How to reset your Garmin Forerunner 620

Technology can be a challenge, particularly when it breaks down. It’s the same with fitness watches, in my case the Garmin Forerunner 620.

When in full, wonderful operational mode, the Garmin Forerunner 620 is my wrist-based equivalent of Stephen Fry. It holds information on items I never knew existed. Plus plenty that seem to be of little importance when it comes to a basic jog or cycle. Although I do enjoy the nifty ‘Race Predictor’, which to my mind wrongly has me down as being way better at running than actual race results show.

However, when the watch I use to offer statistics galore fails, it’s amazing how bereft of information you can feel. Us humans surely never experienced such issues with the simple stopwatch? Garmin Forerunner 620

Fitness fans all over the world have become unwitting slaves to data. These past few weeks have certainly proved I have.

Like many running and fitness watches, more data is generated when wearing the heart rate monitor with the Garmin 620. This includes ground contact time and vertical oscillation. But there are also more straightforward interval functions and workouts that can be used.

One bug bear is the lack of ability to set things up ‘in-watch’. Too much of the Garmin 620 requires you to either connect it all up to a smartphone or sync it through a desktop PC or Wi-Fi connection. It’s a pain in the proverbial when you realise you’ve uploaded a workout incorrectly. But it can’t be corrected ‘in-watch’, you have to start everything up, edit and then sync again.

But this frustration pales when the whole darn thing goes kaput. It’s been a gradual reduction in performance over a period of six months.

Buttons refused to work and then the touchscreen didn’t like being touched anymore. Finally, a couple of strange hieroglyphic-style symbols randomly began appearing on the main screen, where the word ‘RUN’ used to sit. Not good I thought – time to act.

Resetting a Garmin Forerunner 620

Fellow 620 users will know that the manual accompanying this running watch isn’t the greatest (or biggest).

If you’re lucky and the watch has just stalled, reset by pressing down the ON/OFF (top left) button to turn it off, then hitting it again to turn it back on. This method means your PBs are preserved.

Complete reset

For a full-on reset to factory mode, firstly turn off the 620 by the usual method. Hold down the button until a screen giving you the choice of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ appears. Select Yes and wait for the watch to shut down. Straightforward enough. The important bit next is fiddly but did the trick for me.

Instead of just pressing the ON button down for a couple of seconds to restart as you would normally, you need to get hold of another button. This is the CONNECT one, which has an image of an arrow formed in the shape of a 400m lap (bottom right).

Hold BOTH these buttons down until you get a screen that comes up asking you for a reset. This didn’t work on my first few attempts so I was dubious of the method. But persevere, as it eventually comes up.

Old settings now work as new

My Forerunner has not looked back since and the majority of PBs even remained on the watch. You can re-upload any missing records through Garmin Express on desktop.

Once up and running again, there are settings to refresh yourself with, like the one that switches off the annoying key tone alert that reveals you’re going too slowly.

Since this reset, I’ve discovered other parts of the watch are now working when they haven’t for ages. One example is the Running Dynamics feature. This brings up a screen with a natty ‘ghost runner’ graphic, showing how you’re faring in relation to your most recent effort.

Best of all, this spot of troubleshooting has managed to cure all ills and save a few hundred pounds into the bargain.

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