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How to switch maps on Garmin Nuvi GPS system

I don’t really buy the latest technology. This makes me a late technology adopter I guess because until I see a real benefit to buying a new piece of technology the thought doesn’t even cross my mind. GPS systems have been around for a very long time, but I never even thought about buying one until recently. Read on to see why I purchased a Garmin GPS and how I learned to switch the maps on my Garmin Nuvi GPS.

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Why did I buy a Garmin GPS?

Printing my driving directions from the internet was always very easy and more than enough for me…until recently. We recently had to plan for a long trip to Europe and driving in several foreign countries was scary enough, so having a GPS with me helped ease my anxiety a lot. The need for a GPS system became very clear and as a result I purchased a great Garmin Nuvi GPS system. I really like the Nuvi systems because they work well everywhere and they are inexpensive. That being said…I got lost one time in Italy as well…but we found our way soon enough after asking around. Other than that our nuvi has worked perfectly.

When traveling to foreign countries, having a GPS system is definitely better than printing directions or using your cell phone…simply because you still can’t rely on finding a good and affordable Internet connection when travelling inyernationally.

My purpose was simple: I wanted a GPS system that I can use both in Europe and California for driving everywhere.

This way I can have two maps on my Garmin Nuvi. Perfect! The Garmin Nuvi made my life so much easier while in Europe.

Why would you ever want to switch maps on your Garmin Nuvi?

It’s true that the Garmin Nuvi supports multiple maps, but the internal memory that it ships with it’s not enough to hold two maps. So I had to buy an extra 4Gb memory stick and store the Europe map on it. This way I can have both maps installed at the same time.

But when I came back home, I could not figure out how to switch back to the US Map. I know I have done it before, but could not remember.

So, I tried all the combinations of the settings until I finally found it buried way deep in the “Tool” menu.

How do you switch maps on your Garmin Nuvi?

It’s very simple indeed, you just need to know what to press.

  1. Access the Tools Menu
  2. Access the Settings Menu
  3. Access the Maps sub-category
  4. Press the Info button at the bottom of the screen. This was the tricky one I couldn’t remember. You should see two maps…or more depending on what you have installed.
  5. Select the map you want by checking the respective check box.
Updated: May 2, 2016  24 Comments

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How to make sure your electronic gadgets work in Europe
5 easy ways to save lots of money on transportation in Europe
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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Harry

I bought a garmin nuvi 55. But did not read that it did not include Canadian street maps.
I also would like to buy Australian city and street maps as well, I am visiting Australia, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney etc.
Can I buy them somewhere?

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vlad

Harry…you can buy them on the Garmin website

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Julie

Hello:
Do you know if you can locate addresses in the foreign map before you get to the country? I would like to add my stops to my “favorites” in the device and have them ready to go. I’m not having much luck.

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Julie

Nevermind. Garmin support was able to help me. The map had not loaded properly and that is why I could not create favorites on the international map.

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Tom

Hi there
Can I buy a Garmin device in Singapore and then use it in New Zealand?
How do I load New Zealand’s map into my Garmine device?

Thanks

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vlad

Tom… yes you can buy a Garmin device anywhere, buy the he maps you need from the Garmin website, install it and then use it in any of her country. So in your case you buy the New Zealand map and use it.

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Clare Victoria Eastwood

Life saver! Thanks so much for sharing this info. I was at a loss of how to access my Australia and NZ maps – recently purchased. Got it now thanks for this info!

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vlad

Clare…you’re welcome! It took me a while to figure it out so I thought it might help others.

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Karen

I recently purchased SD card with directions for Ireland. It does not come up when inserted. I went into the options and unselected the American maps but still nothing. Do I have to be in Europe before it will load?

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vlad

Karen…it should come up once you selected the Ireland map. Do you mean the screen is blank? If not, just try entering an address in Ireland and see if it finds it. Just a suggestion….you can also try the Garmin support Web page.

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Becky

I bought a Garmin (not sure about the model) in LA and brought back to Australia to use in December 2014. Unfortunately, up the this moment I could not get the GPS to work to change to Australia map. I thought it has already downloaded the maps around the world like my old one Navman GPS. I would be grateful if you could guide me how to change the country.

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vlad

Becky…if you bought your Garmin at a US store it will most likely have only the US Street map. If that is the case, then you need to purchase the Australian Street map from the Garmin website and then you can switch the maps using my instructions.

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Elizabeth Perez

I am looking at the Garmin nuvi 40LM and I have a question whether there are only certain models which allow maps from other countries to be downloaded. Hoping you can help me!

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Vlad

Elizabeth…good question! As far as I know Garmin does not limit the devices that support their maps. In other words, any Garmin map will work on any Garmin device. The only limitation I found was the size of the internal memory…this is why I purchased a mini SD card for extra storage. I have the USA map on the internal memory and the map of Europe on the SD card.

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Richard Skinner

The map information at Garmin.com currently states that the new maps will not work in the StreetPilot models. Th the best of my knowledge they will work on all others. You can purchase maps already on an SD card and simply insert it into the SD slot on the device. This way is much easier and you do not have to buy a blank SD card.

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Diane Sabourin

I have a garmin and want to be able to travel in Ireland with it. How do I get maps of Ireland on it? Is it going to cost me money? Would I be better off getting a gps when I rent the car?

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vlad

Diane…your Garmin will work fine in Ireland. You just need to buy the Map for it. Garmin sells the map of Europe for 99$ last I checked. Go to the Garmin site and click on maps and buy the Europe map. If you want to have both the US and Europe map on the device you need to buy an extra 4gb micro sd card.
Once you install the map use my instructions on how to switch the map.
Also…when you arrive in Ireland and switch your Garmin on…be patient…it can take a while for it to find satellites and get its bearings. Just give it at least 5 minutes or so.

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Richard Skinner

The cost will depend on how long you will rent the GPS for. Typical rentals in Europe start at 12.00 per day and go up from there. You may also have a drop charge if you do not return it to the same place you rented it. It is true that the Europe Maps MSRP is $99.00 but there are also regional maps available at lower prices. The regional maps MSRP are $69.99.

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George

The guy forgot to mention what program he uses and since obviously has a computer, why store the map on a memory stick.

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vlad

George….yes I do have a computer but I want both maps on the Garmin. I store both the Europe map and the US map on my Garmin because I do not want to have to remember where I have my maps on my computer. I want both maps on the Garmin…this is why I purchased a memory card

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Pete

Just bought the memory card from Garmin thru Amazon. Put the microsd into back of my nuvi 66. Navigated to My Maps by going in to settings, maps and devices and it loaded with a check mark. Also I have the North American maps preload with a check mark. I can’t use until i get to scotland. So I guess when arrive there I uncheck the NorthAmerica map so the gps will use the Scotland maps? Correct?

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vlad

Pete…yes, this is what I do.

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