If you’re having trouble syncing your phone with your Garmin smartwatch, it’s not your fault. Garmin Connect has been suffering an outage that has stretched on for several hours, starting at around 11:30 p.m. ET on July 22 according to comments on Twitter.
At first, the company tried to brush it as a maintenance issue that was being quickly addressed. As the hours stretched on, it eventually admitted it was suffering an outage that affected almost every consumer-facing area, including its app, site, and even customer support centers.
Dear Garmin Users,
Our servers are currently down for maintenance & it may limit the performances of Garmin Connect Mobile & Website, and Garmin Express. We are trying our best to resolve it asap. We seek your kind understanding & apologise for any inconvenience.
— Garmin India (@Garmin_India) July 23, 2020
We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin Connect, and as a result, the Garmin Connect website and mobile app are down at this time.
— Garmin Fitness (@GarminFitness) July 23, 2020
Interestingly, having Garmin’s backend service disrupted means that not only can you not use its cloud services, you can’t even sync your watch locally to the app. The outage is also keeping its forums and customer service offline; though we now know neither one is of much use because there is no fix for end users — we just have to wait for Garmin to figure things out.
If you have activities on your Garmin watch that haven’t yet been synced and you’d like to get them uploaded to another service, like Strava, there’s a way to do so manually.
For everyone with a Garmin watch trying to get their recent activities backed up to another service (like Strava):
Plug your watch into your computer, access it like an external drive, go to “Activity”, find the latest “.fit” file(s) and copy to your computer.
— Andrew Martonik (@andrewmartonik) July 23, 2020
Just plug your Garmin watch into your computer, and navigate to it as if it were a drive or SD card. (If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need to use the Android File Transfer tool — yes, really — to browse the files.) Look for the “Activity” folder, scroll to the bottom and find the latest “.fit” files, and drag the files you want over to your computer. Services like Strava will happily upload a .fit file and generate a complete activity identical to what you’d see if Garmin uploaded it through the app.
Update, June 23 (2:50 pm ET) — The outage and downtime have been attributed to a ransomware attack
ZDNet reports that the outage is due to a ransomware attack. According to ITHome, Garmin expects services to remain down possibly through July 25th while it works to resolve the issue and secure user data.