Common Problems and their Solutions (Garmin)


Common Problems and their Solutions

Alerts won't work
Folders for Categories not working
Custom Road Avoidances have quit working
Garmin Express freezes at 50%
Garmin Express does not work
Garmin Express won't show on screen
Garmin Express won't launch
Garmin Express will not show "Extras"
I'm out of space
I can't see my Icons
I keep getting dings
Importing Routes to Device
I cannot keep Favorites Deleted
No "Go" Button
POI Loader Removes POIs
POIs: Can't get rid of POIs
POIs - How to load POIs to a GM vehicle
POI Loader Rejects my wav files
I have sox.exe but .wav files not working
Can't see a .system folder
TourGuides will not work
My Unit is Stuck in Demo Mode
Photo Realistic JCV file will not work
Missing Msvcr90.Dll in Basecamp
Cannot see Additional Maps I have installed
Charging Problems
My Unit will not speak street names
I cannot download newest gmap3d.img file

Alerts won't work
There are several reasons why voice/sound alerts will not work and you get only a "Ding" when you expect a sound file to play.

1. Sound file (.mp3/.wav) is not named the same as the POI file (.csv/.gpx)
The character string to the left of the extension must be the same for the POI file, the sound file and the Icon (.bmp) file, if used.

2. Double extensions.
Many computer come with Windows Explorer set to "Hide extensions of known file types". So, when you follow the instructions to name your sound file the same as your POI file to the left of the extensions, what you think is
is really
and "mylocations.csv" is not the same as "mylocations.wav"

The solution is to follow the instructions in

3. Unit will not accept .mp3 files
The early GPS units had .mp3 players built in. At some point Garmin decided that the expense of licensing the ability to play .mp3 files was not profitable. Even though it is not documented by Garmin, .wav files can be used in place of .mp3 files.

3A. To use .wav files, a particular version of sox.exe must be in the same folder as POI Loader. Get the required version at

3B. Most sound files at the poi-factory are .mp3 file. Thus they must be converted to a .wav file. You can do this by using MediaIO (to convert one format to another, say .mp3 to .wav)

3C. It has been said that the .wav file must be PCM, 44.100 kHZ., and 16 bits, Mono and that a stereo wav file will not work. If you have a stereo wav, there is a portable, freeware software package that will convert it to mono.

However, my testing indicates that - with the correct version of sox.exe - most all wav files work fine.

Folders for Categories not working
Many people like to have their Custom POIs divided into "Categories" to make it easier to locate a particular POI.

An excellent FAQ on how to set up Categories can be found at

Some of the "Gotchas" are
* There must be at least two sub-folders to create categories but there can be any number of sub-folders.
* There can only be one level of sub-folders
* There can not be more than 32 file sets in a sub-folder. A file set can include a sound file and/or an Icon file
* .gpi files in a folder other than the POI sub-folder on the device will be read in the alphabetic order of the folders on the device. (see "Can't get rid of POIs" above)

David King reported that if you are using no sub-folders (ie. only one root folder), then there can be more that 32 file sets.

There was an excellent post by bear009 that should bear on this subject of the order of folders and files that appear on the device.

bear007 wrote:

If you individually compile POI files or groups of POI in different folders to a location on your hard drive then the order is ...

If you start with a empty POI folder on the GPS or SD card then the first GPI file you load into the POI folder will always be the first file displayed on your GPS. If the GPI file has multiple files and folders compiled within it then they will be displayed in alphabetically, folders first then individual files.

The 2nd GPI file will always be the 2nd file or group of files in the display order on the GPS, regardless of whether you update them later by copying updated files over top of them.

So, in short, they are always displayed in the order they were originally installed on your GPS and will be alphabetical in folder first, then file order within each GPI file.

I also update multiple GPSs regularly and have done it with individual files since each person wants some different and some of the same files. No matter if you do it with individual files for each POI or individual setup folders for each person, its
still a lot of of work to keep track of everyone's files. Some like alerts, others don't, the variables go on.

Using a single POI folder
One advantage of running POILoader on a single folder with sub-folders like the following is that the files will be in folder and alphabetical order. The folders become categories on the GPS that make the list of scrolling through files much shorter.


