Resolving Stuck Buttons on Garmin Watches

For some inexplicable reason, my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ top right button became mostly stuck. It was working as per usual the night before and in the morning it became stuck. I could still activate functions tied to the button but the clicking feel was gone. This was the first time I experienced this issue and the first blemish on an otherwise very well built watch.

A quick search online showed that I was not the only one facing this. Apparently, dirt can get stuck in between the button and its socket leading to a stuck button. It still did not address how this could happen in clean conditions over night but I combined online suggestions into a single solution:

  1. Turn off the watch.
  2. Soak it in warm slightly soapy water for 30 minutes. (Don’t worry this will no damage the Fenix series.)
  3. Rinse it in water and let it dry completely.
  4. Repeatedly press the affected button until it becomes unstuck.

These steps have resolved my issue. Leaving this short post here in case it helps others.


27 Comments on “Resolving Stuck Buttons on Garmin Watches”

  1. Holy smokes, it works!

    I have had my Garmin Vivoactive 3 since at least early 2018, and we’ve been through a lot. Today (3.5 years later), my button became “soft” and “non-clicky.” I submerged it in soapy water for a while, and, VOILA, back to normal! Thank you for the tip!

    Thanks for posting this and leaving it up for people to find!!

  2. I’ve read other forums saying: don’t press buttons while it’s submgered. The instructions above are ok because they don’t tell you to do this, but I just thought I’d share in case (like me) you are tempted to press them underwater… and then it might get worse

  3. I am trying this now. Is there a way to prevent this such as some type of routine cleaning? I use the watch while horsebackriding and it does get dusty/dirty regularly.

    1. There are silicone protectors that also cover the buttons. Such should prevent dust ingress but you should clean the protector often. Hope your issue gets resolved!

  4. So glad I saw this post! Wish I would have seen it on Saturday before my race. Tried soaking it and was amazed that everything worked perfectly after it dried out. I love this watch and was distressing about replacing it. Thanks so much for your help!

  5. I tried soaking it in warm soapy water but that didn’t help then I tried WD40 and it worked perfectly. I sprayed some WD40 on the stuck button and let it penetrate for a few seconds (around 20-30 seconds) then I kept pressing the button repeatedly until it got unstuck and worked fine. Hope that helps.

    1. I did the soap thing. It worked for 24 hours or so and than it started getting mushy again. better than before but still very annoying. Tried the WD40, and oh boy! worked like a charm! thanks for the tip

    2. If you put WD-40 on o-rings, it will clean them, but it will also dry them out and eventually ruin them, use
      WD-40 Silicone Lubricant Spray instead.

  6. thanks i will try it
    It didnt work for me. The watch is stucked on language selection with no button action.
    Really crazy,

  7. I decided in a fit of stupidity to use hot water from the tea kettle on my expensive watch. And some soap. Anyway the sticker that covers the play button floated off in the water but otherwise the watch is unharmed and the button’s clickiness is much improved. I won’t try this again

  8. I dont think WD40 is good for your watch at all.
    It might work for the buttons to work but the rest will be damaged.

  9. Be carefully to let fully dry overnight and perhaps 24 hours. I did this but when I pressed the power button to exercise it after 2-3 hours post drying, I found that I had several 3-4mm vertical streaks of permanently white pixels at the 10 o’clock position.

    Saddens me but the watch still works fine.


  10. My daughter has a Garmin vivofit jr 2 and some sand got jammed in the button and now it’s stuck! She has been crying all day! I tried this trick but it didn’t work! Are there any other ideas I could try!?

    1. Others have shared some things they tried in the comments. You could try Garmin’s support too. Hope things get unstuck!

  11. Hi!

    My Fenix 5 has the same problem. I have to push very, very hard to select an activity, and then again very hard to start (and to stop). Quite annoying. I did the above mentioned procedure, but unluckily no success yes. Will repeat it, and then if not; WD40, a tiny bit..Fingers crossed!

    Will keep you posted!

  12. I would think WD-40 would be a short term solution, but long term make it worse. I’m trying graphite. We’ll see how that works.

  13. This has worked like magic and now have my old click back in my step! I’m betting you also have a custom Garmin activity for when you walk on water… Thanks a lot 🙂

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