Garmin enables migration from Fitbit: Here’s how it works


Over the last few days, Garmin made three fitness related software announcements:

A) They (finally) enabled you to combine activity tracker data from multiple devices into one cohesive picture
B) They enabled Strava Beacon support through Garmin Connect Mobile
C) They took a swipe at Fitbit by enabling you to migrate off Fitbit and onto Garmin

The first combo-dish one I dove into in a separate post already today, and the second one I’m less interested in.  I talked about Strava Beacon here, and this essentially allows you to have your Garmin device trigger the Strava Beacon service (*see my 5-second thoughts on this at the end of this post).  Whereas the rest of this post is all about the Fitbit to Garmin migration piece.

Speaking of which, the service is actually named: Fit a Bit.

Trolling level is high in these parts.  Almost like when Garmin trolled Apple during their Apple Watch announcement.

(As to why I have two posts on Garmin updates today instead of one, it’s simply because I broke them apart when I had to wait while Garmin fixed some issues I was having.)

Testing it out:

Now in order to test this, I wanted a completely clean slate.  So I created a new random account on Garmin Connect.  Totally virgin, not a single step walked or night slept (with anyone).


Now Garmin doesn’t exactly make it obvious as to where to go.  In fact, even the press release doesn’t have a link or anything on how to set this up.  I would have thought the very first thing Garmin Connect would have asked upon creation of a new account is “Do you have any previous activity tracker data to import?”.  But it doesn’t.

Instead, you have to know to click on the bust on the left side, which then shows you an ‘Import Data’ option.


Next you’re given the option to import either specific activity/workout files, in GPX/FIT/TCX format, or Fitbit scale and activity data.  In the case of the workout files, those three file types cover basically everyone/everything out there.  Whereas the Fitbit body data is specific to the formatting that Fitbit has created.


Garmin helpfully links to Fitbit’s own support page on how to export your data.  For step data, you can do it all in one giant shot.  Whereas for workout data, you’ve gotta do it one by one (which sucks…every…single…activity).  To be clear, that’s Fitbit’s issue for not just having a giant ‘Download everything’ option.

On the Fitbit site, you’ll go under Settings and then Data Export:


Now the really important part here is another limitation that Fitbit has on exporting out data, which is limited to 31 days at a time.  So, I just did basically the last month’s worth, since I’ve been wearing the new Fitbit Charge 2 during that time period.


I then checked all the boxes on the right side.  Mostly because when in doubt, just choose everything.  It serves me well when at the ice cream sundae bar, so I figured it works fine here too.


A few seconds later I got the file to download:


I decided to take a peek at the file, since I was curious how much data could be moved over.  Looking first at steps, it’s pretty clear cut.  It just saves totals per day, but also inclusive of things like floors and minutes sedentary.


Weight measurements are in there too, but I didn’t step on the Fitbit scale during this time period.  Still, Fitbit just puts in the last known value for each day.


Sleep is there as well, again, pretty simplistic.  No wake-up/fall asleep times, just totals for each night.


Finally, there’s food logged for each day.  But since I don’t log food, these are all zeros.


What you’ll notice is that none of the workouts are in here.  Rather, it’s just activity data.  As I noted earlier, you have to do the workouts individually, one painful one at a time.

So, back to Garmin’s site I went, and dragged my little 10KB data file into the box doohickey:


It’ll then confirm the type of units I was using on the Fitbit site/data:


About 1.2 seconds later, it completes (with zero fanfare), and shows as such on the page:


With the assumption of success in the air, I went to check out my dashboard and dove into steps.  I figured that’d be the easiest one.  Yet…nothing:


I double-checked my Fitbit file, and indeed, it showed plenty of steps on those dates.  So then I looked at sleep. Also, nothing.  Same for weight as well (which has values in the file).


So I decided to give it some time.  After all, there was a massive amount of data imported – some 10KB in total.  That’s like 5 Blu-ray DVD’s worth, right?

I shot off an e-mail to some people I know, and then went for a run.  And then 24 hours later they (Garmin) fixed something magical behind the scenes and it started working.

