Garmin Watch Not Showing Texts: Quick Fixes for Notification Issues

Smartwatches have revolutionized how we stay connected, and Garmin watches are no exception. On your wrist, they not only track fitness activities but also keep you informed with notifications from your phone, including text messages.

However, it can be quite frustrating when your Garmin watch fails to show text notifications. This issue can arise due to a myriad of reasons such as incorrect notification settings on your watch, necessary services not running on your smartphone, or outdated software on either device.

Resolving the problem requires a systematic approach, starting with the basics like ensuring that your Garmin watch and smartphone are paired correctly and that notifications are enabled.

It’s also essential to verify that your phone’s software and the Garmin Connect app are up to date, as outdated versions can lead to compatibility issues.

The type of phone you have can also affect how notifications are managed; for instance, specific settings on iPhones running recent iOS versions may need to be adjusted to ensure text notifications are properly displayed on your Garmin watch.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure proper pairing between your Garmin watch and smartphone, and that notifications are enabled.
  • Check for updates on your smartphone’s software and the Garmin Connect app to ensure compatibility.
  • Adjust notification settings on your phone, especially if using an iPhone with recent iOS updates.

Understanding Garmin Watch Notifications

Navigating your Garmin watch notifications can greatly enhance your device experience, allowing you to stay updated without constantly checking your phone.

Notifications Basics

Notifications are alerts that you can receive on your Garmin watch, mirroring the information from your smartphone. To ensure you’re getting text message notifications, you must have ‘Share System Notifications’ enabled on your phone. Your notification settings are critical for this functionality. Here are basic steps to manage notifications:

  • For iPhone: Go to the iOS Notifications settings and select which alerts to share.
  • For Android: Use the Garmin Connect™ app and go to Settings > Notifications.

Remember, your watch will only display notifications when it is within range of your phone.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth is essential for your Garmin watch and smartphone to communicate. If your notifications, especially text message notifications, are not appearing, the issue might lie with Bluetooth connectivity. Ensure:

  • The Garmin watch is paired with your phone.
  • Bluetooth is on both on your phone and Garmin watch.
  • Do Not Disturb modes are not active, as they can prevent notifications.

To manage Bluetooth connections on your watch:

  1. Swipe down or press the button to access the controls menu.
  2. Look for the Bluetooth icon to verify the connection status.
  3. If it’s disconnected, revisit your phone’s Bluetooth settings to re-establish a link.

By following these specifics, you should maintain a consistent flow of notifications to your Garmin watch.

Initial Setup and Troubleshooting

Ensuring your Garmin watch displays text messages requires proper initial setup and troubleshooting if issues arise. This involves configuring the Garmin Connect app correctly and pairing your watch with a compatible smartphone.

Garmin Connect App Configuration

Your Garmin device relies on the Garmin Connect™ app for smart notifications. Begin by downloading the Garmin Connect app to your compatible smartphone from the app store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android™ phones. Follow these steps to configure the app:

  • Open the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone.
  • Navigate to the Settings.
  • Select ‘Smart Notifications’.
  • Enable notifications and customize which alerts you wish to receive on your Garmin watch.

Remember to check the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone to ensure that the Garmin Connect app is permitted to push notifications.

Pairing Your Garmin Watch With Your Smartphone

To receive text message notifications, your Garmin watch must be paired with your smartphone. Here’s how to pair them using Bluetooth:

  • Enable Bluetooth on your compatible smartphone.
  • Hold the Garmin watch close to your smartphone.
  • Open the Garmin Connect app and follow the on-screen instructions to add your watch.

If your Garmin watch does not show up, try these steps:

  1. Restart your Garmin watch and smartphone.
  2. Toggle Bluetooth off and on on your smartphone.
  3. Attempt to re-pair the devices.

Ensure that your Garmin watch is within range of your smartphone to maintain a strong Bluetooth connection for receiving notifications.

Handling Text Messages on Garmin

In the world of Garmin smartwatches, staying connected to your text messages is straightforward and customizable, with settings allowing for both visibility and interaction directly from your wrist.

Receiving Text Messages

To receive text messages on your Garmin watch, ensure that notifications are enabled on both your watch and smartphone. Here is how to set up your devices:

  1. On Your iPhone:

    • Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages.
    • Enable Allow Notifications.
    • Under Preview, select Always to ensure texts show even when the phone is locked.
  2. On Your Garmin Watch:

    • Access the Settings.
    • Navigate to Phone > Smart Notifications.
    • Enable notifications for messages.

Check that both Alerts and Notification Center are checked to receive notifications.

