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Garmin GPS

Tricks, Tips, Work Arounds, Hints, Secrets and Ideas

for the Garmin nüvi (nuvi) GPS (and others)

Lots Of Things You Didn't Know

[many ideas may also apply to various nüvi 200, 300, 500, 600, 700,
800, 2X5, 7X5, 8X5, 1200, 1300, 1400, 2200, 2300, 2400, 3700 series units,
the nüvi 1690, nüLink! 1695 & nüvi 5000
and possibly
other Garmin road GPSs.
A nüvi 650 was originally used for initial testing.
As of 12/12/08 a nüvi 755T is also being used for testing.
As of 01/27/11 a nüvi 3790LMT will be used for major testing
A smaller separate section for 7X5/8X5 devices has been established.
Other articles may be updated, where necessary, to include 7X5/8X5 instructions.]

-- a continuing helpful instructional and comment Blog --
[there are currently 34 pages containing well over 100 help articles in this project]

Presented by: Gary Hayman
[since October, 2007]




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- Is This Temporary?

August 1, 2011 I just received an e-mail from Curtis (FNU) who advised that MapQuest no longer allows you to send a location or a route to your GPS, as it once did.


August 5, 2011 - Curtis just advised that MapQuest had just reinstated the option of sending locations and routes to your GPS back into its Classic Version, even adding a Send to OnStar link -- but has not done this with the new mQ site.


August 29, 2011 - Curtis just advised that MapQuest had just included the ability to send locations in its new mQ site and appears to have completely dropped its classic version. Trying to link to currently opens

[ I will wait a month to see how things stabilize and then make necessary revisions or re-writes.]


After a little checking, this is what I discovered (August 1, 2010).

On June 29, 2010 MapQuest did a major revision (they are still not through) of their mapping program. Part of which was to launch a new second web site named at still maintaining their former MapQuest site at -- which they now refer to as MapQuest Classic.

Features of the new site are at
There is even a short video about the site at

What has happened is that the ability to send a location and a route from MapQuest to your GPS is not currently included -- but might be in the future.
See MapQuest announcement of this fact.

It also claims that one could still use MapQuest Classic to send a location and a route to your GPS -- but (currently) one CAN'T -- it is NOT enabled in MapQuest Classic. [It now is -- see note at top]

There are some other current MapQuest documents published on the announcement date that state that you still
CAN accomplish the 'sending' task:


  • CURRENTLY you can't send, from MapQuest, locations or routes to your nüvi. [You now can send locations and routes to your GPS using the Classic version of MapQuest -- see note at top]

  • Some articles written on this Garmin Nüvi Tricks WEB site concerning MapQuest and sending locations and routes to your nüvi are currently not valid [they are valid again -- see note at top], as you can't currently use the technique. I have placed a notice at the top of each of these article alerting readers that the MapQuest procedure is not currently available.

  • I'm guessing, but I think that the feature will be reinstituted at a later date -- especially if the fan base writes MapQuest or complains about it on social networks such as Twitter [] and Facebook [] etc. [It has been reinstituted in the Classic version -- see note at top]

  • You can STILL use Google Maps [] and Bing Maps [] to send locations to your nüvi GPS -- so all is not lost.

  • I will wait until MapQuest finishes making their changes and either update or re-write articles pertaining to using MapQuest (both the Classic and mQ versions) for sending locations and routes to your Garmin.

[ I will wait a month to see how things stabilize and then make necessary revisions or re-writes.]



- Straight and Great Circle (Previously Undiscovered Feature)

Here is something interesting that you might want to play with. I have to tell you that IT DOESN'T work with my nüvi 755T, but it MAY, as it does with Jack's nüvi 255WT, work with more modern nüvis.

Jack Eiferman of Massachusetts writes,

My nüvi (265WT) has a world map built in, even though it came only with USA maps. One accesses it by going into GPS Simulation mode (
Tools > Settings > System > GPS Simulator On > OK) and zooming out a lot, then doing a bit of dragging. It's quite a good map, with a fair amount of detail (other than roads, though it does have major highways) with all major cities that I checked, no villages. Not bad at all.

If I put the unit into Off Road & Pedestrian Modes it'll give me the distance between any two spots on the globe -- sort of.

For Off Road Mode: Tools > Settings > Navigation > Route Preference > Off Road > OK

For Pedestrian Mode: Tools > Settings > System > Usage Mode > Pedestrian > OK

For example, Hagi Japan is in my Favorites (it's a long story) and Hagi is listed as being 6961 miles from my home in Brookline MA. I told my nüvi to "Go!" there, and the green screen on Go! says 8557 miles.

