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How to change time on a Garmin watch

Whether you are a hard-core runner, endurance athlete, or a casual gym-goer, Garmin has a fitness watch for you. The company produces some of the best fitness and GPS watches on the market. Like most watch manufacturers, Garmin bundles its watches with a mobile app that lets you monitor your health and wellness. The app also syncs with your watch and can be used to configure the core settings.




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The Garmin app typically handles the configuration successfully, but sometimes problems do arise. One major issue is the clock can be off by hours because of an incorrect setting on the watch. Got too much time on your Garmin watch? We can help you fix it quickly and easily.

Garmin Vivomove Sport clock.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

How to set the time on your Garmin watch

No matter which Garmin watch you own, the process to set the time is pretty much the same. You first need to access the settings on the watch by tapping on the display of touchscreen-enabled watches or using the external buttons on non-touchscreen devices. Once you have accessed the settings, you need to open the System menu and find the Time options.

Step 1: Tap on the display of touchscreen-enabled watches or use the external buttons on non-touchscreen devices to access settings.

Step 2: Once you have accessed the settings, tap the System menu. Tap the Time options. The time settings allow you to pick your time zone, time format (12 or 24-hour), and the source of the time on your device.

Step 3: Depending on your watch model, you can choose to set the time with GPS, enter it manually, or have it update automatically.

Step 4: The Auto setting is the most convenient because it updates the time for you. Use the app to sync your watch with your phone or tablet. The time will be corrected. The auto setting adjusts based on your location, making it ideal for those who travel. It also compensates for daylight saving changes for those in the U.S.

how does garmin measure stress level on fitness watch
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How to set the time on a Garmin watch manually

If you are a person who typically runs late, you can select your watch ahead to compensate for your tardiness. If you prefer not to rely on syncing your watch regularly, you also can change the time manually. This manual option allows you to set the time as you see fit.

Step 1: Tap on the display of touchscreen-enabled watches or using the external buttons on non-touchscreen devices to access settings.

Step 2: Tap the System menu.

Step 3: Tap the Time.

Step 4: Tap Time source.

Step 5: Tap Manual. Tap Time and enter the time on the clock face.

How to set the time on a Garmin watch using GPS

Last but not least, some watches let you set the time using GPS. This GPS option requires an unobscured view of the sky to connect to satellites that can pinpoint your location and transmit the exact time.

Step 1: Tap the System menu on the watch.

Step 2: Tap Time.

Step 3: Tap Set time with GPS. When the watch gets the GPS setting, it will update.

Why is my Garmin watch showing the wrong time?

Your Garmin watch will display the correct time nine out of ten times. It's this 10% that can be so frustrating. Your watch pulls the time from the phone it's connected to. It's possible your connected phone has an incorrect time. Check your phone first before you start fiddling with the settings on the watch.

Another thing to consider is your location. Did you recently travel? It's possible your watch didn't update to the new time zone. A recent software update also could reset your clock to factory settings.

Can I reset the time and date on my Garmin?

Can't quite get the time correct on your Garmin watch? Are you tired of fussing with it? You can easily reset the time and date on your Garmin watch by going to the settings on the watch.

Step 1: Open the Settings on the watch. Scroll to and tap System.

Step 2: Tap Reset and tap Delete data and reset settings.

This process will wipe all the data from your watch. Make sure you have a backup of your data by syncing your watch with the mobile app. After you have reset the watch, you can use the Garmin mobile app to connect to your watch and configure it correctly this time.

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Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
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