Garmin Fenix 6 users who wish to update to the latest firmware should be aware that Garmin has published the firmware version 20 for the Fenix 6 devices in November 2021. You can read more about the latest version of firmware version 20 for Fenix 6 devices on this page.
Firmware Update as of 23.10.2021 – Garmin has released another beta channel update last week. The latest beta firmware for the Garmin Fenix 6 series watch is 19.75. If you wish to download the Fenix 6 firmware version 19.75, please download it from the manually published links below. Or, else, you may wait for the firmware to be pushed live to your Fenix 6 smart watch.
On 13th October 2021, Garmin released a new firmware for the Fenix 6 series watches, firmware version 19.74. The firmware is in beta stage right now, and seeks to build upon the improvements and features that were added and improved upon in the previous firmware version 19.20. Fenix 6 firmware update 19.20 was released by Garmin in the month of September, 2021. Post the firmware 19.20, there were some peculiar issues that were being faced by some Fenix 6 users. These issues were mostly around flaws in activity tracking and recording. The bugs also affected accuracy of recording swimming activity.
The firmware 19.74 is in beta stage as of now. As and when it is installed across a considerable number of Fenix 6 devices, it should take the form of a finalized and full firmware. You may choose to update to the firmware 19.74 if you are experiencing issues from the previous firmware update version 19.20. Or else, you could prefer to wait for the new beta firmware 19.74 to be installed across sizeable number of Fenix 6 devices to hear and understand the feedback of the latest firmware.
Firmware 19.20 was released on 17th September. Within a month, we are getting another firmware update from Garmin. Garmin tried to address the bugs of firmware 19.20 in the beta version 19.21. It did bring in positive response in terms of remedying the activity tracking data bugs. However, it appears that the latest firmware (beta) 19.74 should seek to finalize and resolve intermittent bugs that affected quite a few committed users of Fenix 6 devices.
One of the biggest gains out of the firmware version 19.74 for the Garmin Fenix 6 devices has to be the granular level activity tracking that has been added for multiple sport and fitness activities.
Once you update the Garmin Fenix 6 firmware to 19.74, you will notice the essential versions of supporting technologies remain unchanged from the beta firmware 19.21.
Sensor Hub: 11.01
ANT/BLE/BT (Pro models): 6.11 (BlueTooth Stack)
ANT/BLE (non-Pro models): 3.00 (BlueTooth Stack)
Wi-Fi (Pro models only): 2.60
You may choose to be an early adopter of the Fenix 6 firmware (beta) 19.74 and help improve activity tracking to a granular level. You may download Fenix 6 firmware 19.74 firmware from the Garmin website. Details of the links for downloading Garmin Fenix 6 firmware 19.74 on Fenix 6 smart watches are published below.
For now, though, if you are not facing any issues with your Garmin Fenix 6 post the firmware update to 19.20, you may hold off the latest update of firmware version 19.74. Let the main release 19.20 be the stable version for now, unless you have major issues with data reported during activity and running sessions. If you wish to build upon the granular level activity tracking of the firmware 19.74, please feel free to download the update manually and publish on your Fenix 6 watch. In effect, I prefer to wait for Garmin to push the firmware update files to the Fenix 6 Pro smart watch.
The beta firmware for Garmin Fenix 6 version 19.21 is not yet available for the APAC region. So, Garmin fenix 6 users from Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia need to put off the download of Garmin Fenix 6 firmware 19.21 for now, until Garmin confirms the availability of firmware for the APAC region.
Where can I download firmware 19.74 for Fenix 6 series watches?
Garmin has published the 19.74 firmware files on its servers, so that Fenix 6 users can download the firmware directly from the Garmin servers. (please please do not download firmware files fom 3rd party website for cause of malicious files and potential risks) The firmware is not compatible with Fenix 6 devices in the APAC regions. So, users from Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and other Asian countries must not download these firmware files on their Fenix 6 devices.
Please ensure that you are downloading the correct beta software for your specific device. The software or firmware will continue to be called beta until all fenix 6 devices have received the 19.74 firmware update or when a decent number of Fenix 6 devices carry the 19.74 firmware files.
Garmin Fenix 6 firmware 19.74 can be downloaded from the following Garmin website links:
- Fenix 6s: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15166
- Fenix 6s Pro/Fenix 6X Pro Solar: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15164
- Fenix 6: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15162
- Fenix 6 Pro: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15160
- Fenix 6x Pro: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15168
Please do take care of downloading these files on your device. If you have a Fenix 6, download the firmware files corresponding to Fenix 6 device. On a similar note, if you have a Fenix 6X Pro, download the files from the Garmin link that corresponds to Fenix 6X Pro. Do not mix and match the firmware files that are meant for different Fenix 6 series watch. (These files are not meant for the Fenix 6 devices in the APAC region)
This Fenix 6 firmware update to 19.74 will keep your GPS version the same at version 5.30 There has been no change in the GPS version between firmware version 19.20 and 19.74.
We also suggest that you limit yourself to downloading firmware files from the Garmin website. Downloading firmware files from 3rd party sites could lead to unforeseen issues. Possibly, malicious payloads could be added to the firmware files being downloaded from the 3rd party websites.
As of writing this, Garmin has published the 19.74 firmware update files for a manual upgrade path of Fenix 6 devices. It has not started pushing the firmware files to the eligible Fenix 6 devices. You may choose to upgrade manually or you may choose to wait for Garmin to push the files automatically to your watch. If you are unwilling to wait, please use the download links given above to download firmware directly from the Garmin servers.
Once you have completed the upgrade of the operating system on your Fenix 6 device to 19.74, you should see the following features or characteristics on your Fenix 6 series watch:
Sensor Hub: 11.01
ANT/BLE/BT (Pro models): 6.11 (BlueTooth Stack)
ANT/BLE (non-Pro models): 3.00 (BlueTooth Stack)
Wi-Fi (Pro models only): 2.60
You could notice that the essential features on the Fenix 6 watches remain unchanged between an upgrade from firmware 19.20 to firmware 19.74.
What has changed in Fenix 19.74 firmware update for Fenix 6 series watches?
The Fenix 6 firmware 19.74 has added extensive activity routines through the update. Granular level activity modes have been added for a more refined data collection for diverse set of sporting activities including the tennis mode. Additional alerts have been added to improve communication between the wearer and the Fenix 6 series watches.
More activities with specific fitness goals, routines and regime have been added with clear focus on multi-disciplinary sports and yoga activities.
These new activities added through the firmware 19.74 on the Fenix 6 devices are listed below for a ready reference::
- Added ability to turn off recording an activity during a golf activity.
- Added an alert to notify user when battery is critically low during a music sync.
- Added HRV Support from chest strap for Yoga and breathwork.
- Added pop-up to Pulse Ox Measuring feature if the device detects too much movement and cannot get an accurate measurement.
- Added support for new biking activity profiles: eBike, eMTB, Cyclocross, Gravel Bike, Bike Commute, Bike Tour, and Road Bike.
- Added support for the HIIT activity profile and workouts.
- Added support for the snowshoe activity profile.
- Added support for the tennis activity profile.
Aside from fine-tuning activity tracking, Garmin has also addressed fixes for issues and bugs that were reported by the Garmin Fenix 6 users post the firmware 19.20 update in September 2021.
These bug fixes and product feature fixes that are a part of the firmware 19.74 for the Fenix 6 smart watches are listed below for a ready reference:
- Updated the altimeter’s auto calibration to be either “On” or “Nightly”. Setting to “On” will set the device to periodically calibrate altitude throughout the day. Setting to “Nightly” will set the device to calibrate altitude at night and before the start of an activity.
- Improved Explore Sync app waypoint load times.
- Improved Lactate Threshold and Altitude Acclimation algorithms.
- Improved measurement loading UI when taking an SpO2 measurement.
- Fixed display issues on the device after navigating to a point initiated by the Garmin Explore App.
- Fixed issue where selecting a single point on a map that contained multiple items would not display the items properly.
- Fixed issue that would corrupt open water swim activity files.
- Fixed issue where PacePro bands would not be recognized by the device.
- Fixed issue with activities reporting incorrect Activity Calories and Training Effect data.
- Connect IQ improvements and bug fixes.
How do I update firmware on Fenix 6 series smart watches?
Firmware updates on the Fenix 6 series smart watches can be done through the smart watch. Or, you could also download the firmware update on your computer and let Garmin Express app on the computer to handle the update on the connected Fenix 6 watch. We will review both ways to update the firmware on a Fenix 6 watch.
Before updating the firmware on a Fenix 6 smart watch, we need to ensure that automatic updates are turned on your device. This is the default setting on Fenix 6 series watches. To check if automatic updates are enabled for the smart watch, please see the instructions below:
- Hold Menu on the smart watch of Fenix 6 series.
