problem lies in the Bluetooth visibility settings. 

  • Both the Garmin watch and the smartphone must have their Bluetooth visibility turned ON for successful device discovery. 
  • If either device has its visibility disabled, the pairing process may encounter difficulties in recognizing and establishing a connection with each other.
  • Additionally, users can try restarting both the watch and the smartphone to refresh their Bluetooth connections.

Another factor that can contribute to the “Device Not Found” error is a potential issue with the Bluetooth chip.

  • In some cases, the Bluetooth chip within either the Garmin watch or the smartphone may experience technical glitches or hardware malfunctions, preventing the proper detection of nearby devices.
  • In such cases, contacting Garmin support or seeking assistance from a qualified technician can be beneficial. 
  • They can help diagnose the underlying issue and provide the necessary guidance or repairs to resolve the “Device Not Found” error.

Pros and Cons of Pairing with a Garmin Watch


  • One of the significant benefits of pairing with a Garmin watch is its ability to connect and synchronize with multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Pairing allows seamless transfer of data between your Garmin watch and connected devices.
  • Pairing with other devices expands the functionality of your Garmin watch.
  • Pairing your Garmin watch with a device ensures easy access to firmware updates.


Users may experience pairing problems on their Garmin watch, such as:

  • Pairing Code Mismatch
  • Bluetooth Connection Failure
  • Failed Pairing Attempts
  • Inconsistent Syncing
  • Pairing with Multiple Devices
  • Device Not Found


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