How to Download Garmin

by Chris Miksen

A Garmin GPS takes a lot of stress out of driving, because instead of watching for road signs and addresses to get to your destination, the GPS directs you where to go. A GPS is only as good as the maps that are installed, however. Garmin regularly releases map updates for its GPS devices, typically up to four a year. You must download the maps and install them on your GPS for the updates to take effect, which you can do by visiting Garmin's website.


Connect the provided USB cable to your Garmin GPS device and your computer; the small end connects to the GPS, while the larger end connects to an available USB slot in the back or front of your computer. Press and hold the "Power" button to turn on the GPS.


Visit the Garmin login page (see Resources) and sign in to your Garmin account. Click "Create new account" if you do not have one. You must provide your basic information, such as your name, email and desired password, to create an account. Once you sign in or create your account, your "Account" page will appear.


Click "Get now" under "New maps available." If you did not register your Garmin GPS, you must click "Register" prior to clicking "Get now." You'll need your Garmin GPS serial number during the registration; the serial number is a string of eight to nine numbers typically on the back of the GPS. The "Map update" page will appear after clicking "Get now."


Click "PC Download" to begin the download. Click "Run" if a dialog box appears and asks you permission to run the "Garmin Communicator Plug-in," which is what downloads the map update to your Garmin GPS. If you did not buy your GPS within the past 30 days, or did not purchase the "nuMaps Onetime" update or the "nuMaps Lifetime" update, you will be prompted to purchase one of the two updates prior to downloading the map updates. The "nuMaps Onetime" update allows you to download one update for a flat fee, while the "nuMaps Lifetime" update allows you to purchase up to four map updates per year for a flat fee. After you purchase the update and click "PC download" the "Preparing to update maps" screen will appear.


Click "Launch download manager." A security warning will appear and ask you to install the Garmin "Download Manager." Click "Install." A "Save as" box will appear. Choose where to save the update to your computer, such as "Desktop" or "My Documents," and click "Save." The Garmin map update will begin to download. Most map updates exceed 1 GB in size, so the update typically takes more than one hour to complete.


Click the "I accept the Software and Data license Agreement" check box and click "Next." The update will begin to install on your Garmin GPS. The installation can take up to an hour to complete. Once the update is completely installed, a "Congratulations" screen will appear. Click "Finish" and disconnect your Garmin GPS from the USB cable. Your device is now updated.


  • check If you still do not see the "Get now" button under "New Maps Available," then click the "myMaps" tab. If there are still no available map downloads, then your Garmin GPS is equipped with the most up-to-date map.

About the Author

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.

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