How to Upgrade GPS Maps

By Jamie Lisse

Roads can be added to maps and changes can be made to existing roads, which make upgrading the maps on your global positioning system (GPS) unit worthwhile. Not upgrading the maps on your GPS unit could contribute to you getting lost. Regardless of the manufacturer of your portable GPS unit, you can upgrade GPS maps to update existing maps or add maps.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable

Step 1

Visit the website for the manufacturer of your GPS unit, such as TomTom or Garmin.

Step 2

Look for the updates section or the downloads section of the manufacturer website. For example, on the TomTom website, it is called the "Map Update Service," while on Garmin it is listed as "Updates and Downloads."

Step 3

Connect your GPS unit to your computer with a USB cable. Typically, a USB cable comes packaged with the unit. You also can purchase a USB cable at most computer supply stores.

Step 4

Download map upgrades to your GPS unit. The exact process varies according to GPS unit manufacturer and may require the installation of another program on your computer, such as the Web Updater from Garmin or the TomTom Home for TomTom GPS units. Usually you must pay to upgrade your GPS maps, and prices vary by manufacturer and maps. In some cases, you are charged a fee for each map that's added or updated, and in other cases, you can buy a subscription for unlimited updates for a certain period of time.

Step 5

Disconnect your GPS unit from the computer once you see the message indicating the upgrade has been completed.