Garmin released firmware version 26 for Fenix 6 smartwatches on 5th June 2023. As of updating this firmware report on 21st June 2023, this update has already been pushed to 80% of eligible Fenix 6 devices.
As of 1st September 2023, firmware version 26 continues to be the stable release firmware version of Garmin Fenix 6.
The firmware version 26 supersedes firmware version 25.10. Firmware 25.10 was released by Garmin in March 2023. So, the latest software update has been released after a gap of 3 months by Garmin.
This firmware upgrade may not be available for APAC (Asia Pacific) customers as yet. So, if you are in one of the APAC countries, it would make sense to wait for the firmware update to hit your devices. Please, also do not try to load the firmware 26 beta version on APAC devices. It will result in compatibility issues and may cause problems on the device.
I prefer the Garmin Connect app for all firmware-related tasks for a Fenix 6. Although the Garmin Express application is faster, the Garmin Connect app offers a more streamlined one-step firmware upgrade across all the device models of Fenix 6. For sure, you will require a paired smartphone to work with the Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatch and the Garmin Connect app.
- Download Garmin Connect app from the Google Play Store
- Download Garmin Connect app from the Apple app store
Once your smartwatch syncs to the Garmin Connect app, the latest firmware update will be pushed out automatically to the smartwatch.
It may be pertinent to mention that automatic patching of firmware on Garmin Fenix 6 must be used as a recommended strategy by the Fenix 6 device owners. There is no way for you to go back to the previous version of the firmware unless you decide to download a beta version manually and revert to one of the earlier main stable release firmware for the Fenix 6 smartwatches.
Fenix 6 firmware 26 – Changelog
Each firmware update addresses bugs and achieves performance improvements. The firmware version 26 for Fenix 6 devices includes the following changes:
- Added the ability to rate Connect IQ applications from the app settings menu.
- Added Obstacle Course Racing activity.
- Improved algorithm for calculating calories burned in Swim activities.
- Improved voice prompts played during activities.
- Updated Altitude Acclimation widget to now show altitude acclimation as a percent.
- Updated the Golf activity to now allow users to disable the auto-lap notification when recording the activity.
- Updated the inReach app to prompt the user when the inReach device is out of range when tracking is toggled on.
- Fixed a possible issue that would cause the device to shut down when editing a set in the strength activity.
- Fixed a possible shutdown that would occur when receiving smart notifications during an activity.
- Fixed a possible shutdown when selecting a PacePro plan.
- Fixed a potential issue where connecting headphones while shuffling playing music would cause the device to restart the playlist.
- Fixed an issue where setting the default battery mode for an activity would not change the current battery mode of the current activity session.
- Fixed a potential issue causing CIQ watch faces to fail to load.
- Fixed a potential issue causing device shutdowns in strength activities.
- Fixed an issue where the device would not exit Battery Saver Mode after charging fully.
- Fixed an issue where the device would not show all saved waypoints on the waypoint list.
Post-deployment issues of firmware 26 on Fenix 6
These are early days in terms of firmware rollout for the Fenix 6 devices. Not all eligible devices have received the firmware update as we write this. Early adopters of the firmware have indicated the following issues after the deployment of firmware on Fenix 6:
Backlight issue – Some users have complained about issues with Fenix 6 backlight. After the deployment of firmware 26 on the smartwatch, the backlight of the watch stopped working. We advise contacting Garmin support and sharing your watch’s config files for them to have a look at the potential cause of the backlight issue. Follow the Garmin thread on this page for updates on this issue.
GPS issues – A few users have encountered GPS issues after updating the firmware to version 26. Remember, the GPS version gets updated to version 6.60. The specific user we are talking about has reported delayed GPS signals and GPS connectivity becoming unreliable. The delayed GPS signal issue has been reported by other users as well. Follow the user complaint on Garmin’s forum here.
Wi-Fi failure – A user has complained about Wi-Fi connectivity post-deployment of firmware version 26. The Wi-Fi connectivity disappeared from his Fenix 6X Pro smartwatch after firmware 26 was rolled out on the device. Follow this thread for further updates.
Calorie counter and active minutes – A Fenix 6 user has reported issues with the calorie counter and active minutes counter after deployment of the firmware version 26. You can check the user complaint thread on this page.
Red Exclamation mark on GPS – As part of the firmware 26 release, the GPS version on Fenix 6 device should upgrade from 5.5 to 6.60. If you see an exclamation mark against the GPS version, it implies that the upgrade did not complete successfully. Reconnect your watch to the computer and use Garmin Express to attempt a firmware update. A successful firmware update will resolve the exclamation mark issue on the Fenix 6 device.
Firmware version 26 file update list
Each firmware update of Garmin Fenix 6 brings about changes in the core file on the device. These core files administer GPS, Sensor hub, and other core functions of the Garmin Fenix 6 devices.
The firmware version 26 will upgrade the following to the latest versions mentioned below:
- GPS version from 5.50 to version 6.60
- Sensor Hub version remains unchanged at 22.09
- Wi-Fi version (Pro) remains unchanged at 4.01
- ANT/BLE/BT (Pro) version remains unchanged at 6.15
- ANT/BLE/BT (Non Pro) version remains unchanged at version 3.01
In terms of configuration files for Fenix 6, you will notice that firmware 26 upgrades GPS files only. Other system files remain unchanged.
Firmware version 26 and Fenix 6 device models
Garmin Fenix 6 firmware version 26 is available for all the device models within the Fenix 6 series smartwatches. The following Fenix 6 device models get the latest firmware release from Garmin:
- Fenix 6 Standard edition
- Fenix 6S
- Fenix 6S Pro Solar
- Fenix 6 Pro and Sapphire
- Fenix 6S Pro and Sapphire
- Fenix 6X Pro Solar
- Fenix 6X Pro and Sapphire
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