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How to perform common tasks

How to perform common tasks

Is there a step-by-step update to Lilla’s sticky (June 2011) “How to update your Nuvi ?

The link in that sticky now appears to apply to a different topic.

The posts that follow Lilla’s, if summarized in a new step-by-step post, would be most valuable.


  • privet01 231 Points
    If your nuvi was made in the last ten maybe more years, then all you have to do is download and install garmin express from Garmin's website. There is a mac version and a windows version.

    After installing it, just plug your nuvi into your computer and Garmin Express will tell you anything it needs you to do. I've found that I get quicker updates to my devices if I use a wired ethernet connection to my computer instead of going through my wifi. YMMV.
  • l henry 192 Points
    I have used GE for many years for regular updates. I did not realize it would/could install a complete backup (including hidden files) on my computer hard drive. This comprehensive computer hard drive backup is needed in case of a complete Nuvi failure.

    More specific information on using GE for this process will be appreciated

    Lilla’s June 2011 post, mentioned in my initial post, outlined the hard drive backup process.
  • Boyd 2033 Points
    edited August 2019
    IF Garmin Express can do a full backup, then that is something new. In the past, the only thing it could do was copy your favorites, tracks and routes - which is trivial (they are all contained in the Current.gpx file).

    But I'm confused about what you want to do . Your original post was about "“How to update your Nuvi", and not performing a backup. If you want to do a backup, that is covered extensively in this thread:

    Lilla hasn't been around here since 2013, and her tutorial was for the Nuvi 1490, which was a 2009 device. I'm afraid this is all in the "ancient history" category now. :) If you are using Windows, I posted an easier way to access the hidden .System folder last year that doesn't involve changing any settings.

  • alanb 557 Points
    I normally don't like to link to another forum, but there is a pretty good FAQ over on the POI Factory forum relating to Garmin drive cleanup: That forum has a pretty comprehensive FAQ resource (with an index) containing a lot of information about Garmin and other GPS related topics.
  • privet01 231 Points
    I've never seen Lilla’s sticky (June 2011). However since the title as you wrote it was "“How to update your Nuvi" It seemed that Garmin Express would be the answer.

    Despite owning a dozen or so gps's from marine, handheld, automobile and bicycles types, I've never had one go bonkers that required anything more than a reset. So I personally don't fret with all the backup stuff. It's a waste of my time IMHO. However if you are wanting to, then that's okay with me. But other will have to tell you.
  • l henry 192 Points

    “But I'm confused about what you want to do ”

    I wanted a new step-by-step post on how to do a complete hard drive backup of a Nuvi (mine is a 2797) to a computer hard drive.

    I am using a Windows 7 operating system.

    The following computer steps on this website directed me to the original Lilla post: Garmin Auto Forum > Sticky >How to Perform Common Tasks > How To Backup Your Nuvi > Original lilla post (June 2011)

    I will use your process for viewing hidden files, but it would still be great to have a new complete step-by-step Nuvi backup post.

  • I have been doing backups of 2797, 2595, 2597, Drive 60, Drive 61 units and transferring the backup data between units via Gramin express for years and not aware of missing any data. In fact, I have over 500mb of backup data based on the date of the backup.
    Albeit I do copy my 73 trip/route files and 17 custom POI groups via explorer and extract track/trip plots plus favourites/saved POIs from the current file from time to time for analysis. As yet I have not found a way to read the ".TRIP" files in the backup.
  • Boyd 2033 Points
    edited August 2019
    I think a full backup is a good idea, because if something goes seriously wrong, that is the easiest (and possibly only) way to fix it. Just like you should have a full backup of your computer. And, although it never ceases to amaze me, there are many examples where people accidently reformat their devices. Without a full backup, that will be a big problem. ;)

    Really, it's extremely simple. Create a folder on your computer and drag all the files from the Nuvi to it. There are only two things special that you need to do:

    First, you need to set the Nuvi to Mass Storage Mode or you won't be able to access everything. The way to do this is explained here:

    And the other thing is that you need to copy the contents of the hidden .System folder. I explained how to do that in my previous post. That's about all.

    Having said this.... although I've always backed up all my gps devices, I've never needed to restore the backups. OTOH, I've always had homeowners insurance but my house has never burned down. ;)

    And yes, there are many threads here with old links that don't work anymore. There's just very little interest in the site anymore. It's a shame, but it is what it is.
  • Chris_Sav 131 Points
    Fully agree on the need for backups, agreed they are a waste of time but how you will wish you had should the need arise, and it will sooner or later.
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