To double-check the data imported correctly, I started by picking a random day – November 1st it was. And then looked at both the Fitbit data (on the right), and the Garmin Connect data (on the left).

image image

Looking through them, it correctly copied:

Steps: 7,129
Floors: 2 (apparently I was lazy that day)
Distance: 3.46 miles (which Garmin converts to 3.5mi)

However, calories was quite different.

Fitbit: 2,821
Garmin: 1,220

So I decided to do some digging and see why.  I went back to the Fitbit CSV file and checked out the calorie section for that day:


And immediately you see why.  Garmin is (incorrectly) parsing Activity Calories instead of Calories burned.  Or perhaps they’re doing it on purpose.  Either way, I think it’s a (minor) mistake.  Garmin normally includes your BMR calories within their calorie calculations, thus using only activity calories would make less sense than total calories burned.

As you saw above, the floors climbed was correctly reported on an individual day – and then also shown in the various report totals:


Anyway, onto sleep.  There was no sleep.  No, I mean, I was sleeping, but none of it was imported in.  I checked 4-5 different days, all show null (no) values.


Last but not least, weight.  It did correctly pull over the values Fitbit had in the files. I didn’t weigh myself during this time period, but Fitbit records the last known weight automatically for each day in the export files.  All of which shows up correctly on Garmin Connect.


So there you have it – a quick overview of how Garmin converts stuff from Fitbit.


While this functionality may seem minor – I suspect it’s actually the beginning for not just Garmin, but other companies as well.  These types of migration tools are incredibly common in other software industries, enabling consumers (and corporations) to quickly move between platforms.

At present, the import tool is as you can see, pretty basic.  Ideally it’d be wrapped in a bit of a wizard and would leverage some sort of automation to grab the data for you (perhaps even available API’s).  And of course, as you can see there’s still some bugs to be worked out.  But I’d bet a penny the calorie one (along with sleep) will likely be fixed in short order (probably measured in hours).

That said, it’s leaps and bounds better than the competitors. Namely because the competitors have nothing.  Kinda like winning your age group at a race…but being the only competitor in your age group.  Still, any of us would take a free medal any day.  And in this case, data portability is a great medal to have.

*Strava/Garmin Beacon Hook-Up: Honestly, I don’t get it.  I’m not sure why I’d want to have Garmin trigger Strava Beacon (which requires paid Strava Premium), when Garmin’s own Live Tracking service is free.  Further, you’d now have to have both Strava and Garmin Connect Mobile apps open on your phone for this to work.  I’m sure this is useful to someone, but I’m not that someone.  It would probably be useful if Strava hooked up with Polar, Fitbit, or Suunto for this, since they lack their own live tracking platforms.  But since Garmin now has an exclusive on this for a while with Strava, that won’t happen.  Thus…shrug.


Hopefully, you found this post useful. The website is really a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gets you an ad-free experience, and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of “Shed Talkin’”.

Support DCRainMaker - Shop on Amazon

Otherwise, perhaps consider using the below link if shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven we use and love.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

Click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. Shawn Faucher

    So now the big question is what happens if you try this on a Connect account where Connect already has step data from Garmin devices, and Fitbit has data from Fitbit devices? In my case I have Fitbit step data going back to Fitbit One days, while Garmin steps are limited to the Fenix 3 era. There is some overlap where I either wore both devices or had Fitbit get steps from my iPhone.

    • Garmin confirmed to me via e-mail that Garmin data will take priority over imported Fitbit data.

    • John d

      Was initially very excited about this post but there was no mention of the data I want to transfer the most. Heart Rate. Can I still not transfer over my HR date from my charge 2 into my connect and use it to play around with fun things like the recovery and race predictor? Was hoping as a FF 230 and a charge 2 owner they would eventually allow for this kind of sharing.

    • The problem is that Fitbit doesn’t allow for export of HR data to my knowledge (via CSV/etc…).

  2. morey

    I wouldn’t want to be garmin’s competitors right now. they’re occupying all of the niches.

