My Garmin Forerunner 305 doesn’t power on – It’s just DEAD! The Solutions.

Monday, January 18, 2010 14:51
Posted in category Sports

If you experienced the same problem as I did and your Garmin Forerunner 305 just doesn’t turn on then try one of the steps i describe below to bring it back to life. Beside not responding to any buttons the computer doesnt recognize it either when connected through the USB interface.

I’ll present you with a few solutions I found surfing the web that might work for you.

Soft Rest

- Hold down MODE  + RESET  for few seconds
- Press the Power button to turn on the device


Hard Reset
(This will erase all of your data inside the device)

- Hold down MODE + RESET + POWER for few seconds
- Press the Power button to turn on the device


For me none of the above worked.  So I tried it with a firmware Downgrade/Upgrade (2.9 > 2.8 > 2.9) which essentialy solved the problem.  Current Firmware 2.90
(This will erase all your data inside the device)

Software Downgrade/Upgrade

- Connect your Garmin Forerunner 305 to the computer
- Press the UP arrow button and hold while doing all the other steps below
- Press MODE + RESET  for a moment (the computer will recognize the device)
- Dowload the Firmware from Garmin’s website. I’ll attach some versions to this post in case Garmin doesnt provide them any more.
- Downgrade Firmware from 2.90  to 2.80.  (You are still holding on that UP arrow button!)
- When the update is finished the Forerunner 305 should power on runing the Firmware 2.80.
- Let go of the UP arrow button, disconnect the device from USB, connect it again and the computer should recognize it normally
- Update the Firmware to the current version. In my case it was 2.90
- take your watch, go out and do what you most like :)


Garmin Forerunner 305 Firmware version 2.80
Garmin Forerunner 305 Firmware version 2.90
Garmin Forerunner 305 Firmware version 2.70

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81 Responses to “My Garmin Forerunner 305 doesn’t power on – It’s just DEAD! The Solutions.”

  1. emile says:

    February 15th, 2010 at 14:21

    I am not a proud owner of a garmin forerunner 305.I did the soft reset. ( mode+lap) I did the hard reset. (mode+power+lap). I did the software update to version 2.9.0. I have to soft reset every time before it comes on. If it comes on it does not display the route and elevation when downloaded to my PC. I have sent this unit n for repairs to Avnic Trading in SA and will see if they can back up their product. Why does Garmin sell something that so many people have the same problems with?? This unit just demotivates me from training. You try to record your toughest routes and then there is no info available afterwards.

  2. Jesper says:

    March 16th, 2010 at 00:08

    Hi Until today I was extremly happy with my Garmin 305. But then for some unknown reason it just when dead. The soft reset fixed it right away so thank you for the guide above. Se you all out there on the roads. 

  3. Jack says:

    March 26th, 2010 at 02:58

    I’ve had my 305 for 15 months and used it for running and biking with no problems at all…until the other day. I went to turn it on, and nothing.. I thought the battery went dead so I put it in it’s craddle and hooked it up to my pc…and nothing…Hmmm. I tried soft reboot…..nothing. .. I tried hard reboot…nothing…. I E-mailed Garmin yesterday and was hoping for a reply back today…nothing. .. Then I found this page. I downloaded and reinstalled the firmware 2.8. I ended up losing some data but I have my garmin back. I think thay have the market in this field and I think thay have good producuts, but I was very disapointed when I did not get a repy back from them in 24 hours. If they do reply back I will post, if not their customer support may not be as good as their products, even though it takes someone with computer knowledge to download and install firmware. I know my wife could not do it, and the 305 would have ended up in the trash. Try the firmware downgrade/upgrade before you throw yours out. Good luck

  4. Nik says:

    March 26th, 2010 at 13:48

    Thx for the comment. Yea, Please give us feedback about Garmin’s solution to this problem.

  5. How to reset a Garmin Forerunner 305 « What the triathlon?! says:

    May 30th, 2010 at 01:19

    [...] Luckily I found this website before I had to turn to anything as onerous as contacting customer service or bringing the watch back to REI where I got it: [...]

