Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Lifetime Updater

Garmin Lifetime Map UpdaterUPDATE: Here’s a Garmin Lifetime Updater FAQ.

Here’s a nice surprise – Garmin is taking the hassle out of downloading lifetime map updates. A Garmin Lifetime Updater showed up on their website today, which automatically downloads updates to your computer and notifies you when they are ready to install. Here’s a few notes on the app:

  • Downloads files automatically to your computer
  • No sign-in required
  • No web browser required
  • Advanced options let you specify download speed and schedules


The Updater requires Windows XP SP3 or higher or Mac OS 10.5.8 or newer.

And if you don’t own a unit with lifetime map updates, you can upgrade with a nuMaps lifetime map update subscription from Amazon or direct from Garmin.

Via GPS Review.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Any chance the Mac version can be adapted to run on Linux, or is it too OS X-specific (i.e. not a nice little shell script)? No way I will keep a Windoze PC running all the time (esp on the Internet) for a quarterly update …

    I can dream … 😉


  2. Garmin has barely provides decent Mac support. If you are looking for anything regarding Linux or opensource, you are looking at the wrong company my friend.

  3. Larry Ford says:

    I am a new user of Garmin and today I tried to log my nüMAPS lifetime.I’ve entered the Product Key many times and had no results. I purchased my card from NAVTEQ. Can anyone help me od did I just throw away 89€.

  4. I recently purchased a Garmin 1450LMT and have tried to do as you require for lifetime map updates and all I see is this comment spot. Why is there no register mark to route you to accomplish the tasks? Most of your customers are over the age of retirement 50+ and still are trying to adapt to the cyber5 space technology., I for one think I am close and wham it gets a new face, new idea or a “Better” procedure that only hurts the user.

    KISS keep it short and simple!

    Other than the obvious “tell where to go and I will!

    • Michael Strickland says:

      Just go to the site. then follow the links. you will have to register your unit first then go to the tab that says buy/update or manage maps.

  5. I own a nuvi 1450 I have purchased a lifetime maps and I have tried to download the maps to my gps and the device said it does not have enough space.

  6. Gabe Mitchell says:

    Recently purchased nuvi2555 lmt and cannot get the lifetime updater to download update on MacBook pro – the download appears to be about 10% complete but has taken over 12 hours just for that. Any suggestions…please help. BestBuy and Garmin are like sorry not our problem

    • Garmin said it wasn’t their problem?!

      You could try downloading the maps from here instead…

      • Gabe Mitchell says:

        Thanks but the “lifetime updater” is from I first tried to download the update straight from but it stalled as well. Are you aware of any problems with using a Mac to download updates ?? I’m trying to think of what might’ve causing this issue.

        • No, it’s been working fine for me on my 2nd gen MacBook Air. You might want to call Garmin. If you do, let them know right away that you’re on a Mac, so that they get you to the right folks.

  7. Hi can’t get answer… Can I download a chart for lakes on my Garmin nuvi 1490 LMT

  8. I don’t know if this is “news” or not, but the Amazon deal for the Lifetime updates is $63.90 as of today May 26, 2012. Sign up for Amazon/Chase Visa card, and you get a $30 gift card immediately added to knock final price down to 33.90 – not bad for “lifetime” maps (on one deviice, of course).

    For some reason the digital immediate download version is not currently available, so it seems it will take at least a few days to get the physical NuMaps Lifetime card in the mail from a company named “Direct Distributors”.

  9. Have a garmin 1620 when i went to load the maps it does ok and then is gets down to 1 munite left and stays the way for 5 hours

  10. Hi,
    Have a Garmin1450LMT .When I turn computer on it reads Garmin Lifetime Updater has stopped working. What’s with that???? Tried deleting it and tried down loading again . Same thing . What’s going on????

  11. This is crazy . Been trying to get it to work for 2 hrs. Giving up for now .

    • Dave, maybe this will help. I’ve found the 1450LMT is VERY picky about how it connects to the computer. The computer only detects the device when using a high-quality USB cable (like the official Garmin one) and plugging directly into one of the USB slots on the computer itself. If I plug into a USB hub the computer will not detect the GPS. Same if I use a cheapo USB cable. Like you I was very frustrated until I figured this out.

  12. Hi there! We purchased an SDcard for our Garmin1450lmt. My husband has updated our maps previously with no problems. He just can’t seem to get it to work on the SDcard. Is there exact instructions that we can follow? We are getting very frustrated!!! Thank you so much!!!

