How to Unlock a Nextar WinCE 5.0 GPS

Written by dan harkins
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How to Unlock a Nextar WinCE 5.0 GPS
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Many GPS device manufacturers offer free and easy-to-find firmware upgrades for their products; these often include both map updates and fixes for known bugs in the software. If you have a Nextar GPS navigation system using the WINCE (Windows CE) 5.0 operating system, and it's locked up, there may be such a fix for your device. If not, try a few other steps to kick-start your device before contacting Nextar support, as that may cost you.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • USB data cable
  • Toothpick or paper clip
  • Cloth
  • Compressed air

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Try a reset of the device first. Turn off the Nextar and press a sharp object into the reset hole next to the power button. Push and hold the power button for five seconds. The device should turn on. If not, check that its battery is charged.

  2. 2

    If the device is locking you out of your base map or failing to perform basic functions, navigate to Nextar's site listing new firmware upgrades (see References). Click on your device model to find available upgrades for it. If your device is not listed, search for it in the search box. When you find a compatible upgrade, click it, select "Save File" and download it to your desktop. Turn on your GPS, connect it to the computer using its USB cable, double-click the file and select "Run." Follow the prompts to complete installation of the new firmware. This should unlock your old firmware.

  3. 3

    If an upgrade isn't available for your device, take part in the company's "Exchange Program," available via the second link in the References section, or try to change the Nextar's functionality. On your computer, double-click the Nextar device's operating software file and leave it open. Next, open the folder containing the software you want to add to your GPS, for instance, the operating files for your PDA or music player. Go to "File," then "Copy Folder," click on your GPS device's folder, choose "File" and "Paste." Try using your Nextar GPS for that function. Make sure you have JavaScript enabled on your device before adding new software.

Tips and warnings

  • Other than TomTom and Garmin, which have proprietary software, most GPS devices run a Windows CE operating system. If the functionality you're trying to alter is Windows-compatible, it may work on your GPS device.
  • Altering the program files on your Nextar device may void its warranty.

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