    Shame that Suunto fell on its face with the Spartan Ultra. Looks like my next zippy new purchase from Clever Training is going to be the (not yet announced) Fenix 5S, 5, or 5X. the Pics look great. (oops, you are under a moratorium, does that mean you’ll need to delete this post?)

    • I actually don’t delete comments*, nor do I execute on any requests from companies to delete reader comments**.

      *I very rarely delete comments only if the commentator has purposefully or accidentally included something like a non-public phone number, e-mail address, etc… Alternatively, if someone threatens or otherwise becomes a dick. But even that, it’s after a lot of warnings. I think I’ve only had to delete like 1-2 peoples comments ever. Plus just spam of course.

      **I actually have only had 1-2 companies request deletion of reader comments, all smaller companies. I explained to them nicely that’s not the way it works and they seemed to understand.

      All that said – I generally don’t comment on unannounced products. If something has splashed across the front pages of major publications, I might, but beyond that, generally not as to avoid any issues with embargoes, etc…

  3. Seth

    I’d love to see one of the automation sites do something with this. Currently, I only wear my fitbit at night for the silent alarm and would like to see the sleep tracking brought over. Further, I wear an apple watch during the day, so I’d love to see some way to get that data into garmin every day.

    • funkright

      I wear the Apple watch, but its lack of date interoperability is one of the reasons I am looking to migrate away from it. I don’t see Apple opening up their ecosystem anytime soon or making it easy to export data.

    • Mike Richie

      Apple’s ecosystem is already open. Data is recorded into Apple Health and there are APIs for accessing it. Apple doesn’t itself provide any end-user export (or import) functions but I believe I have seen third party apps that do that.

  4. Matthew

    Perhaps Garmin got the exclusive deal with Strava on the Beacon tracking to prevent the other companies having it? So if you want live tracking it has to be Garmin?

    • Thomas McMonigle

      This is most likely the case. Live Track works well, I use it on every ride with no excessive battery penalties. This is just redundant and requires a paid Strava account. I see no practical use for it. However, your thoughts make a lot of sense. If no one else has access to the feature, Garmin wins.

    • Tim Grose

      A Strava premium account is generally somewhat cheaper than a Garmin device and you can of course do Beacon from the Strava app on its own.

    • Martin H

      Perhaps bigger things are a foot with a broader tie up between the two companies being worked on in the background. A partnering of which other sort would be beneficial to both parties, Garmin brings the devices and Stava the SW platform. We have seen Garmin include the Strava training stress score to device in recent months and now this. Makes you think…

  5. Christof Damian

    Instead of introducing a tool just for migration, how about having an open API and supporting services like IFTTT.
    I still can’t sync my fitbit scale to Garmin Connect and getting tracks into Connect is impossible.
    Are they going to allow exporting their step data to fitbit?
    They are just building another walled garden like Apple. It’s annoying.

    • Matthew

      i get fitbit scale into garmin connect via myfitnesspal. with fitbit connected to MFP connected to garmin it joins up (just not bodyfat %).

    • Graham R

      Quick update on this – I have been using MFP as my bridge for Aira to Connect for a while, it gets the weight perfectly, but like you saw drops the body fat.

      In testing the new export using the Body CSV file it lists Body fat and BMI (which is interesting @ BMI is not on the fitbit site) and garmin imports both metrics correctly.

      this looks to be the only way i can find to get the Aria body fat into garmin connect.

  6. Brian

    I didn’t realize when reading about the Beacon stuff that enabling it in Garmin Connect would somehow fire up the Strava app on the phone. That would be nuts. Not that I’m testing it out myself anyhow, because it’d kill my Garmin and phone batteries, but this is another reason that it seems not that useful.

  7. Tim Grose

    One useful advantage of the Garmin/Strava LiveTrack/Beacon link up is the way the messages are sent out. Garmin is by email, FB or Twitter but Beacon is by SMS so all bases now covered! It seems though, as I usually do, if you also start the timer in the Strava app as well as a Garmin device, the Strava app will ask if you want to send out another text.

