How to install & use the Garmin Connect app on a desktop Mac or PC
Looking for a way to open Garmin Connect on a Mac desktop computer or PC computer? Garmin doesn’t have an app for this purpose but there is a way around this. And it works better than you might expect.
I am an Apple and Garmin junkie. Unfortunately Garmin’s support for iOS ends with a smartphone app and web dashboard. For some reason the company has not developed an iPad or a Mac desktop app. I am not sure on the reasons for this and whether the software is in the works. Hopefully it is.
Essential reading: Garmin Forerunner 955 vs 255 – the battle of the running watches
But only accessing your health and fitness stats via these two avenues is quite limiting. Sure, Garmin does have Mac software but it comes in the form of Garmin Express. Which is quite different. It is primarily used to update maps and software, sync with your Garmin Connect account and register your device. But you can’t view your health and fitness metrics.
Of course, you can always install the smartphone app on an iPad. But this works only in portrait mode and it looks quite ugly. And while I don’t have a solution for iPads, it turns out there is a solution that allows you to get Garmin Connect on a Mac or PC.
How to install Garmin Connect on a Mac or PC computer
No, you can’t really install Garmin Connect on a desktop computer. If that’s what you were hoping for you will be disappointed. But there is a workaround which I stumbled across. And it works really well. It is the next best thing to having native Garmin software on your Mac or PC operating system.
To start off, you’ll need to install something called WebCatalog. This is free software which allows you to convert any website into a real desktop app. And when I say real desktop app, I mean it. Anything you install works and behaves exactly like a standalone app on your computer with its own menu system, window resizing and more.
Once you’ve installed WebCatalog, open it. From there you can search for apps. Type Garmin in the search field and you should see a link to the Garmin Connect Desktop app. Here’s the direct link. Install the app and open it.
What this does is, it creates an exact replica of the Garmin Connect web dashboard. But one that works as a standalone Mac or PC app. The benefit of this is that you have comfort in knowing that all the functionality that is available via the internet browser, is available to you in the standalone app.
Also, you’ll notice that your Mac or PC have created an executable Garmin Connect file on your computer. Create a shortcut to it and drag it to your Home Screen. Then simply click on the icon to quickly open Garmin Connect from the dock or taskbar. It will run in a self-contained, distraction-free window. Best of all, you don’t need to have WebCatalog open once you’ve done the initial installation. So only the Garmin app is open.
The software also allows you to manage multiple Garmin Connect accounts at the same time. Simply switch between them with a single click.
The one negative of this that is worth mentioning is that sometimes you will be asked to type in your username and password when opening the Garmin Connect app. Sometimes you won’t. I think this is more to do with the way the Garmin Connect web dashboard works. It also often asks for the username and password and is not quite good at remembering them.
You can use this same procedure to create other apps
This is not where the fun ends. You can use this exact same procedure to create desktop apps of other websites.
For example, I used this to add a Strava app to my Mac computer. If the app cannot be found by searching WebCatalog, create your own by typing in the address of the website you are interested in.
Essential reading: Garmin Forerunner 955 vs 945 vs 935 – what’s the difference?
I often use the Runalize website but this was not in the list of available apps in WebCatalog. So I simply typed in the website address and it created a desktop app that opens quickly, never asks for the password and works perfectly.
Gadgets & Wearables is not affiliated, associated, authorised, endorsed by or in any way officially connected to WebCatalog. And this article is not an advertisement for their software. After all, WebCatalog is free to use. But I thought it was worth sharing this roundabout solution as it was successful in resolving my problem with the lack of the Garmin Connect desktop app.
Try it. You might like it!
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