Garmin fenix GPS Watch: Restore Missing Profiles

I recently acquired a Garmin fenix Outdoor GPS Watch through an air miles reward program. This awesome watch uses GPS and a variety of sensors so that you can track, navigate and gather all sorts of trip information whenever you are out and about. You can also upload your tracking data to a smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth to view your progress or review your journey. What's even more awesome is having enough loyalty points the get Garmin fenix including shipping and taxes without having to pay anything extra!

The Garmin fēnix comes with a variety of user-programmable Profiles that tailors the data shown on the watch to the particular activity you are doing, such as Hiking, Running, Cycling, and Geocaching. However, I encountered a problem where some of the profiles shown to me in the setup wizard were deleted once I started to use the watch. The ones I was interested in were: Mountain Biking, Hunting, Military, and Off Road--not because I was going to be participating in those activities, but because I wanted to see how the data pages were programmed for each activity. There was also a Skiing profile provided with the latest Garmin software update that was also missing.

Luckily, I fixed my problem, although I don't think it was the most elegant solution. 

Before I did anything I made sure I had the latest updates on the Garmin fēnix (as of 2013 May 12): 

Software Version 3.20 GPS 
Software Version 2.60 

Next, I downloaded the Skiing.gpf file I found on the Garmin forum here: Garmin Fenix 3.12 Beta Software and copied it to Profile folder on the watch.

Then I did a master reset on the Garmin fenix following the instructions here: How do I reset my fenix? It is interesting to note that doing a master reset does NOT delete any profile files, including custom ones that I created myself earlier. 

After going through the setup wizard, I selected the profile that was missing, i.e. "Mountain Biking." Doing that saved that profile onto the watch. The other profiles I wanted were still automatically deleted once I starting using the fenix, so I did another master reset and selected the NEXT profile that was missing. I kept doing resets until all the missing profiles (4) were saved. I then connected the Garmin fenix to my computer and copied the .gpf files onto my hard drive so that I would have a backup. 

Here is the complete list of profiles (13) that I now have from Garmin: 

  1. Hiking
  2. Running 
  3. Cycling 
  4. Geocaching 
  5. Fishing 
  6. Sailing 
  7. Aviation 
  8. Mountaineering 
  9. Mountain Biking
  10. Hunting 
  11. Military 
  12. Off Road
  13. Skiing 

Obviously, I'm not going to be using all of them and will remove the extras. But being a new owner and learning all the functions of the watch, I wanted all the available factory profiles so that I could look at them to compare.

Am I the only one who has had to do this? I'm thinking that there is probably something obvious that I just missed, because I can't believe all users would need to do this to restore the missing profiles.

Despite all of that, I'm really enjoying the Garmin fenix so far and have already been able to download local maps to supplement the base map that comes with the watch. Now that I have all the profiles, I can start customizing!


  1. Dear Albert, thanks for your post and it was quite helpful and was quoted many times by different forums.
    Could you do me a kind favor sharing with your backup of profile files? Accidentally I deleted all of them(except hiking) and I could only restore the Profile 8~12 by performing Master Reset several times. I couldn't find other gpf files (e.g running.gpf) anywhere on the Internet.
    Thanks for your help and my email address is
    Have a nice day!
    Solomon Li

  2. I formatted the clock unintentionally, is to send in my email? thanks

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