    • I don’t think that option will show using Lifetime Updater unless there is inadequate space on the internal memory of the device. There may be other options by going through

    • I have to do this to get all North America on a 200W. You need to download/install the mapinstall utility program (install the maps to your computer first of course). Then you can start that, and with your unit connected via USB, and with the SD card in the unit, start mapinstall. It should detect the unit, and have a installation destination selection box showing choices for installing to the unit, or to the SD card.
      One gotcha I learned the hard way, is to first delete the main map files to make room for the new one(s) – mapinstall seems stupid about only installing to free space, and not clearing out what needs to be replaced.

      My routine is:
      1. Attach Garmin unit
      2. Clear out main map file from internal unit storage, and SD card (I leave all older small files that don’t seem to need replacing).
      3. Start mapinstall, and select the internal unit storage.
      4. Install all the map areas I can to the internal space (keep track!) – mapinstall has a space used/remaining “guage” that you monitor to see how much room is left as you pick the areas (mostly states, parts of state, metro areas). When I cram all I can into the internal space, I let it rip.
      5. When mapinstall finishes, start it over, and pick the SD card as the destination for all the remaining areas you did not get on the internal space (that is why you need to keep track – more mapinstall “simpleness” in not showing you what has been installed already on the first go-round).


  13. I’ve been trying for a week now to download new maps. It says a new map is available but whenever I try to do anything the screen just sits there mocking me. I can see where it says to connect the device to the computer but it’s already connected. I tried to unplug the Garmin supplied cable and plug it back in again which, according to the troubleshooting guide should download the maps into some kind of mass storage. Not a clue as to how to extract it from wherever it stores the things. My best solution so far is to scrap the GPS receiver and but a Magellan without any kind of updates whatsoever. Then when I can no longer find my way with it, buy another. That seems to be Garmin’s support strategy.

  14. Jack Luedke says:

    I just purchased a new Garmin NUVI 50 LM #2T9061480 and I am uncertain if I have to register the unit or activate my Lifetime Maps Program with someone?
    I have owned a Garmin in the past but needed to update and we elected to get this Life Time Maps Garmin NUVI 50LM.
    Please advise
    Thank you
    Jack luedke

  15. Hi there,

    I bought my Nuvi 1390LMT here in Canada. WIll it work in Hawaii? Or, do I need to download it from somewhere to an SD card?


  16. My bf got me a Garmin NUVI 2595 LMT for xmas. It is “updating” for the first time–for the last 24 hours!!!! and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. There are seven circles on my computer and only the second one is highlighted. Will this update for days??? I can’t get through to Garmin customer service as I can’t spend 40min waiting to speak to a person. Is this at all normal?

    • No, it’s not normal. If it were me, I’d pull the unit and try again. But it could brick it.

      I wonder if your computer went to sleep during the map update. Are you using MyGarmin or their Lifetime Map Updater?

      • No, the computer didn’t go to sleep. The first day I used the device it went black 1 hour into my trip for no apparent reason. I am using the Lifetime Map Updater. Fed up and frustrated with this device. Done with it and planning to return it.

  17. Ok, so I have the Garmin nuvi 40 with the lifetime updater and device already installed. then i have registered the device so were all updated and good to go. my question is. I have been trying to update my maps (north america US 50 states) and its been updating since 9:05 last night and is still going! . Is this normal?

  18. Stephanie says:

    My Garmin 1450 has been installing an update for 14 hours now. From reading other comments, others are able to see the percentage of the update installed, i.e. 10% complete. My computer just has a green scroll that runs across the updater. The Garmin screen shows a picture of the connection between it and the computer. Should I give it more time or is it not updating?

  19. Stephanie says:

    When I hit cancel on the Lifetime Updater it replies with this WARNING:
    A system software update is required before new maps can be installed. Are you sure you would like to cancel the system software update?
    So now I’m not sure what to do. I thought the maps were trying to load this past 35 hours.

    • I’d be inclined to pull the plug and then use Garmin WebUpdater to update the software before trying to update the maps again. But if it bricks it you’ll need to call Garmin.

  20. John Olive says:

    I have a nuvi50 and just reloaded the NA maps – 2015.4/upgraded software, etc.

    No apparent problems

    But – I’m missing ~2/3 of the states. I live in Virginia, and Colorado, Texas, and California aren’t there.

    What should I do?


  1. […] Garmin Lifetime Updater – GPS Tracklog – Jul 13, 2011  · Here’s a nice surprise – Garmin is taking the hassle out of downloading lifetime map updates. A Garmin Lifetime Updater showed up on their website … […]

  2. […] Garmin Lifetime Updater – GPS Tracklog – Jul 13, 2011  · Here’s a nice surprise – Garmin is taking the hassle out of downloading lifetime map updates. A Garmin Lifetime Updater showed up on their website … […]

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