FAQ / Common problems

After changing the settings, the watch face disappears or letters IQ with an exclamation mark are on my watch screen.

If you are doing this with Garmin Express, please try Garmin Connect or Connect IQ mobile app instead. It appears that the recent revision of Garmin Express corrupts watch face data on some watches (notably vivoactive 4).

If this happens while you are using a mobile app, please try to restart your watch.

I wrote a message to the developer but I don’t receive a reply

Please note that even though the feedback form says the email address is ‘optional’, it is actually mandatory if you expect a reply. If you don’t leave your return address, the developer will not be able to write back!

Unable to uninstall – repeated attempts result in “Uninstall Error” message

On some watch models it is not possible to uninstall a watch face while it is currently displayed on your watch. This is a Garmin problem that will affect any Connect IQ watch face that you try to uninstall. To get around this, please press a button on your watch to show something else (e.g. menu, widget or activity), and then try again to uninstall the watch face.

After updating from the previous version, the weather and sunrise/sunset is wrong

It seems that after update, some watch models report incorrect GPS location to the watch face, which corrupts the information that relies on location. If this happens to you, please go to an activity that uses GPS (e.g. run) and update your GPS location.

How to have the full version?

Please visit:
https://vgfsyhcxft.com/rails-unlock/ for Rails
https://vgfsyhcxft.com/time-flies-unlock/ for Time Flies
https://vgfsyhcxft.com/night-day-unlock/ for Night & Day
https://vgfsyhcxft.com/spinner-unlock/ for Spinner

I cannot request the unlock key, that link doesn’t work

This is a problem of Connect App – it seems that links don’t work there. Please try Connect IQ or a normal browser instead.

I do not see unlock token in the settings, the field is blank

Please make sure that the watch face you want to unlock is selected as the active one on your watch. If you still can’t see the token, please check the Bluetooth connection between your watch and your phone, and the phone’s internet connection. You might also try to restart your Connect app, or restart your phone and your watch.

Unlock key does not work, shows status ‘invalid’

First, for the key validation to complete, the face you want to unlock must be selected as the active one on your watch.

Besides that, on Venu the watch needs to ‘wake up’ from the ‘sleep’ state to process the key validation.

Also please note that it is not enough to enter the key and press ‘OK’. After that you need to press the ‘DONE’ or ‘SAVE’ button to save all the settings, only after that the key status will be updated. Please make sure that you see the message “Settings saved successfully”.

Instead of starting from checking the key status, you might just try to go ahead and change some setting that requires the key and see if your change has desired effect. Only if it does not, then look at the key status.

If this does not help and you are sure that you entered the correct token on the unlock page (you can confirm this by comparing the token in your settings and the token in the email you receive) and the correct key into the ‘Unlock key’ field in the settings, then the persisting ‘invalid’ status seems to be a problem of the Connect app having trouble with updating the settings. To get around this you can try:
-Restart the Connect app (sometimes only after several restarts it works)
-Restart the watch
-Use Connect IQ app or Garmin Express instead

Some users are confused by the persistent ‘key icon’ next to some options in the settings – please note that this does not go away once you have entered a key. This icon is meant to clearly indicate which options require the key and so it will always stay there regardless of the key validity status.

Also, if you don’t get the weather data even though you have entered a correct key, this is probably because you have not updated the GPS location. Please see the related point below.

I have paid for the fully functional watch face, but I have not received the activation code

This happens quite often and the usual reasons are:

1) Wrong spelling of the payer email address (e.g. gmial.com instead of gmail.com) – in this case the email containing the unlock key can’t be delivered.

2) The default email in the PayPal profile is different from the one that the payer uses daily, or sometimes already out of use – if you don’t remember what email address you set in your PayPal profile, please log in to your PayPal account and check.

If you can’t retrieve your unlock key because of the invalid email account, you can use the ‘Contact’ link here or the ‘Contact developer’ link on the download page for help, but please be patient because the developer may not always be able to reply immediately. Please make sure you provide the correct return email address, otherwise the developer won’t be able to get back to you, back to square one 🙂

I cant get the alternative time zones working. It isn’t possible to change the offset

This seems to be a recurring problem in Garmin apps not being able to handle entry of decimal numbers as expected. If you can’t edit the offset in Garmin Connect app, please try Connect IQ instead. If both fail, it may also be worth trying Garmin Express on a PC.

I can’t get weather information or the information is totally off

The weather information depends on your location, so after installing a watch face, you need to update the GPS coordinates (for example by briefly switching to an activity screen, run, bike etc.). It appears that on some watches the GPS information is lost after updating the watch face from an earlier version. If your weather info is wrong, please try to refresh the GPS.

