Question for Garmin owners: Hi all, I (might... - Couch to 5K

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Question for Garmin owners


Hi all,

I (might) graduate next week, and if I do I've promised myself a Garmin watch. Nothing too flash, maybe a 235. But I have a question before I take the plunge.

There are repeated references in the user manual to connecting the watch to a laptop via USB to achieve various things. I don’t have a laptop. I have a recent iPad and a Samsung S7 phone, and good broadband, but that’s it.

So my question: Can a Garmin watch work if it is never (or very, very rarely) connected to a laptop?

Thanks in advance.

19 Replies

You might not get the best out of it if it's not connected to desktop/web regularly. But Ripcurlrana71 will be around in a tick to sort you out. She fetishises her Garmin and she's planning to (re)name all her children, pets and house to "Garmin" as soon as she can xx

My Polar 400 would be useless if I didn't sync it regularly....


Thank you Stephen for that lovely intro.😬Mike - I’m no expert but my Garmin 35 Forerunner does the job perfectly for me. I’ve not plugged it into a PC/Mac. I’m sure there are lots of fancy things it can do but I’ve kept it simple. 😊

P.S I have the Garmin Connect app on my iPhone so sync regularly to that.

sallensonGraduate in reply to Ripcurlrana71

Think of me as the Unglamorous Assistant. Tho if that makes you either Bruce Forsyth or Paul Daniels maybe this wasn't such a great idea... :-)

Hmmm no like! 🙄 x

sallensonGraduate in reply to Ripcurlrana71

As I was typing I was having misgivings... But we've well and truly hijacked poor Mike's thread tho.... :-)

Sorry Mike...

Ooops! Sorry Mike....walk away slowly Stephen and I’ll close the door behind us. 😐

telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Ripcurlrana71

Thanks. So I guess I could put Garmin Connect on either my phone or my iPad and sync via one of those. Hopefully, we'll soon find out.

Yes that would work. 👌🏼

Yes, no problem if you just use an ipad. The garmin connect app will download runs off the watch via bluetooth, and send any updates to the watch in the other direction. I have a 235, and sync via phone or ipad. All the runs are then held on a server so you can review them on a pc, ipad or whatever you prefer. I rarely use a pc to look at my runs but do occasionally as it offers a little more capability, but its not essential. Enjoy!

telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Macmac

Brilliant, thanks! You can use either device then - you're not limited to just one?

Macmac in reply to telford_mike

Correct, I use all 3 🙂

telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Macmac

Forgot to ask - how do you find the 235?

I’m very pleased with it. It’s fairly simple once you get used to it, and works great. It has had the occasional strange pulse readings affecting heartrate (probably down to sweat/movement or something) but I find it so helpful in pacing and seeing my progress, info on splits etc. I have set up some workouts for intervals etc too. There are obviously more expensive models with more features but this was a good mid range option for me and does everything I need.


My FR235 has never been connected to a PC. It syncs to my iPhone and does everything that I require via that link. Uploading runs, downloading software updates: all from the iPhone. The Connect app of the phone is great, and there are plenty more screens and data available on the online site (I look at this via a PC) but you can do the same from your iPad.

FR235 is by a long stretch the best and most reliable bit of activity kit I’ve had (and I’ve tried a few!).

Only problem has been very occasional losing the Bluetooth connection, but that is easy to fix (turn off Bluetooth, turn on Bluetooth).


Thanks all, looks like I might be investing at the end of next week 😀🏃‍♀️


Great question Mike, and thanks all for those answers - really helpful!


My 645m doesn't really need a pc except for loading music. Daily sync etc happens via bluetooth to my phone and updates come in via wifi at home.

Might need to compare which models have wifi and Bluetooth 👍

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