- Choose System
- You will see an option – Software updates. Toggle the on/off option to enable or disable automatic updates.
We need to make sure that software updates are set for automatic updates.
How to check firmware on Fenix 6 series watch?
As a standard practice, it is a wise thing to note the current firmware version on the Fenix 6 series watch. This should be done before each attempted update.
To know the current firmware version on a Fenix 6 watch, please follow the instructions below:
- Hold Menu
- Choose System
- Choose About
In the About section, you will see the current firmware version installed on the Garmin Fenix 6 series watch. These instructions are applicable to Fenix 6, Fenix 6S, Fenix 6X, Fenix 6X Pro and Fenix 6X Pro Solar watches.
Update firmware on Fenix 6 from the watch itself
- Before performing a firmware update, please do make sure that your Fenix 6 series watch has adequate charging. We do not want a situation of the watch shutting off during the middle of the update. Generally the firmware updates are pretty fast and contain a small file of less than 100 Mb size. These firmware updates can sometimes be interchangeably called as system updates.
- On a similar note, your mobile phone must have adequate charge. It should also have a good Wi-Fi connection or cellular connection to the Internet. The firmware update file is sent from Garmin servers to the mobile phone.
- Garmin connect app on the mobile phone will also be needed for the smooth update of the firmware on Fenix 6 series watch. We need to make sure that the Garmin connect app on the phone works without any errors before initiating the update on the smart watch.
- Setup the mobile phone hosting Garmin connect app and pair it with the Garmin Fenix 6 series watch. A good quality pairing is desired for the smooth transition to the latest firmware update.
- Launch the Garmin connect app, and check the Garmin icon to see if there is a firmware update that is available for your Fenix 6 series watch. If the Garmin connect app finds a firmware on the Garmin server, it will pull the file or the server will push the firmware file on to the mobile phone.
- Now, we need to sync the smart watch with the Garmin connect app. Through the mobile phone, the file will be pushed to the device i.e. the Fenix 6 series watch’s device storage. So, we are effectively using the Internet connection to download the firmware from Garmin to the phone. From thereon, the phone sends the firmware on to the device, for an eventual installation on the Fenix 6 series watch.
In the entire update cycle of Fenix 6 series watches to the latest firmware update, we use an automated approach through the Garmin connect app on the mobile phone to handle the update.
Update Fenix 6 series watch from Garmin Express
The firmware or system update for a Fenix 6 series watch can also be installed using the Garmin Express app on your computer. Most people prefer using the Garmin Express app to perform firmware updates. Map and Golf course updates can only happen through the Garmin express app on the computer. This is because map and golf course update files are massive in size and cannot be transferred seamlessly using a BLE paired connection.
To perform a firmware update on the Fenix 6 series watch, we will use the instructions below:
- Install the Garmin express app on your computer.
- Use a USB cable and connect your device to the computer.
- Using Garmin express, connect to the Garmin website and download the firmware update on your computer. In effect, if the firmware update is available, Garmin express will pull the firmware files on your computer.
- From the computer, Garmin express will send the firmware update files to the device. This will complete the update cycle on the Fenix 6 series watch using Garmin express app on the computer.
Firmware beta 19.74 on the Fenix 6 series watches becomes the latest firmware (in beta version as of writing this) as of October 2021. You can manually update the watch or let Garmin push the files to your Fenix 6 series watch automatically. Desist downloading update files from 3rd party websites. If you wish to be an early adopter, you will need to manually download the firmware 19.74 files from the Garmin website and push it on your Fenix 6 device.
If you are not experiencing issues with the Fenix 6 post firmware update of 19.20, you may prefer to wait for the new beta firmware 19.74 to stabilize. Let a decent number of users install the 19.74 firmware beta on the Fenix 6 devices. Wait for the feedback and then take a call on updating the firmware on the Fenix 6 device to firmware 19.74.
You may also like to read the related content for Fenix 6 smart watches of Garmin:
- Fenix 6 firmware update – 19.21; released 17th September
- Garmin Fenix 6 Firmware Update 19.20 – Issues
- Fenix 6 Firmware 19.20 updated 09.02.2021
- Fenix 6 firmware updates to 19.10; now 19.20
- Does Fenix 6 have body battery?
- Does Fenix 6 have fall detection?
- Fenix 6 vs Apple Watch 6
- Garmin Fenix Watch 6 Vs Apple Watch 7
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.