Garmin Fenix 6 – Issues after firmware 21 update

Garmin released firmware 21 for Fenix 6 on 10th May 2022. We consider the Fenix 6 firmware update 21 to be a major firmware release in more ways than one. It brings in lots of new features. At the same time, it seeks to improve the previous firmware of Fenix 6 i.e. firmware version 20.60. We are almost 3 weeks into the rollout. The rollout is now complete and it has been rolled out to all the eligible Fenix 6 devices. We look into the main issues being reported after the firmware update to version 21 on Garmin Fenix 6. All these issues have been fixed in the stable release of firmware version 21.80 for Fenix 6 watches.

Garmin Fenix 6 Firmware version 21.80

Battery Drain after updating the firmware to version 21 on Garmin Fenix 6

One of the biggest issues that have arisen after the firmware update to version 21 on Garmin Fenix 6 is the rapid battery drain. The battery would go down by almost 50% in a day. It does not matter if you have used the watch or performed an activity. The battery drain issue, however, seems to affect a small subset of users of Fenix 6. The issue could manifest on any Fenix 6 model.

The salient points about the battery drain issue after updating the firmware to version 21 on Fenix 6 are:

  • Battery drains faster, at the rate of almost 1% to 2% an hour. Prior to the firmware update, it would be between 0.25% to 0.5% battery drain. This has reduced the battery life on affected Fenix 6 devices by almost 50%.
  • The battery drain issue could manifest on any Fenix 6 model. This would include Fenix 6 Standard Editon, Fenix 6S, Fenix 6X Pro, Fenix 6S Sapphire, Fenix 6 Pro, Fenix 6 Pro Solar, and other Fenix 6 editions.
  • As of now, there is no fix for the battery drain issue. However, Garmin is collecting data on the battery drain issue. This is the first step toward working on any potential solution.
  • Fenix has also released an alpha version of 21.71. You can try to install the alpha firmware version 21.71 on the Fenix 6 devices. The alpha firmware 21.71 for Fenix 6 can be downloaded from this page on the Garmin website. Do make sure that you are downloading the alpha firmware file that corresponds to your device model. Also, do understand that alpha 21.71 is not a stable release or release candidate version of the firmware. You should be looking at the alpha firmware installation if and only if you are experiencing issues with Fenix 6.

One of the potential solutions could be a hard reset of the Garmin Fenix 6 watch. Once done, you need to pair the watch with your mobile phone using the Garmin Connect app. This will cause some inconvenience. But, most user data will be intact.

Fenix 6 not booting after the firmware update to version 21

Some folks have reported booting issues after deploying the firmware update version 21 on the Fenix 6 smartwatch. The watch does not seem to be able to load or boot. It seems to stall or hang during the boot sequence. And, if your watch gets stuck at the boot screen, there is nothing much you can do.

There could be multiple reasons behind a Fenix 6 watch not booting successfully. However, we are specifically talking about the boot issues subsequent to the firmware version 21 deployment on Garmin Fenix 6.

The boot issues have been fixed in the firmware alpha version 21.71. You will need to deploy the alpha version 21.71 manually. You will also need to be careful in downloading the firmware file that corresponds to your Garmin Fenix 6 watch model.

As an alternative approach, you could do a factory reset. Pair the watch with Garmin Connect again. And, you may attempt a fresh install of stable release version 21 using the Garmin Express application on your computer. Remember, you will need to install the firmware version 21 using the Garmin Express application.

You can download alpha version 21.71 for Fenix 6 from this page.

Unable to delete Strength workout after Fenix 6 firmware update to version 21

Some Fenix 6 owners have reported issues in deleting strength workouts from the watch after installing firmware version 21 on the device. The option to delete the strength workout does not exist on the watch anymore. You can view the details of the strength workout. You can even start the strength workout. The delete option is no longer available.

This issue affects all the Fenix 6 devices. This is a bug on Fenix 6 devices due to the latest firmware version 21 installation.

The strength workout problem has been resolved in the alpha version 21.71 for the Fenix 6 devices. You can download the alpha version 21.71 from the Garmin website. It will need to be deployed manually.

You can download alpha version 21.71 for Fenix 6 from this page.

Other issues after firmware version 21 on Fenix 6 watch

There have been some other issues that have been reported after the installation of firmware version 21 on the Fenix 6 smartwatch. We list these below for your ready reference.

  • Run/Walk/Idle total time do not equal Total Time displayed on watch/Garmin Connect
  • The metronome hotkey does not work in the Walk activity.
  • The listed elevation data would not properly update in the Jumpmaster activity.

All these issues are resolved as part of the alpha firmware version 21.71.

Summary

The firmware version 21 on Fenix 6 has caused some issues. These issues are being looked into. Some of these issues have already been fixed in the alpha version 21.71 of the Fenix 6 firmware. You may prefer to deploy the alpha version 21.71 manually. Or, you may wait until the beta release and stable release versions are made available for Fenix 6 by Garmin.

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