Garmin down: how to still get your activities on to Strava

Garmin servers are offline but you can still share your runs, rides, swims and walks with Strava. Here’s how

Garmin Connect and Express have been taken offline by a reported ransomware attack, leaving runners, cyclists, walkers and others unable to sync their activities to Strava. But don’t worry – there is a manual way to upload your activities to Strava while Garmin is down. Here’s how:

What you need:

  • Your Garmin watch or cycling computer.

  • The USB charging cable that came with it.

  • A computer with a USB port (practically any computer will do).

  • An internet connection.

Step 1

A charging and sync cable is seen going in to the back of a Garmin watch
Connect your charging and sync cable to the back of your Garmin device and plug the USB end into your computer. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Connect your Garmin device to your computer with the USB cable and wait for it to be recognised like a standard flash drive or memory stick.

The cable for Garmin watches either slots into the back, as above, or clips on to the side. Garmin cycling computers usually accept microUSB cables in a slot on the back.

Step 2

Garmin device mounted as a flash drive on Windows 10
Open the Garmin device like you would a flash drive. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Open the drive associated with the Garmin device and navigate to the Activity folder.

  • For non-music devices, this under the folders Garmin > Activity.

  • For music devices, this is under the folders Primary > Garmin > Activity

Step 3

A directory containing .FIT files is seen
The .FIT files are how your Garmin device stores your recorded activities. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

You will see a collection of “.FIT” files. Each of these files contains your individual recorded activities.

Find the latest one sorted or labelled by date.

Step 4

Strava upload and sync screen
Strava can accept all sorts of files from various different fitness trackers, including .FIT files from Garmin devices. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Log into the Strava website and navigate to to manually upload a file.

Click on “Choose files” and navigate to your Garmin device. Find the latest .FIT file in the Activity folder as above and click “Open”.

Step 5

Review your activity. Here you can rename it, change your gear, such as your shoes or bike, and label it a workout. When you’re happy, hit “Save and view”. That’s it. The activity will now appear in your feed.

  • Once Garmin’s servers have recovered and normal syncing resumes, it might create duplicates of activities you have manually uploaded. These can simply be deleted from Strava if that happens.


Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editor

The GuardianTramp

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