  6. Pwg says:

    June 5th, 2010 at 15:51

    Soft reset worked like a charm for me.

  7. Jackie says:

    June 6th, 2010 at 13:10

    Many thanks for this tip. Have had my 305 for over 2 years now & it just went dead on me today after a run. The soft reset worked perfectly – I was beginning to worry that I’d need to send it off to Garmin for repair/new battery which is what other people were suggesting so such a relief to find your advice. Thanks!

  8. Lorelle says:

    June 9th, 2010 at 00:12

    Thank you… finally working after every attempt under the sun.  Third time this has happened and every time I have needed a different solution.  Not too happy with Garmin about this!

  9. Cheryl says:

    June 12th, 2010 at 19:04

    Thank you SO much for this solution. My 305 just died on me today before a run. It wouldn’t show that it was charging and wouldn’t turn on and this is the first time that has ever happened. The soft reset did the job, thankfully, as I was worried I was going to lose all my data and have to send it off to Garmin for a new battery which is what other people were suggesting. That would not have made me a happy camper. Thanks again! :-)

  10. Nicole says:

    June 12th, 2010 at 23:06

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I use my Garmin just about everyday for running and mountain biking.  I tried to turn it on this morning for my usual run but it just wouldn’t do anything. I was so bummed! I took your advice and tried the soft reset and it worked. I’m so happy I feel like running again.

  11. Michael Bortman says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 17:55

    Another save!! Fixed my problem without new battery, sending back to Garmin, or any cuss words. Thanks.

  12. Nik says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 22:53

    I’m glad to hear that this post helped so many people :)

  13. Matt says:

    June 22nd, 2010 at 14:48

    Thanks a million! Did the downgrade/upgrade. Worked like a charm.

  14. Kathleen says:

    June 24th, 2010 at 14:07

    A friend of mine gave me his old Forerunner 305 a few months ago. I loved it!! Everything was working great until this morning . . . it was dead . . . I was devastated. Found this site and tried the soft reset . . . . worked like a charm.

    Thank you SOOOOO much for posting this information :-D

  15. Dennis says:

    July 18th, 2010 at 04:23

    My garmin would not connect after a very hot and humid (sweaty) run.  After waiting 24 hours, it connected just fine with no other intervention.  Just thought I would offer that heat and humidity have a definite effect on these devices.

  16. BBH says:

    July 23rd, 2010 at 14:12

    I was glad finding this site, but:Bad Luck – it does not work for me :-(
    my computer still doesn’t recognize the device

  17. Galadriann says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 15:41

    Same here … no luck with the procedure but always interesting to know…
    I am sending the device back for repair…
    Tks for sharing this though…

  18. Jon says:

    August 14th, 2010 at 17:29

    Had the same problem. The 305 would only switch on if I did a soft reset first. Then it would not come on again. Hard reset did not work, but firmware downgrade/upgrade did the trick. Thanks a lot!

  19. pmb says:

    August 21st, 2010 at 16:24

    Perfect! Solved my problem with the GF305 immediately. It suddenly died during a rainy run; and after this it would freeze in the interval-screen with a continous beep. I tried soft/hard-reset, uploading the original firmware and deleting all history to no avail. But doing the downgrade/upgrade fixed it!

  20. RS says:

    October 18th, 2010 at 19:27

    Do you all know a similar solution for a garmin forerunner 405 which is dead. The resets have not worked.

  21. Cassie says:

    October 23rd, 2010 at 10:58

    Nothing works. I have tried hard and soft reset. Battery is fully charged and device does not work. It will not connect to my computer, it will turn on and sometimes buzz continuously or it just stays frozen on one screen. None of the buttons work and it just randomly turns off. I just bought this yesterday and I will definitely be taking it back. We should not have problems like this with today’s technology especially for this price. It seems like everyone is having problems with this watch. Even when they are able to fix the problems, it erases all your data. I would not want my watch to constantly malfunction and in order to fix the problem erase everything. The purpose of the watch is to track your progress.