Does not work on my new watch, only shows IQ

This can happen when your watch is running an outdated system software (firmware), which is a common case after purchasing a new watch. Often, installing a connect IQ app requires updating the firmware. Normally Garmin app should inform you of this, but apparently this is not always the case. Please try to update your watch firmware to the latest one – this should happen automatically when you first connect your watch to Garmin Express application on a computer, which is a good thing to do anyway.

I try to download this watch face and it tells me my device needs an update but it is up to date with the latest SW

The most likely explanation is that you have tried to update the watch firmware and then immediately to install a new watch face, using Garmin Express. Please note that while your watch is connected to a PC with a USB cable, the files are only copied to the watch, but not really installed. For an installation via Garmin Express to complete, you need to disconnect the USB cable first. Therefore, if the new watch face requires new firmware, you need to disconnect the cable and allow the firmware installation to complete before attempting to install the watch face.

The sunrise sunset option is only giving me a blank line

After a fresh installation of the watch face, you need to refresh your GPS coordinates which are necessary for the sunrise/sunset calculation. To do this, just switch to an activity such as run or cycle and wait until ‘GPS ready’ message appears or the GPS indicator turns green. Then you can cancel the activity and return to the face. The sun times should now be shown. Note that you may need to repeat this procedure after you have changed your location for the sun times to be updated accordingly. It has been reported that on some newer watches this procedure may still not lead to a successful sun times display. An additional step is needed to ensure that the watch is using the ‘Time Sync’ with GPS and not with the mobile phone. This is done in the watch system settings.

The ‘resting HR’ is not displayed (showing only –)

This appears to be a problem of Garmin firmware – from time to time it stops providing the resting HR information to Connect IQ apps. If this happens, you can fix this problem (at least for some time), by going to the watch Settings/User Profile/Heart Rate/Resting HR and choosing an option there.

HR and Seconds only show for a while and then lost! Why?

Garmin pre-2017 watches (e.g fenix 3 family, FR23x, Vivoactive HR) generally can only refresh the watch face once a minute, except when in ‘high power mode’, which is activated by a wrist gesture and lasts about 10 seconds. That’s why there are so many watch faces that can display the seconds only for a short while and so many confused users thinking this is a bug.

In fact this is not a bug but a way to conserve the battery. However, with the newer watches beginning from fenix 5, Garmin introduced ‘partial update’ function that allows a watch face to be updated every second, if special care is taken by the developer to keep these updates within allowed ‘power budget’ limit. Again, this is meant to extend the battery life, so generally there is not much that a watch face can do besides updating the seconds and HR.

So if you are using one of my watch faces and you do not see the seconds displayed continuously, most likely your watch simply cannot support this function.

It is also worth noting that the activation of the ‘high power mode’ works both ways, so that when you raise your wrist, it is activated, but when you lower your wrist before 10 seconds elapse, it is immediately deactivated.

How do I change the time to 24hr?

Watch faces usually follow the time format set in the watch system settings. The watch time format is selected at the initial setup after powering on the watch for the first time or after factory reset, but it can be accessed any time from the watch system settings menu. It can also be changed using Garmin Connect application or from Garmin Connect web page – in this case you need to synchronize the watch with your phone for the setting to take effect. Please also read the following topic.

I want 24h display but the watch keeps going back to 12h (or the opposite)

In theory, the switching between 24/12 hour modes is controlled by the watch settings. If your watch is set to operate in 24 or 12 hour mode, my watch face will follow the same format. However, this doesn’t always work smooth because the time format can be set either from the watch built-in settings menu, from the device settings in Garmin Connect Mobile or device settings on Garmin Connect web page. To make it even more complicated, Garmin Connect has a separate time format selection in the device settings and another one for the user account settings display preferences. Experience shows that if all these settings are not consistent, you may observe undesired switching between time formats on your watch when it synchronizes with your Garmin account. To avoid this, please make sure that the same time format is set as your preferred choice everywhere.

The watch face only shows imperial units, while I want metric (or vice versa)

These watch faces do not have a separate setting to choose the units, they just follow the system setting of the watch. So if you don’t see the units you want, please check your watch system settings (on the watch menu), or device settings in Garmin Connect Mobile.

My units settings are miles, however it is showing in yards

The display will switch to miles when you complete 1760 yards.

