Recovering a Garmin FIT file – applies to fenix, forerunner, Edge and modern Garmin devices

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Here we are SPECIFICALLY looking at INADVERTENTLY discarded workout files. Then how to make them visible and then how to repair them, if possible.

The same softwares can also repair files corrupted for other reasons and/or fix minor errors in the files caused by incorrect manufacturer programming.


The Garmin Edge 820 has a sometimes temperamental colour touch screen. Today I pressed SAVE RIDE but it thought I said DISCARD RIDE. And it further thought I confirmed that. I didn’t. I REALLY didn’t!!

This was a PB file and a nice one for the CP curve enhancement collection. Something had to be done. I’ve had contact from people who have lost than HIM race day files. Grrr x2. Here is what I did to find and fix it

This may turn out to be a lot of work for you. It’s not worth the effort unless you’ve lost a really important file. How important can a file be in the grand scheme of things?

To cut a long story short if your Garmin is one of the newer ones that is a MASS STORAGE DEVICE, ie a USB device that appears as a drive letter on your PC, then a file recovery utility may well work. But you may find that some of the  new Garmins like the 645 and Fenix 5 Plus DO NOT attach as a mass storage device…and so this method won’t work (although there is a setting you can change so that you should be able to attach as a mass storage device)

But…It did work for me today.

I used PIRIFORM’s RECUVA and there are a few ads pretending to be download links…carefully does it. It tries to install the google toolbar which you’ll be wary of . If you just then choose to scan and recover from the GARMIN/ACTIVITY or GARMIN/ACTIVITIES folder it will show a deleted FIT file with today’s date eg 2016-09-28-then-some-other-numbers.FIT (ie 2016 September 28th).

However your device will probably NOT have correctly finished the FIT file. so, for example, SPORTTRACKS errors out when trying to import it. Grrrr. Manually uploading to Garmin Connect also fails. Grrrr x2.

So you have to fix the file.

I ALWAYS use the fit file Repair Tool (because it works) :: The free version will NOT fix the entire file it will just show you that it is possible to fix it. The full version requires Microsoft Access runtime and payment.

SERVICE: If you have one specific file then email it to me at (here) and pay GBP10 via paypal (here).  If I can’t fix it I will refund GBP8 and if I can fix it I will split the money with the developer.

You may well find that the file seems to be a combination of your current activity and lots of (presumably discarded) previous ones. The activities within the workout file should all be correctly time-stamped and you will then have to delete the parts of the activity that are old. You may well find that the file gets allocated to the wrong date in sporttracks/garmin connect/ or whatever software you use if you have missed even one old timestamp, so double check that your file has not been imported and stored against a date that is different to what you expected.

That’s pretty much it.

As the title says this will probably “work” on the Fenix and Forerunner series too.


SERVICE: If you have one specific file then email it to me at and pay GBP10 via paypal.  If I can’t fix it I will refund GBP8 and if I can fix it I will split the money with the developer.

Note: the workout file will be in the GARMIN/ACTIVITY folder. It might be in a folder with a similar name but the contents will normally be in a format like this image shows. Note also the file sizes. If you send me a file that is 1kb or 700b in size then it almost certainly has no workout data in it.



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