Garmin Epix 2 GPS

Managing .fit files in Garmin Connect & Strava

2 mins read

Our fitness watches log a vast range of data. From the basics of distance and pace through to the fine detail of heart rate and cadence. In the world of automation, we can in turn instantly share our activity data to various platforms just seconds after we have hit the ‘end activity’ button. 

Most of the time activity synchronisation is quick, easy, and without issue but there can be times when things can go wrong. This post will show you how easy it is to manually transfer activity data across platforms.

Transferring from Garmin Connect to Strava

Once you have connected your Garmin and Strava accounts the process of activity synchronisation should be automatic. The follow steps outline how to easily transfer a .fit file from Garmin to Strava (or any other fitness platform) when things go wrong.

Firstly, load the activity on Garmin Connect on your PC/Mac.
Click the little Gear on the top right hand of the screen to reveal the activity menu. 

Export .fit file from Garmin connect

Now click ‘Export Original’ and save the .fit file to your computer’s hard drive.
Head over to your Strava account (log in) and click the circle with the + symbol (top right-hand side of the screen). From the options select ‘import from file’.

import .fit file to Strava

Choose the .fit file exported from Garmin Connect and the Strava importer will complete the process. If you manually import an activity and the synchronisation eventually restarts Strava will spot the duplicate file and will ignore the import. 

Transfer from Strava to Garmin

You can also manually transfer a .fit file from Strava to other platforms. In Strava, load the activity on your PC/Mac. Click the three dots on the left-hand side of the activity and (like before) select ‘export original’. 

Exporting .fit files from Strava

Head over to your Garmin Connect account (log in) and click the little cloud with the arrow on the top right hand of the screen. 

Drag the .fit file exported from Strava into the dashed box and Garmin Connect will then process the .fit file.

What if the Activity Doesn’t move from your Garmin watch

There are times when the activity appears to end up stuck on the watch? Connecting your watch to a PC will allow it to appear akin to an external drive (often G : ) click on Garmin / Activities to view the activities stored on the watch. Copy and paste the file you wish to import over to your computer hard drive. Note the .fit files use as their file name notation.`

Remember to safely disconnect your Garmin device as you would any storage device connected to a PC or Mac. 

Apple Watch Users and .fit Files

If you are using an Apple Watch the brilliant Health Fit app allows easy automated synchronisation to Strava as well as the ability to store your activities as .fit files within a folder on iCloud. Read more : 30 Days with the Apple Watch.

If you like to share your activities on social media then an alternative to the share options in Strava and Garmin is Velographic.

You can read more about FIT data over on the Garmin Developer Website.

Warning: processing .fit manually is at your own risk, this post should be considered as guidance only.

Fit File Tools


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

Leave a Reply

Latest from Active