  8. Tim Grose

    PS in this Garmin announcement that also mentions this Beacon feature link to garmin.com , the ability to use Strava routes on Garmin devices will definitely be useful – especially if you can then more easily “star” which segments you might want to try on the given route.

  9. Jason Smith

    Uggh 31 days at a time, I have had a fitbit for three years…

  10. Tom Dalla

    Happy to see this kind of initiative.
    Auto sync would be even better: I used a FitBit for more than a year before switching to a Garmin.
    I have more friends on FitBit (still using FitBit) and the social features like weekly top steps are quite fun.
    Since I moved to Garmin, I don’t have any stats any more on FitBit..
    I wish we could sync activity stats (steps, distance, floors, sleep) the same way we can sync GPS activities between platforms.

  11. David Churchill

    “I shot off an e-mail to some people I know, and then went for a run. And then 24 hours later they (Garmin) fixed something magical behind the scenes and it started working.”

    Trying to get my weight from a Fitbit scale into Garmin Connect but I am stuck at the same stage as you were, was your problem and solution unique to you or something affecting all users?


    • They didn’t say either way, they just said it should be resolved. I did notice that the Fit A Bit references were removed from the online PR blog (vs the e-mailed copies), so I’m wondering if they’ve backed up a bit and went towards a soft launch.

  12. Tim Mifsud

    Just noticed Garmin has also trolled Wahoo Fitness. Wahoo app update on iOS today clearly states, “Unfortunately Garmin Connect is no longer accepting uploads from non-Garmin devices and apps. Therefore we have been removing support for the share site.”
    As a fair swipe back it looks like Wahoo is removing support for imports from Garmin watches. Not that it matters too much for Garmin watch users who can upload to Connect Mobile anyway.
    It is annoying for me though as I now have a Garmin 820 for cycling and have been using the Wahoo app for running until I can afford a Garmin watch. Interesting that Garmin is pulling back and closing some of its platform. Maybe they might offer an integration tool for historical user data from Wahoo to pull Wahoo users to Garmin.

  13. Greg

    Hey DC,

    trainer road released an update today scrapping Garmin connectivity…..they said Garmin is no longer supporting other products other than their own. Seems a little silly

    • Tim Grose

      Interesting – seems Wahoo have had to do the same from another comment here and indeed it does say so in the App Store for Wahoo Fitness. TBH never realised you could do this anyway but then again I only really use Garmin and Strava. Presume could still export to some file format and import that way. Not entirely true on that statement though as clearly Garmin & Strava are working much closer together and maybe this is a way to try and shut out everybody else.

    • It’s messy, and sucky. And about 95% Garmin’s fault.

      In short, there isn’t an official API for ingesting files to Garmin Connect. For a while many apps used the old Motion Based API’s (Garmin bought Motionbased.com probably a decade ago, which became Garmin Connect). But eventually those API’s went away*, and that left nothing. So apps would essentially fake a manual user upload, which generally worked.

      According to Wahoo, Garmin is specifically blocking their server’s IP addresses from making that happen. I don’t know if that’s true, though I have little reason to doubt them.

      Ultimately, it’s Garmin’s problem for making this harder than it needs to be. Just have an API for ingest, and the world is happy. People are by and large *only* using Garmin Connect because they have another Garmin device. It’s not like people generally use Garmin Connect with a Wahoo ELEMNT because they only have the ELEMNT, it’s because they probably also have a running GPS device.

      Some day Garmin will understand this, though it’s something I fight (no literally, I’ve gotten in shouting matches with them over it), every time I talk to them in person about.


  14. Daniel

    Now if we could all just fire some emails to people in Garmin to get it to work that would be great, for me it just doesn’t work, I tried to upload more than one year’s worth of data from fitbit and it just doesn’t work, the worst part is that it doesn’t even tell you there’s been an error, it says “Import completed” but when you look at the dates the data just isn’t there. It doesn’t really matter anyways, it is not like Garmin gives any way to use any historical data anyways, even if collected with its own devices, it takes a really long time to click your way to old data instead of giving you a way to show all of your data through time.