A disadvantage is that you have to go through all of the files and individually configure them before running POILoader if some people want alerts, or different distances, or different icons or WAV sounds, etc. if you want to use POILoader in Express mode.

Using individual POI folders
A disadvantage if you run POILoader on each of the following sub-folders individually you end up with multiple GPI files.


Then each of the multiple files in each folder will be in the root of your Custom POIs. These files will display in the order that the GPI files were originally installed on the GPS but alphabetical within each file.

The advantage is that if you only have one update file you can quickly run POILoader in Manual mode for quick alerts with different distances.

But what about order on the device if one does not use sub-folders. Box Car tells us in a post that

Box Car wrote:

Files will be in alpha order when and only when you use subfolders. If all the files and their associated icons and sounds are in the top level folder, they will be stored on the unit in the order they are read.

This lead to determining that the order in a single root folder will be in "Creation Date" order.

Why have my Custom Road Avoidances quit working?
Custom "road" avoidances may need to be re-set after each map update. Custom "area" avoidances should remain accurate and intact after updating maps on the device.
Garmin Express freezes at 50%
(Taken from a Garmin FAQ dated)

If Downloadable Content (DLC) fails or freezes at 50%, there is a problem copying files to the device's internal memory or microSD/SD card. This issue can occur on both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.

To correct this problem, follow these suggestions:
* Ensure the GPS device has the latest firmware version using Garmin Express

* Ensure the latest version of the Garmin Communicator Plugin is installed

* If the SD card you are using has a write-protection switch, verify the switch on the SD card is in the unlocked position

* Take steps to ensure the computer's USB configuration is as simple as possible:
a. Do not use a USB hub
b. Use the USB ports on the back of the computer if using a desktop PC
c. Unplug any other unnecessary USB devices except for the mouse and keyboard, reboot the computer, and try again

* Use a separate microSD/SD card reader instead of inserting the memory card into the device

* If the issue occurs using Internet Explorer on Windows 10, run Internet Explorer as administrator and try again:
1. Click Start
2. Type Internet Explorer
3. Right-click Internet Explorer
4. Select Run as administrator

* Windows users may need to reset Internet browser settings:
Open Internet Explorer
1. Press Alt + T on the keyboard
2. Click Internet Options
3. Click the Advanced tab
4. Click the Reset button under Reset Internet Explorer settings
5. Click Reset
6. Click Close
7. Click OK
8. Close all Internet Explorer windows and try again

* Windows users may need to clear the Windows temp directory:
1. Press the Windows + R keys together
2. Type %temp% in the text box
3. Click OK
4. Press CTRL + A to select all files
5. Press Delete on the keyboard
6. If prompted, confirm the deletion
7. If prompted, skip any files that can't be deleted
8. Close the window

* Once the web browser can consistently communicate with the device's memory or microSD/SD card the DLC download should complete.

Garmin Express does not work
Your computer and device may be one of those that have problems with Express. If this is the case, then use MapUpdater.
Garmin Map Updater PC:

Garmin Map Updater Mac:

Garmin Express will not show on screen"
Because Garmin Express is displayed as a window with a fixed size in Windows and Mac OS X, certain resolution requirements must be met in order for the window to fit on the screen. Also, if the computer is set to magnify the size of text, this may cause display issues with Expess.

If Express does not fit on the screen or content within Garmin Express is cut off, follow these steps.

Windows PC

Express requires a resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater. To adjust the resolution:

1. Press the Windows key + R
2. Type Control Panel, then click OK
3. Click "Adjust Screen Resolution" under "Appearance and Personalization" (If this option does not appear, select Category in the View by: menu at the top right.)
4. Select a resolution equal to or higher than 1024 x 768 with the drop down menu or slide bar and click Apply
5. Click the Keep or Revert button depending on the result

If the screen resolution is at or above 1024 x 768 and Garmin Express does not display correctly, make sure the computer is not set to artificially magnify text:

Windows 10:
1. Right-click the Start button
2. Click Control Panel
3. Click Adjust Screen Resolution under Appearance and Personalization1
4. Click Make text and other items larger or smaller
5. Click the option to set a custom scaling level and adjust the scaling level to 100%, then click OK
6. Click Apply

Windows 7 and 8:
1. Right click on the Desktop
2. Click Screen Resolution
3. Click Make text and other items larger or smaller, then set to Smaller - 100%
4. Click Apply
5. Click Log off now for changes to take effect

Windows Vista:
1. Right click on the Desktop
2. Click Personalize
3. Click Adjust Font Size (DPI) and set to Default scale (96 DPI)
4. Click OK
5. Click Restart Now for changes to take effect

If the screen resolution is at or above 1024 x 768 and text magnification is turned off, the Garmin Express window should fit in the available area. However, if the necessary resolution is not available and changing the DPI settings does not make the entire window visible, a different computer must be used.