  22. Tony Chan says:

    November 11th, 2010 at 03:26

    Thanks a lot! My 305 had the same problem yesterday. Sending it back to Garmin for repairy will cost more than HK$1,000. With your tips of soft reset, the problem has been fixed and it also saves both money and time. Many many thanks!!!!!!

  23. GW says:

    January 27th, 2011 at 17:29

    I had charged my 305 overnight. All appeared normal with the ‘Charging in Progress’ displayed. When I took it off the cradle the next morning, no resposne. The soft reboot worked for mine. Thanks very much.

  24. Ryan says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 08:13

    Thanks for the great advice! the soft reboot definitely worked. I must have drained the battery beyond the ability to recover. I did the soft reboot while attached to the charger.

  25. DONNI says:

    March 14th, 2011 at 00:50

    Thank you sooooo much. I was on my way to BestBuy to purchase a new one. I did the re-set as described above, and turned on the power button. To my surprise, the history WASNT erased. 

    Again, Thank YOU

  26. Merilee says:

    April 10th, 2011 at 03:32

    Yay! Hard reset worked. I wish there was a way to prevent this from happening though!
    Many thanks!!

  27. Mousetrap55 says:

    May 6th, 2011 at 00:38

    Forerunner 305. On cradle, turned off, the text “recharging complete” was “floating” across screen. Once I took it off cradle, would not power on. But, the soft reset (mode + reset) worked for me. Then, power on!
    Thank you! Fixed in less than 60 seconds.

  28. Yip132 says:

    June 2nd, 2011 at 18:49

    Thank you…. I almost gave up hope. But this was the solution that worked!
    Many many thanks.

  29. Cathy says:

    June 5th, 2011 at 20:02

    The soft reset worked for me, thank you for the solution!

  30. Michael Svarre says:

    June 12th, 2011 at 19:57

    Hard Reset worked for me

  31. Angela Green says:

    June 26th, 2011 at 15:45

    Thanks! The Hard Reset worked for me. I appreciate the help.

  32. Liz says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 19:30

    Thank you! I was worried I was going to have to run on vacation without my Garmin :(

  33. Mark Floisand says:

    July 30th, 2011 at 06:01

    Thanks for this post – just fixed my 305, after 2 hours of frustrating trawling. 

  34. Matt_OMX says:

    August 6th, 2011 at 20:50

    Thanks! I was going to return the Forerunner to the store and see if they could help out but searched the web found this site and the soft reset worked.

  35. Totte says:

    August 21st, 2011 at 08:04

    Also a big thank you from me! I have been very happy with my 305 for about 2.5 years now, used it for all kinds of activities except swimming :) and it has been working flawlessly. Used it yesterday for a long bike trip (~4 hours) without problems. This morning as I was connecting it to my PC – nothing! Thought I maybe forgot to switch it off yesterday so let it charge for a while (screen never showed if it was charging or not) but no luck, I still couldn’t even switch it on. Then I found this page, tried the soft reset first (pressed the buttons for about 5 sec), released them and then pressed power. It took maybe a second longer than normal, but it powered on, is charging and talking to my PC again :-)

  36. Aitor says:

    September 17th, 2011 at 09:55


    Tnx for this post :-)

    I did try to do it but with no luck.

    I did downgrade as you tells to 2.8 and upgrade to 2.9 and every time i did take off the cradle the unit powers off at the moment…. 

    Very frustating because I bougth this clock after i did return a 405CX with the black line dead… and i don’t know if i’m in very bad lucky :-(

    I asked to resend a new unit and i will try it, if it works fine, if not i will go for counting my steps and writing all in a excel sheet :-D

    Thanks for posts like this, helps to try find a solution.

  37. Naaman says:

    October 5th, 2011 at 03:17

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The soft reset worked for me! I almost skipped to the hard reset before I realized that I was supposed to try to turn it on after doing the soft reset (there is no indication that the reset is “complete”).

