How To Fix A Garmin 110 Blank Screen [Consumer Fix]

by on June 29, 2013

in consumer

Garmin Forerunner 110The other day I was plugging in my Garmin 110 to charge it.  I saw the Garmin logo, then the screen went blank.  Blank, blank.  Nada. A dead screen and nothing was responding blank!

Yikes!  What will I tell the wife when she comes looking to use it?

In my desperation, I scoured the web for a potential fix to this dilemma.  What I found were a few fix ideas that worked for other people and I did find one that worked for my situation.  I’m putting the suggestion that did work for me at the end of the list.

Here we go with suggestions for fixing a Garmin 110 Blank Screen:

Fix #1:

  • Press and hold “Page” & “Lap” buttons to soft reset the Garmin.  (There was no suggestion on how long to do this.)

Fix #2:

If #1 does not work, then try the following:

  • Press and hold the “Lap/Reset” & “Light”  buttons at the same time.  At this point, the GPS device is supposedly going to prompt you if you want to erase your stored run data.

(This didn’t work for me.  The blank face just stared back at me.)

Fix #3:

I saw this in addition to the above 2 suggestions:

  • Hold down the light button for 6 seconds.

Then I hit upon this one suggestion, THE suggestion that did work for me.

Fix #4:

  • Hold the “Light” button down for 10 seconds
  • Wait for the screen to go blank & 10 more seconds for the watch to come back to life.
  • If it does not wake up, plug it into a power source!

{I don’t know if it mattered or not, but rather than the wall outlet plug, I had my Garmin 110 cabled into my computer.  It probably doesn’t matter.  But since I’m superstitious about sensitive electronic devices, if this were to happen again, I’d probably plug it into the computer like last time.  Exactly the way it worked for me.  But that’s your call.}

Updated 6-29-13:

Fix #5:

Brusimm reader Steve G said he didn’t have good luck with any of the first four suggestions,   But he called Garmin, who added this new aspect to the potential fixes:

  • While the watch is connected to the charger,
    • Hold the light and start/stop buttons at the same time for 20 seconds.
  • In addition, connect the watch to the clip BEFORE connecting it to the charger.
    • When the clip is being connected and then unconnected, it causes problems for the watch.

Thanks bunches Steve for the extra info.


Here’s hoping one of the above suggestions works for you.

Curious Observation:  What has me curious is how some suggestions say press the Light button for 6 seconds, while others have a 10-second wait time.

OH!!! And one other thing… I immediately uploaded whatever new data there was to my free account on the Garmin Connect site, just in case.



fix #4:]

[Originally published Sep 14th, 2012,
Updated 6-29-13]

{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

Nacho February 25, 2015 at 6:36 am

I thought that my watch broke down after charging it all night long and seeing that there was a blank screen . In the FAQ of Garmin nothing was said to solve the problem.
Then I found this post and #3 brought back my watch to life.
Thank you very much!!

Debby E. February 22, 2015 at 5:17 am

#4 works for me sometimes, and sometimes #5. I keep coming back to this site for the instructions every time my watch does the blank screen thing.

Liam Brighton February 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

I’m having a frustrating time with my 110. It’s about 1 year old and has always worked well. Yesterday I went to use it and….nothing! When I plug it into wall charger or computer it shows a screen with ‘Garmin’ name and the charging battery icon (moves along until full and repeats continuously). As soon as I unplug from the power source the screen goes blank. There’s a strange ghost image of a flickering screen when I look at the face in a certain light. I’ve tried all the recommended button pushing options (thanks folks…) but nothing. I’ve tried taking the back off but it’s not moving. Any further ideas from anyone out there?….

Jackie February 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Thanks so much. I was so worried that my Garmin was dead!

clare January 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

Thanks! Very useful information.

Surinder January 13, 2015 at 9:41 am

Thanks Bruce. Fix #4 worked brilliantly for me. God Bless.

Howard January 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Brilliant thank you – Number 4 worked for me and the data was all intact as well. I was 5 minutes away from ordering a new 110!!

Jim December 19, 2014 at 8:05 am

Number 4 worked for me in the past. This time it didn’t but #5 did. Thanks again.

Kasia December 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

Thank you so much! Number 5 worked and my garmin came back to life.

Sarah Gibson November 28, 2014 at 11:14 am

Number 5 worked for my Garmin 110 too! Thank you so much! Will definitely connect the watch to the clip before attaching it to a power source next time!

Linda November 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Number 5 worked for my 110. What a relief. This is the second time it has acted like that. The first time it just finally came back with the charger on.

Sara November 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I have used each one of these fixes over the past year, multiple 5ks, a half, and the Army 10 miler later I have realized the watch is just plain temperamental. I try each one until it works and it’s never the same twice in a row. I do appreciate all of the fixes though!!!!

kläusje November 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

Thanks for these beautiful manual, that helped me a lot!!!
I searched a long spell of time to find a german article, but without success – i teetered on the brink of disaster…
I had no “blank screen” but a problem with the software and “#2″ was my solution on the forerunner210.
Now i have stored this website on my favourites for the next crash ;-)

Hayley November 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Thanks a heap! :D Mine turned right back on the same way yours did

Dan October 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I seem to be having a slightly different problem with my forerunner 110. Similar to some of these comments I was uploading a run to my laptop when the watch flashed with the Garmin logo and then went blank. The watch will now illuminate following one of the suggestions but won’t display anything. Any thoughts? I’ve tried all of the options I can find. I’m going to attempt to drain the battery and have a go at charging from scratch. When it is illuminated it occasionally flickers to give me a slight element of hope.

