How to Load Addresses on Your Garmin GPS

By Steven Lacher

Using a Garmin GPS device makes it easier to find your way while driving, but entering addresses directly into its address book can be a slow, painstaking process. Garmin's free web browser add-on, the Garmin Communicator Plug-in, lets you send addresses from Google Maps directly to your GPS. It works with both Macintosh and PC computers, and makes it easy to load your GPS address book with information before you hit the road.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows PC running XP, 2000 or Vista, or Mac running OS X v10.4 or higher
  • USB connection cable
  • Web browser
  • Garmin Communicator Plug-in

Step 1

Log onto Choose either the "Download-PC" or "Download-Mac" link from the "Quick Links" sidebar on the right side of the page. Note that Mac users will need at least Safari 2.0 or Firefox 2.0; PC users will need at least Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 1.5 to use the software.

Step 2

Connect your Garmin GPS to your computer with a USB cable. The GPS will mount as a usable drive. You won’t interact with the GPS as a drive, except to properly dismount it before you disconnect it.

Step 3

Click the “Test Page” link on the Garmin Communicator homepage. Loading the test page tests your browser’s compatibility, the version of Communicator you’re running, and verify communication with your GPS every time you connect your GPS to your computer to load addresses. If all those tests pass, the page displays a message indicating that the plug-in is properly installed. Your device displays below that message.

Step 4

Open Google Maps and search for an address or business. Click the “Search” link in the light blue bar above the map area to open a dialog box. Click the “GPS” link to send the location you found to your GPS. Depending on whether you searched for a business or an address, the GPS dialog box will present you with different options.

Step 5

Use the “Include” pull-down menu to include the business name or just send the address. For a type of business, choose the name of your business from the list of nearby businesses or enter the name of the business you found in the pull-down menu.

Step 6

Choose “Garmin” from the "Brand" pull-down menu. Make sure to check the “Use as Default” box to prevent having to do this the next time you send data. Note that you can include a phone number and notes.

Step 7

Click “Send” to send the data to your GPS. This will redirect you to a new “Send to GPS” page at Select the checkbox next to your listed device and then click “Send to GPS." Click the “Return to Google Maps” link to return to Google Maps, where you can enter more addresses.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your device is not listed on the “Send to GPS” page, click the “Scan Again” link to search for it again.
  • Make sure to properly eject or unmount your GPS when you’re done.