Jan 31, 2008
My Digital Life Editorial Team

Download Garmin MapSource for Free and Install Without Media

Garmin GPS receivers come packaged with free MapSource application. MapSource is required for Garmin users to upload and download maps data, POI (Points of Interest), waypoints, tracks, and routes to and from GPS unit. In other words, those without GPS unit or map product such as Topo, City Navigator and MetroGuide will not have MapSource CD or DVD installer. If you for some reason need to install MapSource on your computer, there is a workaround trick to get MapSource for free.

Garmin officially provides a MapSource version update download, which will only work if there is previous version of MapSource installed. If no MapSource software is detected, the MapSource update setup will abort with error message saying that it cannot find previous version of MapSource. Follow the following trick to hack the setup file so that it can be used to install MapSource clean and fresh without any prior installation of MapSource.

  1. Download MapSource software updater from Garmin. The version as of December 4, 2007 is 6.13.6, and the trick also works on Map Source version 6.13.5.
  2. Unpack or extract the content of MapSource_6136.exe
    downloaded using WinRAR.
  3. From the extracted files, run MAIN.msi or MSMAIN.msi.
  4. Then, run Setup.exe.

    Note: The sequence to execute Main.msi and then Setup.exe is important to avoid “Previous MapSource not found!” error.

  5. Garmin MapSource now installed.

Felix also provided another hack to install Garmin MapSource without CD disc.

  1. Create a folder named Garmin on local C: drive.
  2. Inside the C:\Garmin folder, create or rename a file as MapSource.exe.
  3. Install the MapSouce by running downloaded MapSource installation executable, MapSoruce_XXXX.exe such as MapSource_6156.exe.

Method above proved to work on almost all version of MapSource, including MapSource version 6.15.11 and version Beta.

The trick is useful is you have lost or forgotten the MapSource installation disc and wants to upload and download maps and other data to Garmin GPS receivers, or for GPS addicts who needs Map Source to open files in gdb, mps, gpx and loc formats, create waypoints, routes and tracks; view maps especially free maps; save point, route or track data in gdb, mps, gpx, tab-delimited text and DXF formats; and export waypoint, route and track data directly to Google Earth.

However, if you have any Garmin maps, installing the maps will also install the original and genuine copy of MapSource.

Tip: If free maps is not found or not shown after installed, just install a free authorized base map to MapSource to get all other free maps to show and display in MapSource.

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  • arr

    thanks alot. i just bought oregon 550. but there is no cd inside package.
    again thanks.

  • Albert.E

    Hi, that great! Works fine.

  • harry ecko

    thanks.. its work….

  • Sep

    “Previous mapsource not found”.. Didn’t work for me..
    what i did was, i copied a garmin folder that works from anaother computer, then i followed the steps above.. but it didn’t work.. what should i do?

  • jiten

    i need garmin upload and download

  • Bob

    Awesome!!! Super tare …mersi mult 😉 (thanks a lot;) )

  • Stuart

    Worked for me with MapSource Update version 6.16.3.

    • Keith

      I used these instructions on version 6163 and it worked perfectly.
      Thank you!

  • Jonathan

    Thanks, the garmin.exe trick really works.

  • kola

    COOL !

  • Jota

    Gracias GENIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ….lo unico que funciono!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …no pierdan tiempo con el Training es un verso…esto anda barbaro

  • Rustem

    Genius! Thanks a lot!

  • J

    Still works 1/4/2012

    However, if you have a jump drive or an external drive / other drives running it seems to like to install to them first. It took me a while to find the actual files, but found them on an external drive I had plugged in for backup. A simple Copy Paste to my C: Drive worked, just remember to update your shortcuts in the Start Menu.


  • Excelent tip!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Michael

    Thanks so much for posting this information. Your instructions worked perfectly.

  • Danny

    Hi! When I run the MapSource_6163.exe, I get a message saying Previous MapSources not found, setup will terminate…. can someone help me on this please.


    • Michael

      Danny, you are making a mistake. You do not run that exe file.
      Delete that partitcular file.
      Then go to point #1 in the instructions above and download file from the link to “Garmin”.

      This will give you a slightly different named exe file than the one you just deleted. Now don’t run this file. Instead open it with an unzip program. This will result in you getting a list of files..

      Next, double click the MAIN.msi file causing it to run.
      Then double click the Setup.exe and select appropriately any choices that come up on the screen.
      Voila! There you have it.

      • pete

        Tried ther above but diod not see the main.smi file on opening folder. All hep appreciated.

  • Claudio

    Thanks you very much. Excellent trick!! Worked just fine.

    • Danny

      Hi! When I run the MapSource_6163.exe, I get a message saying Previous MapSources not found, setup will terminate…. can someone help me on this please.


