Garmin hydration widget | Image source: Garmin

Garmin’s hidden watch feature: Slap or palm to sleep

Do you wear a watch made by Garmin? If this is the case, a Reddit user has discovered a hidden feature that can come in handy when you are navigating your smartwatch.

This is a time-saving tip. It turns out, you can return to the main watch face and even turn off the backlight with the simple gesture of gently placing your palm over the face of the watch or giving it a quick slap. The thread on Reddit (via Advnture), which received a significant number of upvotes and comments, displayed a variety of responses from other Garmin users who had tried out the feature.

It is interesting to note that “slap or palm to sleep” was found after someone noticed that slapping a friend’s Apple Watch brought it back to the home screen. A brief test showed that the Garmin Forerunner 955 operates in the same manner.

“Slap or palm to sleep” works only a devices with a touch-screen

However, it is essential to keep in mind that this feature requires a touchscreen. Which means it will not be functional on devices such as the Garmin Instinct 2 or older Garmin watches that rely solely on buttons to trigger functions and navigate menus. A user on the above Reddit thread shared a humorous account of how he slapped his wrist multiple times before realising that the feature was not available on his Garmin 945!

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In addition, “slap or palm to sleep” will not function if you have deactivated the touch controls on your device, or have chosen a workout to perform. This functionality limitation makes perfect sense given that an accidental slap or touch while you’re working out could throw off your tracking.

Nevertheless, the feature might prove to be helpful in certain situations. One use case could be quickly turning off the backlight so as not to wake up a sleeping partner. Another might be for those who don’t want to waste time navigating back through menus after checking sleep scores or weather forecasts.

This lesser known feature might not be available on all Garmin watches, but for those devices that do support it, it provides a quick and convenient way to navigate. Try it out if you have a touch-enabled timepiece. Simply place your palm on the watch face. It will turn off the backlight and bring you back to the main watch face if you were scrolling through widgets.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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