  38. Tracy says:

    October 12th, 2011 at 16:25

    Fantastic!  Garmin dead after long, rainy run. Hard reset didn’t delete my data, either

  39. Griffin says:

    October 18th, 2011 at 06:18

    Soft reset worked like a charm. It died during an indoor session and initially showed charging in progress. Then nothing, but your page is a life saver. Now I can enjoy my 305 until the new Garmin comes out

  40. Shlomo says:

    October 27th, 2011 at 23:42

    Hi, My 1.5-year-old 305 was charged, but I’ve put it in the USB charger to just get some extra charge before a race. It showed “charging in progress” as usual. Then when I took it off the cradle the device was completely dead. I used the soft reset as advised here, and it worked well. All my data stayed in. Thank you so much!

  41. Ryan says:

    December 7th, 2011 at 21:08

    Fixed it for me as well. had to keep soft resetting everytime, thought my battery was hosed.  I tried to use their new webupdater program to reinstall 2.9, it erased it and reinstalled it but still didn’t work.  I used your 2.8 and 2.9 updaters and it works great now.  Thank you

  42. Nik says:

    December 7th, 2011 at 21:19

    Hi. Glad it heIped. Files attached to the blogpost are official Garmin files. I attached them in case Garmin decides to put the old version off from their website. Cheers.

  43. Binoj Mathew says:

    March 8th, 2012 at 13:16

    Thanks a ton for the help. The soft reset fixed my garmin.

  44. pat says:

    April 5th, 2012 at 05:28

    hi all, i coudn’t open the updater cos it said there was runtime error, it happened in windows XP or windows 7
    any help?

  45. Nik says:

    April 5th, 2012 at 21:45

    Hi 2.80 and 2.90 are from Garmin’s website. I can’t remember where I downloaded 2.70.
    Maybe the .exe file requires Visual C++ runtime libraries:

  46. Bobbie says:

    May 16th, 2012 at 20:15

    soft reset, hallelujah!

  47. Alan says:

    May 29th, 2012 at 16:53

    Excellent! Thank you – after 6 years my 305 refused to switch on this morning, but soft reset worked and all looking fine now (except it stopped talking to my PC about 18 months ago – wonder if the firmware dowgrade/upgrade would fix that?)

    Many, many thanks!

  48. 3 boys says:

    June 1st, 2012 at 22:40

    Have had my garmin 305 for about 6 years. it died. I have done the soft reset in the past and it worked. Now, nothing works. None of the suggestions here have worked. I think it’s time to buy a new one :( I love my garmin!!

  49. Amy H says:

    June 15th, 2012 at 01:56

    Thanks so much for this fix! You spared me a battery replacement at minimum and a possible watch replacement. I really appreciate the sharing.

  50. Ilmars says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 15:15

    Firmware downgrade/upgrade (2.9 > 2.8 > 2.9) worked also for my 3 years old 305. Thank you very much for the solution!

  51. MarathonSean says:

    July 20th, 2012 at 19:20

    Thank you! My 30 month old GF305 just stopped working after a particularly long week of very hot/humid outdoor life. The soft reset worked! I am especially grateful as I am marking and leading some trail runs in two weeks and I was NOT looking forward to buying another GF before that. I’ll keep the hard-reset and software ug/dg info on hand in case I need it.

  52. Kyle says:

    August 19th, 2012 at 06:01

    Wow, thanks, the soft reset worked and all my history is still saved!!! I’ll have to tell my friend who has the same watch. His stopped working for 2 months until it magically turned back on last week. He says it still refuses to work some days, but hopefully when we do the soft reset on his watch, it’ll work. By the way, him and I call this GPS death the “GPS DISEASE”!!! The cure has been found! Hurrah! Hurrah!

  53. Vik says:

    August 19th, 2012 at 09:22

    Thank you, sir. First time I’ve had this problem and of course I realized it right before my long 14mi. run. Thought it was a dead battery. After I got back, the soft reset you described worked for me! 

