How to connect and pair a Garmin watch to your smartphone

How to connect and pair a Garmin watch to your smartphone

Garmin sports watches are among the easiest wearable devices to set up and pair, and there are several ways to pair the devices with your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Whether it’s a forerunner, a fenix, a vivoactive or a quatix, you can’t go wrong. Before you know it, you’ll have cleared every hurdle the first hour throws at you and you’ll be up and running, literally.

Reading: How to connect my garmin watch

Here’s how to set up your Garmin watch, including instructions for pairing it with your iOS or Android device, downloading the Garmin Connect and Connect IQ apps, connecting to Wi-Fi, and using Garmin Pay.

  • The best garmin sports watches for your needs
  • The best garmin connect iq apps and watch faces
  • the complete guide to garmin connect

start to pair and connect your garmin watch

Pair Garmin watch to iPhone

load the clock

Although garmin watches come with a certain level of charge, you’ll want to fully charge your new watch before setting it up. plug it in so it’s ready to roll once it’s paired.

download the garmin connect app

Whether you use iOS or Android, you need the Garmin Connect app to pair your watch and send all your training data to your phone. it will also allow you to receive messages and other notifications from smartphones, if you wish.

enable bluetooth on your smartphone

This may seem obvious, but bluetooth is needed to pair the watch and then sync data thereafter. you can’t pair directly via bluetooth setting, you need to go through the app.

configuring your garmin

When you put your garmin watch on charge, it will automatically turn on when there is enough charge for you to start working. this process may vary slightly, depending on the watch you are using, but you may be prompted to complete a couple of tasks before pairing.

set your language

Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the available languages ​​(English is the default language in the US and UK regions) and select start/stop

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pair with phone

option and you will be prompted to choose “yes” or “no”. do you have that garmin app ready? turn it on

pairing with the garmin connect app

manually find your Garmin watch

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download the garmin connect mobile app and select ‘create account’ or ‘sign in’.

if you have already used a garmin device, you will be able to use your existing login details. otherwise, account setup takes a couple of minutes.

then within the garmin app go to more > garmin devices > add garmin device

The app will search for any device you want to pair, which can save you time, so make sure your Garmin is nearby.

if it doesn’t pick it up, you can choose it from the list and then the app will restart.

if your garmin has been unpaired and you are restarting it, you can go to the settings menu on the watch > phone > pair and put your sports watch into a pairing state.

When pairing is available, your watch will display a 6-digit code, which can be entered into the pop-up alert on your phone. type it in and setup will begin.

once the initial connection has been established, you will be guided through some account setup procedures plus account: you will choose an avatar for the application, if you want to share your profile or activities with others, and also some questions about vital states. that will mean entering gender, weight, height, and date of birth information.

If you have past training data, you can also sync it to the watch to give the watch a head start on your fitness levels.

how to manually configure a garmin

manual set up

We wouldn’t recommend this, but if you don’t choose to pair your smartphone right away, you’ll still be able to configure many of the device’s preferences without delving into the app. this gives the watch enough information to report workout data, but you’ll still want to pair it with your phone at some point.

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If you select “no” in the watch’s initial “pair with phone” option, you will be prompted to select the following:

  • miles or kilometers
  • 12-24 hour time format
  • gender
  • year of birth (use the up and down keys to select 19/ 20 then select to go to years)
  • height (same; it’s feet > select > inches > select > select to confirm)
  • weight ( in pounds, although it could be confused with stones).
  • set the time via gps or manually.

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Here, you can also choose which wrist you’re wearing the Garmin watch on and customize your heart rate zones.

If it was not initially paired with the app, you can use the watch to enter pairing mode. select menu > settings > pair phone (on some older watches, the path is menu > settings > bluetooth > pair mobile device). Then open the Garmin app and follow instructions similar to those listed in the previous section.

holding the power button (usually called “light”) to access the main menu and selecting the phone icon from the carousel will also take you there.

configure wifi on garmin

Garmin wi-fi set up

If you have a Wi-Fi enabled Garmin watch, the next step in the setup process is to establish a connection to ensure that all activity data, settings, and, if supported, music, are automatically synced when you connect. both are connected to Wi-Fi.

from the ‘configure wifi’ option in the application (appears at the end of the configuration, or can be found in the device menu in general > wifi networks).

the watch has its own wi-fi radio, but the connection is made through the app. First, the watch searches for available networks and the app asks you to choose the network ID and enter the password. from there, everything is ready.

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connect to the garmin connect iq store

Connect to Garmin Connect

A large part of customizing your watch and taking full advantage of its functionality is connecting to Garmin’s mini app store, which is called Connect iQ, not to be confused with the regular Connect app. It exists as a standalone app and needs to be downloaded from the app store or google play.

  • go to the devices section of the garmin app and choose activities, apps and more > activities & apps > get more apps.
  • this will encourage you to download the connect iq store app. download the app as you normally would, agree to the terms and conditions, and it will automatically connect to your watch.
  • here, you’ll see third-party plugins from various providers that can be added to your watch. there’s music, navigation apps, watch faces, training tools, and much, much more. if you are looking for something in particular, use the search function.
  • select an app of your choice to add it to the watch.
  • not all devices support all apps, please what each app list has a “compatible devices” option that allows you to check. for example, spotify only works on select d2, fenix, forerunner, marq, and vivoactive watches.

set up garmin payment

Set up Garmin Pay

Some of the newer Garmin devices allow you to make contactless payments with the watch on your wrist. are the following:

  • precursor: 645, 645 music, 945.
  • fenix: 6/5
  • vivoactive: 4/3
  • marq: athlete, aviator, captain, driver, expedition.
  • ds:delta, delta s, delta px

if you have a compatible watch, go to the garmin connect app, select the device screen and choose garmin pay. From here, use our guide on how to set up Garmin Pay.

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