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Garmin down: Online Connect service not working amid server outage

Andrew Griffin
Monday 31 August 2020 10:50
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Jack Bauer of New Zealand and Garmin-Sharp reacts after the finish as he was the last rider of the breakaway caught by the field sprint in the final meters of the fifteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Jack Bauer of New Zealand and Garmin-Sharp reacts after the finish as he was the last rider of the breakaway caught by the field sprint in the final meters of the fifteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France

Garmin's online services have stopped working amid a major outage.

The company's status site showed that all of its various platforms and features were down: from its Connect tool for syncing data to the incident detection services that allow devices to send out alerts if someone is in a crash.

A message in the app confirmed the problems, with a pop-up informing users that the tools were "down for maintenance" and that they should "check back shortly".

Tracking website Down Detector showed hundreds of reports of issues. Many of them were coming from Europe – though that might simply be a result of timezones meaning that most people attempting to view their health information or do workouts are located there.

The outage comes almost exactly a month after huge problems at Garmin, caused by a ransomware attack that took its systems offline for days. The attack not only stopped Garmin devices from working properly – including aviation mapping that is relied on by pilots – but also took its customer service data centres offline and broke its online store.

The new problems seem less widespread than those issues. This time around, Garmin's consumer-facing website is still working, for instance, and the aviation products do not appear to be offline either.

But the new problems did take just about every online service offline. That can cause problems not just for syncing health data or workouts to the internet – since Garmin's devices, such as its smartwatches, rely heavily on their connection to the phone, issues with the Connect service can stop the hardware from working properly too.

Garmin Connect also works to transfer workout data captured on its activity trackers to third-party services such as Strava and Komoot, and back the other way, bringing routes planned elsewhere to Garmin devices.

It is possible to sync workouts to services such as Strava, as well as sending courses to the Garmin devices, without the online tools working. That must be done by plugging the Garmin device into the computer, and full instructions can be found here.

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