Beginners Education 1 - Get Manual; Verify PC Settings; Setup POI Loader (Garmin)



Your Garmin GPS likely did not come with a User Manual (they are too expensive to print). And, the Quick Start manual does not give you enough information to take full advantage of your unit.

You can download a manual by going to

We are assuming that you will want to take advantage of the POI Factory “Red Light & Speed Cameras” POI file. The way to do this is to become an active member. You automatically become an active member when you've made posts in at least 3 of the last 5 weeks. Activity includes uploading POI files and/or posting in the discussion forums (even if it is only in the Chit-Chat thread).

To make use of the "cameras" files, you will need to do several things - including some computer settings and downloading Poi Loader (and perhaps a zip file containing "sox.exe".

We want to make sure that you can see extensions and hidden files/folders, as this will be important in backups and managing POI files. To do this you need to verify some settings.

To avoid problems, there are settings in Windows Explorer that you need to verify are set to specific values..

Step 1:
Hold down the “Windows Key” and press “E”. Windows Explorer should open.
Step 2:
In the Menu bar, left click on Tools. Then left click on Folder Options. The Folder Options dialog should open.
NOTE: In Vista or Win 7, if you do not see the Menu Bar that has Tools in it, press the ALT key to display the Menu Bar. In Win 7, you can open Folder Options by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
Step 3:
Left click on the View tab. The Advanced Settings list should now be visible.
NOTE: in Win 7, you can click on the start button and type "hide extensions" in the search field and then select the "show or hide extensions" line to get to the View tab of Folder Options. In Win 8 two more ways. (a) Move cursor to right of screen until menu comes up. Select search and same as Win 7 type in file extensions for selections. Or (2) move cursor to to bottom left of screen when start shows right click and select control panel then folder options then view.
Step 4:
Check “show hidden files and folders”.
Step 5:
Make sure that check box next to “Hide extensions for known file types (Recommended)” is NOT selected
Step 6:
Make sure that check box next to “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” is NOT selected
Step 7:
Left click on "Apply" and then on OK at the bottom of the Folder Options dialog box to save your selections.

Step 1:
Open the Terminal application
Step 2:
Type "defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE" (without the quotes) and then press Return
Step 3:
Type "killall Finder" without the quotes and then press Return

If you have one of the newer devices that come in MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), you will have to do the following to see your folders.

1. Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
2. Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
3. The Developers Screen will pop up
4. Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
6. Shut down NUVI and hookup to Computer USB cable
7. The computer should recognize it is hooked up to the computer.
8. 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).
Scroll down to the MTP setting and select Mass Storage.

To check to see which version of system software your nuvi or nuLink! device has, please follow the steps below for your series:

nuvi 200, 205, 400, 500, 700, 705, 800, 805, 5000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1600, 2200, 2300, 2400 and 3700 series and nuLink! 1695 and nuLink! 2300 series:

1.Power on the device
2.Touch Tools on the main menu
3.Touch Settings
4.Touch System
5.Touch About
The device's software version will be listed on this screen.

nuvi 30, 40, 50, 300, and 600 series:

1.Power on the device
2.Touch Settings on the main menu
3.Touch System
4.Touch About
The nuvi's software version will be listed on this screen.

nuvi 2405, 2505, 3400, and 3500 series:

1.Power on the device
2.Touch Settings on the main menu
3.Touch Device
4.Touch About
The nuvi's software version will be listed on this screen.

nuvi 295W:

1.Power on the device
2.Touch Settings on the main menu
3.Touch the menu button (three horizontal lines)
4.Touch About

The nuvi's software version will be listed on this screen.


Download and install the latest version of POI Loader from The POI Loader software lets your PC communicate with your GPS unit.

Pay attention to the folder into which POI Loader installs itself. Most recently it has been ".../Program Files (x86)/Garmin/POI Loader". You will need this information if you want to have "Voice Alerts" on your device because you will have to put a copy of "sox.exe" into this folder.

If you have already installed POI Loader and are using it, the best way to find where it resides is to look at the "Properties" of POI Loader. You do this by initiating whatever process you use to "run" POI Loader BUT just before you do the "left click(s)" that would start the program, you will rather do a "right click". This will open a dialog and at the bottom of this dialog will be "Properties". Click "Properties" and you will see the folder where the executable resides.

Older Garmin devices had MP3 players built in so voice alerts could be .mp3 files. HOWEVER, most newer models do not have a MP3 player so .wav files are required for "Voice Alerts". To use a .wav file with POI Loader, you must have a specific version of the program "sox.exe" in the same folder a POI Loader.exe.

You will get "sox.exe" from Once you have completed the download, unzip the file. Then "copy" "sox.exe", navigate to the folder containing POI Loader.exe and "paste" "sox.exe" into that folder.

Other pages

Change History

  • jgermann - Jan 4, 2014
    1/4/2014 added procedure for Mac settings

  • jgermann - Dec 13, 2013
    12/13/2013 added info on POI Loader and sox

  • jgermann - Feb 1, 2013
    2/1/2013 Added other ways to get to Folder Options (thanks to Boxcar)

  • jgermann - Sep 17, 2012
    9/17/2012 title change

  • jgermann - Aug 25, 2012
    added how to get to folder options in Win 7