Replying to Text Messages

When it comes to replying to text messages directly from your Garmin watch, this functionality is unique to specific models and typically requires an Android device. On compatible devices, follow these steps:

  1. Upon receiving a notification, select the message to view it.
  2. Choose Reply, and select a predefined message or use the text field if your watch has a touchscreen and the feature to type out custom responses.

Keep in mind that iOS users may have limitations on replying directly from the Garmin watch due to restrictions with Apple’s messaging system.

Advanced Garmin Watch Features

Garmin’s advanced watches are equipped with cutting-edge technology designed to enhance your navigation and fishing experiences. These features transform your watch into a hub of smart connectivity and precision.

Echomap Ultra 2 Integration

Your Garmin watch isn’t just for tracking activities; it can be paired with the Echomap Ultra 2 series for a seamless angling experience. This integration allows you to access UHD scanning sonar readings directly from your wrist, keeping you informed about what’s below the water’s surface without needing to continually glance at your chartplotter.

  • Control at Your Fingertips: Interact with the Echomap Ultra series through your Garmin watch’s touchscreen.
  • Sonar View: Utilize the watch to view sonar data and mark waypoints.

Chartplotters and Maps

Beyond sonar integration, your Garmin watch can connect with various Garmin chartplotters, extending your mapping capabilities onto your wrist.

  • Maps On-the-Go: Download high-quality maps directly to your device for easy reference.
  • Chartplotter Synchronization: Ensure that your waypoints and routes are up-to-date across all devices.

With these features, your Garmin watch serves as more than a fitness tracker — it’s a companion for your outdoor and maritime adventures, interfacing smoothly with your Echomap Ultra 2 for essential data at a glance.

Managing Notifications Settings

When you find that your Garmin watch is not showing text message notifications, checking and adjusting your notification settings is key. Here’s how you can manage these settings to ensure you receive message notifications effectively:

For All Devices:

  • Check Notification Access: Make sure your Garmin device is granted access to notifications in your phone’s settings.
  • Bluetooth Connection: Ensure your device is connected to your phone via Bluetooth, as this is crucial for receiving notifications.

For Android:

  1. Enable Notifications:

    • Go to your phone’s Settings.
    • Tap on Notifications and find the Garmin Connect app.
    • Make sure the switch next to “Allow Notifications” is turned on.
  2. Adjust App Permissions:

    • Still within your phone’s Settings, navigate to Apps or Application Manager.
    • Select the Garmin Connect app.
    • Tap on Permissions and ensure that the app has permission to access your notifications.

For iOS:

  1. iOS Notification Center:

    • Open the Settings on your iPhone.
    • Scroll to Notifications and select Garmin Connect.
    • Enable “Allow Notifications” to ensure alerts are sent to your watch.
  2. Garmin Connect Settings:

    • Inside the Garmin Connect app, go to Devices.
    • Select your watch and find Notifications.
    • Adjust the settings to ensure texts are allowed.

Smart Notification Management:

  • On your Garmin watch, navigate to the main menu.
  • Find and select Settings.
  • Tap on Notifications and review the options available for texts, calls, and app alerts. Tweak these settings to your preference.

By following these steps, you should be able to receive message notifications on your Garmin watch without any issues.

Technical Support and Garmin Device Maintenance

When facing issues with your Garmin watch, such as not displaying texts, there are two primary avenues for troubleshooting: the Garmin Support Center and device reset procedures.

Garmin Support Center

Garmin Support Center is your go-to resource for troubleshooting and managing your device’s functionality. If your Garmin watch is not showing text messages, ensure that the Smart Notifications are enabled and properly configured. Access Garmin Support Center online for step-by-step guides or contact customer support for personalized assistance. Typically, the remedy involves:

  • Checking connection stability between your Garmin watch and phone.
  • Ensuring that the Garmin Connect app is up to date.
  • Adjusting notification settings on your phone to allow your watch to receive notifications.

Reset and Restore

If basic troubleshooting proves unfruitful, a reset may be required. To reset your Garmin watch:

  1. Press and hold the power button until the device turns off.
  2. Turn the watch back on and check if the issue persists.

For a more comprehensive reset:

  • Back up your data as this process will erase all user information.
  • Restore the watch to factory settings through the settings menu or using a button sequence specific to your model.

A reset often resolves underlying software issues that could prevent notifications from appearing on your Garmin watch. If issues continue after performing the reset, consult with Garmin Support for additional guidance.


  • Matthew

    Meet Matthew, a wearable tech & fitness enthusiast passionate about transforming health through innovative devices. With an engineering background and a love for fitness, Matthew shares in-depth reviews, tips, and news on the latest wearable tech to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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