How to Unlock Garmin Keygen

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Garmin Keygen is a useful program for unlocking Garmin GPS devices.
Image Credit: Baac3nes/Moment Open/GettyImages

Garmin Keygen is a useful program for unlocking Garmin GPS devices. Without this program, the device will remain locked to the original maps and user. After using the Keygen to unlock the device, the SD card is opened to add and remove maps as desired without the need for a login or user-connected account. Without the software, the maps are locked to the original operating system and will not import settings from exterior programs.


Locating Keygen Software

The first task is locating the actual Keygen software. This is a program that requires a download and is easily found through a quick Google search. Use a free download and save the program to an easily accessible folder on your hard drive. Now that you have Keygen downloaded, it works as a Garmin unlock generator of sorts.

Video of the Day

You can take any GPS unit and clear the SD card to work with outside maps and mapping programs. This makes the Keygen software a powerful tool for resurrecting old GPS units from Garmin. You can unlock each device and install new maps for an updated and functional GPS device. Keep in mind, however, that a modern smartphone works equally well for most street mapping and directional needs.


Keygen software is actually developed and licensed by Garmin but you will find the software available for download through a number of third-party websites as well.

Unlock Garmin Maps

After downloading the Keygen software to your laptop or PC, go ahead and remove the SD card from the Garmin device. Insert that card into your computer to access the SD card memory. If your computer does not have an integrated cardholder, use a card reader with a USB connection to the computer. Card readers are common and very easy to locate and purchase.


Open the SD card by accessing My Computer and clicking on the card folder. When inserted, however, it should automatically trigger the card to open. Click on the Garmin software folder to launch the GPS software within your computer operating system. Click on Settings in the Garmin software and select About to generate the user info. Copy the card ID to use with the Keygen unlocking software.

Open Garmin Keygen and add the copied Card ID to the field labeled as Unit ID. Click Run or Generate to create an unlock code. Copy this code to your clipboard. Access your programs and click Accessories then Notepad. Paste the Unlock key in the notepad and save the file as SW.UNL for the format and naming convention. Copy this file.


Lastly, open the Garmin folder in the SD card. Right-click the folder and click Paste to drop the Notepad file into the SD card. The notepad file contains and applies the unlock code to open your device. Return the SD card to your Garmin GPS device to use the unlocked version. You may also leave the SD card in the computer to install new maps on the card.

Using an Unlocked Device

The unlocked device is open for different mapping applications but using the Garmin maps and simply updating the maps through Garmin is prudent. With the Garmin maps functioning on an unlocked device, you can actually zoom in farther and see more detail because the conventional limitations are no longer applied.


Experiment with different zoom settings and dimensional views to learn your way around the altered device. Otherwise, the mapping system will continue to function normally by connecting to GPS and navigating on the maps and mapping system installed on the SD card.