How to Update Garmin Maps of All Types

Update Garmin maps and operating systems online

Garmin Edge 800 GPS Cyclecomputer Topo Screen
Garmin Edge 800 GPS Cyclecomputer Topo Screen. Garmin

Garmin's line of geolocation devices features a mix of free and paid upgrades to the maps that support the Global Positioning System features that consumers rely on to identify their location and track their routes.

Free Garmin Map Updates

If you've purchased one of Garmin's many GPS units that offer free map updates, visit the company's 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.

Purchase Street Maps

If you don't have free product lifetime map updates available to you, purchase Garmin street map updates. You may purchase street map packs as downloads or as SD card updates.

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 feature.

Garmin Maps for Cycling

Maps for cycling include street maps and topo maps for training, touring or commuting.

Maps for Outdoor GPS

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

Marine Charts

Many boaters depend on Garmin charts for waterways ranging from from small 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 using 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 prompts you to update your software or maps or sync your data.

Garmin Express loading screen
Plug in a USB port or SD card to update your maps with Garmin Express.

This application offers a convenient way to maintain the latest operating system 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 to activate the updated 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.

Your myGarmin Account

Downloading maps, whether free or paid, requires both an account with Garmin's website as well as registration of your Garmin device. You'll need to register an account before you begin; you can register your device during the initial device pairing with the Connect software.

Maps and updates that are available to you are accessible through your myGarmin login.