[Ed: when you search for a Favorite your nüvi presents a straight line distance, but when you activate the Go! (normally in the 'On Road' mode) it presents its figured Road mileage.]

Now here comes the cool part: The route is drawn with
TWO (2) lines - one is a straight line and the other a circular route, that is so circular it's a semi-circle (as far north as over Alaska). What is going on? Is the circular route a 'Great Circle' route? Anyway, here's a pic (my screen doesn't quite show the entire circle, but you will get the idea). Very cool!

[Ed: I'm going to take a WAG and opine that the 6961 milage relates to the Great Circle route distance, while the 8557 is what the nuvi thinks is a straight off road path. Mr. Mercator called and wants 1596 miles back.]

[Sep, 2010 - John Zinn writes that he tested the WAG with the UK site --
Movable Type - "Calculate distance, bearing and more between Latitude and Longitude points" and his results were the same as the pictured map. The site is highly technical but does contain entry data points that allow you to insert latitude and longitude (and other information) values to produce a variety of results -- including maps. Check it out.]



– You Had Better Watch Out

Kenneth Berkstresser wrote me with a concern stating that those who leave their units in their cars and have identified their houses as their 'HOME' may have a problem if their units get stolen from the their cars.

Kenneth says,
"Having Home set in your GPS is a road map for those would be thieves to find your house. If they pilfer your unit while you're at the ball game or some other relatively long duration event, they not only know where you live, they also know you're gone and when you'll return. Even worse, if they steal your vehicle with the unit in it and you have the door opener to your attached garage [inside].

"Around my house, people are taking their kids to ice rinks for hockey games
[Kenneth is from Canada] and their practices were targeted. Thieves know they'll have a good two hours before the theft of a vehicle is discovered. Using the GPS Home function means little time is wasted by these thieves in finding their targets."

Kenneth is correct. So, what should you do? Here are a couple of suggestions from Kenneth and myself that may aid you in this matter:

  • Don't use your house as your HOME setting. This can help eliminate the problem. If you want you can select an intersection several blocks away from your house and call that HOME. Let that point be close enough so that you can use it when you determining distances to and from your house, but far enough away so that your house can't be identified. You should, by now, know how to drive from that nearby point to your house. Of course, if you live way out in the Boonies or own a house in the Hamptons, miles from anyone, that won't work very well -- because you're the only house around.

  • Activate your lock on your Garmin. [HIGHLY SUGGESTED]. That way, if the thief gets hold of it, he(she) won't be able to turn it on without knowing the code. However, he may find other information in your car which identifies where your house is located, and if you use your house or the front of your house as your 'lock setting point' your Garmin will now start working for him and he can easily reset the code. So ... never use your house as a location where you set your code. What I do is drive to the front steps of one of my local police stations and set my code there. Very rarely will a thief go to the police station to try and activate a Garmin, and, of course, he won't be able to activate it in front of my house.

  • Don't set your HOME at all! Instead, make your Home a Favorite and give it a code name so that it can appear early in your Favorites list. Perhaps something like 'AAA Office7' so when you need to go home from a distant place all you have to do is find that special Favorite and let your Garmin guide you.

  • It's a nüvi. It's small. It's easy to remove from the bracket and take with you whenever you leave your car. [ALSO HIGHLY SUGGESTED]. That way if a thief breaks into an unattended car, he will never find your nüvi and will NOT be able to use it to find your Home. Also, as a side benefit, you will always have your nüvi with you to help you find your car when you are returning. [I lose my car all the time in large parking lots because it always ends up between two gigantic SUVs, where I can't see it.]
  • If a thief doesn't see your GPS inside your vehicle, he is less likely to break-in.

For more information about making an info Splash Screen, you might again want to look at:

OLYMPIC GOLD MAKES A BIG SPLASH ON THE NÜVI - A Simple Splash Screen For Lost/Stolen Nüvis
on page 5.

By the way, this article was written using Nuance's new Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 voice dictation software (Home Edition). Read about it here: I like it and recommend it.



- Slightly Confusing?

Please note, at this time I do not have a GPS which incorporates the use of a cityXplorer map -- but I should have one in the near future. So be advised that I have NOT personally worked [which I normally do] with such a map feature and am unaware of its pluses and minuses.

Garmin nüvi models that can use cityXplorer maps with
advanced pedestrian navigation include: series 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1600, 2200, 2300, 3700. Some other nüvi models may be able to use cityXplorer maps but limited applicability.

Rick Sparber writes concerning his experience with cityXplorer maps. Some of the newer model Garmin nüvis have the ability to use these maps, mainly for pedestrian applications over and above what the normal Garmin maps provide.

