How to Update Your Garmin GPS

How to Update Your Garmin GPS

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Garmin Express Easily Updates Your Garmin GPS Unit

Updating your Garmin GPS unit is a fairly simple process, but it can't be done on the fly as you're heading out for your next family road trip, because it requires a computer and a USB cable. Set aside some time before your trip to ensure your Garmin unit gets all the updates it needs.

Step 1: Download Garmin Express

Download the free Garmin Express software from the Garmin website. The software requires Windows 7 SP1 or newer or Mac OS X 10.10 or newer. It's designed to work on all fairly recent Garmin GPS units, so there's no need to hunt for a version for your specific Garmin device.

Note: Your computer must have internet access in order to download the program and to find updates for your GPS unit.

Step 2: Connect Your Garmin GPS Unit

Connect your Garmin device to the computer using a USB cable, then run the Garmin Express software. Click the "Updates" tab in the software window, and Garmin Express will find all the updates available for your GPS unit.

Step 3: Download the Applicable Updates

Once Garmin Express has found all updates available for your device, choose whether to download them all at once or to download only specific updates. If you're in a hurry and need maps for only a specific region, for instance, there's no need to update all the maps in the United States at this time; select only those you need immediately. It's also a good idea to install any software updates indicated by Garmin Express, as these help ensure that your GPS unit runs smoothly.

Note: Do not turn off your computer or remove the USB cable from the computer or the GPS while updating, or the process will fail.

Step 4: Wrapping Things Up

Wait until Garmin Express states that all selected updates have been completely installed; this could take some time, especially if you haven't updated the unit in a while. Once all updates are complete, your Garmin device is ready for the road once again.

Note: Sometimes the update process fails, usually due to an update needed to the computer's operating system. A Garmin Express notification will inform you if a Windows update is needed, for instance, and will guide you to the location of the relevant patch. Reattempt the Garmin update after you've installed the operating system update.

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