Mac OS X
A resolution of 1440 x 900 or greater is required to use Garmin Express on Mac OS X.

To adjust the resolution:
1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner
2. Click System Preferences
3. Click the Displays icon
4. Select Scaled
5. Select a resolution equal to or greater than 1440 x 900 (hold the Option key when clicking Scaled for more options)

The Dock may need to be moved to the left or right side of the screen if changing the resolution does not resolve the issue:
1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner
2. Click System Preferences
3. Click Dock
4. Select either the Left or Right radio button in the section titled "Position on screen:"

If the screen resolution is at or above 1440 x 900 and the Dock has been moved to either the Left or the Right, the Garmin Express window should fit in the available area. However, if the necessary resolution is not available and moving the Dock does not make the entire window visible, a different computer must be used.

Garmin Express Won't Launch
Generally if Express will not launch, it might be caused by a corrupt config file on the computer. Please follow these instructions:

1. Press the Windows key + E
2. Type %localappdata%
3. Delete the folder named Garmin_Ltd._or_its_subsid
4. Try launching Garmin Express again

Garmin Express will not show "Extras"
According to the Garmin Forums at, the solution is to:
1.Open Garmin Express
2.Click Device
3.Click Delete Device from Express
4.Uncheck the box next to Delete the saved backups
5.Click Yes to remove the device
6.Close Garmin Express and restart the computer
7.Open Garmin Express and follow the on-screen prompts to add the device back to Express

Thanks to metricman for posting this solution

I'm out of space
Some units will need to use a SD card because the size of the latest maps - plus the other necessary files - exceeds the capacity of the devices internal memory.

See for the memory size of various units.

The device's internal memory/storage space varies by model and by the software that is loaded to the device (e.g., firmware, maps, vehicles, voices, etc…).

To view the amount of available free space your device, follow these steps below. Note that some devices are not mass storage mode devices and will not support the steps outlined in this article.

1. Connect the GPS to your computer with a USB cable
2. Double-Click on My Computer or Computer. A Removable Disk Drive will appear titled Garmin or nuvi, depending on the model
3. Right-Click on the drive and select Properties. Note: some devices require you to open the drive, right-click on the Internal Storage folder, then select Properties
4. A properties window will appear and it will display Free Space - which is the amount of memory left on the device to load additional information.

1.Connect the GPS to your computer with a USB cable
2. Go to your Mac Desktop. Your device will be mounted on the Desktop and appear as a new drive
3. Highlight the Garmin or nuvi drive on your Desktop
Hold down the CONTROL key on your keyboard and click once
4. Click on GET INFO
5. Look under the GENERAL section for the Capacity and Available for the size information

If you need more space than what is available, an SD (Secure Digital) card may be purchased to extend the memory, but note that SD cards are not compatible with all devices.

Currently, the latest North American map (2014.2 at this writing) is 1,715.0 MB; the basemap is 49.3 MB; and the 3D map is 186.4 MB. Adding this up, it is obvious that a unit with only 2 GB of memory can not contain the entire map.

If it looks like the maps should fit but don't, you should first read
Freeing up more space for maps

There are many good FAQs on getting maps onto SD cards. These include:
How to install additional map regions to a blank microSD/SD card after the map update
Clone a Map Update Directly to the SD Card.

I can't see my Icons
Most automotive devices will display icons (.bmp) on the map only for your Favorites/Saved Places or Custom Points of Interest (POI) files that you have installed using POI Loader. Also, you must be zoomed to 200 feet or closer on the map. Preloaded points of interest (like restaurants, hotels, attractions, etc.) will not display icons on the map if they are not also saved favorites. Also, check the map detail settings to make sure that the detail is set to highest on the device. For more information on changing the map detail level on your device, refer to your device's owner's manual

POI icons will show on the map when it has started moving or is in an active route.

