How to Update Garmin Maps of All Types

Update Garmin Maps and Operating Systems Online

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GPS helps you master the open road. How to update your Garmin GPS maps. Fred Zahradnik

Updating your Garmin maps has become easier over the past few years, as the company has streamlined its maps update processes and access points. However, map updating has also become more complex, as we use more devices for more activities, and we access updates online.

Another big change in map updates is that more of them are free. Garmin and other GPS makers have transitioned in a significant way to free product lifetime map updates for a range of products including sports and golf GPS.

But for many map options, especially international street maps beyond those you purchased with your unit, you will have to pay.

Free Garmin Map Updates

If you've purchased one of Garmin's many GPS units that offer free map updates, you will choose this map updates page, which will prompt you to download and install the Garmin Express map updater utility, if you don't already have it installed. Follow the instructions to get Garmin Express running on your machine. More on this below.

Purchase Street Maps

if you don't have free product lifetime map updates available to you, purchase Garmin street map updates here. You may purchase street map packs as downloads, or as SD card updates. I actually prefer SD card updates for their simplicity and ease of use.

Garmin Golf Course Maps

Garmin golf devices come with free lifetime course updates including more than 15,000 courses worldwide. Garmin pioneered free course updates (companies used to charge significant annual fees for this).

 

Garmin Maps for Fitness Devices

Maps for fitness devices include street maps and topo maps. This is your resource for both.

Maps for Outdoor GPS

Handheld GPS devices are great companions for hiking, fishing, hunting, and more. These outdoor map updates keep you navigating with the latest and most accurate information.

Marine Charts

Many boaters depend on Garmin charts for everything from lakes to the open ocean. These marine charts, including BluChart, LakeVu, and Great Lakes will keep you off the rocks.

Aviation and Avionics

Aviation is a separate and highly regulated part of Garmin's database offerings. The Fly Garmin site serves as your central resource for staying on top of the latest information and keeping your data current.

Downloading and Installing Garmin Express

The Garmin Express application is key to updating maps for many devices. Garmin Express lets you update your maps, upload activities to Garmin Connect, update your golf course maps, and register your products. Simply plug in your Garmin device via its USB port, download and install Express for Mac or Windows, and open the application. Express should automatically find your device and show that it is connected. The app will give you the options of updating your software or maps or syncing your data.

This is a very convenient way to maintain the latest operating systems on your device. You may also sync fitness and golf devices directly into Garmin Connect when you are logged onto that service. If you update your device operating system, after Express informs you that the update is complete, disconnect your device, then turn it on to re-start it and activate the new operating system.

Your device will prompt you as it steps through the update process. Your devices will typically retain your personal settings after any operating system or map updates.

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