Garmin InReach Mini Hack Can Save You $130 – UPDATED

Garmin InReach Mini Hack Can Save You $130 – UPDATED

UPDATED 3/12/24: I’ve been notified by Garmin tech experts that my hack doesn’t, can’t and won’t work. Even though the unit boots up fine, doesn’t throw an error code and sends messages, it is still broken. The only remedy is to send it back to Garmin, along with $130, and they’ll send me a refurbished unit. There is another remedy. Cancel my Garmin subscriptions, properly recycle the InReach Mini and purchase a Zoleo Satellite Communicator. I’ll let you know how I like the Zoleo when I get it.

The original story: Hadn’t used my Garmin InReach Mini for a few months (although I faithfully continued to pay the monthly service fee). When fired up, an alert explained that the unit was damaged and couldn’t receive or send messages. I was advised to contact Garmin’s customer service. 

I dropped them an email and got a response less than 24 hours later. Cool. What was not so cool was the message. “I am sorry to hear about the error message on your device. With that error the Mini will need to be sent in and replaced with a re-certified unit. The cost to do that would be $130 USD.” 

Instead of sending them $130, I did this:

1. Downloaded the latest version of Garmin Express onto my computer. 

2. Signed into my Garmin account. 

3. Connected the InReach Mini.

4. My InReach Mini wasn’t listed so I registered it again. 

5. I signed out, disconnected the Mini from my computer.

6. Rebooted the unit. 

There was no error message when it fired back up and it sends and receives messages now. If you have a similar issue with your InReach Mini, try my hack before sending your unit, and $130, to Garmin.

Jimmy Mac, phone home: Not what you want to see when you turn on a Garmin InReach Mini. Luckily a simple hack seems to have saved me $130. I had to take an on-line course ($150) to fully understand how to use all the features on my InReach Mini.
Time to upgrade?: If my hack didn’t work on the InReach Mini, I would not have spent the $130 to have it fixed. I would have purchased a Zoleo Satellite Communicator. Friends who use it find it far more intuitive and easier to use.
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