The zumo 350, dezl 760, and nuvi 2405, 2407, 2505, 2507, 2707, 3400, 3500, and 3507 series devices will only display POI icons when you have that map layer selected. For more information on map layers, view the article{69477cf0-cabc-11e0-cf56-000000000000}

Garmin says that POI icons will NOT display on the map if your map view is set to either North Up or Track Up (but some members have found this to be false for Track Up)

If you are having trouble getting .BMPs to display, you should do an experiment to make sure that they were compiled by POI Loader. CraigW suggests you run POI Loader on a folder that only contains the csv and gpx files, then check the file size of the gpi compiled on the device. Then add the bmp icons to the folder, run POI Loader, and again check the gpi file size in the device. If bmps are not being loaded at all, the gpi files in your two experiments will be the same size. If the gpi created is larger for the Custom POIs loaded with icons, then the icons are being loaded (but apparently not being seen by you on the map).

I keep getting dings
If you are not expecting dings and get them, the first thing to check is whether you have loaded a new Custom POI file whose file name contains a number. POI Loader interprets numbers in file names as speed alerts.
Importing Routes to Device

Routes can be created on the computer in programs such as BaseCamp 1 or MapQuest, and then transferred to certain models of Camper, nuvi, LIVE, dezl, RV, or zumo devices.

Once the created routes have been transferred, you may access them on the device. On certain models, the routes must be imported before they can be accessed.

To access transferred routes on a nuvi 465, 500, 700, 705, 800, 805, 1400, 1690, 5000 series or a zumo 220, 400, 500, 600, or 605 series:

1. Touch Tools 2. Touch My Data or User Data 3. Touch Import Route(s) from File 4. Select the routes you would like to import 5. Touch Import

The device will now import the selected routes. The routes that were imported can be found in the Routes option under "Where To?".

To access transferred routes on a nuvi 295W:

1. Touch Where To? 2. Touch Routes 3. Touch the menu button (three horizontal lines) 4. Touch Import Routes

The device will now import the selected routes. The routes that were imported can be found in the Routes option under "Where To?"

To access a transferred route in a Camper 760, nuvi 2400, 2405, 2407, 2408, 2505, 2507, 2508, 2707, 2708, 3400, 3500, 3507, 3508, 3700 series, dezl 560, dezl 760, RV 760, zumo 350, and 390 device:

1. Touch Apps or Tools 2. Touch Trip Planner 3. Allow time for the device to automatically import the trip/route

The import will automatically begin, but no message will appear on the device indicating that the import is happening and may take several minutes to import the trips. Once the import is complete, all transferred routes will be displayed under a category called Unscheduled Trips in the Trip Planner. 1 Until the trip(s) show up in Trip Planner, please do not turn off the device or connect it to a computer.

*Please note: When routes are imported to your Garmin device, the route may change due to navigation settings within your device.

1 The Camper 760, RV 760, nuvi 2407, 2408, 2507, 2508, 2707, 2708, 3507, 3508 series, zumo 350 and 390 devices can send routes created using Trip Planner to BaseCamp. The remaining devices that create routes using Trip Planner cannot send routes to BaseCamp. However, devices that utilize Trip Planner will be able to receive routes from BaseCamp, with the exception of the nuvi 2200 and 2300 series devices.
form Garmin 10/07/2013

My Favorites will not stay deleted
Most of the time this problem is caused by there being one or more .gpx files on the device. Sometimes it is a "copy" of "current.gpx" which is the "output only" file into which the device writes out the Favorites in internal memory every time the unit is turned on.

The solution is to look for and delete any extra .gpx files on the unit. Then follow the instructions for deleting some or all of the Favorites.

No "Go" Button
You probably have a file name that contains a number. Since POI Loader interprets numbers in file names as a speed alert, remove the number to get the "GO" button.

Garmin says:
If you have loaded any custom POI's that are speed or red-light cameras, you will notice that you will not receive an option to hit 'Go' to those locations.

This is designed to operate this way. The custom POI locations for such cameras will start with a number, and if it starts with a number, the software will read it as speed or red-light cameras.

