How to still upload your activity to Strava once Garmin down

A charging and sync cable is seen going in to the back of a Garmin watch

A claimed ransomware attack has reportedly shut down Garmin Connect and Express, making it impossible for runners, cyclists, walkers, and others to sync their activities to Strava. However, if Garmin is down, there is a manual way to publish your activity to Strava. This is how:

What you need:

  • Your Garmin watch or cycling computer.
  • The USB charging cable that came with it.
  • A computer with a USB port (practically any computer will do).
  • An internet connection.

Step 1

Connect your charging and sync cable to the back of your Garmin device and plug the USB end into your computer. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Wait for your Garmin device to be recognized as a conventional flash drive or memory stick after connecting it to your computer using a USB cord.

The Garmin watch cable either clips onto the side or inserts into the rear, as mentioned above. MicroUSB cables are typically accepted by Garmin cycling computers in a slot on the back.

Step 2

Garmin device mounted as a flash drive on Windows 10
Open the Garmin device like you would a flash drive. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Go to the Activity folder by launching the drive connected to the Garmin device.

  • For non-music devices, this under the folders Garmin > Activity.
  • For music devices, this is under the folders Primary > Garmin > Activity

Step 3

A directory containing .FIT files is seen
The .FIT files are how your Garmin device stores your recorded activities. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

A selection of “.FIT” files will be displayed. These files each include a record of your particular activities.

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The most recent one should be classified or labeled by date.

Step 4

Strava upload and sync screen
Strava can accept all sorts of files from various different fitness trackers, including .FIT files from Garmin devices. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Log into the Strava website and navigate to to manually upload a file.

Click on “Choose files” and navigate to your Garmin device. Find the latest .FIT file in the Activity folder as above and click “Open”.

Step 5

Review what you did. Here, you may give it a new name, modify your equipment, such your shoes or bike, and designate it as an exercise. Press “Save and view” when you are satisfied. I’m done now. Your feed will now show the action.