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[SOLVED] Garmin Map Update Issue

© 2011 Brice Center (first posted 5/28/12 ► last updated 5/28/12)
"There was an error installing your maps. Please try again. If problems
continue, please contact Garmin customer support."
  Or "Your unit is up to date."

Grrrr.  I bought lifetime maps for my Garmin GPS, and just tried updating them, and after 1.5hrs just ended up with an error and broken maps.  I found the solution solution though..

Use Option 2 per the screenshot immediately below.  AVOID Option 1.  See my writeup below for more details.

The first time, I went to, and then to the My Maps tab.  When selecting to update the maps, it gave me two options:

Initially, I chose Option 1, but it didn't work.  I ended up with an error and broken maps.  Here are the details of what I did for Option 1.  If you just want to see the solution (i.e. choose Option 2 instead), skip to the next section:

Option 1 doesn't work, but, for the record, here's what I did:

I downloaded the Garmin Lifetime Update program.  I launched the program, and it then prompted me to update my Garmin Communicator plugin.  Then I connected my GPS, and continued running the Garmin Lifetime Updater program.  It said I could download the 2013.10 maps, and I launched it.  I clicked Settings in the lower left corner, and then in the Installation section, I verified that it was set to install on my unit.  Then after over 30min of downloading files, it prompted me to unplug my GPS from the computer and reboot it, then reconnect it.  After rebooting, I clicked Tools>Settings>Maps>Map Info and saw that the maps were NOT yet updated (still had my same old maps).  I plugged the unit back into the computer as instructed, and reconnected it to the Garmin Lifetime Update program.  It then presented me with an "Install" button again.  After another 30 min, it gave me this error:

"There was an error installing your maps. Please try again. If problems continue, please contact Garmin customer support."

I looked at the unit's memory through Windows Explorer, and found that it had installed the street maps, but it completely DELETED my 3D buildings maps, and my Junction View Maps (i.e. no gmap3d.img or gmaptz.img files in the Garmin folder on the unit memory).  I then booted it and verified that it ONLY had the street maps by going to Tools>Settings>Maps>Map Info (it only showed the 2013.10 maps, but didn't show the 3D ones).

Here's the solution:
I Googled the error message and found this forum.  Post number 3 suggested: "2. You can probably go to your account and download the map files from there using the old method."

So, here's what I did next.

1. Go to
2. Go to My Maps tab.
3. Click update next to the unit I want to update.
4. I was presented with this screen again.  This time I selected Option 2.

5. I downloaded the Garmin Map Update application by clicking the link in the above screenshot in Option 2.  The program is is just a small executable file.  I ran it.

Here are the screens it took me through:

Yay!  My maps are all correct now.  I verified in two ways:

1. I booted the unit, and tapped Tools>Settings>Maps>Map Info, and saw BOTH the street maps, and the 3D maps:

2. Then I plugged the unit back in, and looked at the Garmin folder on the unit's internal memory, and verified that I saw the following 3 files:

GMAP3D.IMG   (this is the 3D map)
gmapprom.img  (this is the main street maps)
GMAPTZ.IMG   (this is the Junction View maps)

Just FYI, here are what the rest of the gmap files are:

gmapbmap.img   (This is the basemap that gets used if you don't have street maps for a certain region...for instance Europe.  It only contains major roads like highways)

gmapprom.unl  (This is the unlock file for your new updated maps; this allows your maps to work on your device, but not on other devices if you were to try to copy the maps over to another Garmin).