How to Fix a TomTom That Has Lost Its Maps
By Brian Cleary
TomTom makes several models of vehicle-mounted personal GPS devices. Like many small computer systems, these GPS devices use flash memory similar to that found in a USB thumb drive in order to operate. When a user saves a large amount of data on the GPS device or uses the device heavily, the memory may become full or corrupted. An unfortunate side effect of this is maps that fail to load when the unit is powered up. But there are steps you can take to clear the memory and restore the maps.
Clearing the Flash Memory
Download the Clear Flash tool from the TomTom website. Save the tool to your computer's desktop for easy access. Double-click on the EXE file and install the tool.
Connect the TomTom device to your computer. Turn off the device first, then connect the unit to the computer via the USB cable that came with it. Turn on the device and the computer will detect it.
Run the TomTom Clear Flash tool. You may have to run the tool a few times to ensure the memory has been cleared. Once the memory is cleared, your maps will have to be re-installed to the device.
Restoring your Maps From a Computer Backup
Connect the TomTom device to the computer using the USB cable provided with the unit.
Start the TomTom HOME software program that came with your device. This software program covers the majority of devices available.
Click on "Backup and Restore" and then "Restore my device." If you have previously backed up your device, this will restore any available maps onto it from your computer.
Restore Your Maps Directly From TomTom
Connect the TomTom device to the computer with the USB cable provided. Once connected, start the TomTom HOME software program.
Click "Manage my device." If the map is listed here that you plan to download again, place a check mark in the box next to it and click "Remove items from device." Once completed, click "Done." Exit the TomTom HOME software program.
Rename your TomTom folder that resides on your computer. In Windows 7, click Start, then "Documents." Locate the folder named "TomTom" and right-click on it. Click "Rename" and rename the folder "TomTomOld."
Start TomTom HOME again.
Log in to your TomTom HOME account. Do this by clicking "Log On" followed by your account email address and password.
Click "Update my device."
Click "Update and install." When the map has downloaded, click "Done."
Click "Update my device" again. If an update to your TomTom application (software on the device) is shown, click "Update and install" to ensure you have the latest software installed on the device itself. When completed, click "Done."
Brian Cleary has been writing on technical topics since 2005. He is an experienced CompTIA A+ computer technician and expert in digital forensics. Cleary holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida and is a certified forensic computer examiner (CFCE).