Image source: Garmin

Garmin looking to issue fix for Fenix 6 battery drain following latest firmware update

Firmware update 21.00 for Garmin Fenix 6 from a few days ago has brought a bunch of useful features. However, some users are reporting a heavy battery drain with the new software. Garmin is looking to address this issue now with Beta update 21.01.

To remind, Garmin released firmware 21.00 on May 10th. It came with a long list of fixes along with support for Connect IQ system 5, Resting Heart-rate True-Up feature, enhanced strength functionality with a map of muscles used, support for horseback activity, Easy hunt feature and more.

Immense battery drain on firmware 21.00

However, some users have noticed that ever since that update their Fenix 6 is draining quite quickly. One user reports 2% per hour, and that’s with power safe mode on with no WiFi, SpO2 or heart rate!

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The Garmin Fenix 6 should be good for up to 14 days between charges in smartwatch mode and 48 days in Battery Saver Watch Mode. Of course, if you’ve been wearing and using the timepiece for the past few years, that will deteriorate somewhat. But battery life should still be close to these ball-park figures.

This doesn’t seem to be the case for some users following firmware update 21.00.

“You can basically watch how it looses energy every few minutes without doing anything.” one user says.

“Same here. I can watch the battery drain minute by minute, even in battery saver mode.” another one adds.

Some Fenix 6 owners are seeing the battery deplete by more than a third per day. Battery consumption has, essentially, more than tripled.

To prove his point, a user posted the following “before and after” picture on Garmin forums. The left side of the graph was before the update – the sharp fall on the right side is after the update.

Garmin Fenix 6 battery drain

There’s obviously some problem going on but it is not effecting all users. Doing a hard reset has helped resolve the issue for a few. But it has not worked for others.

In response Garmin has, this morning, issued Beta update 21.01. The change log says “This Beta update is intended for battery drain data collection only”. There are “no bug fixes, improvements, or feature additions in this software”. It is equal to the previous version of the software “with exception of the battery drain logging.

At first instance we thought that the issue was resolved. But it seems that this is Garmin just acknowledging the problem and looking to log data to help them pinpoint the cause of the battery drain.

Let’s hope a fix arrives soon. For now Version 21.00 of the software should be considered as the main firmware or stable release. If you want to try the Beta 21.01 version, the download files can be found on this link. The update is 13.82mb in size.

The problems don’t end here

Just to emphasise once again, the vast majority of users have installed firmware update 21.00 with absolutely no issues. So there’s no point in installing the Beta if your device is behaving fine.

Unfortunately, for some the problems don’t end with battery drain. There are also reports on Garmin forums of the heart rate sensor behaving strangely, maps not loading, sleep data not recording and GPS not working properly following update 21.00.

If you are one of the unlucky few experiencing problems, you might be wondering if there’s a way to switch back to the previous version of the software. In theory, this is possible.

To downgrade the firmware you would need to have the zip file of version 20.51 downloaded. The problem is finding it as Garmin posts the latest version on their website. If you do have the file, unzip it and replace the GUPDATE.GCD file on the /GARMIN/ folder with the GUPDATE.GCD file that is under the extracted folder. So, replacing the GUPDATE.GCD file will take your Fenix 6 or Fenix 6 Solar back to version 20.51.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

17 thoughts on “Garmin looking to issue fix for Fenix 6 battery drain following latest firmware update

  • I think you misunderstood what that means. This doesn’t fix the battery drain issue. It is a special debug load to log data to help them in figuring out what is causing the battery drain issue.

    • Thanks – you are entirely correct! Have amended to reflect that this is not an actual fix.

    • My battery lasts about 1 day – extremely bad – reminds me of the I Phones- just about the time a new model comes out the software for the older model comes out and it the battery life tanks- Garmin makes great products- Please fix ASAP
      Thank You

  • I must be one of the lucky ones. No battery drain issues have become apparent since the last firmware update.

  • Mine is affected too. I hope Garnin finds a solution soon

  • I’ve put in place all the batter saver helpful hints and still it drains way too quick. Garmin please sort this out ASAP, I’m forever reaching for the charger cable!

  • Weird. My Fenix is on 21.0 and no excess drain. Mind you I don’t think I’d get 14 days unless I just kept it in it’s box.

  • Since I did the upgrade, my Fenix 6X Sapphire has been inoperable. All I get is a Green Triangle for a couple of seconds followed by a Garmin home screen for a couple of seconds and cannot get beyond it. I tried holding the top left button for 25 seconds but that does not help. I tried holding the bottom right button to do a reset but all it does is show the reset screen for a coupon of seconds with no functionality then goes away. How can I get my watch to work again? Thank you for any help.

    • New Fenix 6 Pro owner here. I updated from 19 to 21 and the estimated battery life when fully charged dropped from 25 days to 9 days O_0. This seems fishy because the battery is in good health.

    • I have the same issue with the green triangle and inoperability… they want me to exchange it for $200. Any other options?

  • Since the update to 21.0 my Fenix 6 restarts during a workout. This is only happening during a segment run. But when I run a segment it is always happening. Never had any problems before software version 21.0

  • Is there a way to talk to Garmin about this?? Can’t seem to find an email address for technical issues.
    Frankly not good enough for the money I spent on this last year. Any ideas on where we stand on this legally??

  • the same issue with battery drain with 21.00 OS version… 🙁

  • I’ve been having the same issue or about 2-3 weeks, and I suspected it had something to do with the latest update. Turning off wifi, bluetooth, etc. hasn’t seemed to help much. I’ve chatted with Garmin techs over last few weeks and they had me delete some activity files the first time and then perform a reset most recently. Nothing has seemed to change the rate of discharge. I just downloaded version 21.80 of software on Garmin Express. They did not list the battery drain issue on some Fenix 6 watches as one of the fixes. Does anyone know if this is a fix? I’m hoping because the long battery life was one of the main reasons I bought this watch.

  • Anyone else’s WiFi die too. No longer reads any WiFi networks

    • I’m getting the same issue with WiFi networks not being found

  • My battery drain has literally started in the last week. It went down from 33% to 9% in less than 9 hours, with no activity use


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