Sunday, March 18, 2012

My GPS won’t speak street names

I bet I’ve answered this dozens of times in our comments, so this is a long overdue post. Not that many years ago, most auto GPS units didn’t speak street names; you’d hear “turn right in 1/4 mile.” Nowadays, most models have text-to-speech capabilities and will say something like, “turn right on Oak Street in 1/4 mile.”

Sometimes though, they get messed up, usually because the owner has changed the voice and/or language settings. To fix this, go into the settings and look for voices that are labeled something like “speaks street names” or “computerized” or “TTS” or “text-to-speech.” Change to one of those voices and you should be good to go.

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. Haha. I can’t figure out a way to turn-off the street names reading. Anyone who has a GPS that won’t speak street names must have figured out how to “uncheck” a radio button!

    Unless…. they have a Nuvi 760 like I do. Actually, if it happens to my 760 it should happen to any in the 7×0 line.

    If you’re afflicted with a slow startup, and then turn your unit off while it’s booting and back on (while it’s connected to the powered cradle), then it resets the language settings for that session. Extremely annoying . . .

  2. Unless it has been fixed American English-Michelle will not give the street names on my Montana 600 with city navigator loaded, but American English-Jill works fine.

  3. Jimmy, you are correct. I looked into the settings of my GPS and I see American English-Michelle will not give the street names (Garmin model 2455LT is what I have). However, under the name of American English-Jill it says “speaks street names”. I just now went in and changed it to the voice of Jill. Jimmy, thanks for pointing out the name of the voice that speaks the street names. And thanks to Rich Owings for the instructions on how to change the setting to street names. Had it not been for this website, I probably would’ve just been stuck with it saying “turn left” and “turn right” for who knows how long. lol.

  4. Alice Hunter says:

    I am going to buy Garmin model 2455LT and I would like to know how to use it connected to my Compaq lap top, I would really appreciate any help

    • You can use your computer to update the device, back it up, transfer favorites, routes and custom POIs, but you can’t use it to send real-time location data to your laptop. There are plenty of USB and Bluetooth GPS receivers for that purpose if that is what you want.

  5. I’ve never been a fan of the color magenta which Garmin uses to highlight it’s direction of travel. I have a nuvi 40LM unit, and it was highly recomended, but is there a way to change the route color?
    Thanks for the info on speaking street names. I will now change to Jill.

  6. I have a Nuvi 650 with American English Jill. How do I get her into my Nuvi50? Actually, I transferred her to the 50 but she doesn’t speak in the 50.

  7. I have my choice between American English Michelle who doesn’t speak street names and American English Samantha who speaks street names but in a muted voice. I downloaded AE Jack who is okay but I’d really like to have Jill. And when I transferred her over to my 50 from my 650, it says she speaks but she doesn’t. And why did I only get a choice between 2 names (Michelle and Samantha)? I had about 10 languages on there though.

  8. Is there a list somewhere of the voices available for the different Garmin models? All I can find are the cartoon voices. Don’t want that.

  9. Are there any $200-and-under GPS (4.3 inch screen) which have a MALE speaks-street-names in English (nationality not important)?
    We have a truly ancient Sony NVU44 which does, but it suffers from Sony’s exit from the market, hence no updates.
    All of the units (TT,G and M) that i’ve looked at in stores only have female (Jill, Samantha, etc).
    As far as i can tell, the optional-extra voices don’t include street names.

  10. Yes. Well, sort of. We have the 5″ screen on the Nuvi 50. And you can download a male English-American voice for it…Jack, I think. He says street names.

    • I think Penny is right. With Garmin units you just have to download the voice. I just tried it with my 2495LMT and Jack (text to speech) is available. So it sounds like it is available for all 2012 nuvis (and probably all current ones) using and selecting “additional updates.”

  11. My Nuvi speaks when it is off the cradle but when I return it back to the cradle it no longer speaks. It just started doing this……worked fine before my grandson played with it. I think he may have changed a setting, but I can’t figure out how to fix it. Help please.

  12. Not sure. It does not have the model # or anything on the back. How do I find it? It has been about 2 years since I bought it and I no longer have the paperwork.

  13. my gps no longer says street names after updating,piece of crap,will go back to tom tom

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