How to Import Maps Into a Garmin GPS

Updated February 21, 2017

Garmin is a manufacturer that offers an array of GPS and navigation equipment. For a GPS to work properly, you must ensure that you have an updated map. If the map file in the GPS is outdated, you may be unaware of different routes and changes within roadways. Garmin offers free map updates periodically depending on your GPS and how long you have owned your unit. You may also purchase map updates from Garmin on their website.

Set up an account on Garmin's website by going to their website and clicking on the "Create New Account" button. You must have an account on their website in order to register your GPS and to download maps.

Connect your GPS to your computer. Refer to the manual that came with your GPS for specific instructions regarding computer connections. Most Garmin units come with a connector, such as a USB cable, that connects to the unit and into the USB port of the computer.

Register your Garmin unit on Garmin's website by logging into your account and selecting the "Register" button. Use the information on your GPS and in your owner's manual to fill out the registration form.

Locate maps to purchase by selecting the tab labelled "myMaps" when you are logged into your Garmin account. Browse maps by clicking on "Update Available." If your GPS is eligible for a free update, there will be a pop up that will inform you.

Download the map or maps by selecting "Add to Cart" and entering your purchase information, if necessary. Navigate to the home tab and select the map you would like to add and click "Add to Device." You will then receive a prompt that says "Download," which you need to click to begin the process.

Run the Garmin map update while your GPS is connected to your computer. You may need your owner's manual and product key to complete the update. Follow the on-screen directions to select the map to upload and to change any settings, such as stored music or downloads on your unit.


Refer to your Garmin GPS owner's manual and Garmin's website if you are having difficulty downloading or importing maps into your unit.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Garmin GPS
  • GPS owner's manual
  • USB cord
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About the Author

Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.