Shana October 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

Oh my goodness, I forgot to thank you. THANK YOU!!!!

Shana October 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

Fix #5 did it for me! I ran a 10k this morning and my watch wouldn’t turn on and I tried basically #1-4 before the race trying desperately to turn the damn thing on but nothing worked. So I ran the race without my watch and thought it was the end of my life, but I actually ran a 7:27 pace and a PR. So maybe I don’t need the watch to pace me….. :)

Christi August 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Thank you so much – Fix #3 did the trick for me. You’re a lifesaver!

chas August 12, 2014 at 6:06 am

What a good post saved me lots of $$$$$$$$

the last trick did it for me # 5

I did try step #4 and it asked about erasing the data, but then went off and dead again

Anyway the 20 second light and start/stop button worked

many thanks sir!

Steve August 7, 2014 at 7:09 am

“In addition, connect the watch to the clip BEFORE connecting it to the charger.
When the clip is being connected and then unconnected, it causes problems for the watch.”

After trying ALL steps. this is the one that solved it for me. All I had to do was connect the watch and THEN plug the USB into the charger.

Steven Kelly August 4, 2014 at 9:15 am

Tried all the fixes in order, with and without power from PC/charger. Fix #5 with power worked for me. Many thanks!

Bruce Simmons August 4, 2014 at 8:43 am

Danny, thanks for that in-depth experience report. It’s very insightful as to what the issue can be.

The fact that Garmin has a work-around suggests they do know about it, but aren’t admitting to the problem, in so many words. (Or, I’d guess, they wouldn’t have these fancy or funky work-around suggestions.)

If you can, and remember, keep us up-to-date on this “Garmin Warranty Return.”

Danny August 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

None of these worked for me, I called Garmin support on July 31 and they asked me to hold down the light button for 30 seconds, release, then hold down for 3 more seconds. This didn’t work either so they asked me to return it under warranty. While wating for their instructions for this I read somewhere about a glitch whereby the battery can be charged but the watch “thinks” it’s not charged, so the suggestion was to let enough time pass for the battery to really drain fully, then plug in and charge again. I waited until yesterday (August 3) and connected the watch to the charger again. Still a completely blank screen. I left it plugged in overnight and then this morning it’s fully charged with the normal screen. I can’t believe how much material there is out there about this problem and Garmin don’t appear to be doing anything about it. Given what I have read I expect this to happen again, hopefully thanks to this and other sites I will be able to deal with it. I am still waiting for Garmin’s instructions for returning the watch under warranty btw.

Jill July 31, 2014 at 2:17 pm

#2 and then quickly pressing the light button worked for me! Thanks!!

Brenda July 19, 2014 at 10:50 am

Number five worked for my garmin 210. Followed it exactly. Even plugging into computer. Whew. Saved buying another watch. Thank you

Christell July 19, 2014 at 9:08 am

I was just about to bin my watch when I came across your article. #5 worked for me. Thanks a lot!

Alia July 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

None of the suggestions worked for me. I went to charge my watch and it said “Saving activity” and then went blank! I used a spare charger it didn’t work. I used different wall plugs, and thought maybe the battery was dead because it was purchased from Amazon, so who knows how long it was on the shelves. The thing that DID work that you mentioned was plugging it into the computer…poof!! The thing came back to life!! I had pressed all the buttons previously in all kinds of combinations, but plugging it into the computer worked! Thank you so much because this is a brand new watch, and I wouldn’t have ever of thought of plugging it into the computer.

Kim July 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Your the greatest! The Garmin website wasn’t much help.
Thank you

Sharon R July 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Thank goodness for Google! Your webpage was the first I clicked on when I Googled “Garmin 110 blank screen”. I was so happy that #3 worked for me!! Thank you for saving me $$$ !!

Nike Air One July 4, 2014 at 9:59 am

Just got my FR 110 Screen went completely dead after a full charge # 5 worked for me thank you!

Karina June 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Thank you so much for this post! Mine didn’t turn on until the reader Steve G’s suggestion. I was getting pretty worried!

Will June 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thank you so much. I’m relieved. #3 worked on my Forerunner 110.

Vincent June 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I’ve tried all 5 and no luck :'( I even sat in a dark room and I can see the back light stay continuously on and then turn itself off during pressing of the various buttons of all of these 5 steps, however even though the backlight will turn on indicating the watch is powered, it will not come up with any display, text, nor reflect as a mass drive when plugged into the cpu. (my tactix/fenix was working fine until I uploaded 4.40 and while uploading the cpu died, the watch than stated software loading at which point it went blank and only the backlight will turn on and off, with no text or even that famous bar line across the screen, ughhh…. any other suggestions?

Mike May 31, 2014 at 9:21 am

Garmin 201 user here. Went through steps 1-5 and nothing – which left me bumming. Went back through the list a second time and #2 worked (can’t even begin to understand why). So – for those that can’t get a fix first time through – perhaps try again (or more) if you have a temperamental watch like mine!

Sarah May 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

#4 worked for me!! Thanks Bruce!!

Nicole May 25, 2014 at 6:36 am

Awesome! I didn’t have a blank screen – I had a screen that was too dark to read (even with the light) unless you turned it at certain angles. Fix 4 worked for me. Thanks!

Bob May 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm

#4 worked for me on the 110 model! thanks!

Wayne May 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

Thanks a bunch. Number 4 worked for me

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