Such locations would not be selected as destinations to travel, but just areas to be alerted of, which is the reasoning behind this design.

We are assuming that if a user has the Garmin Cyclops safety camera file that the above Garmin statement holds true.

NOTE, however, that several devices like the 2455, 2595 and the 2597 will indeed "route" you to one of the poi-factory's redlight cameras but not speed cameras. AND, a 765 will route you to both of poi-factory's redlight and speed cameras. We will be testing other devices to see which will route. Thanks to Charlesd45 for finding the fact that some devices will route to poi-factory camera files.

If you have used a number because you wanted to control the "order" that the POI files will take when viewed, use starting letters instead.

Can't get rid of POIs
You may not be re-booting the device completely. You must hold the power button for several seconds for the device to turn "off" as opposed to going into sleep mode.
Can't see a .system folder
The .system folder is on most newer devices. Older devices do not have such a folder.

There are several reasons why you may not be able to see the folder in Windows Explorer.
1. Your folder settings may not allow you to see it. You should follow the instructions in
to make sure your folder setting are correct for such work.

2. You are not in Mass Storage (MS) mode but are in Media Transfer Protocal (MTP) mode. To change to MS mode
A. Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
B. Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
C. The Developers Screen will pop up
D. Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
F. Shut down NUVI and hookup to Computer USB cable
G. The computer should recognize it is hooked up to the computer.
H. Explorer will now see all files in ROOT directory and the .System directories.

or perhaps
In the map, touch the speed to get to the dashboard screen.
Touch the speedometer for a few seconds (about 5).
As above, scroll down to the MTP setting and select Mass Storage.

Note: if you are in MTP mode (newer models only), your device will look different in Windows Explorer. It will not be assigned a "drive" letter and will contain "internal storage" at the first level of expansion.

Also, when you connect your MTP device to your computer, the Icon will be in color on the front of the device. If it is in MS mode, the icon will be in white.

For Mac user, there is this suggestion from

oldpal wrote:

Like many other MAC OS files the Garmin System file on the Nuvi is hidden. You can use the free utility TinkerTool ( to show hidden and system files.

TourGuides will not work
TourGuide can occur at any point within the file name, BUT the 9 character string must be spelled with capital "T", lower case "our", capital "G", lower case "uide". Unless TourGuide is spelled the way required for POI Loader to recognize it, then the file becomes just another POI file.

Next, there must be a sound file whose file name to the left of the extension (.wav or .mp3) is the same as the .csv or .gpx name.

POIs - how to load POIIs to a GM Vehicle
Credit this solution to metricman
POI Loader Removes POIs
If POILoader is overwriting your POIs every time you run POILoader, then you are using an old version. The older versions of POILoader always created an output file called poi.gpi every time it ran.

Newer versions of POI Loader permit the user to "name" the .gpi file that it is about to create. Get the latest version from

POI Loader Rejects my wav files
If POI Loader is giving you the message Unable to convert ....wav to the proper format, therefore this audio file was not transferred, then you do not have sox.exe correctly placed in the POI Loader folder.
My Unit is Stuck in Demo Mode
Look at this U-Tube video
(thanks to ss0070 for this solution)
Photo Realistic JCV file will not work
Strephon_Alkhalioi gives us the answer

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

The "Essential" series (3x, 4x, 5x, 6x) devices only accept the split screen basic JCV file and cannot use photoreal files. This is because the firmware in these units is coded to only recognize a specific type of graphics embedded within the JCV file. In the case of your GPS, it requires - if I recall correctly - vector graphics. The photoreal JCV files use raster graphics.

This contradicts the source statement below, where it is mentioned that the "Essential" line uses raster graphics. However, I believe the poster at the source below has his graphics types backwards. I have demonstrated in the past that using a split-screen junction view file on a full-screen device results in distortion and fuzziness. If the split-screen JCV file is composed of vector graphics then the image should have been stretched, but should not have become fuzzy and difficult to read. Since the image was fuzzy and difficult to read, the split-screen JCV file I used must actually use raster graphics. By extension, all photoreal JCV files, including the large JCV file, must use raster graphics

Regardless of whether the poster at the source or myself is correct, the takeaway from this is that the "Essential" devices only support a specific type of graphic image, and the images in the full-screen JCV file aren't that type.

