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Greg A.
Greg A., Engineer
Category: GPS
Satisfied Customers: 8435
Experience:  Using & Working with GPS systems for 10+ years
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HOW DO I UPDATE THE MAPS ON MY GARMIN THAT I HAVE HAD YEARS?

Customer Question

HOW DO I UPDATE THE MAPS ON MY GARMIN THAT I HAVE HAD FOR SEVERAL YEARS?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: GPS
Expert:  Greg A. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & Welcome to Just Answer,

Sorry to hear of any issue you are having with your device.

To help you with this issue, may I ask:
1) The FULL Model Number of the device you are working with?
2) The STATUS of the device (does it still work well)?
3) WHEN was the device last used SUCCESSFULLY?

4) Do you have HIGH SPEED internet access?

Thanks

Expert:  Greg A. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

I didn't see a response from you post of a few days again, but wanted you to have the following information. I will assume you have a Garmin "Nuvi" device of some kind.

I checked on the current prices for North America maps on the Garmin site, and I found that "Lifetime Maps" for North America are about $90, while the "one time" updates are about $50.
.

I also did a search on Amazon for "Garmin Nuvi" and I saw several newer devices that include the lifetime map updates (look for the "LM" at the end of the model number) for right around $85-$120. I have a link below to those search results.

Click here -->Garmin Nuvi Search Results on Amazon
.

Considering that you MAY need to find or purchase a USB cable, and most likely a 4GB or 8GB SD card to update the maps on your current device, plus go through the process (which I will send below), it MAY be EASIER and more cost effective in the long term to purchase a newer unit - which will have current maps already installed, and pretty much be ready to go - right out of the box. But let me send along my Recommended Steps - and a brief explanation - on how to update the maps on a Nuvi device - so you will know more about what is involved.

How to Update Garmin Nuvi Maps.
===============================
What is needed?
1) A WORKING device with some previous version of maps installed.
2) A computer and USB cable (to be able to connect the device to the computer).
3) A microSD card (or microSD & SD adapter) of 4GB or 8GB (maximum) capacity. This MAY be optional, but is HIGHLY recommended. A link to where you can get an 8GB SD card is listed in the "resources" section below.
4) A current copy of "Garmin Express" installed on your computer. This is Garmin's recommended program (tool) for doing any updates, including device software AND maps. If you need to get a copy of Garmin Express, use the link below.
Click Here --> http://software.garmin.com/express.html

.

How is it done? Steps to Update device software and Maps.
==========================================================
Step 1) FULLY charge your device and then TEST it - without being connected to the charger or power adapter. This is to TEST the battery life of the device, as there are portions of this procedure (unit software update) that NEED the battery to be in good shape to successfully update your device. Once you confirm that the device will successfully operate for at least 15-20 minutes, then it should be safe to move on - AFTER FULLY charging the device again.

Step 2) Once the device is charged up again, you are ready to check and update the unit software ONLY! This is prepare the device with any updates that may be needed to recognize the SD card that is to be inserted in the next step, and to be able to store the updated map data on that card.
Step 2a) Connect the fully charged device to your computer via the USB cable and WAIT. After a few seconds (or perhaps minutes), the computer SHOULD recognize the device as a "removable storage" device, and allow you to "see the device" as such. NOTE: If the computer asks you if you want to "fix" the storage device in any way, respond by saying NO! You do NOT want to change the device at all right now, but just have it recognized and seen by the computer.
Step 2b) Start the Garmin Express program and make sure it "sees" your device. Once it does, the program SHOULD open in the "Updates" tab, and show you any updates that are available to the unit software and or maps. Do NOT try any map updates just yet, as all we are interested in at this time is the unit software.
Step 2c) Go ahead and load any need software updates, and give PLENTY of time for the updates to successfully load onto the device. Now this next part is CRITICAL ... When the program says it is OK to remove the device from the computer, WAIT an extra 60 seconds to make SURE all the software is written to the device. After this wait, remove the device from the USB cable and allow it to reboot. Allow it to power up if it does that "automatically", and let it settle on the main screen. Then take a quick look at the "Where To?" and "View Map" screens, just to make sure they can be reach without any issue. Then power the device OFF and back ON again, and check the rest of the screens - just to make sure they still work.

Step 3) Now power the device OFF, and insert the SD card. The card SHOULD go in easily - with a firm push and should "latch" into place, so do NOT force the card in.

Step 4) Reconnect the device to the USB cable and run Garmin Express again - to get the map updates.
NOTE: This can take a LONG time - depending on your internet and computer speed.
Step 4a) Find and click on the "Map Update" section in Garmin Express. If you do not have prepaid updates available, maps can be purchased directly from Garmin Express.
Step 4b) Run the download and install section of the program, and allow plenty of time for the maps to transfer to your device.
When the program says it is OK to remove the device from the computer, WAIT an extra 60 seconds to make SURE all the software is written to the device. After this wait, remove the device from the USB cable and allow it to reboot.

Once all this is done, TEST the device again - to make sure all is well with the new maps and the device.

Resources:
Examples of 8GB microSD cards listed on Amazon. >>Click Here<<.

NOTE: These are the results of a "search" on Amazon. Please select a GOOD quality card, as you will need this to work for some time (don't "go cheap" on the card that will be holding your data).

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you find or if you have any more questions.

If this has answered your question(s), please take a moment to rate MY service level (Excellent is my goal) so that I get credit for helping you with this question.
You should see some "smiley faces" or "stars" to do that, but please let me know if you do NOT see them (you may have to scroll UP or DOWN) or can not use them.

Thanks, ***** *****
--. .-
(im)