Garmin Forerunner 255 – Latest Firmware

Garmin released the latest firmware version 17.26 for the Forerunner 255 series smartwatches on 28 November 2023. The latest firmware version 17.26 replaces or supersedes Forerunner 255 firmware version 17.24. Firmware 17.26 is the stable release version for the Forerunner 255.

  • Forerunner 255 firmware version 17.26 has been rolled out automatically in a phased manner.
  • The latest firmware addresses an issue with a crash loop on Forerunner 255.
  • In more ways than one, the firmware version 17.24 was a major release as it contained quite a few bug fixes and product improvements.
  • Many Forerunner 255 users had reported experiencing black or non-responsive screens after updating the firmware to firmware version 17.24. This black screen issue on Forerunner 255, seemingly, has been fixed in the firmware version 17.26.

The latest firmware version 17.26 for the Forerunner 255 series smartwatches includes the firmware for the following smartwatches:

  • Forerunner 255
  • Forerunner 255S
  • Forerunner 255 Music
  • Forerunner 255S Music

The firmware version 17.26 is the same for the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 255S smartwatches. Both watches use the same underlying firmware for all functionality.

The difference between the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 255S is in terms of size and size-related physical specifications.

The following change has been incorporated in the firmware version 17.26 for the Garmin Forerunner 255:

  • Fixed a rare potential crash-loop on watchface showing empty smart notification titles.

As mentioned above, the firmware version 17.24 continues to be a major release as it fixed many bugs and implemented product improvements mentioned below:

  • Adds the Nap glance.
  • Adds new functionality to body battery.
  • Adds inline skating.
  • Adds large font mode.
  • Adds stress alerts, rest alerts, and a daily summary to the Body Battery settings.
  • Adds new activities for team sports, racket sports, and more.
  • Adds the Red Shift control, which changes the display color to red, green, or orange to preserve night vision in low light.
  • Adds up ahead voice prompts.
  • Shows images in phone notifications (Android only).
  • Improves course navigation for courses with a large number of course points.
  • Improves course navigation for turn notifications.
  • Adds a setting to add a location for weather data.
  • Various bug fixes and UI improvements.

The latest firmware version 17.26 for Garmin Forerunner 255 can be installed on the device automatically. You have options to install the firmware through the Garmin Express application or the Garmin Connect app.

We prefer the Garmin Express application to update the firmware 17.26 on the Forerunner 255 device. The process is simple and brisk.

The Garmin Connect app uses the smartphone’s Wi-Fi connectivity to download the update and apply on the watch. The update gets pushed out to the smartwatch using the Bluetooth pairing between the smartwatch and the smartphone.

Both options to update the firmware on Forerunner 255 are discussed below:

Garmin Express is Garmin’s application for the PC platform. You need to install it on your Windows PC or Mac computer. Post-installation of the Garmin Express application, the application pulls the updates from the Garmin website. It will push the update out to the smartphone configured in the Garmin Express application.

  • Garmin Express is a proprietary application that can be installed on any computer. It is available for Windows and macOS computers.
  • Garmin Express for Windows or macOS computers can be downloaded from this page on the Garmin website.
  • Once you have downloaded Garmin Express, you can install it on the computer by executing the file.
  • Validate if Garmin Express is working cleanly. You will need to add your device (Forerunner 255) to the Garmin Express application.
  • Garmin Express helps in pulling firmware updates, map updates, Golf course updates and uploading your activities to the Garmin Connect app.
  • Once you have linked your Forerunner 255 to the Garmin Express application, open the Garmin Express application.
  • Connect your Forerunner 255 to the computer using a USB cable. The USB cable was shipped alongside the smartwatch when you first bought it.
  • Allow Garmin Express to validate the current firmware version on Forerunner 255. Allow it to pull the latest firmware version 17.26 from the Garmin website.
  • Once the software has been downloaded on the Garmin Express application, it gets pushed out to the connected Garmin Forerunner 255 device.
  • This will initiate the firmware installation on your Forerunner 255 smartwatch.
  • Please allow some time for the firmware to be installed automatically on your Forerunner 255 device.
  • You can verify if the latest firmware has been installed on the Forerunner 255 device by going to Settings —-> System and finding the firmware in the About Device section.
Garmin Forerunner 255 in Slate Grey

The Garmin Connect app is Garmin’s app. It provides an interface between Garmin servers and the paired smartwatch. All downloads automatically get downloaded onto your smartphone.

The Garmin Connect app is available for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.

  • Garmin Connect is an app that can be installed on the smartphone paired with the Forerunner 255 device.
  • Garmin Connect for Android phones can be downloaded from the Google Play Store page for Garmin Connect.
  • Garmin Connect for iOS devices can be downloaded from the Apple app store page for Garmin Connect.
  • Install Garmin Connect app on the smartphone paired with Forerunner 255. Once the app is installed, link or connect the Forerunner 255 with the Garmin Connect account.
  • Do ensure that the Bluetooth connection between the Garmin Connect app and Forerunner 255 is good. Also, do ensure that you have adequate battery charge on the Forerunner 255 and paired smartphone for the firmware update process to complete flawlessly.
  • Garmin Connect validates the current firmware version on your Forerunner 255 device. If a software update is available through the Garmin servers, Garmin Connect will download the firmware files from the Garmin servers automatically.
  • After the software has been downloaded on the phone through Garmin Connect app, it gets pushed out to the Forerunner 255 device over a Bluetooth connection.
  • Once the firmware has been installed on the Forerunner 255, you can verify the current version of software or firmware by going to the Settings —-> System and About Device section on the watch. It would tell you the version of firmware installed on the Forerunner 255 smartwatch.

There is a chance that your Forerunner 255 battery may drain faster after updating firmware on the smartwatch. This seems to be a known issue.

It can easily resolved by performing a soft reset. To resolve battery drain issues on the Forerunner 255, you may follow the process below:

  • Perform a soft-reset of the Forerunner 255 smartwatch. In other words, reboot or restart the Forerunner 255 smartwatch. Most battery drain issues arising out of firmware updates of the Forerunner 255 get resolved with a soft reset of the smartwatch.
  • If the soft reset of the smartwatch does not resolve the battery drain issue on the Forerunner 255, you will need to perform a hard reset or factory reset. Before proceeding with a hard or factory reset, you must back up the smartwatch settings and user data. All user data and settings are lost after a factory reset. We suggest backing up the watch data using the Garmin Connect app to prevent data loss. Once the hard reset is complete, you can sync your smartwatch with the Garmin Connect app to restore data from the backup.
  • If the hard reset also fails to resolve the battery drain issue, we suggest contacting Garmin customer support for further help.

The manual download of firmware 17.26 for Forerunner 255 is not possible. The update can be installed using the Garmin Express or the Garmin Connect applications only.

A manual download of the beta firmware version is possible. For this, you will need to participate in the beta program for the Forerunner 255 smartwatch.

A factory reset of the smartwatch will also not make much of a difference in terms of firmware updates. The moment Forerunner 255 synchronizes with the Garmin Connect app, the firmware will automatically update to the latest version.

You cannot rollback the firmware once it has been automatically updated to the latest firmware version 17.26. If you are running into issues post-installtion of the firmware version 17.26 on Forerunner 255, your best option is to contact Garmin support.

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Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].