How To Install Free Maps on Garmin GPS (OpenStreetMap)

Last year, I bought the Garmin GPSMAP 64s and I am super happy with it! However it took me some time to find out how and where I could get the right maps for my new device. I tried a number of different methods but I finally decided this was the right way for me.

Why this method?

  • Contour lines
  • Modify the map design
  • Maps are routable
  • No software needed (like Garmin BaseCamp)
  • Quick and easy

Maybe you already got your hands on a gmapsupp.img file and have no idea what to do next or maybe you just bought your first Garmin GPS. Follow these four easy steps and you’ll be ready to go in no time!

1 – Download the file

  1. Go to https://www.freizeitkarte-osm.de/ and click on the bottom-left square: Maps for Garmin GPS-Receivers.
  2. Go to Maps and choose the country you need. If your country is not in the dropdown, choose More Countries.
  3. Next look at your prefered language and download the Install image for micro SD card file.

2 – Unzip the file

To unzip the file you just downloaded, right-click on it and choose Extract Here. Things may look a bit different if you have WinZip installed. If you see no way to unzip your file, please download WinRAR first.

3 – Transfer the file to your Garmin GPS

  1. Connect the GPS to your computer.
  2. Go to My Computer and open the Garmin drive.
  3. Open the Garmin folder.
  4. Copy and paste the file you just downloaded into this folder.

4 – Enable the map on your Garmin GPS

  1. Disconnect your GPS from your computer and power it on.
  2. Go to the Map page.
  3. Click Menu.
  4. Go to Setup Map.
  5. Go to the last option: Map Information – Select Map.
  6. Select the map you want to use, enter and choose Enable.
  7. You can disable the other maps. I do this, just to be sure they don’t interfere when routing (but this may be superstition).

FAQ

If you have any trouble with the steps above or just advice in general, let me know in the comments! We’ll try to figure it out and afterwards it will be added to the FAQ section.

What if I’m using a memory card in my device?

If you bought a memory card for your device, you can upload your maps on there. The process is exactly the same. Only when connecting your device to your computer, you will see two different drives pop up. Take the one that is not called Garmin, it will be somthing like USB-station (F:). In there you will find a folder Garmin, open that and copy-paste your file in there.

What if I want multiple maps on my device?

As you will have noticed, the file we have been working with is called gmapsupp.img. Uploading multiple maps on your device was not possible with older Garmin devices. Luckily, with the current models, this should not be a problem! Just change the name of your file to something more memorable like for example “map-sweden” before copy-pasting it into the Garmin folder. Your GPS should recognize any .img file, the name doesn’t matter. Did this work for you? Let me know your GPS model in the comments!

You will notice that the name on your device is different than the name you gave the file, that’s normal. There are ways to change this, but this is pretty advanced stuff.

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