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How to Download Maps to Micro SD Card for Garmin Device
Download Free Lifetime Maps Update For Garmin. The Garmin Nuvi is a flexible automotive GPS device that will give you reliable turn-by-turn directions to your destination so you never miss an important meeting with your clients. Garmin Nuvi devices that have a micro SD memory card slot are more flexible since the added memory can be used to store MP3 music or audiobooks for your long road trips. The added memory can also store new maps if you need to take a business trip to Europe, South America or another country to close a deal. Installing new maps is easy to do with Garmin’s free Map install software.
1.Ensure the micro SD memory card is installed in your Garmin nuvi. Push it into the slot to make sure it is secured before you plug your device into your computer.
2.Download and install Garmin’s Mapinstall software [see Resource link].
3.Plug your Garmin nuvi into your computer with the mini USB cable and launch the Map install software.
4.Select your Garmin nuvi from the list of connected devices the Map install software discovered. This should be only one device, unless you plugged several nuvi devices into your computer.
5.Select the micro SD card as the install location and click “Continue.” This will install the maps.
Garmin Map install software
Mini USB cable
Micro SD memory card
Make sure your micro SD card is always installed in your Garmin nuvi after you load the map files. Otherwise, the maps will not work properly.
Good news for every Garmin GPS device owner, you can easily get free lifetime Garmin GPS maps. Most of the times the free maps are much better than the expensive paid Garmin maps. Being a big fan of Garmin GPS devices, you can always find it disappointing that they charge extra for the new maps. The Garmin company doesn’t even bring it to notice for anyone neither even publicizes it, almost every GPS devices are set up in a way to fetch the correct format of maps. Here are some ways to get download & install free Garmin maps in a few easy, steps.
Right from the beginning, the price of all Garmin maps is pretty expensive. Apart from that, there are some few great options and solution to get all the GPS maps for free at no extra cost from the online portals. All these Garmin products are overpriced just for the sake of the business module. It is recommended to use another software likewise the Garmin Map Review on Amazon or Garmin Express App from Garmin store itself
Installing the Free GPS Maps on Your Devices
The instructions are different for Mac and PC. The map website has a link for installation instructions, click on that. My instructions cover the installation on a Mac, but I have some general that fill in the gaps for installing on Windows below .
For the Mac, you’ll need three (free) programs to install the maps. You can download and install these programs while you wait for your maps to download.
Why These Free Maps?
Let’s get started with the different ways to get the maps installed. In this part of the content, you will find a purely focused article for downloading and installing free Garmin GPS Maps in the USA and other regions of the world using the Open Street Maps. If this service does not work for you then you can choose the other services stated in this article.
Here’s a side by side comparison of the Garmin Basecamp with these free topo maps.
The free hiking maps that I’m recommending are great because
They are good topographic maps with elevation contours.
They have a large number of hiking trails on them.
They are “routable,” which means that you can use free tools like Garmin Basecamp to automatically create routes and tracks that you can follow (without having to plot each point of the trail yourself).
The colors and detail work well for me. That is, they look good on the device.
USA regions are packaged together.
Free maps for Garmin GPS
This screenshot gives you an idea of the level of the detail in these free maps updates. You can also search the maps for points of interest. Here I searched for the Great Smoky Mtn NP Video Instructions.
If you have a newer GPS device like a Garmin Fenix 5x Plus or are on Windows, there are some special instructions below.
Which Garmin GPS devices do the maps work with?
First off, the Garmin unit you have might have maps already. You probably know this, but if you’re shopping for a GPS, go to the Garmin website page for the unit. If it maps come with the unit, it will say it has “preloaded topo maps.”
If you already have a unit and want to find out if these free maps work, go to the unit’s page on the Garmin website, and then check out the “specs” section. There is a line for “ability to add maps,” if you have a check there, you’re good to go.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to visit the GMapTool website, specifically the USA OSM Topo Routable page.
Free Maps For Garmin GPS Devices
The nice thing about this site is that they’ve bundled the maps up into large regions.
Then pick the region you want, and download the appropriate map package (link way at the bottom of the page). The files are pretty big. The download might take a while.
Free Maps 2019 For Garmin GPS Devices
First is a 7z extractor. The map downloads are in 7z format, which is a fancy compressed ZIP file. Download and install this program. There are also other free and paid 7z options in the Mac App Store. free maps for Garmin GPS. Then download the free Garmin Map Install and Map Manager programs. They make installing the maps easy and non-technical. Free maps for Garmin GPS
Once you download the map file, open it with your 7z application. It will unzip the files and put them into a folder.
free maps for garmin gps
After unzipping, you’ll have a few files in the folder. Double-click on the large file with the “gmap” extension on the end.
free maps for garmin gps
That should launch Garmin Map Manager, which will ask you if you want to install the maps. Hit “yes” and it will copy the maps into your Garmin directory. When you’re finished, delete the map download and the unzipped folder.
That’s it. The maps are on your computer. If you’re not already using the free Garmin Basecamp tool, I highly recommend getting it. It will allow you to browse maps, create tracks, and is invaluable in planning hikes.
Installing on Newer Garmin Devices From Mac
So Garmin changed the way that the GPS devices communicate with computers. If you have Windows, you should be all good (see below). If you have Mac, there’s a wrinkle.
Garmin switched to the MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) to transfer files, which makes the Garmin appear as a “media device.” And of course, Apple doesn’t support it. But I’ve found a solution. It’s not the most graceful one in the world, but it works (confirmed on a Fenix 5x Plus).
Get your maps from here: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl
The site will send you an email with a download link.
Download the ZIP file that is described as “Compressed file that contains a single image that can be placed directly onto the SD-card of the GPS.”
Unzip the file. You should have a file with a “.img” extension.
Now we need to connect the Garmin to the computer. Download the free Android File Transfer program from Google. Install it on your machine as per the instructions.
If you have Garmin Express running, make sure it’s not running and you have disabled any “automatically launch when the device is connected” settings.
Plug in your Garmin to the computer and launch the Android File Transfer program. You should see a screen like this:
Fenix 5x Plus File Transfer
Simply drag the “.img” file that you downloaded into the Garmin folder. You might want to rename the “.img” file to make sure it doesn’t whack any maps already on there.
That’s it. Go to your map settings and turn the OSM map on and off.