    • I’ll poke them that other peoples stuff isn’t working (I’d love to hear from folks that it *is* working too). But I’d also encourage folks to send in a quick support ticket. Often times that has more weight than an e-mail from me.

    • Michael Swann

      Didn’t work for me either. I tried with about 6 weeks worth of data. Technically it did import it, but the dates are all wrong. I have a step maximum of 26735 on 8 May 0012 (yes, that’s exactly as it shows me. I actually did that on 6 November 2016.

      It also screwed up all the weight information I imported as it showed up with some strange dates on myfitnesspal. I have since deleted the weight information from myfitnesspal.

      I am in the process of putting in a support ticket to Garmin about it.

    • Debbie

      Where is the link for sending in the support ticket to Garmin Connect? I tried uploading a week’s worth of fitbit data to garmin and nothing. Thanks.

    • David Churchill

      I contacted Garmin via link to garmin.com and have had a response. They asked for the Fitbit files from my scales so that they can investigate what didn’t happen.

    • Debbie

      This is the response I got:

      Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

      Garmin has partnered with the following third party fitness websites to facilitate the synchronization of data from Garmin Connect.

      Beginner Triathlete
      Final Surge
      Make YES! Happen
      MapMyFitness (MapMyRide, MapMyRun)
      Run Keeper
      As a result, data from Fitbit cannot be synced with Garmin Connect. I apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact us if you have any other questions. Thank you and have a great day!

    • Jo

      Just tried uploading 6 files for Jan-Jun this year before I got my Garmin, nothing showing. Will send a support ticket.

    • Jo

      Finally got a response from Garmin support, which was basically just them explaining the steps to do the import – all of which I’ve already done. No comment from them on why my data still isn’t showing.

    • marathonman

      When I try and upload a CSV or XLS file from Fitbit that has “Body” data in it, I get an error and nothing uploads.
      When I only upload a file with “Foods, Activities and Sleep” then the import completes successfully. However I don’t see anything other than Steps.

      However, there seems to be an issue with data for the months Jan to Jun each year. When I upload the files for Jul to Dec, I get on average 400,000 steps as a total for the month. However, the data is totally screwed up for the 1st 6 months of the year – averaging only 80,000 for the month. This is the same for different years – so clearly a bug somewhere.

    • Jerry

      Hi all, I am struggling with Sleep Data import from Fitbit to Garmin.
      It looks like Fitbit changed the format of export files.

      Please, can anybody share the correct Sleep Data format which can be used for import to Garmin?
      (By the way, I was able to import all steps from Mi Fit app (using Apple Health and then Fitbit), but no Sleep Data.)

      Many thanks,

  15. Tim Grose

    Actually the Strava app does not have to be running (even in the background) for Beacon to work through Garmin Connect Mobile. Just experimented with this. It would appear then GCM must send your GPS position periodically to both Garmin & Strava for the two services.

  16. David Churchill

    Support ticket raised with Garmin today

  17. Nan S

    Thanks for this. I have been exporting my daily activity totals from different trackers into excel to make my own graphs and reports since 2010, when Fitbit was announced but but not yet shipping so I bought a Bodymedia fit. When that was bought by Jawbone and discontinued, I went both Garmin Vivofit and Jawbone up24 for a while. Jawbone sent Bodymedia owners emails allowing full import of all Bodymedia data-it took overnight. I stuck with Jawbone because they had an easy export to csv utility and Garmin did not and STILL does not have the ability to export daily data over a range of dates. I went Fitbit Charge HR after Jawbone up3 was delayed by months-and I picked Fitbit only after verifying I could get an easy csv export. Now I have a bIaze. would switch to Garmin trackers in a NY minute if they had a “daily totals to csv” export option.

  18. Nathan Budd

    I personally am a big fan of the new Beacon/Live Track integration. I’ve been waiting for months for Garmin to automate the notification to my cover on start of a ride, rather than having delve deep into the app (which is a pain with gloves on!). The big bonus for me however, is that the message from Strava comes through as an SMS. My wife checks her emails infrequently, but messages instantly.

