Turn off Garmin Instinct Watch | Restart Watch | Easy

In this guide I will show you how to turn off or restart your Garmin Instinct (Affiliate Link) watch. This is helpful when you are running into issues with your device. Typically a restart should help. You might also turn off your watch when you will not be using it for some time.

Turn off Garmin Instinct

To turn on the watch you will start by holding the `CTRL` key on the top left until a circular menu shows up.

Garmin Instinct - CTRL Button

Next we want to get the power icon option in the top right circle of the watch face.

Garmin Instinct - Power Icon

If the power option is not selected already you can rotate the menu options clockwise by hitting the MENU button on the middle left.

Garmin Instinct - MENU Button

Alternatively you could rotate the menu counter clockwise by hitting the ABC button on the bottom left.

Garmin Instinct - ABC Button

Once the power icon is in the top right circle of the watch face click the GPS button on the top right.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you quickly tap the GPS button. If you long-press the GPS button it can cause it to start searching for satellites to track activity.

Garmin Instinct - GPS Button

At this point your watch should be turned off. It may take a few seconds before the screen appears completely blank.

Turn on Garmin Instinct

To turn on the watch hold the CTRL button for several seconds until you see the screen come on. It will take a little over 10 seconds for the watch to be fully booted and ready to use.

Garmin Instinct - CTRL Button

If you were restarting the device to finish installing an update, it may take much longer than the 10 seconds. This is not typical, and usually you should be aware when the watch is updating.

Wrap Up

As you can see it was easy to turn off the Garmin Instinct. Have you had to to turn off or restart your watch? Drop a comment below to get the conversation started! If you would like to see more tutorials on any Garmin devices please reach out via the Contact Us form.

14 thoughts on “Turn off Garmin Instinct Watch | Restart Watch | Easy”

  1. It didn’t turn off but said it was looking for gps connection

    • Hi Lorell, when you hit the GPS button was the power icon in the circular portion of the watch screen? It sounds like the power option was not selected and instead it tried to start an activity.

      Let me know, we will get it restarted for you!

  2. The power option was circled- I followed the video. It said it was acquiring satellites

    • That is really interesting, I just re-tried the steps mentioned in the blog and it worked correctly for me. I do have one of the original Garmin Instinct. Do you happen to have one of the newer versions like the solar or tactical? I’m curious why this is not working for you.

  3. Yes, mine is an Instinct Solar. I was trying to sync my watch and iPhone and thought turning it off and on May help

    • Yeah that is understandable. Is the watch already connected to the app? Sometimes I have trouble pairing my device with the app, but found that if I turn off the Bluetooth on my phone and then reconnect it, then re-open the Garman connect app, that it will work for me.

  4. I tried that and it didn’t work. If I could turn off the watch and restart it would work maybe

    • I did some more research on the solar version and saw in the owners manual it says to do the following:

      1. Hold CTRL until the device turns off.
      2. Hold CTRL to turn on the device.

      Here is the support article:
      Garmin Support

  5. The watch still won’t sync with phone after turning watch on and off

    • That’s a bummer! Have you tried reaching out to support? That might be the next best thing to do. Hopefully, they can get it resolved quickly for you.

      They make it kinda hard to find the support information. If you go to the bottom of this page there is a phone, chat, and email option! Garmin Support Link

  6. I have a similar problem trying to turn the watch off. When I pressed the GPS button after the power off icon is displayed, it started acquiring satellites. I tried again several times and the last time when I just tapped the GPS button, it shut down. Don’t hold the button… just tap it.

    • Thanks for the info, Rob! That should be helpful for other visitors. I went ahead and updated the instructions to reflect this information.

      • My problem was solved when I turned off the battery saver.

        • That is really interesting that the battery saver was causing the issue for you. Thanks for the update!


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