How to Update an In-Dash Navigation System

By Bret Mavrich

Many motorists use navigation devices to prevent them from getting lost. But a navigation device is only helpful if all of its maps and software are up-to-date. The producers of the world's most reliable navigation devices regularly release updates that keep their products current, and the updates are available with just a few clicks. While mobile devices can often be connected right to your computer or laptop for updating, in-dash models require a few more steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Index card
  • Blank SD cards
  • SD card USB adapter

Step 1

Locate the make and model of your in-dash navigation device. If it is not printed on the outside of the device, you can find it by reviewing the instruction manual, turning the device off and then on again to activate the home screen, or navigating to the information screen in the preferences or settings menu. Since updates are particular to specific models, it is not enough just to know the brand.

Step 2

Record on an index card the maps version and the firmware version you're currently running on your navigation device. These details should be available in the preferences or settings menus of your navigation device.

Step 3

Navigate to the homepage of the company that makes your GPS. Using the search field on the homepage, find the latest firmware version and maps version offered. Compare them with the information you recorded on the index card to see whether you have the most up-to-date versions.

Step 4

Download the latest firmware and maps to an SD card. If your computer or laptop does not have an SD drive, use a USB adapter. When the download is complete, disconnect the adapter or eject the SD card and take it to the in-dash navigation system in your vehicle.

Step 5

Upload the firmware or maps update to your in-dash navigation system. Refer to the device operator's manual for detailed instructions regarding the menus and proper procedure.