Garmin: Connection Issues

Garmin: Connections

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (VS HR+) is the perfect fitness watch because it measures GPS, Heart Rate, steps, Intensity Minutes, floors, and pace. The purpose of this post is to explain workarounds for things that the Vivosmart HR+ does less than perfectly.

Watches That Don’t Connect

Let’s connect your watch to Garmin Connect.

(1) Make your cell phone as accessible as possible. Click on settings. Go down the list of options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data  Usage, More, etc) and push every slider to off. Now go back to the top of the list and push every slider to on. Regardless of whether you prefer the cheap Airplane mode (like I do) or not, make all your connections for the moment on cell tower with a data plan.

(2) With your phone open, go to apps and make sure that Garmin has permission to consume some of your costly data plan. Once we pair, you can reset this to something cheaper if you want. For the moment, click on Connect to confirm it is running (ie, you DO see “force stop”, “disable”, and “uninstall”.  Click on the  “clear data” and  “clear cache” to be sure you have a clean phone.

(3) Open your cell phone and pair it with anything in your house, but start with your printer. Now print something from your phone. Was your telephone able to pair?

(4) Clear all your storage space. Plug your watch into your computer’s USB port. Open the file manager and go to your watch. Find the folder with “fit” data (ie. or some such file name) and delete your Garmin history. That is, make sure you have available storage capacity. It isn’t a bad idea to do this step every few weeks anyway just to make sure your Garmin doesn’t stop recording due to no space.

(5) OK, we know your phone can pair. Now pair your VS HR. I forget the sequence, but it is either to initiate on your phone and accept the pairing on your watch, or initiate on your watch and accept the pairing on your phone.

(6) Walk 50 steps. Go to Garmin Connect and touch the sync circle. Did you just get credit for 50 steps?

(7) if no, plug your watch into the USB port. It should upload your 50 steps. You may have to repeat here. For best visibility into your problem, go to the 3 bars at the top left of Connect. Press. Select Garmin Devices. Your watch is there, right? If not, return to Step 1. If yes, determine that in small letters under the “vivosmart HR” you see the word “Connected”. If not, return to  Step 1 and do everything except pair (ie, you are paired already). Touch the “Sync Now” arrow. You should see a green bar that displays your progress. DO NOT INTERRUPT. By progress, I mean your watch bar may move at a glacial pace as it updates or syncs or whatever (words below the bar will tell you what it is doing). Again, don’t interrupt. If the sync fails (it might), just press again as necessary. Again, don’t interrupt. Keep doing this until the sync is successful.

Remember that the VS HR/HR+ is fantastic, as it tells you steps, floors, miles, Intensity Minutes, bpm, elapsed time, pace, etc. Indoors on the treadmill, I set my cell phone to display steps, floors, time of day, Intensity Minutes. I set my watch to display both HR and distance. Outdoors, I set the GPS application so that I get true mileage. I love the  VS HR+.