Garmin Fenix 3 Phantom Activities Fix
Recent updates to the Garmin Fenix 3 seem to have introduced some annoying bugs for me and many others. One of the most annoying of these is the addition of loads of ‘phantom activities’ to Garmin connect, and therefore any other tracking services that use Garmin Connect as it’s source.
For me, this manifests itself in lots of additional activities all with no distance added to Garmin Connect when my Fenix 3 syncs, and these activities then get pushed to other services such as Strava and my health tracking rewards programs. For some reason they don’t seem to make their way to Training Peaks though. As you can imagine this is pretty annoying as I then have to manually go through each of these deleting the phantom activities.
Apparently the cause is actually an issue with Garmin Connect and not with the watch itself, even though it was an update to the Fenix 3 firmware that starts the problems. The firmware update is supposed to be OK, but the Garmin Connect software hasn’t been updated to reflect the changes made in the new firmware and that is the cause of the problems. Garmin Connect needs an update to catch up with the Fenix 3 updates.
Fenix 3 Phantom Activities – The Solutions
There are a few solutions, none of which are ideal:
- Revert to Firmware 6.50 – I’m not sure how to do this, but may look into it as 6.50 was working fine for me.
- Switch off the Activity Tracker – I don’t want to do this as I like seeing my steps, I like getting rewarded for my steps and I like tracking my sleep. Switching off the activity tracking just turns off lots of the features of the watch
- Turn off Move Alerts – This is a less extreme form of solution 2 and may just work for you. The Jury is still out for me. It seems to have helped, but I’m not convinced that it has completed eliminated all of the phantom activities.
- Wait for a fix from Garmin – Who knows when this will be?
Option 3 is the one I’m trying at the moment. It works because it looks as though the phantom activities are coming from periods of ‘step activity’ being interpreted as phantom activities. In some cases it might be the move alert (or the steps after a move alert) that are triggering this.
There are a few other issues creeping in with this 6.80 firmware update as well. For some reason in Garmin Connect my device isn’t always recognised as a Fenix 3. Sometimes it is recognised and I get a new little image of a Fenix 3 to prove it, other times it gets shown as ‘device unknown’ instead. Not really a problem, but not how it should be.
Finally, the Actiface Watch Face that I use should (and always has in the past) shown a nice little graph of my recent (the past 7 days) activity. This displayed the number of miles I;d covered each day, the calories burnt each day and whether or not I’d met my steps goal. Since the 6.80 Firmware updates though rather than seeing a nice little graph there is just a straight line. According to the developer of the watch face: “There was a bug in the Fenix’s firmware update. It affected all watchfaces and apps which uses activity tracker data”, I wonder if this is related to changes that have also created the phantom activities?
Although I’ve seen this final issue, I don’t think it is actually affecting me. I think I’m simply getting the straight line rather than a nice graph because I deleted all of my historical activities on the Fenix 3 in an attempt to prevent the phantom activities showing up. This didn’t work for the phantom activities but would be a perfectly logical explanation for previous days activity totals not being shown on the watchface graph. I’ll let you know in a few days time once I have accrued some more activities if this indeed an issue or not for me.