  19. ekutter

    Given this increasing exclusive connection between Strava and Garmin, what are they chances they will merge or Garmin acquire Strava?

    In general, it seems Strava still works well with most competitors to Garmin for general tracking, but this Beacon exclusive is a bit disconcerting.

    • Approximately 0% chance.

      2-3 years ago, it would have made sense. But these days there’s little reason for Garmin to want to do that (something both Strava and Garmin agree on). Today they get all the best elements of Strava through the occasional exclusive partnership, without the cost of the purchase. Further, outright buying Strava would likely piss off a non-trivial portion of Strava users who think that Garmin will screw up the service (which, is probably right).

      Meanwhile, from Strava’s perspective, they get the forced Premium Membership fees for this, allowing them to edge closer to making money.

      As for exclusives, it’s slightly concerning – but at the same time other companies hardly seem to take advantage of it once they can. Look at the Strava Live Segments last year. Garmin has an exclusive from July 2015 to Jan 1st, 2016. Yet it wasn’t until Summer 2016 that we saw anyone else actually do it (Mio, Lezyne, Wahoo). So basically, some 6-8 months later. They could have rolled out on January 1st, 2016, but didn’t – despite being an overwhelmingly popular feature.

      It’s not a knock on those companies, but just playing devil’s advocate as to what Strava would say.

  20. bikegeek

    I followed the steps above to upload the fitbit data into garmin connect on the morning of Nov 11th.

    Setup – fitbit charge hr for activity tracking; fitbit surge for running and edge 1000 for cycling (got fitbits from work, though I would really like a garmin running watch). I don’t have a garmin activity tracking device (never had one) – so my connect account has no activity tracking data.

    Its been over 48 hours and no activity tracking data is available in garmin connect. Am I missing something?


    • Just to clarify – were you importing steps or activities (i.e. cycling) from Fitbit to Garmin?

    • bikegeek

      I check-marked everything as shown in the post above. I was only expecting to see steps, distance walked etc. It will be great if I can export activities and heart rate data from fitbit to Garmin though I understand that I may be hoping against hope. However, nothing has shown up on Garmin connect yet. Fitbit also gave me 10kb worth of data for ~30 days.

  21. okrunner

    Just got an email from Runkeeper that has launched complete Garmin integration with direct links in the Runkeeper app. Garmin is certainly upping their game and running away from the pack. Maybe this is in response to the new Apple watch but Garmin is killing Tom Tom, Polar, Suunto, etc. Garmin, more than ever, has set themselves up as king and monopolizing the gps watch business. If they have no more Fenix 1’s or Epic’s they’ll put the others out of business soon.

  22. okrunner

    So Garmin is not only playing nice but partnering with Strava and Runkeeper but has shut out and pissed off Wahoo. Not sure the impact on consumers but Strava and Runkeeper certainly have greater user numbers.

  23. Alfie

    Garmin and Nike + are also in bed together as you can link your Garmin Connect account to Nike +. I run with both a Garmin watch and the Nike + app (Don’t ask why, it’s a long convoluted reason) and both show up on the Nike + site. So Garmin is really trying to play with a number of different folks right now. This is getting interesting….

    • Yup, they’ve actually supported many consumer platforms for a while ago now:

      Training Peaks
      Sport Tracks

      And some others I’m sure I’m forgetting.

    • Bsquared

      RideWithGPS is another. I have Garmin Connect setup to sync my bike rides to Strava, TrainingPeaks, RideWithGPS, MapMyFitness, and Endomondo. Then Endomondo syncs to Fitbit, although Fitbit does not allow importing HR, GPS, cadence, etc., so all I get in Fitbit is a manual workout with distance, duration, and calories.

  24. Raciel D.

    The only reason why I don’t use the step counter on my 920xt and continue to use an old Fitbit One is because of the Fitbit’s arbitrary challenges. It’s fun to “compete” with friends especially the Workweek Challenges. Also, have you seen the step count on those Weekend Warrior challenges for someone who’s done a 100mi ultra? It’s hilariously awesome.

