How to Update the Software on a Garmin Device

Garmin is a multinational software company founded more than 30 years ago. Since then, they have specialized in GPS technology used for automotive, marine, and aviation maps, outdoor and sports activities, and today they are best known for their watches.

How to Update the Software on a Garmin Device

There are several ways in which you can update your Garmin software, so, if you have an outdated version, or if you’re interested in learning how to check your current version, make sure you read this guide.

How to Update Your Garmin Software

Making sure you have the latest software version is important for several different reasons. First of all, by having the latest version, you can be sure your device is running smoothly. Also, by keeping your device updated, you know you’re getting all the new tools that come with different updates.

When it comes to Garmin watches, unlike other operating systems such as iOS and Android, Garmin’s software updates are unique for each and every model. That means that you will receive different updates based on the model of your Garmin.

How to Check Your Current Internet Software Version

Checking your software version in Garmin is simple:

  1. Head to “Settings” on your Garmin device.
  2. Tap “About.” Here, you will see your Unit ID (serial number), and the current software version of your Garmin.

If you want to make sure you have the latest version, you can perform a web search by typing the device name and model – updates and downloads, and check the results on the official Garmin website. After you’ve found it, you can compare these results to the software version you have installed on your device to establish if you have the latest one or you need to download it.

Setting Up Automatic Software Updates

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already, is to create a Garmin account, download the Garmin Connect app and pair the device with your smartphone. After you’ve connected your device with the Garmin Connect app, your software should be updated automatically by default. This means that every time there’s a new update, it will be sent automatically to your Garmin device.

However, if you’re not sure this is enabled, or if you’ve disabled this by accident, follow the next steps to set it up:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Start/stop.”
  3. Tap “System.”
  4. Tap “Software Update” – it will be all the way at the bottom.
  5. Switch it on.

Now you’ve set automatic software updates. From now on, every time a new update for your device shows up, it will be downloaded automatically and sent to your device. Most likely, your device will restart after every update. This is completely normal and you don’t have to worry about it.

Manually Updating Your Software

If you want to manually update your software, you first need to make sure you’ve disabled automatic software updates, since this is set by default.

Once you’ve done that, you can follow these steps to manually update the software on your Garmin device:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Start/stop.”
  3. Tap “System.”
  4. Tap “Software Update.”
  5. If there is a new update available, you will see it here. You will have the “Install now” option, and the estimated time the update is going to take.
  6. Tap “Select.”

Now you’ve manually updated your Garmin software. If there are no updates currently available, you won’t see anything under “Software update.” Since Garmin releases software updates periodically, you should check for updates every 3-4 months to make sure you have the latest version on your device.

Update Using Garmin Express

By using Garmin Connect, you can wirelessly update the software on your Garmin device. However, this is not the only option available. You can also use Garmin Express to update your Garmin device.

How does it work? Garmin Express is an app that you can download and install on your Mac or Windows computer. You can connect your device to your computer via a USB cable and update it through the cable.

Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. If you don’t have the Garmin Express app on your computer already, make sure you download it at
  2. Connect your device with your computer using your charging cable.
  3. Follow the instructions to pair your device. Note: you will have to create your Garmin account if you don’t have one already.
  4. Since automatic software updates are set by default, Garmin Express will send them to your device directly, if there are any available.
  5. If you have decided to manually update the software on your Garmin device, any available updates will show on the screen.

If updating your software through Garmin Express doesn’t work, make sure your activity history is uploaded to your Garmin Connect app, and then deleted from your device.

Tip: Make sure your Garmin device doesn’t get disconnected during the update process.

Additional FAQs

Are Garmin Nuvi Updates Free?

Garmin Nüvi represents devices with GPS maps for the automotive industry. It was first released in 2005, and now it’s one of the most popular navigation systems in the world. They may come with preloaded maps for different countries and regions. Some of the features today include real-time traffic updates, updates for potential dangers on the road, dashcam, etc.

Garmin Nüvi offers updates periodically, and while some of them are free, most of the map updates have to be purchased.

For example, if you’ve recently purchased your Garmin device, you might qualify for a free map update. This option is called nüMaps Guarantee. Since Garmin wants you to be a satisfied customer, if a new map update shows up in the first 90 days of your purchase, you can get it for free. The 90-day period starts once the device acquires satellites for the first time.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t happen automatically. You will still need to check for updates, even if you’re currently in the 90 days’ period.

You can also choose one of the following options: nüMaps Onetime or nüMaps Lifetime.

nüMaps Onetime offers a one-time map update purchase for your device. You can decide at what time you would like to update your device, and simply purchase the update.

nüMaps Lifetime offers up to four map updates a year. If you decide to purchase this, you can be confident that your device will always receive new map updates, and you don’t have to worry about not getting them, or having to pay extra money. If you live in an urban area that develops quickly, this option might be the best for you.

If you want to update your Garmin Nüvi, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Connect your Garmin Nüvi with your computer using a charging cable.

2. If this is the first time you’ve connected it, you will need to sign in to your Garmin Account.

3. Make sure you have Garmin Express app installed on your computer. If you don’t, you can download it here:

4. Once installed and set, Garmin Express will search for updates for your device.

5. You can decide to purchase the nüMaps Onetimeor nüMaps Lifetimeinside the app.

6. Once updated, you can safely disconnect your device from the computer and put it back in your vehicle.

Tip: Since some Garmin devices already have US maps installed, if you’re traveling outside the USA, make sure you download the corresponding maps.

Can I Update My Garmin Without a USB Cable?

It is possible to update some Garmin devices using Wi-Fi. If your device has this option and you would like to update it, make sure you follow the next steps:

1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.

2. Tap “Settings.”

3. Tap “Updates.” The device will now check if there are any software or map updates available.

4. You can choose what you would like to update. If you would like to install all the available updates, tap “Install all.” If you would like to install only the software updates, tap “Software”, and then tap “Install all.” If you would like to install only the map updates, tap “Map”, and then tap “Install all.”

You can also decide to update your Garmin GPS device using satellite:

1. Go to

2. Search for your device.

3. Select the update you want to install.

4. You will see an option that allows you to update it using satellite, select it.

5. Type in your device’s serial number.

6. Wait until the update is complete.

One of the options for updating your Garmin device without using a USB cable is through the Garmin Connect mobile app. The first thing you need to do is create your Garmin Account and then download the Garmin Connect mobile app. Once you open it, make sure you pair the device with your smartphone.

Once your smartphone is connected to your device through Garmin Connect, whenever there’s a new update available, it will send it to your device by default.

Updating Your Garmin Software Has Never Been Easier!

Now you’ve learned how to update your Garmin software. Garmin offers different ways in which you can update your software, so you can choose the one that’s best for you. You can decide to use the Garmin Express app, Wi-Fi, or the Garmin Connect mobile app. You can also choose to download your updates automatically or manually.

If you’re still not sure how to download updates for your Garmin device, check out this guide.

Have you ever used Garmin devices and what option do you use for updating? Tell us in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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