In the Gamin Connect App I don’t have the option for settings, just Uninstall and to go to the IQ store

This seems to happen from time to time and so far in my experience applying one or more of the steps below should help:

  • Power off/on the watch
  • If it happens with Garmin Connect or Connect IQ, try with Garmin Express instead
  • If it works with Garmin Express but not with Garmin phone app, restart your phone, or you can try to just restart the Garmin app
  • Try to update or uninstall/reinstall the face
  • If you see this happening with Rails or Night & Day watch face, please check if your watch is still included in the ‘supported devices’ list. If it isn’t you can find a legacy version of the app on the store (search for ‘Old Rails’ or ‘Old Night & Day’

I like the look of the watch face but there is a very long delay when you press a button to navigate away from the watch face screen

This is a problem that is difficult to avoid on older watch models (forerunner 230, 235, 630, fenix 3, vivoactive), due to the way the watch firmware handles the transition between screens and a low processing power of the watch.

If you compare a complex Connect IQ face to Garmin’s native face, the CIQ face will generally cause a longer delay. Native Garmin watch faces are part of the watch system software (AKA firmware), which means they are highly optimized, but not very flexible. On the other hand, Connect IQ faces give the user a lot of choices, but at the cost of running on top of the Connect IQ engine, which adds an additional level of intermediate processing (or translation from what the developer intended to what the watch eventually does).

For Time Flies, the default configuration after first installation will result in some 2 second lag on the slow watches. You can reduce the lag by disabling the shadow effect (set the ‘Shadow’ option to ‘Off’. Any additional data that you configure (option fields, graphs in DBox) will increase the lag. Also, more complex hand shapes such as ‘Sport’ will cause a longer lag than the simple ones such as ‘Straight’.

Time Flies on some models has an option called ‘Fast screen switch’. If this is activated, the lag on switching screens should be reduced, but in some cases this may cause the watch face to redraw only partially – this is a tradeoff. However, the screen will be fully refreshed on the next full minute, or immediately if you move your wrist.

I am not able to download any apps. It says no connection with server. Try again later. This has been happening for a long time

Assuming your internet connection is OK, this might be a problem with your login credentials to Garmin’s server. Are you sure your user name and password are correct? Please try to log out and log in again.

The watch reverts to the built-in digital watch face or shows IQ

This kind of problem could be the fault of the CIQ application, but sometimes it could also be caused by issues with Garmin’s firmware. If the face has been working well and suddenly does not work any more after Garmin’s firmware update, it is probably a firmware’s problem.

If it happens you can try these steps:

  1. Check that your watch has been updated to the latest available firmware version (there is a topic on this above).
  2. Go to the face selection menu on the watch and select your chosen face again. If this doesn’t help,
  3. Try to uninstall the face and install it back.
  4. If the default face appeared after changing some setting of your current watch face, try to revert this setting and repeat step 2. If it is confirmed that the setting change was causing the problem, please report via the ‘Connect Developer’ link.
  5. Sometimes the watch firmware may enter some unstable condition that causes the Connect IQ applications to malfunction. In such cases a power cycle might help – turn the watch off from the menu (soft reset) or press and hold the power button until the display goes blank (hard reset), then press again to turn the watch back on.
  6. If your preferred watch face suddenly stops working after firmware update, it is always good to check if other watch faces still work well. If they don’t, it is the firmware’s problem and probably the only solution is to wait until Garmin fix it.

The features of the watch face activated by wrist gesture don’t work

It seems to be a recurring problem with Garmin firmware – the watch system does not notify the watch face of the wrist gesture, unless you enable backlight activation by wrist gesture in the watch settings.

For example, on fenix 5x, press the menu button, then choose Settings->System->Backlight->Watch Mode->Gesture->On, or ‘After Sunset’.

This seems to be a common problem on Vivoactive 4 or 4s – apparently gesture activation does not work there at all (at least for some users, maybe for all). I don’t know if there is any solution for this.

I cannot change the settings of this watch face from the watch menu

Please note that you can do this only for the built-in faces that come with the watch. For downloadable Connect IQ watch faces, you need to use Garmin Connect or Garmin Express app:

Changing Garmin Connect IQ app settings

The time is am, but the watch shows pm or vice versa / The sunrise and sunset times are incorrect

1) Please check if your watch is set to adjust the time automatically, or if you need to use the manual setting, make sure the set time is correct.

2) After installing a watch face you may need to update the GPS location, so that the watch face becomes aware of your coordinates. This can be done by switching to any activity that uses GPS (running, cycling, etc.) and letting the signal lock. You don’t need to start or record the activity.

If you can’t get the sun times to appear after locking the GPS, please try to select the ‘Time Sync’ with GPS (not mobile phone) from the watch system settings.

3) If you are traveling, make sure that the device you’re synchronizing the watch with (e.g. your phone) is set to the local time. Otherwise the watch will switch to your device’s incorrect time with each synchronization.