  25. Alberto

    I think the Strava Beacon integration is for those that already have Premium and used just Beacon and now can share with Strava contacts and non Strava contacs (the average In Case of Emergency numbers are sedentary Joes).

  26. Bill

    Hey DC, any idea on whether or not Connect will be able to absorb and integrate all of our years worth of Basis B1 and Peak data?


  27. Mitch

    I did the import of my Fitbit data all the way back to 2013. I can’t get Jun and Jul 15 to import. Has anyone else seen this? All other months import fine

    • Garmin noobie

      I have import my Fitbit files to Garmin Connect succesfully over a week ago and now, finally, i noticed in my personal records that i have taken “most steps in a day” on 04/11/33… right. When in real life it was 28.5.2016 according to Fitbit data. Not so well done, Garmin. I still can’t see any of my imported data in any history reports (steps, activity etc) in Garmin Connect.

  28. marathonman

    This is nice functionality from Garmin. However there seems to be an issue with data for the months Jan to Jun each year. When I upload the files that I downloaded from Fitbit for Jul to Dec, I get on average 400,000 steps as a total for the month. However, the data is totally screwed up for the 1st 6 months of the year – averaging only 80,000 for the month. This is the same for different years – so clearly a bug somewhere.

  29. Jason

    Howdy, I’ve had a Charge 2 as well for about a month and contemplating moving to a Garmin 735XT or waiting for the Fenix 5 and I’d wondered about data portability. Really great review. You broke this down like I would have done myself and I appreciate your approach. I think this portability just sold me on the Garmin!

    • marathonman

      Unfortunately, that “portability” is not working at the moment. Garmin are aware that it is an issue but they don’t have an ETA for a fix yet.

  30. Nicholas Weikel

    It looks like importing historic weight data from Fitbit is still broken as of February 2017. I received a very generic (and non-helpful) response from Garmin support with a link to an outdated YoubTube video how to use their import tool.

    I feel like this should be an extremely simple fix for Garmin.

  31. Mike

    This feature was introduced in November 2016 (according to this article), and has been broken since December 2016 ( link to forums.garmin.com ). Pretty sad, Garmin. Between that and the crappy finish on the sapphire Fenix 5 ( link to forums.garmin.com ) I’m not impressed with Garmin so far.

  32. Babs

    Is there a way to send Garmin Connect data to the Fitbit app? My husband has always had a Fitbit and now has a Garmin and was hoping to connect in his established Fitbit account.

    Thank you.

    • LG

      Hi I too would be interested in any views/solutions to this. Trying to do a bit of research before I buy a Garmin as would still like my daily steps (from the garmin) to sync with my fitbit app (dont want to wear 2 watches)
      The only thing I can find to try is to sync the garmin with an app like My Fitness Pal which will then sync with the fitbit app.
      Any ideas anyone if this will work?

  33. Marie

    I got everything in except for the workouts I’m not sure the explanation for the putting them in one of the time quite made it to my brain do I just select activities and do day by day or how does that work

  34. Marie

    I got everything in except for the workouts I’m not sure the explanation for the putting them in one of the time quite made it to my brain do I just select activities and do day by day or how does that work?

  35. Does the fitbit to garmin still work. I plan to use a garmin fr235 along with my fitbit surge and would like all data at one place.I just exported fitbit data as a csv file but the instructions given here just gave me “an error occurred with your upload. Please try again” I tried several times but got the same error.

    • Dave


      I get the same error whenever I have tried recently. It worked for a few times when it was first mentioned on here, but I now get the same message as you with both file formats.

  36. Thanks for replying Dave. I hoped it was something on my end that I could change.
    It must be a change that Garmin made as a cvs file from Fitbit is just a cvs file.

    • marathonman

      I believe the only way to make it work, is to only transfer activity data. Don’t select any of the other 3 options. That is the only way I have been able to get Fitbit data to appear in GC. YMMV. Ticking any of the other boxes causes the upload to fail.