  • Jaririss

    Thank's man, this trick really WORKS!!! Installed in Win 7

  • wapssou

    Great it work's on MapSource_6163.exe. thanks

  • Micky Docky

    Think, i've download the file, i'd instal it later

  • Guillermo

    Thanks for the steps, this is working now!


  • Marc

    Great, thanks for the advice! Installed without problem on Microsoft XP. I also downloaded BaseCamp from Garmin, that is offered by Garmin for free. I tested yesterday and was quite impressed how easy it is to use. Now I am curious what is offered by MapSource.

  • Alex

    I first tried Felix' hack and it failed. I then downloaded the newest version (6.16.3) and then winrar.exe and this method worked a treat. Please note, however, that the link provided for winrar is incorrect, it should be: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

  • calin

    works for me (MapSource 6163), but MapInstall doesn,t work, it says: "Install Map Source", I think doesn't recognize Map Source

  • johan

    Still works! Just opened MapSource 6.16.3 Thanks!

    • Julie

      How do I exract the files to run MAIN.msi first without actually runing MapSource.exe? I downloaded the file to the desktop. When I righ clik on it there is no extract option. When I click on it, it runs the .exe file

  • Hey,that 100% work's fine, THANKS

  • Amir

    Works like a charm!

    Thanks a lot for the help!

  • Tomas Robledo

    HEY GUYS! muchas gracias por el articulo… estuve mucho tiempo tratando de encontar una forma de instalar el programa y su pagina fue la única capaz de ayudarme. Ahora puedo ocupar bien mi GPS THANKS TO YOU!!


  • Bernd

    Wonderful it worked at once. Thank you ladies and guys ;-))))

  • talal

    where to download it

  • kola`

    it works , thank you.

    now i need where to download europe map…

  • awsrewtt

    Works perfect with newist Mapsource…..Thanks!

  • Jessie

    WOW….works just like magic!

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  • jaca

    very good article thanks for helping me get a good map


    Hi, I tried to follow your advice referring MAPSOURCE. But always the message "…not found…" comes up. I am on MS OS Windows 7 Prof. Please, advice.

  • draptik

    Thanks! Method 1 also works when installing MapSource 6.16.3 under Linux with Wine1.3

  • Thunderace

    first method is great

    many thanks

  • tinus

    This is excellent guys….it works with latest ver 6.16.3. If you get an error just extract the Disk1.cab file in the required WinRAR dir (C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorLocal SettingsTempRar$DR08.125..winrar will add everytime a new extract dir so what ever the last one is) and click on retry.

  • fellow hunter

    thanks, installed good. gotta try it soon. shame the garmin 62s don't come with mapsource like the 60csx. how annoying!

  • Mariette

    Thanks! This is the second time I'm using this info and it worked every time. Even with the now newest version 6.16.2.

  • Jen

    Beautiful, thanks!

  • Will (from Brazil)

    The first method is great!

    Thanks for sharing.

    It worked with 6.16.2.

  • afif muzaki ahsan

    how to activate a view in google earth on MapSource how? mngkin the expert some tao .. .
    INFO well. . .
    yhanks sblumnya

  • Yanko

    Thanks for aharing, very usefull!.

  • Mguti

    Funcionó el Método 1 para MapSource v.6.16.2


  • Drew

    Mine says verify the file exists disk1.cab RETRY

  • John

    Installing Mapsource following this guide worked like a charme, but I seem to have a problem with the connection to my (not-Garmin) BT GPS receiver. Coupling the device to a COM port is no problem, but Mapsource does not recognize it. I did not find anything to configure a GPS device in Mapsource. Any hint?

    Mapsource 6.16.2., XP, Jentro BT-GPS receiver, D-Link BT USB-plug.



  • Rakan

    Worked nicely with Mapsource 6.16.2. That was great, thank you.

  • Carlos

    Also working with MapSource 6.16.2.


  • kacmar

    It is wonderfull! Thank You very much!

  • hedwig

    garmin ique 3600

  • satuiku


    thank for your sharing

  • floryn

    Who has the Garmin Nuvi installation cd … not million PC without seeing it and can not do it … floryn_italyanu2000 to reset my ID that can help me and make millions too. plzzzz

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  • lahyouh

    first method is great

    many thanks

  • jorj

    First method work great also with Mapsource 6.16.1 . Scond one (of Felix) dosen`t .

    Thanks !!!

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  • Rob

    Worked with 6.15.11 using method 1 (extract, MSMAIN, SETUP) – Thank you

  • ajm

    Worked with Mapsource 6.15.11 using Training Center work-around (just click exit when TC wants to link to your GPS at the end of install). Thank you for sharing.

