How to rollback software update on Garmin Fenix 6?

Software updates for Fenix 6 are intended to improve user experience and resolve bugs. However, in some cases, the firmware update or software update may lead to unforeseen impacts on your Fenix 6 device. We have seen in the past few months that some Fenix 6 device owners have been impacted with many issues such as boot loops, missing records of workouts and even failed firmware updates.

In such cases, what should be the best course of action? We believe that every Fenix 6 device owner must be able to resolve firmware related issues without waiting for the next firmware update or software update. Garmin has a solid reputation in terms of frequency of releasing software updates and firmware update. To give you a perspective, Garmin releases a firmware update or software update for Fenix 6 devices every 4-8 weeks (generally speaking). When you compare this sort of regularity in firmware update or software updates against Fitbit, you will realize that Garmin does a stellar job in updating software at regular intervals.

Lately, however, firmware updates or software updates are applied to Garmin Fenix 6 automatically through Garmin Express or Garmin Connect. Both these applications do not provide an option to rollback the software update or firmware update.

So, how do you rollback the firmware update or software update on Fenix 6 device to an older working version of firmware or software? We look at one of the ways in which you can rollback the firmware or software on Garmin Fenix 6. However, before trying to rollback the firmware on Fenix 6, you may actually follow the steps to resolve firmware issues after firmware update. These measures are listed below for ready reference.

Resolve firmware update issues on Garmin Fenix 6

Before attempting to rollback the firmware or software on Garmin Fenix 6, it is advised that the Fenix 6 device owners must perform the following steps to try and sort out issues arising on the device after a firmware update:

  • Power off and then Power on the Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatch.
  • If powering off and on of Fenix 6 device does not resolve the problem, try to hard reset the Fenix 6 watch.
  • You can hard reset your watch by holding down the watch top left button until your watch shuts off.
  • If hard resetting the Fenix 6 watch does not help, you can factory reset your Garmin Fenix 6 watch.
  • Before doing a factory reset on your Garmin Fenix 6, synchronize the device with Garmin Connect app to upload all activity data of your Fenix 6 to the smartphone based app.

If hard reset or factory reset of the Fenix 6 device does not resolve the issue, please follow the approach to rollback the firmware update manually.

Proceed with caution though, because you are performing the rollback manually. Manual rollback is not officially supported by Garmin. You may prefer to wait for the next stable release firmware or software update to be released by Garmin. Alternatively, you may contact Garmin with the issue description and seek support from Garmin. The support team is proactive and does a decent job in addressing issues.

Also, the rollback method suggested below requires one action on your part before you perform firmware update to the latest versions:

  • you need to take backup of working firmware on your computer before updating firmware to the latest version

How to rollback software update or firmware update on Garmin Fenix 6?

The rollback method advertised below is a manual process. Please perform this after you do understand that:

  • manual rollback of firmware is just like factory reset of your Garmin Fenix 6.
  • you will lose user settings after rollback of the firmware
  • do understand that this firmware rollback method is not supported by Garmin. In other words, the method below is not officially supported.
  • you may wait for next firmware release to resolve firmware related issues.
  • or, you could seek Garmin support to resolve issues.

The following process can be used to rollback firmware update or software update on Fenix 6 devices:

  • Before attempting the firmware update, take a backup of /GARMIN/ folder on your computer. The backup should contain files of the working firmware or software on your computer. This step should be performed before using Garmin Express or Garmin Connect to update firmware or software on Fenix 6 device. This step is critical because a successful backup helps in ensuring successful restoration at a later point of time.
  • Perform the firmware update or software update on Garmin Fenix 6. We prefer to use Garmin Express application on your computer to update software on the Fenix 6 smartwatches. You can use Garmin Connect app on your smartphone to push the update to Garmin Fenix 6 device as well. During the upgrade process, you will need to connect Fenix 6 device to the computer using the USB cable.
  • Disconnect the Fenix 6 device from your computer.
  • Once the firmware or software on Garmin Fenix 6 has been updated, do allow the firmware or software to perform on the device. In case you run into issues post-software update, you can look into rolling back the firmware on Garmin Fenix 6.
  • When you rollback the firmware or software on Garmin Fenix 6, you will be resetting the device. User settings will get lost in the rollback process.
  • From the /GARMIN/ folder that was copied as part of the backup process, we will copy the content on to the computer to replace the /GARMIN/ folder. We are replacing the /GARMIN/ folder contents with the older version of firmware that was working on your computer.
  • After you have copied the /GARMIN/ folder from backup to your computer, connect the Garmin Fenix 6 to the computer with the USB cable. Launch the Garmin Express application. But, ensure that your computer is off Internet so that Garmin Express does not pull the latest firmware update from Garmin servers. Allow Garmin Express to push the old firmware or software to Fenix 6 device.

This completes the manual rollback of firmware or software on Garmin Fenix 6 device.

Summary

Firmware related issues are common post-deployment of the latest firmware on Garmin Fenix 6 devices. Hard reset and factory reset must be used as the preferred way to resolve firmware related issues. If this fails, you can restore a backed-up version of the /GARMIN/ folder on the computer so that the Fenix 6 device can pull an older version of firmware from your computer.

You may like to read more content related to Garmin Fenix 6 devices below: