How to Download Maps to Micro SD Card for Garmin Device

by Terry Parker ; Updated August 29, 2017

Many Garmin GPS devices have microSD card slots that give the units extra storage capacity. However, the microSD card must have enough available space to accommodate the map installation. Garmin GPS devices are shipped with a base map of the country where the units are sold. For other countries, or for detailed maps of trails, additional maps may be purchased from the Garmin online store. When you install these downloadable maps, you have the option of installing these maps to a microSD card installed on the device.

Insert a microSD card into the Garmin GPS device card slot. The microSD card slot is located under a rubber cover on the side of most Garmin units. However, for some units, the microSD card slot is located under the battery. Check the owner’s manual for your Garmin unit to determine where the microSD card slot is located.

Plug the Garmin GPS unit into a computer using the USB connector cable. The Garmin will register as a removable device in the operating system.

Open File Explorer. In Windows 7, you can click the Windows “Start” button and select “Computer.” In Windows 10, click the "Folder" icon in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Double-click the “Garmin” icon. The microSD card drive appears under the Garmin icon.

Right-click on the microSD card entry and select“Properties.” Check the available space on the microSD card. You will only be able to install a downloadable map if the microSD card has enough available space to accommodate the installation.

Log in on the My Garmin site with your Garmin user ID and password (see Resources). Click the tab labeled “Manage Maps.” The available maps for your device will be listed.

Click the “Download Map” icon for the desired map. The size of the map will be listed along with the description. Make sure that the microSD card contains enough available space to accommodate the map download.

Click the “Add to Device" option provided on the download receipt to send the downloadable map to the device. Click on the Garmin device. If the device is not shown as an option, click the “Find Device” button. The Communicator plugin will locate the connected GPS.

Click the link labeled “More Options.” Click the “MicroSD Card" option to send the map to the microSD card on the device.

Click “Continue” and accept the Terms of Service. The map will be downloaded and installed to the selected microSD card.

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About the Author

Terry Parker is a writer based in Texas. She specializes in writing technical and marketing materials for a wide variety of clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

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