How to Unlock Your Garmin GPS

by Nicole Vulcan
Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

One of the features of Garmin GPS devices is an anti-theft system that "locks" your GPS when it's not in use. Before you have the option to unlock the device, you need to enter a personal identification number (PIN) and create a "safe" location based on satellite readings. Once you set a PIN and a safe location, you can use one of two methods to unlock the GPS.

Set Security

Step 1

Tap "Tools," and then "Settings," and then "Security" on your Garmin's screen.

Step 2

Tap the button directly below "Garmin Lock."

Step 3

Type in a four-digit PIN that you will remember as your security code. Your PIN is now set.

Drive to your safe location, such as your home or office, and then press "Set" when you reach that safe location. When you are in the safe location, you should not have to enter your PIN, as the GPS will recognize your location and keep the device unlocked.

Unlock GPS

Step 1

Slide the power key to the left to unlock the screen, if the power key is all the way to the right. When it's all the way to the right, the device is in lock mode to prevent accidental touches that can change the screen's settings.

Step 2

Enter your four-digit PIN when prompted by the Garmin unit. When you enter the PIN, you should be able to use the unit as usual.

Drive to your security location if you cannot recall your PIN. When the unit recognizes your location based on satellite data, it will unlock the GPS.


  • If you cannot remember your PIN and are unable to drive to your security location, contact Garmin's customer service (full link in Resources) for help unlocking your device.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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