Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to update the software on a Garmin watch

If you want to make sure that your Garmin watch is running the latest software version, then just follow the easy steps of this guide.

Regardless of the devices you happen to be using, it’s often good practice to make sure that they’re running the latest software, as this may give you access to new features, improve security, or fix bothersome bugs.

Software updates are automatically rolled out to Garmin watches by default, but this guide will help you check that yours is receiving the automatic updates as it should.

What you’ll need: 

  • We used a Garmin Forerunner 255; other Garmin watches should follow a similar process to check for auto updates

The Short Version 

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down to System
  • Select Software Update
  • Make sure that Auto Update is set to On
  1. Step

    Open Settings

    First of all, you’ll need to delve into the watch’s Settings menu. On the Forerunner 255 you can do this by long-pressing on the Up button from the home screen, but this method may differ depending on your Garmin watch.

  2. Step

    Scroll down to System

    Once you’re in Settings, scroll down until you see System, and select this option.

  3. Step

    Select Software Update

    Now scroll down to Software Update, and select this.

  4. Step

    Make sure that Auto Update is set to On

    In this menu you will see ‘Auto Update’; if this is set to On, as shown below then your watch should automatically receive software updates, though these may take days to come through.


How long will it take my Garmin watch to auto-update its software?

Garmin states the following on its website: “Generally, updates will take up to a few days to download to your device. Once downloaded, updates will install automatically or prompt you to install them on your device.”

Why would I want to update my Garmin watch’s software?

It can be important to keep up with software updates as these can help to keep your devices secure, solve known bugs, and sometimes add new software features.

You might like…

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.