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How to Reset Garmin Forerunner

How to Reset Garmin Forerunner

The Garmin Forerunner is a fitness watch popular with trail athletes and outdoor enthusiasts that combines Garmin’s patented GPS capabilities with tools for monitoring distance, heart rate, speed, altitude, and pace. However, with so many unique features for tracking and storing data, there will be some times when the device needs to be reset for a fresh start.

If you own a Garmin Forerunner and are struggling to reset your device, consider the following simple steps we’ve used to reset our Forerunners to factory settings.

Resetting the Garmin Forerunner

The nice thing about resetting a Garmin Forerunner is that there is not an extensive list of settings from which to choose that will complicate the process. There are usually only one or two options that are easy to find. For the most recent generation of Forerunners, you can perform a factory reset using the following steps:

  1. Select Menu. This is visible at the bottom of the watch face during normal operation mode.
  2. Choose Settings. The user will have the choice between either “records” or “settings.”
  3. Select System. The choice will be between “alarm” or “system.”
  4. Choose Restore Defaults. In more uncommon cases, this command may appear as “Delete Data” or “Reset Settings.” You can feel confident that you are on the right screen if you also see “Format” and “Software Update” around any of these restore commands.
  5. Select Yes. The Forerunner will want to confirm that you are intentionally restoring the system to factory settings by requiring you to choose “yes.”

This process is known as a factory reset, or “hard” reset. By completing these steps, you will wipe the Forerunner of all user-entered information and make it a blank slate for future purposes, making it a common process for people planning to sell or gift their used Forerunner.

Resetting Older Versions of the Garmin Forerunner

Older versions of the Garmin Forerunner, such as the Garmin Forerunner 235, will use a similar process for a factory reset. Although the commands will be similar, the interface for these older versions will be slightly different, possibly making it more difficult to locate the correct command on a given screen.

If you have an older version of Garmin Forerunner, be sure to use commands in the listed succession:

  1. Menu
  2. Settings
  3. System
  4. Restore Defaults
  5. Yes

Alternative Ways to Reset Garmin Forerunner

Although the above steps for a factory reset are the ones most commonly used by people looking to reset their Forerunner, there are a couple of other options that may be appealing to users, depending on their needs.

Soft Reset (Reboot)

A soft reset is used for Forerunners that have become unresponsive. For example, if the GPS is not updating or if some of the features are not performing as expected, it may be necessary to perform a simple reboot. Performing this method does not erase or alter stored user data, and the Forerunner should pick up where it left off when the process is completed.

Use the following steps to perform a soft reset of your Garmin Forerunner:

  1. Power off the device. Hold down the power button for 15 seconds. This button may be labeled as “Light” or “CRTL” on your Forerunner. If you do not want to hold the power button for 15 seconds, you can tap the power button until the carousel of options appears with the option to “Power Off.”
  2. Restart the device. Press the same button for 1 second.

Alternate Hard Reset Process

Although many users find it intuitive to reset their Forerunner by following the prompts in the menu, there is an alternative method to perform a factory reset from a powered-off scenario. This type of hard reset can be achieved using the following steps:

  1. Power off the watch. Use the process listed above for a soft reset to power off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Back/Lap button. The button will be labeled either “Back” or “Lap,” depending on which model you use.
  3. Power on the device while continuing to hold the Back/Lap button. Remember, the power button will be labeled as either “Light” or “CRTL” and needs to be held for 1 second to power on the Forerunner.
  4. Release Back/Lap button. A “Clear User Data?” message will prompt you to release the Back/Lap button.
  5. Confirm. Verify that you want to perform a hard reset by selecting “Yes.”

When Should You Reset a Garmin Forerunner?

There are several reasons that a reset may be necessary:

  • Most commonly, when passing the device on to a new user, a factory reset is desirable to erase all irrelevant data from the prior user.
  • A factory reset may also be an option for users looking to start from scratch on an entirely new fitness regime.
  • The soft reset is used when the Forerunner is not functioning as intended. For example, if the GPS is struggling to pick up a signal or if there are any other glitches or bugs that are negatively impacting the device’s performance.

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Forerunner is a fitness watch that comes with a multitude of functions for tracking athletic performance. However, when so many features are in play, it may be necessary to delete the data from time to time or give the device a simple reboot to get it on track. By using the processes listed above, users can effectively rest their Garmin Forerunner in a few simple steps.