  • haidee

    does it work also for any mapsource such as middle east

  • alani

    let see it

  • alf


  • zae

    working perfectly,

    thanks very useful trick

  • Upon reinstall of Mapsource (win7) I find that the waypoint categories are all blank. I read that they are stored in the registry but have yet to find them. Any ideas on how to restore my category labels? I have a complete backup of my XP drive, so I can get them if I can find them. Thanks.

  • Veniamin

    Option Felix works. Thank you very much!

  • Flávio


    I have a problem that results in the following menssage:

    "Runtime error

    This application has requested a Runtime to terminate in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information."

    Has anybody a clue about how to fix this?

    Thanks in advande


  • John

    Nice! working perfectly

  • Y S

    I try everything, but when I launch mapsource after installation it end up with error "There is a problem with the Product 00219912 installation. Please re-install Product 00219912 and start MapSource again."

  • Avi

    Thank You very much. Very much appreciated.

  • alex

    Fantastic! Thank You!

  • Freebird

    Worked very nicely! Thanx!

  • William

    I'm kind of technologically challenged when it comes to things like this but so far I got the download going of the wizard but I'm stopped at trying to figure out the coupon certificate I have to enter. Where would I find that?

  • After installing Mapsource, you still need to install in another Garmin product so that it will work.

    Trick is to install in Training Center program from Garmin link: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.j

  • Bob

    The "training Centre solution" above helped me get it to work as 1st described. Good work and thanks!

  • Tim

    tried the install, go to start menu, find the mapsource program file, but then it can't find any installed mapsource map products – I thought I didn't need one with this?

  • bill

    the install worked fine.

    i have an .img file that i want to upload to a 60CS. Problem is when I open MS it tells me there is no map files loaded and closes.

    how do i get it open so i can upload this file?

    When I get it open I think I can figure out how to open the img file to upload it — maybe not.

  • James

    I tried BOTH methods, and neither one worked for me

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  • sam

    thanks for the tips its people like you who make others life Easier Thanks alot to all

  • Nicole

    Excellent Tip! Works also with the latest version of MapSource 6.15.6! Thank you!!!

  • Rips

    Trick of fake MapSource.exe file in C:Program FilesGarmin before intsllation of real downloded program MapSource version 6.15.6 works today as well.

  • Shane

    Instead of going through all of that just to open mapsource without a map you can download Training Center from Garmin and it will install a basemap in MapSource. Wala! No error message….

  • Harald Gruber

    I tried to do this install and just continuously get the error message that I need a previous version of MapSource installed.

  • Jackie Thomas

    I did the trick of downloading the file like Felix (feb 16) suggested, and it worked just dandy! Thx. Now I have to find a map for mapsource to muck with.

  • Adam

    His worked with the latest version (6.15.6) thanks very much!

  • Ian Mac

    Jacob if you have got a .img file you do not need any install software,

    Just put the map "img" file on your mem card into a folder called "garmin" (lower case)

    and run it from the mem card….

    That's all I did on my unit and it works as long as you leave the mem card in.

  • Jose

    Works with Mapsource 6.15.6

  • daddsa

    good software

  • Peter Tatiner

    I've got a d/l of European maps onto my computer h/d: garmin city navigator europe 2009 NT full unloxked. How do I install it in the Garmin 760 itself?


  • Jacob

    I have narrowed this registry issue down a bit.

    HTe issue appears to occur on Windows XP x64

    The install creates registry entries in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software but not in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE. This is required in order to install img files.

    Has anyone seen this or know of a workaround?

  • Jacob

    This works to install MapSource but no registry entries are created. It is impossible to install .img files without the registry entries. ow can this be done?

  • Marcelo


    Queridos Amigos, este tuto solo funciona con la versión 6136, provista en el link del tuto… en otras nuevas y actualizadas versiones no…

  • Miloje

    Thank you for the explanation how to trick install mapsource……works

  • gaetano

    sono stato sul sito di garmin e ho scaricato il software.poi seguendo le istruzioni da lei fornite l'ho inserito nell'archivio winrar lo compresso e ho cercato di estrarre mapsource_6136.exe senza successo.prego posso avere ulteriore aiuto.faccia conto che pc software e quant'altro riguardante l'inormatica,per me e come se fosse ostrogoto.le sarei grato se mi indicasse punto per punto i vari passaggi.cordiali saluti

  • Alberto


  • Felix


    I found another trick to install mapsource without the original CD.

    1. In local disc C: create a folder named "Garmin" (without the quotes)

    2. In that folder "C:Garmin" create (or copy) some file, and rename it to "MapSource.exe" (without the quotes)

    3. Install MapSource executing "MapSource_6136.exe"

    4. Have fun using MapSource


  • hola quiciera saber que pasa con la pa gina que no abren, me urge descargar el mapsource, espero que alguien me pueda ayudar.

  • Jason

    Worked great! Thanks a bunch!

