In this article we detail how to go about transferring your Fitbit data over to Garmin Connect. This has recently been made easier with a handy new tool.
Fitbit Garmin data sync or transfer – is it possible?
While there isn’t a method to continuously sync Fitbit data with Garmin Connect, Garmin Connect does permit the import of Fitbit data. However, for those intending to use both services simultaneously, the process may prove to be more cumbersome than advantageous.
But switching to a Garmin device from a Fitbit doesn’t mean leaving behind the valuable health and fitness data you’ve amassed over time. Transferring this information allows fitness enthusiasts to maintain a comprehensive and uninterrupted record of their progress, making it simple to continue tracking trends, setting goals, and analyzing performance metrics.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
By transferring their data, users are able to capitalize on the benefits of their new Garmin device while still building upon the foundation they’ve established with Fitbit. In essence, this transfer process not only helps in maximizing the investment in a new Garmin device, but also fosters a consistent approach to monitoring one’s health and fitness journey.
To start, you’ll need to export your Fitbit data
The first step in the journey is exporting your Fitbit data to an external file. There are a few important things to know here.
Fitbit allows you to choose between exporting 31 days of recent data or a comprehensive archive of the lifetime of your Fitbit account. The first comes in the form of a CSV file, the second in the form of a JSON file. This will be important later on in this guide.
To initiate the export of your recent Fitbit account data, simply:
- navigate to the fitbit.com dashboard,
- click the gear icon,
- select Settings,
- followed by Data Export.
- From there, choose the desired time period and data, then click Download. Fitbit offers “this month” and “last month” as preset options. However, you also have the flexibility to customize the export for any specific 31-day period, tailoring the data to suit your individual needs.
For those who want to export a complete archive of their Fitbit account data, the process is just as straightforward:
- Go to the fitbit.com dashboard,
- click the gear icon,
- select Settings,
- then Data Export,
- under Export Your Account Archive, click Request Data.
- You will receive an email at the address associated with your Fitbit account, asking you to confirm your data archive request. Once confirmed, you’ll receive another email containing a link to download your Fitbit account data.
- Simply download and save the data file to your computer.
It is important to note that, depending on the volume of your Fitbit data, generating your account data archive may take up to a few days. You can monitor the status of your request within your Data Export account settings. For Fitbit family account holders, separate folders will be available for each child account.
Importing monthly Fitbit files into Garmin Connect
You’ve exported your Fitbit data, now it is time to import this into your Garmin Connect account. The thing to know here is that Garmin only allows you to import CSV files. Which means you cannot import JSON files. So by default, you can only import monthly Fitbit files into Garmin Connect.
You can see below the type of data you can transfer over. Anything beyond that will not be ported over.
- Historical body composition data: This encompasses weight, BMI, and body fat percentage data.
- Activity data: calories burned, steps taken, distance covered, active minutes, and floors climbed.
- Fitbit Activity Minutes: Your Fitbit activity minutes are converted to Garmin Intensity Minutes.
As far as steps to import a Fitbit CSV into Garmin, they are as follows:
- Log in to your Garmin Connect account,
- click on the cloud icon with an upward arrow, located in the top right corner of the page.
- Select Import Data,
- click Browse to locate and select the files exported from Fitbit.
- click Import Data again and choose the units of measure that correspond to your Fitbit preferences.
- Ensure that the date formatting in the file matches the standard format (e.g., MM/DD/YYYY), as incorrect formatting may prevent successful data uploads.
- Click Continue and your data should now be visible in Garmin Connect.
During the import process, you have the option to select units of measurement. If you wish to change the units after uploading the data, simply import the file again and choose your desired units. This will overwrite the previously uploaded data with the new units of measurement.
How to import your Fitbit archive data to Garmin, all at once
The problem with the above approach is that you have to upload each month as an individual CSV file. As mentioned above, Fitbit exports monthly files into a Garmin compatible CSV format, while the total archive is exported as a JSON.
But now there’s a convenient platform that takes that JSON file in zip format, and converts it into a CSV file that Garmin can read. On the website it states that the tool does not retain any of your data beyond the scope of the conversion process.
The conversion platform can be found here: https://fitbitjsonconverter.azurewebsites.net/
The authors of the tool note that it is hosted on a free server, so you may need to patiently access the URL multiple times to “wake it up” before using the service. For users with an extensive history (over a year), they recommend using the option to email the results to yourself, as the website may time out before completing the conversion process.
Finally, to ensure a smooth import experience, it is suggested to import no more than 10 files at a time. That’s because Garmin Connect may have difficulty handling a large number of files simultaneously.
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