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April 10, 2009

How To Install Garmin's Map Update 2010: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Install Garmin's Map Update 2010: A Step-By-Step Guide

Garmin released their 2010 map update yesterday. After an initial hiccup, the update is now working properly and you can safely go ahead and install it.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to install the new maps onto your Garmin GPS.

Current Garmin NuMaps subscribers, and anyone who purchased a Garmin unit within the past 30 days is entitled to update for free. Everyone else can purchase the update for $70. Personally I find the NuMaps subscription a better bargain, since it only costs $119 (for North America) and gets you up to 4 map updates per year for the life of the GPS.

Welcome to myGarmin
Figure 1: Welcome to myGarmin

Launch a web browser, go to Garmin.com and click on myGarmin. Login using your username and password, or register for a new account if you've never setup an account.

myGarmin Homepage
Figure 2: myGarmin Homepage

If you haven't already registered your nuvi GPS on Garmin's website, you'll need to do so before proceeding. Click Register if you need to register the nuvi.

If you've already registered your device, you'll see an alert displayed letting you know that new maps are available for that unit. For example, figure 2 above shows an update is available for my registered Garmin nuvi 765T. Click Get Now to continue.

Figure 3: MyMaps

If for any reason you don't see a notification that updated maps area available for your unit, click on the myMaps tab, then click Map Downloads to see a list of available map updates.

Map Downloads
Figure 4: Map Downloads

Click on the PC or Mac download link, depending which type of computer you're using.

Garmin Communicator Plug-In
Figure 5: Garmin Communicator Plug-In

If you haven't previously installed the Garmin Communicator Plug-In, you'll be prompted to do so. Click Run to install the plug-in (this lets your browser communicate with a Garmin GPS connected via USB to your computer).

No Devices Were Found
Figure 6: No Devices Were Found

If you see the error shown above, connect your Garmin GPS to your computer using a USB cable, and click Try Again.

Preparing to Update Maps...
Figure 7: Preparing to Update Maps...

Garmin's Communicator Plug-In prepares for downloading...

Launch Download Manager
Figure 8: Launch Download Manager

Once the Communicator Plug-In has detected your GPS, and is ready to begin downloading the map update, click Launch Download Manager.

Install Download Manager
Figure 9: Install Download Manager

Your browser will prompt you to install the Download Manager, or scroll down and click the link to manually download the update without using the download manager.

Using the Download Manager allows you to resume an interrupted download instead of having to download the entire file again should the download process get interrupted.

Save As
Figure 10: Save As

Save the map update file to a location that will be easy to find later, such as the desktop, or a folder on the desktop. In this example, I've chosen to download the file to a folder on my desktop called "Garmin Map Update".

Figure 11: Downloading

The 2010 Map Update is just under 2GB in size, so downloading the file can take a while, depending on your Internet speed.

Download Complete
Figure 12: Download Complete

Once the Map Update file has finished downloading, click Launch to begin installing the update.

IMPORTANT: There will be a considerable delay after clicking Launch as the 2GB file needs to expand and load, so don't be alarmed if nothing happens right away. It is normal for there to be 2-3 minute delay before you see anything open.

Manually Launching the Update
Figure 13: Manually Launching the Update

If you clicked Exit instead of Launch in the previous step, you can locate the downloaded file and double-click it to launch it.

Welcome to the Garmin Map Update
Figure 14: Welcome to the Garmin Map Update

Click Next.

Checking USB Drivers
Figure 15: Checking USB Drivers

The installer briefly checks to see that USB drivers for the GPS are present on the computer.

Connect Your GPS
Figure 16: Connect Your GPS

Connect your GPS to the computer via a USB cable, wait for the computer to detect it, then click Next.

Please Connect and Turn On Your GPS
Figure 17: Please Connect and Turn On Your GPS

Click Next

Software and Data License Agreement
Figure 18: Software and Data License Agreement

Check the box to accept the terms, then click Next

Installing Map Data Onto Your Garmin GPS
Figure 19: Installing Map Data Onto Your Garmin GPS

The actual install process can take upwards of an hour, so take a break and wait for the installer to finish.

Install Complete
Figure 20: Install Complete

Once the install completes, click Finish to exit the installer program, and them disconnect your GPS from the computer.

Map Info
Figure 21: Map Info

Viewing the Map Info screen on your Garmin GPS, you should now see that the installed map is version 2010.11. Congratulations! The map update is complete.