Making your Dexcom G5/G6 transmitters last longer without using xDrip+

This link and method have already been described by @docslotnick (Restarting G6 sensors and transmitter), but I thought it was worth dedicating a thread to it.

As we all know, Dexcom G5 and G6 transmitters have a hard stop at 112 days, although they are typically able to keep on working a while longer (45 to 90 days more) with a regular Dexcom app. This method allows you to reset the G5/G6 transmitter to avoid the hard stop. The next stop, of course, will be when the transmitter battery dies out, and will likely come without any warning.

The method is due to @kdisimone, and requires a limited amount of programming, very clearly described in the article, with an Apple computer:

As a note, the other option, if you wish to prolong your transmitter life, is to use xDrip+, as discussed here by @docslotnick:


@Michel It should be mentioned that @kdisimone 's method only works with an iPhone, OS11 or better. You also need a Mac computer.

It is quite elegant and the instructions are easy to follow.

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Do you only need a Mac for the initial setup and then never again?

I don’t have a Mac, but I do have an iPhone and iPad. I wonder if I could go to the library, do the setup stuff, and then never have to use a Mac again.

That would sure be nice. I’m still using the G4 due primarily to cost issues (I pay for everything 100% out of pocket), but am likely to upgrade to the G5 to use with the t:slim and iPhone (and hopefully also my Fitbit) in the new year.

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Well, it is a little tricky.

In order to produce the app, you need a developer account, which is free. But, as long as you have a free developer account, it means your apps are only good for 7 days. It takes no time at all to rebuild the app from the stuff you already did, but you do need access to the computer for that.

@kdisimone, can you think of another way that would be fire-and-forget? Is there a way to make this app perennial without having to pay for the dev account?

You don’t need a paid account to do this…free account will work just fine.

But for the not “technically inclined”…you can get Spike app and it has the same reset command built in for iPhone users. So you can just use the spike app to reset and then go back to using dexcom app as usual. You’d have to unpair the transmitter from the phone in order for the transmitter to connect with each app, but not a huge deal. Just unpair from phone before using Spike, restart phone, pair in Spike, reset the transmitter, unpair from phone again, restart phone, pair in dexcom app.


@kdisimone, I had no idea, that is outstanding.

Right. Sorry, I did not repeat the whole question. my bad. The issue was for someone who does not have a Mac: can they develop the reset app one time (at the library for instance), then use the reset app later without having to go back to the Mac? The problem is the 7-day app lifetime, which requires that you go back to the Mac before the next reset.

But you solved that question with your Spike app tip.

Hello everyone. I am new here. Having trouble getting the transmitter reset to work. Really appreciate the terrific instructions that Katie DiSimone wrote!
Here are the steps I am taking:

  1. End the sensor session on the T:slim x2 pump and Dexcom app
  2. Forget the Dexcom transmitter in iPhone Bluetooth
  3. Delete the Dexcom app
  4. Turn the Bluetooth off and on
  5. Shut down and restart the iphone
  6. Open the Restart app
  7. Hit the Restart button
  8. After 10-13 minutes receive and accept the pairing request and
  9. Almost immediately get this error message:
    Error during reset transmitter:timeout
    Followed very quickly by this error
    Error during reset transmitter: unknownCharacteristic

I just let it continue until it shuts down the Reset App takes about 6 minutes
Anyone have an idea what I’m doing wrong?
I’ve done this several times over the past week.

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Are you using G5 or G6, and what is first 2 digits of your transmitter ? Dexcom has made many changes in past year that impact ability to extend/restart/reset.

Thank you for asking…I should have put that in my request for help.
I am using the G6. The first 2 digits are 81.

Here is similar post, but may have used reset within spike instead of reset app. May help.

Thanks, I’ll give Spike another try when my current session ends.
My transmitter will expire in 12 days or so. I’m guessing I won’t get it reset before then. Does anyone know if you can reset it after it expires?

The transmitter has to be dead…as in, no longer working at all. If it still has life and you could start up a new session with it then the reset transmitter app won’t work. It has to be dead first. Did you ensure it was truly dead?

Oh, I did not know that. I thought it needed to be restarted before it reached the expiration day. Are you saying the battery must have reached the 112 day shut off that Dexcom programs in before it can be restarted? The videos and write-ups all say you cannot be in an active sensor session but I’ve never read that the battery had to have expired.

Yes. It has to be expired. I’ll try to find it when i get home

I took this to mean you need to wait until the 112th day. In my mind why would you want to do it earlier if it’s still got life. The only time I could see is if there was only a few days remaining after sensor changeout and you don’t want to mess up a sensor site…but you can pop transmitters out, reset them, re-seat them, and still be good to go after the warm-up.

Note: I waited until the 112th (or later) date to do my reset and it worked without a problem.

OK. Good to know. Thank you @ClaudnDaye. I was hoping to reset it to 0 before I left the country on Tuesday. But can probably do it after it expires.
Has anyone had success resetting a transmitter before it expires?

You can follow the simpler and more traditional session restart instructions which were initially used for the 80xxxx and continue to work for the 81xxxx. The new and more complex restart procedures are not required until you begin using the 8Gxxxx transmitter.

I think I did G6 80xx transmitter reset via xDrip, prior to day 112, and worked fine. My current transmitter is 81xx, and will also try reset prior to 112 to confirm.

With xDrip only, I did not really need to reset. But was also using G6 receiver.

I thought the 8Gxxxx ones could not be reset. That is from this August 1, 2018 webpage:

That says with regard to the Firefly 8Gxxxx:
“These transmitters cannot currently be reset.“

Is that no longer true?

Thank you for this information @Thomas. I’m not sure what the traditional instructions are. Is that the Restart App or Spike-App or something else?