Fix | Garmin Watches – Global GPS Errors | Fix

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Garmin Watches – Global GPS Errors

Garmin users all over the world have experienced GPS accuracy issues of over 200m for the last 2 days

This issue seems to have been related to a year-end issue with the Sony chipset in new Garmin devices as well as several other manufacturers watches. The sheer number of Garmin watches in the world made this seem to be a Garmin-only problem. It wasn’t.

The likely technical cause was a very slightly incorrect ‘map’ of the position of all the satellites in the sky. This slight inaccuracy led to very significant errors on the ground. Some users speculated this was due to a ‘leap second’ being added at year-end or because 2020 was a 53-week year. The former is probably more likely but I’m guessing there.

Garmin has fixed the issue on their watches but it is not yet clear if other vendors have reacted as swiftly as Garmin. (Edit: reports coming in from Polar Wahoo and others suggest the fix is made and hence I would assume it’s been made by Sony OR simply just corrected itself)

The Fix – What you need to do

Simply: you need to sync your Garmin device either with the Garmin Connect app or with Garmin Express on your desktop. It really is that simple. Same for other brands…just sync them to the app as you normally do.

Double/triple check that you get a satellite lock before heading off on your Sunday workout and all should be good.

Quadruple check this setting on a Garmin

System>About>CPE Expired / Current

If the setting says CPE EXPIRED then you still have the problem. If it says CURRENT all should be good.

On a Lighter Note

Another solution, like with cycling, is to buy another one. So here are some thoughts for Garmin’s 2021 releases (955 yay!) or try the following link to products they could release but won’t (personally I think the latter is a more thought-provoking read)

Garmin Anti-Predictions – What WON’T happen in 2021




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Doing everything (almost) stationary has it’s advantages!!


Polar (VM) seems ‘fixed’ too.
GPS data updated to a later validity this morning and both a long walk with the dog and then a trail run later show things to be as expected although being picky, the run was a less accurate track throughout than usual and exhibited a roughly 5m drift pretty much for the entirety. Overall distance/pace fine just never quite on the right path/trail.

One thing to note though. For me. On both sessions the watch took longer than usual to get a gps fix.


Same for me. Today’s run was fine but GPS fix took noticeably longer than usual (Polar VV2).

Matthew Nguyen

All these 955 (hopefully LTE) pointers are driving me nuts. Hoping this is the January device you keep referencing.

Luckily I took 1/1 off so no GPS issues experienced in Jan 2.

tfk, the5krunner

its the same pointer repeated….

Rui Pereira

Is the problem really over? Still hear about lots of people having problems, even after making sure CPE is updated…