  54. Nik says:

    August 19th, 2012 at 21:49

    Glad that after 2 years this post is being of help :)

  55. Eric G says:

    August 22nd, 2012 at 01:31

    Thank you!  I have a Forerunner 205 (which is essentially the same as the 305 but without an HRM)  The watch started acting weird and wouldn’t reset nor turn on properly.  After fiddling around with the buttons I could get it to turn on, but after turning it off, it was back to dead again.  After following the downgrade/upgrade instructions, it worked.

    A few things to note:
    -download the two firmware packages and unzip them first before connecting the device to the computer.
    -the computer needs to already have the USB drivers from Garmin (if you needed to install them when you first got the watch)
    -launch the upgrade firmware tool before connecting the watch
    -once connected, you only need to hold the up-arrow while:
    a) doing the mode/reset (which causes the computer to recognize the device)
    b) start the firmware update, accept the warning and after it starts, you can let go of the up arrrow button

    I had to run each update twice.  The first time through each update resulted in an error.  I simply restarted the process and the second time it worked.

  56. Mark P says:

    August 23rd, 2012 at 16:54

    Again, thanks for this comment. I borrowed the forerunner from my uncle and it suddenly went dead after using it couple of times. I thought it was my fault until I found this site and the soft reset solved my problem !! thanks very much.

  57. Beth says:

    September 7th, 2012 at 02:59

    Thank you so much! The soft reset was exactly what I needed. Not sure what happened…but glad it was such an easy fix.

  58. Wendy says:

    September 20th, 2012 at 19:08

    THANK YOU! Thought my beloved watch was toast but the soft reset brought it back.

  59. Peter says:

    October 5th, 2012 at 02:12

    Guess i’m one of the garmin forerunner 305 whose watch doesnt react to the soft restet, hard reset, and software downgrade/upgrade.

    Think its worth sending watch in for repair?
    Had to break during my busy marathon season. Already lost the mode and the enter button since they fell off during the past few runs I’ve had. This blows big time.

  60. Shirley Thomas says:

    October 12th, 2012 at 01:45

    The soft reset worked for my Garmin 305. Thank you so much! I was about to consider it broken forever until I came across your blog.

  61. Marcus says:

    October 25th, 2012 at 21:36

    After trying all of the resets multiple times with little success – the software downgrade worked (2.90 –> 2.80)!!  It’s like I having a new watch – THANK YOU!!

  62. Davina Lock says:

    February 25th, 2013 at 02:21

    I was panicking when my Garmin 305 just died.  I’m in training for the NWM Half in April.  soft reset worked.  Thanks.

  63. Steve Butler says:

    March 2nd, 2013 at 17:46

    I was thrilled to try your first suggestion on my 305 and God Bless You it worked!!!!!!!!
    Thank You so very much!!!!

  64. steven naismith says:

    March 16th, 2013 at 15:42

    Have a 305 and have been having problems with it.
    when I turn it on and it searches for the satalite I get bar graphs and other strange graphics appearing on the screen. once it finds the satalite the graphs and other images stop appearing and the display comes up, however after a few seconds the display will flicker and switch between display fields.
    If I am fortunate enough to get into a menu before this happens then the unit will scroll down the menu items.
    In all cases the buttons become non-responsive and I have to soft reset the unit.
    I have tried soft reset, hard reset and firmware up date and now the downgrade-upgrade but nothing sems to have solved the issue.
    Anyone experiance this problem and how did they/do you fix it?
    (Garmin sugested a hard reset to factory setting, but no effect)

  65. Mark says:

    March 21st, 2013 at 23:43

    Thanks for the advice – soft reset worked for me!!! Before dying, I was also having problems in the charging cradle – it would not charge unless I held the 305 unit down – but the soft reset has seemed to fix this too. Thanks again.