    • David

      I have been trying to get my weight data from a Fitbit scale into Garmin’s activity data store but something so simple seems impossible for Garmin to allow.

  37. Cynthia

    Hi Jim,
    Your articles have been a significant help for me as I am a new Garmin user and I have really been floundering with my 735 device. My question regarding the import is, does the fitbit import override the existing Garmin data, or combine it. For example i may charge one device and wear the other on the same day. Ideally I would like to see the combination of steps. Thanks!!!

  38. RamonML

    I can not import the data, the same error message all the time.

    “An error occurred while loading. Retry.”

  39. Jeremie Miserez

    Just FYI, there is now an option to do a full data export on Fitbit’s side, likely added due to GDPR: link to fitbit.com

    You get a bunch of .json files, which is nice.

    • Marathon Man


      As far as I can tell, this now makes the extract of data more or less worthless for most non-technical people.
      Previously an XLS or CSV file was produced which was simple for most people to work with. Now Fitbit have made it a lot harder for non-technical people to actually use their data. A lot of very disgruntled folks on the Fitbit forums complaining about this:

      link to community.fitbit.com

      Let’s hope Fitbit actually do something about it.

  40. Julio Galicia

    Fitbit changed the way you can download the data. There’s no options to download using an Excel format. And as a result it can not be loaded into Garmin connect anymore!!

    • Yes, you still can export using the old export tool – which the site gives you a link to on the SETTINGS / EXPORT screen. link to fitbit.com

    • Marathon Man

      Except that the file no longer uploads to Garmin successfully…..
      Back to getting the “An error occurred with your upload” message.

    • I just tried it and it works fine for me.

      Are you sure you selected all of the Data checkboxes? The only way I’ve ever been able to get it to work is to select them all – even if I didn’t want or have data from those data fields that I want to import. If I don’t select them all it either craps out or doesn’t import anything.

    • Marathon Man

      Yes – I tried selecting all data boxes and then just individually. And both CVS and XLS. If you open the files you will also see they use different date formats for the different areas of data e.g. sleep. Basically, it feels like Fitbit are just trying to make it hard for people to use their data.

    • It’s weird that it works for me but not you. It’s puzzling.

  41. Jim Birklid

    Thanks for your quality info, tips and insights on cycling related gear.
    Sometimes your videos * are a bit too quick for me to follow but, you are a young chap relating to the like group you are aiming for and that makes good sense. I,m 80+ and just not so quick on or off the bike any more. :-)
    *ie: Garmin edge 1030 page setup
    My best to you and those you are close to this Holiday Season and the new year.

    Jim B. AZ & WA, USA

  42. kayla

    Hello, I realize I am a little late to the party, but I am just wondering if you know of any solutions for when your imported data does not show up on the connect app/website? Or is it best to contact Garmin support.

    Thanks for the help!

  43. Patrick

    i thought this was the answer to my problems but it seems to just be its own problem. the garmin import won’t work and the garmin forums are full of people with the same problems over the last 2 years. it seems to be very unreliable and gives no indication what the problem might be when it has trouble.

    its almost as if garmin are not interested in getting people to “upgrade” from fitbit to garmin!

  44. A little late (like three years…), but I’ve made a simple web page that takes data from Vitadock — those cheap(er) bluetooth weight scales — and converts them into Fitbit csv format, ready for importing into Garmin Connect. It works nicely for weight, BMI, and body fat. I’ve made it for my own use, but maybe some of you guys find it useful too. You can find the free tool on link to reuneker.nl.

  45. Sarah

    Yikes! Four years later and still the sleep data does not import into Garmin. This is a shame.

  46. ncl3

    I tried to import my activities recorded in the previous Fitbit profile into my current Garmin profile by following the instructions. Unfortunately, however, I was unable to do so either by importing files in .csv / .xls or .tcx format. In fact when I try to import .csv / .xls files I get the error “An error occurred while loading. Please try again later.” and I have tried it on several occasions and with different browsers. When I try to import .tcx files the procedure does not arrive at the end.

  47. Josh

    There isn’t a .csv file anywhere in my export data