Source statement:

The 3x, 4x,5x, and 6x units are the only current nüvis I am aware of that are limited to the non-photoreal file. All the other units currently available from Garmin should be able to use the photoreal JCV file.

Note: JG added 6x to list on 5/30/2014

Missing Msvcr90.Dll in Basecamp
The short answer:
It's Garmin's fault.

The long answer:
The fix is a three step process.

1) Uninstall BaseCamp

2) Now go to your computer's folders and look for the BaseCamp program folder (probably c:\Program Files(x86)\Garmin\BaseCamp or c:\Program Files\Garmin\BaseCamp) and delete the BaseCamp folder. Garmin's uninstaller should have done this during the uninstall but it didn't.

3) Now redownload and reinstall BaseCamp from Garmin.

You will now succeed. Without performing Step 2, you will receive that error message.
(thanks to CraigW for these instructions)

Cannot see Additional Maps I have installed
If you have installed additional maps (say a map of the Caribbean) and are unable to see them, chances are they are not in a "map" folder.

It does not make any difference what the name is to the left of the extension .img so make the name recognizable to you. But, the file must be in a folder named "map" (not case sensitive, by the way) on either the Garmin or a SD card.
(Thanks to t923347 and muell9k for this information)

I have trouble charging my unit
I am going to point you to some links that may help
I have sox.exe but .wav files not working
It is possible that you have multiple versions of POI Loader installed on your computer. The latest POI Loader (notice the space between POI and "L" of Loader) should be in C:/Program Files (x86)/Garmin/POI Loader. If you have more than one installation, the best thing for you to do is to go to
Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features
and uninstall all Garmin POI Loader entries.

Then go to
and download the latest version.

Then, install POI Loader (it will put itself into C:/Program Files (x86)/Garmin/POI Loader.

Finally, download the required SPECIFIC version of sox.exe from Unzip the download and copy sox.exe to C:/Program Files (x86)/Garmin/POI Loader

My unit will not speak street names
What you may have done is to select a non-TTS (text to speech) voice. Go into your voice settings and select one that says "Speaks street names" or "Speaks real directions". (thanks to alandb)
I cannot download newest gmap3d.img file
If you are trying to update the gmap3d.img using MapUpdater,it will not download the 3D image file.You must use Garmin Express.

Other pages

Change History

  • jgermann - Nov 18, 2015
    11/18/2016 added GE won't launch

  • jgermann - Oct 19, 2015
    10/19/2015 added GE freezes at 50%

  • jgermann - Aug 20, 2015
    08/20/2015 Added solution to GE now showing on screen

  • jgermann - Jun 8, 2015
    6/8/2015 minor updates

  • jgermann - Apr 22, 2015
    4/22/2015 Custom Road Avoidances not working

  • jgermann - Jan 27, 2015
    01/27/2015 added common problem of no street names

  • jgermann - Jan 15, 2015
    01/15/2015 added info on POI Loader wav file error message

  • jgermann - Nov 7, 2014
    11/7/2017 start of links on charging problems and possible fixes

  • jgermann - Jul 9, 2014
    7/9/2014 minor corrections

  • jgermann - Jun 14, 2014
    6/14/2014 additional maps

  • jgermann - Jun 5, 2014
    6/5/2014 added Missing Msvcr90.Dll in Basecamp

  • jgermann - Jun 4, 2014
    6/4/2014 Added "Can't keep my Favorites Deleted

  • jgermann - May 30, 2014
    5/30/2014 added 6x series to those that WILL NOT display Photoreal

  • jgermann - May 3, 2014
    5/3/2014 added sox.exe in wrong POI Loader folder

  • jgermann - Mar 27, 2014
    3/27/2014 Added Solution to GE not showing Extras"

  • jgermann - Dec 11, 2013
    12/11/2013 Added Importing Routes

  • jgermann - Nov 17, 2013
    11/17/2013 Expanded solution for Icons

  • jgermann - Sep 29, 2013
    9/29/2013 added several other problems

  • jgermann - Sep 28, 2013
    9/28/2013 Noted that some devices actually will route to redlight cameras

  • jgermann - Sep 26, 2013
    9/26/2013 Added Photorealistic JCV not working