  66. JonB says:

    July 10th, 2013 at 11:50

    NB… firmware downgrade/upgrade solution seems to be PC only. =(

    So I managed to carry out it out by doing the following:

    1) Dig out an old (and unloved) PC laptop
    2) Install Garmin Training Centre (this installs relevant Garmin USB drivers)
    3) Run Training Centre and wait for Windoze to install/configure drivers
    4) Close Training Centre as its no longer needed (steps 2-4 not necessary if you have USB drivers somewhere else handy)
    3) Download firmware versions 2.80 and 2.90 (these include software to connect to your Garmin and also to ‘flash’ the firmware)
    4) Carry out soft reset (no need for holding down arrow keys and other stuff)
    5) Power up Garmin (in my case I had to wait about 30 seconds before it did so o_O)
    7) Run updater with v2.80 firmware in same folder and select USB option
    8) Updater says something like “are you sure you want to downgrade?”
    9) Wait for update to complete
    10) Run updater again with v2.90 firmware in same folder and select USB option
    11) Wait for update to complete
    12) Garmin springs into life! Woo hoo.
    13) Re-enter your personal details and configure the 305 to your liking =)

    Mine seems more responsive than it was before, and possibly some different icons? Anyway thanks for the downgrade/upgrade idea, it has re-awoken my 305 =D

  67. Nik says:

    July 10th, 2013 at 12:12

    Great, glad it’s working :]

  68. Luis says:

    August 5th, 2013 at 19:38

    Hi!, I’ve tried the soft reset, hard reset and downgrade/upgrade but it didn’t work.
    My garmin 305 turns on when in its craddle but doesnt when its not. 
    Any sugestions?


  69. Nik says:

    August 6th, 2013 at 00:10

    @Luis: The problem might be with the battery.

  70. Deanna says:

    August 31st, 2013 at 17:33

    The soft reset worked! Thanks so much for the information!

  71. Linda Roesch says:

    February 17th, 2014 at 03:41

    I love my Garmin 305 and today when I went to a race it was dead. I have been so sad all day as the 305 has been discontinued. Tried your soft reset and it looks like I am back in business. Thank you so much for posting this. I really, really, really appreciate your taking the time to do this. You have made my day!

  72. Judith Blake says:

    May 11th, 2014 at 20:01

    soft reset worked for me. thanks much.  My 305 is at least 8 years old.  I am happy it continues on doing all it does for me.

  73. Mac says:

    May 21st, 2014 at 21:32

    Soft reset worked on the 205. Hopefully the 305 (which v strangely suffered the same symptoms of being dead on the same day as the 205??!!) will work too – gotta find it first though!
    Thanks for the tips
    Cheers, Mac

  74. Dave says:

    October 12th, 2014 at 23:46

    The hard reset worked – without deleting the history – was ready to buy a new watch – thanks!

  75. AB says:

    November 7th, 2014 at 21:26

    The soft reset worked for me, thanks!  Almost bought a new watch!

  76. Mark says:

    November 8th, 2014 at 17:53

    Hey, thanks. Out of the blue my Forerunner 305 would not connect and sync with Training Center, and Garmin WebUpdater could not find the device. I did the soft reset and am back in business.

  77. Craig says:

    April 9th, 2015 at 20:28

    The soft reset worked great! You made my day :)

  78. SK says:

    May 9th, 2015 at 23:16

    Soft reset worked on my 305. Thanks. I am so relieved that I didn’t need to buy a new watch.

  79. Carlos says:

    July 1st, 2015 at 23:54

    fantastic. It worked perfectly on FR305

  80. Jose Lopes says:

    December 14th, 2016 at 16:50

    Hi everyone

    Garmin is not repairing Forerunner 305 any longer. For that reason, in case of a malfunction you have the following options:

    Press MODE + POWER for instances (attention, since u will loose all favourite data)
    Than, certify your device is workimg properly.
    Next step:
    Update your Garmin Express:



    If the equipment stills not working properly…..u have to buy a new GPS.


  81. Ramon Trigo Jr says:

    November 26th, 2017 at 18:34

    Thank you,
    It worked in my Forerunner 235

    many many Tkx

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