Recovering data after Garmin crashed whilst saving activity

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Unfortunately I spent most of it in my home office but I did manage to get out on the bike for a quick ride before sunset (the first time I’ve worked at home in weeks, with a correspondingly low occurrence of exercise on a work day…).  Unfortunately, when I got home, my Garmin 810 cycle computer froze whilst saving my ride.

It actually needed a reset (holding the lap and power buttons together for about 5 seconds) before I could get it to respond at all but my biggest concern was whether my ride data had been lost (if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen).

The Garmin Connect app on my phone wouldn’t upload the ride, so I tried installing Garmin Express on a PC.  It decided that there was a file on my device that couldn’t be uploaded. Sadly, that file was the data from last night’s ride.

Garmin Express - Some files could not be uploaded to Garmin Connect

I ignored Garmin Express’s offer to remove the file and, thanks to Chesilboy’s post on the Garmin forums, I managed to rescue some of the data.

  1. First, I connected the Garmin to my PC and navigated to \Garmin\Activities.
  2. There, I located the .FIT file for the ride and copied it to somewhere safe.
  3. Next, I uploaded the .FIT file to Strava.
  4. Strava read the data, warning me that the file was damaged, possibly truncated and that some of the ride would be lost. Importantly though, it would use the data that could be read (as it happens, almost all of my ride – only missing the last 1.5 kilometres).
  5. At this point, I could export a GPX file and import it to Garmin Connect, but I’m not really that bothered about my records there (I find the site clunky and unreliable and I only really use it to get my data to Strava).

As Chesilboy notes, shame on Garmin for a) not keeping the data safe (why not write it throughout the activity) and b) actually offering to delete it! Thank goodness Strava is better at data processing!

21 thoughts on “Recovering data after Garmin crashed whilst saving activity


  1. Thanks for posting this! This just happened to me – after my longest ride and the most climb. Figures, huh? However, I was able to retrieve the data. Again, thanks!


  2. Great work. You have made me very happy. I though I lost a day from my multi day cycling event, but I now have it. You are a star! Alan


  3. Thanks for posting this. Just recovered today’s ride thanks to your advice. So frustrating when you think you lost your data after working hard. Thanks.


  4. I can’t read the actual tips – just the comments – is it possible to send them? I tried in chrome & safari browser with no luck. Thanks!


  5. Thank you for this- I was still unable to get Strava to upload it- it said “Bad Data” but I tried Training Peaks, and it had no problem. So thanks again, huge save!


  6. Thanks a lot for this article. My Edge 810 hung up towards the end of my first 200K brevetand at least I could recover 150 K of this ride.


  7. Wow … SAVED the day !!! Thanks Mark putting this online and letting me get the record of a very hard ride (that I’m proud of BTW!!)

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