How To Update Device Software/Firmware Of Garmin Sat Navs

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garmin GPS software update

After purchasing, you should update your GPS device or update the firmware before using it for the first time! As with almost all current computers, Garmin also delivers its GPS devices with bugs in the device software. These errors are only discovered by users over time and then corrected by the manufacturer. To update Garmin GPS firmware, Garmin offers the following options and tools:

  1. Garmin Express
  2. Garmin Basecamp (with integrated web update)
  3. Web update (stand-alone)
  4. Manual installation

Regular updates are more important than ever, even when you are using a slow, aging outdoor Sat Navs. Additional functions are the exception and you do not have to fear a complete change in the menu navigation or the look.

What is Garmin Express? 

Garmin Express is an in-house software for Windows or macOS that can be used to manage the manufacturer’s GPS devices:

  1. Register device
  2. Update device software
  3. Update maps
  4. Install the Connect IQ apps
  5. Create backups

The tool requires fast internet access, as well as a connection ‘PC <-> GPS device’ via USB cable, in order to be able to install the map and software updates.

Which devices can be updated with it?

The firmware of all models in this series can be updated via express: GPSMap 62/64/66/78, Dakota, Montana, Oregon, eTrex 10/20/30/touch.

Which cards does Garmin support?

Express only updates factory-installed maps that are on the device’s internal memory. Accordingly, no microSD memory cards or downloaded cards can be updated. Examples of devices with internally preinstalled maps are the Edge Explore/1000 or the eTrex Touch.

When should I use the web update?

If you have an older device that is not Garmin Express compatible (models that came on the market before 2008 or eTrex Vista/Summit/Legend/Venture/ and GPSmap 60 series), you have to use the web update.

The web update is automatically installed together with Basecamp, so an additional download is not necessary. The card software reports, if the device is connected via USB, whether an update is available. You can also check for software updates under Main Menu > Device.

Note: If your Garmin device is compatible with Basecamp (all except the old ones with serial interface), it can also be updated via it. You don’t have to update with Express, even with express-enabled sat navs. Only for devices with Connect IQ apps and/or preinstalled cards, you should make all updates with the express software.

If you cannot or do not want to use Basecamp and/or your device still has a serial interface (eTrex H, Geko), the “stand-alone installation” of the webupdater is recommended.

For operating systems on which Basecamp or Webupdater is not running (e.g. Linux), manual firmware installation is the only way.