How to Update a TomTom for Free

By Amanda Knaebel

Updated August 29, 2017

Keep your TomTom updated for accurate directions.
i Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

TomTom navigation devices get regular map updates at least once a quarter to keep you in the know when it comes to route changes and new location information. The company offers two different software programs to update your maps depending on what device you have: MyDrive Connect and TomTom HOME. Both programs are available as free downloads for Windows PCs and Macs. While some TomTom updates are paid, you can update your device for free with the company’s “Latest Map Guarantee” if you’ve purchased it recently or if you have a device or app that includes Lifetime Maps.

Latest Map Guarantee Updates

When you purchase most new TomTom devices, the company gives you some time to download any updates released since your unit was manufactured. This way, you know you’ll have the most up-to-date information when you start using your device. If you purchase a TomTom from the GO series, you have 30 days from the first time you use your unit to download updated maps, if available. If you purchase a unit from TomTom’s PRO series, you get a little longer – 90 days from the first time you use it. The Latest Map Guarantee doesn’t apply to refurbished units or memory cards with preinstalled maps. It also doesn’t apply to units with Lifetime Maps since those devices get free updates anyway.

TomTom GO: If you have a TomTom GO, download and install the TomTom HOME program. Connect your device to your computer with the provided USB cord and sign in with your TomTom account (or create a new account). Click on "Tools > Use Latest Map Guarantee." If there’s a newer map than the one installed on your device and you’re within the guarantee time period, you’ll see the map update. Click “Continue” to start the download and installation of the new map, then “Done” when finished. Click "Device > Disconnect Device" before unplugging your unit.

TomTom PRO: If you purchased a TomTom PRO device, updating it under the Latest Map Guarantee is a similar process, but instead, download the MyDrive Connect software from TomTom’s website. Plug your unit into your computer and open MyDrive Connect. The program opens in your default web browser. Click "Overview > View Updates." Click in the box next to any available updates, then click the “Update Selected” button. After the update finishes installing, the device will restart. You can disconnect it from your computer safely after the restart.

Lifetime Maps

Some TomTom devices and smartphone apps come with Lifetime Maps or other Lifetime services, like TomTom Traffic and Safety Cameras. If you purchase a product that has Lifetime Maps, you’ll be able to update it for free at least four times a year for the lifetime of your unit. Some products come with lifetime updates for the map regions preinstalled on your device, while others include World Lifetime Maps, meaning you can download maps for any region supported by your device without paying extra.

Download TomTom HOME or MyDrive Connect to your PC or Mac, depending on which program your device uses for updates. First, register your device to receive an email from TomTom when there’s a new map available. If your device didn’t come with a code for Lifetime Maps and simply had the Lifetime Maps icon on the packaging, plug your device into your computer, sign in with your TomTom account and click on "Tools > Use Latest Maps Guarantee" if you’re using TomTom HOME. If you’re using MyDrive Connect, the software opens and shows you any available updates as soon as you connect your device to your computer.

If your TomTom unit came with a promotion or activation code for Lifetime Maps, enter the code in the TomTom software to download future map updates. For TomTom HOME, plug your unit into your computer and turn it on. Tap “YES” on your GPS unit when it asks to connect to your computer. Click the “Eject” button and disconnect your unit from your computer, then click “Use my activation code” in the main menu of the TomTom HOME program. Type in your code, then click “Next” and “Continue” once it accepts the code.

If your unit requires you to use MyDrive Connect, plug your unit into a USB port on your computer and open MyDrive Connect if it doesn’t open automatically. If you haven’t connected your GPS unit to your TomTom account yet, you’ll see a prompt to do so. Next, click the “Use Activation Code” at the bottom right corner and make sure it shows the correct serial number and model for your device. Click “Continue,” enter the activation code that came with your device, then click “Activate.”

Paid Updates

If you’re past the Latest Map Guarantee period and your device didn’t come with Lifetime Maps, you can still get map updates from TomTom’s website and install them through the MyDrive Connect or TomTom HOME software, but the updates won’t be free. You can also purchase maps for different countries or regions.