How to Download Map Updates for Garmin

By Rachael Smithey

Garmin periodically releases updated maps for its GPS devices. The myGarmin website offers convenient access for managing your Garmin devices and finding the map updates you need. Garmin offers three options for map updates: free download, single-purchase download or lifetime subscription. Regardless of which option you choose, the process to download map updates to your Garmin is the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Garmin GPS
  • Computer
  • USB cable
  • myGarmin account (free)

Step 1

Connect your Garmin GPS to your computer. Locate the USB ports on your computer and on your GPS. The GPS ports are typically on the back of the device and may be hidden by a protective cover or rubber cap. Plug one end of the USB cable into your computer and plug the other end of the USB cable into your GPS. Power on the GPS.

Step 2

Sign in to myGarmin (see Resources) with your username and password. If you do not have an account, click the Create New Account link to register your Garmin devices.

Step 3

Click the myMaps tab to display a list of your registered devices and their associated maps. Click the Map Downloads link to display a list of available map updates for your devices. Select PC Download or Mac Download link.

Step 4

If you are alerted to run the Garmin Communicator Plugin, click Run. When the Plugin has detected your GPS and is ready to download the map update, click the Launch Download Manager button.

Step 5

At the Save As prompt to save the map update, note the location or select a new location to save the file. Click the Save button.

Step 6

When the Map Update file has finished downloading, click the Launch button.

Step 7

At the "Welcome to the Garmin Map Update" screen, click Next.

Step 8

After the Map Update USB Driver Check finishes, click Next.

Step 9

Follow any instructions on the Map Update Successful Installation screen. Click Next.

Step 10

At the Software Data and License Agreement screen, select the checkbox to accept the agreement. Click Next.

Step 11

After the update installation finishes, click Finish to exit the program.

Step 12

Disconnect your GPS from your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your computer does not recognize your Garmin GPS, you may need to install the device driver for your GPS. Install the driver on your computer using the CD included with your GPS or from Garmin's website.