Continuing Education: Understanding Favorites/Saved Places


Continuing Education: Understanding Favorites/Saved Places

In early Garmins, "Favorites" was used to describe where you would "save places" you had found and wanted to be available for reuse later. The more recent Garmins have changed the terminology to "Saved Places" to describe these points of interest to which you want quick access.

Favorites/Saved Places are stored in a file called "Current.gpx" which is found in "x:/Garmin/GPX for Garmins which use the "Favorites" terminology and in "x:/GPX" for Garmins which use the "Saved Places" terminology.

NOTE: "Current.gpx" is an "output only" file from the device's point of view. This file is written each time the device is booted - saving the "Favorites/Saved Places" which the device has been holding in its internal memory. This file also contains your Active Track [or Trip] log information (which is not visible whenever you do a Where To? > Favorites or a Where To? > Saved Places). You are encouraged to look at the "Current.gpx" file in your Backup (you do have a Backup, don't you?) to see these "tracks". Simply open the file in something like Wordpad.

When you look at "Current.gpx", it may surprise you how big it can be. Indeed, as it gets bigger (which happens because it is keeping "tracks"), it will "archive" the older "tracks" into a new folder within GPX folder which it will name "Archive". The files will be named "1.gpx", "2.gpx", etc. until the device will start again at "1.gpx". I am not sure what number will be the maximum, but I think it is "14.gpx" based on my 765LT. It is not a bad idea to periodically clear the tracks/trip logs as it will help your device boot quicker. And, if you are tight on space, you can delete the Archive files.

NOTE: Just in case you are having trouble believing that "Current.gpx" is an "output only" file, look at another file in the Garmin folder on your device called "GarminDevice.xml". Open it in Wordpad and then do a Find on "current" (without the extension .gpx). Look at the text following "Current" and it will read something like:


OK, so "current.gpx" is output only; then, is there a way we add Favorites/Saved Places to our device other than by entering them one by one on the device itself?

The answer is Yes. We can create a new .gpx file manually by using, say, EPE. Or, we can create one in either MapSource (see or Basecamp and have that program transfer it to our device. Or, maybe we could use Google Maps (see

However, the .gpx file(s) are created, they should be copied into the folder on your device that contains "Current.gpx". It turns out that you can copy them anywhere on the device, but they are more easily found and manipulated if they are with "Current.gpx".

The next time the device boots it, it will look at all of the folders on the unit for .gpx files and merge the points of interest from any recently added .gpx file(s) (whose name is not "Current.gpx") with the data about Favorites/Saved Places which the device is holding in its "internal memory cache".

"Recently added" is an important statement to note. Once the device has taken the points of interest from a .gpx file, it keeps track of the name and timestamp of that particular .gpx file and will not use it again. However, if you can change the timestamp of the file to a newer date/time, it will again be used. If duplicate names result, the device will add a suffix number to the newly added point(s) of interest.

The fact that your unit has an "internal memory cache" should help explain why your device does not appear to have the amount of total memory you think it should. Since you cannot access this "memory", your PC/Mac will not display it as being available. So - you have not been shortchanged on the amount of device memory; your device just has reserved some for its own use.

Knowing the above now gives us a way to restore our Favorites/Saved Places to the device. Let's say that you have decided to do a "Master Reset" on your device (for whatever reason). Doing so will delete your Favorites/Saved Places. But, if just before you do the Master Reset (sometimes referred to as a "hard reset"), you make a copy of the "Current.gpx" file, you will be able to restore those Favorites/Saved Places to the device later. As you have learned above, all you have to do is to change the name of the backup "Current.gpx" file to "AnythingotherthanCurrent.gpx" before you copy the file to your device. Garmin actually recommends the use of "Current1.gpx" and members of this site often suggest "Temp.gpx". As long as the name of the file you copy to the device is NOT "Current.gpx", it should work.

This same technique can be used to transfer Favorites/Saved Places from one device to another (perhaps you have upgraded to a newer model).

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