The Polar Watch is a highly-rated smartwatch, but one of the most common issues that can come up is the watch having trouble finding a GPS signal. There are several different ways you can troubleshoot this issue, which we will discuss below.
Troubleshooting GPS signals in Polar watches is as simple as going into the Polar app settings to ensure GPS recording is toggled on and that the GPS data file is not expired. The watch will often lose a GPS signal if there are tall trees or buildings nearby or if the watch is worn upside down.
For a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot the GPS signal and for answers to all your questions, continue reading.
Does the Polar Watch have GPS?
Polar fitness watches have a built-in GPS feature to help you navigate during your hikes, walks, and bike rides. The GPS feature also tracks your runs and your bike rides so that the watch can better understand your distance and your mileage per hour.
Many people love the Polar watch for how accurate its GPS is in comparison to many other smartwatch brands. Despite its accuracy and quality, the GPS feature can still run into issues, which will require a bit of troubleshooting to see what the issue is and find what works to fix it so that it works like new again.
Troubleshooting a Polar Watch with Built-In GPS
There are two different things you can check the settings for in order to troubleshoot your polar watch’s built-in GPS. The first thing would be ensuring that the GPS recording has been turned on and working. The second thing would be ensuring that the Assisted GPS data file has not yet expired and is in need of an update. These are the most common issues that occur and may cause issues with your GPS satellite signal.
To ensure that your GPS recording setting is toggled on (for the Grit X, Grit X Pro, M400, M430, Pacer, Pacer Pro, Ignite, Ignite 2, Ignite 3, Vantage M, Vantage M2, Vantage V, Vantage V Titan, and Vantage V2), follow these steps:
- Open your Polar Flow app on your mobile device.
- Click on your Sport Profile.
- Click on Settings.
- Scroll down until you see the GPS recording.
- Click on the toggle to ensure it’s in the On position.
If your watch is an M400 or M430 model, you can turn on GPS recording through the watch itself. You can do this by waking your watch, clicking on Settings, then tapping Sports Profiles. Click on which sport you want the GPS to record, then set the GPS recording to On.
To ensure that your Assisted GPS data file is not expired (for the Grit X, Grit X Pro, M400, M430, Pacer, Pacer Pro, Ignite, Ignite 2, Ignite 3, Vantage M, Vantage M2, Vantage V, Vantage V Titan, and Vantage V2), follow these steps on your Polar watch:
- Wake your watch so the screen is illuminated.
- Go to Settings
- Tap General Settings
- Click on About Your Product/Watch
- Tap A-GPS exp. Date
- If the current date is past this expiration date, your data file is expired. You’ll then want to sync your device with the Polar Flow app or with your computer via the Flow web service. It will automatically update.
How Do I Update my Polar GPS?
If your A-GPS data file has expired, you’ll need to update your Polar GPS so that you can get a better satellite signal for your watch GPS.
You can do this simply by syncing your watch to your mobile device using the Polar Flow mobile app. Once synced, the app will tell you that the watch is in need of an update. Once you tap Update, the app will guide you through how to update your app. The update will work best if you plug the watch into its charging cord, and it will take up to 20 minutes.
You can also update the firmware version of your Polar watch using your computer. After you’ve synced your device to the Flow web service on the computer by plugging your charging cable into both your watch and your computer, the web service will prompt you to update the firmware. Click Yes on the notification, and the new firmware will begin to install.
Once finished, your watch will restart, and afterward, the watch will resync to the Flow web service, after which you can unplug your watch and look for a GPS satellite signal to see if the process worked.
How to Catch a GPS Satellite Signal On Your Polar Watch
To help you understand when your Polar watch has caught a GPS satellite signal, you’ll need to know what the symbol looks like and how it changes once it’s caught a signal, depending on the type of watch you have. Use the following guide to find your particular Polar watch model and understand what it looks like:
- M400, M430: A GPS icon, which looks like a little arrow will have a percentage value next to it. If this percentage shows, it means the GPS is ready. Once the percentage reaches 100%, an OK symbol will appear, meaning that it has a good signal.
- Grit X, Grit X Pro, Ignite 2, Ignite 3, Pacer, Pacer Pro, Vantage V2, Vantage M2: A GPS icon, which looks like a little arrow will appear in white and have a dark circle around it. Once the outline of that circle turns orange, then the watch has found an okay GPS satellite connection, but it will turn green once it has an accurate satellite connection.
- Vantage V, Vantage M, Ignite: A green circle around the GPS icon (which appears like an arrow) will appear when the watch has found a good enough connection to a GPS satellite.
Next, you’ll want to go outside and find a GPS satellite signal. These can help boost the GPS feature to begin working after an update or to ensure that it is working properly. Try to find an open field or a place away from tall trees and buildings. We recommend you input walking or running for your preferred sport so that the watch knows that it’s time to begin recording your GPS location as you walk.
Make sure your watch face is faced horizontally upwards and away from your chest. Keep the watch still, with your arms stationary and raised above your chest while it searches for a signal. Watch for the appropriate GPS symbol on your watch screen to appear so you can ensure it has found a GPS connection.
What is Assisted GPS on a Polar watch?
Many Polar watches have Assisted GPS, which provides quick connections to a GPS satellite and provides a more accurate location reading. The Assisted GPS uses GPS data to let your device know of predicted locations of GPS satellites so it can make a connection within seconds.
This data file on your watch updates every day to provide the most accurate information about where the satellites are, so it’s important to make sure your device is updated regularly to the latest software so that it can receive the latest GPS satellite location updates.
How do I track my Polar watch?
To track your Polar watch, you’ll want to ensure that the Polar app can pick up satellite signals and that location tracking is allowed. This applies only to the Polar M600.
First, wake your watch screen and swipe down so the settings menu appears. Tap the Settings icon, then tap Apps, and System Apps, then scroll and tap Polar. Next, you’ll want to tap Permissions and notice that next to “Location” is a toggle button. If the toggle is gray, the location setting is off, and if it is blue, the location setting is on. Tap the toggle to turn it on if it isn’t on. Then go into the settings of your Polar app and make sure to allow permissions to track your location.