Garmin sez:

cityXplorer™ Maps

cityXplorer™ maps for your street navigator provide the latest detailed roads and points of interest for metropolitan areas, plus enhanced pedestrian navigation ­ street directions including public transportation.

With cityXplorer map data, you can conveniently download information about your destination directly to your Garmin device. Confidently navigate using the same mapping detail as City Navigator® maps. -- snip --

Enhanced pedestrian navigation helps you navigate the city's public transit. Get directions for where to walk, where to catch the bus, subway, tram, or other transportation (where available). Also learn how long it will take to get there. In some cities, data is even available for transit schedules, such as subway or bus times and routes.

From Rick Sparber:

I am a long time user of GPS and am on my second nüvi. Yet I was initially very confused with how my nüvi operates with the cityXplorer map. Rather than have my present location stay on the screen and the map move below it, cityXplorer requires you to manually move the map by advancing along the path.

This is the second cityXplorer I have bought. My first one was for Philadelphia and I never did understand what it was doing. We didn't walk much so my experience was limited. My second cityXplorer was for the Bay Area and I tried to use it many times during our visit.

Operation is vastly different than a normal moving map GPS. You start by selecting a destination. It then offers you one or more routes involving walking and public transportation. After making your selection, you begin the trip. The process involves reading the directions for the next leg at the top of the screen, arriving at the next way point, and then manually advancing the text to guide you to the next way point. As the text advances, so does the map.

If you make a mistake, your present position icon can vanishes from the screen yet the path can remain. Mistakes include bumping the screen and initially moving in the wrong direction. Furthermore, since reception can be poor in urban canyons, accuracy can be low. The nüvi puts a circle around your location icon to show accuracy. The problem is that this circle can encompass a large area so I found myself walking in the correct direction on the correct street yet the nüvi showed me walking away from the street through a building. If you don't keep an eye on this icon, it can fall off the screen and leave you looking at just the path. On more thanone occasion I was fooled into thinking I was still on route when in fact I was going the wrong way.

As for calculated path options, I had one experience where I could get to my destination via cable car or a bus on a parallel street. The only route offered was for the cable car. The wait to ride the cable car was around 1 hour so I wanted to use the bus. It was then that I realized that the free public transit map given to me at the hotel was far more useful than the nüvi. I used this simple map for the rest of our vacation.

So if you are comfortable with the moving map display functionality of the nüvi with base maps, be aware that the cityXplorer is a completely different animal. I won't be buying any more of these maps unless they do a far better job of integrating it into the nüvi.



- Garmin Continues To Make Changes In Newer Models

It wasn't Christmas, but it felt like it.

The other day I received my new Garmin nüvi 3790LMT. I had been interested in this new model, a Cnet Editor's Choice, ever since it appeared, but I was waiting till the price dropped a little, which it did, before I replaced my nüvi 755T with this much newer whizz-bang model.

I am a believer that as more States are concerned with and are writing laws governing the use of hand held devices (phones -- calling and texting), it wouldn't be long before screen touching of a GPS while driving would be an object of concern.

the quick report is that I like this Voice Control model and will begin writing articles presenting you with Tips, Tricks, Work Arounds, Hints, Secrets & Ideas that I, and you, develop. I have already seen a bunch of changes.

Although the writings will be directed toward the 3700 series nüvi models (for that is what I will use to perform personal testing) many of the findings may be pertinent to all newer models (since the 800 series). So, if you have a newer, 200, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1600, 2200, 2300, 2400 series unit you may want to read (or at least - skim) these articles as the tips might also apply to the very model that you own -- even though it may not be from the 3700 series.

Some of my older articles will still apply to nüvis across the board, but with Garmin's operational changes in each model it releases, prior directions may need to be altered to accomplish a task. Not having those models at my disposal, as always, I will need, and appreciate, you advising me via e-mail of the changes required for your particular model so that I can add notes to older article or completely re-write them if necessary. You should include step by step information in a language that a novice can understand and follow.

Look for articles to appear here in about two weeks.

Your editor, Gary Hayman




General: Pg 1, Pg 2, Pg 3, Pg 4, Pg 5, Pg 6, Pg 7, Pg 8, Pg 9, Pg 10,
Pg 11
, Pg 12, Pg 13, Pg 14, Pg 15, Pg 16, Pg 17, Pg 18

Custom POI: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6,
Page 7, Page 8, Page 9

7/8X5 Page 1, 7/8X5 Page 2, 7/8X5 Page 3

Info Page
      TOC/Menu      The Newbie Page


All written material and organization of material is copyright © 2007-2016 by Gary Hayman, All rights reserved.