  • ncr24923

    It works if you also download and install a free garmin program for your pc called training center. Download it from here: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.j

  • BINO

    Wow it's workin, now will try it to update my gps, thanks again you're bright!

  • Dan

    Worked neat. Thanks

  • Aaron

    Worked just fine. Extract the download to a folder. Then run Main, then setup.. Then once thats installed. Go to Garmin and download the new updated version. Once you have maps installed on your PC it works like a charm. Thanks much

  • summitdog

    I can get past the "error" message but I cannot get mapsource to actually open up and run. Whenever I try to open it up, it just wants to reload the program. Am I missing a step here?

  • Apocrypha

    Works. If it doesn't work for you make sure you're extracting all of the files contained in the installer to and folder. It can't be done whilst still archived and it can't be done with just MAIN.msi and Setup.exe extracted.

  • Gamal nageeb

    Thank you for the program


    caro amigo onde encontro o mapsource basico…meda o link ou o endereço


  • jon

    “Previous MapSource not found!”

    The trick is not working, any body can help me?

  • Joseph

    Do you get one chance at this? and if you mess up the first time can you delete your internet files and try again? I did it the right way the first time but it did not load. Also now I get the error message saying I do not have any mapsource software. I would sure be greatful for any help.

  • Tom

    Merci beaucoup pour l'information.

    Fonctionne aussi avec la version 6.14.1

  • sani

    this trick is NOT working!!!

  • david

    if you dont have M/S installed just use the msi file and install that way. or download the bluechart cd off torrents

  • Dani

    Hi Guys, i have downloaded the stuff as mentioned to another computer for a "testdrive" although I have a "legal" copy of Mapsource. It works fine but I have a question. In SA they updated the maps in March 2008 which I have acquired. How can I these maps with the downloaded version? I have tried to change the file names in my Garmin folder but gets an erroir message saying that I must install the maps. How do I do it? If I copy the IMG files from the new maps folder to the old folder it works fine as long as I don't start using some of the functions, such as "Find" an address. How can I correct this? Is there sombody who can help?

  • Shad

    I had the same error problem after extraction. I do not have a map to download in order for it to work (as indicated in previous posts). Is there anywhere I can locate a map (free) in order to activate this software so that it runs properly? Thanks.

  • Tom

    "Mapsource n'a trouvé aucune carte installée"

    -Comment installer une carte ?

    -Où trouver une carte et sous quelle format sont ces cartes ?

    (personnellement je recherche la carte marine de Mayotte)


  • Pablo

    Tengo problemas al instalar el garmin que 2.9. Lo comienzo a instalar en mi PDA y y arrojar el error cuando va a finalizar la instalacion " Erro al instalar Garmin Que.cab"

    agradece vuestra ayuda


  • jack

    me sigue saliendo error despues de instalr segun las instruciones

  • Paulo

    Mocada, baixem o mapsource v6136 aqui



  • Sirve con la ultima actualizacion de mapsource de garmin testeado por mi sigan el tuto antes descrito y veran el resultado

  • Roman

    gente! muy buena la ayuda! acabo de bajar la version 6.14.1 y tambien funciona! felicitaciones! saludo1

  • Pilgrim

    Sir, does this procedure still apply?

  • Zippy

    works for current, 6.14.1

  • Haris

    The trick works with the current version of MapSource as well (6.13.7)

  • Nina

    Hola, me gustaria saber como instalo un mapa?… necesito ese programa y segui tus pasos pero no funciono 🙁

  • usernameistaken

    I installed it, as instructed, but it's giving me an error message.


  • Mike Secord

    What is WinRAR (step #2)? When I click on this text, nothing happend.

  • inivag


  • Dave

    This works – thanks. Please note that it works with version 6.13.6 (using the link above) but NOT with the latest Mapsource software from Garmin (currently 6.13.7) so make sure you install the correct one!

  • Alex

    Dude! You are the best man…

    For those that isnt still working, remember to EXTRACT first ALL files, then click on MAIN, and then bla bla bla…. I didnt exctarcted first and I was having trouble,… Thanks again

  • primalmr

    i have the same pro i run what it says to do but it gives me an error can someone help

  • KeeSe

    Excellent this really saved my day! Many thanks!


    I’ve also have installed Mapsource and I have the Map Update 2008 DVD from Garmin.

    Mapsource doesn’t run and say that it can not find a mapsource product.

    I followed directions above, am I doing somthing wrong?

  • helvio64

    Thank you for the information.

    It worked fine to me.

  • mcz

    "juancarlos80: You need to install a map after installing mapsource for it to run."

    What does it means?

    I've installed Mapsource and I have the Map Update 2008 DVD from Garmin.

    Mapsource doesn't run and say that it can not find a mapsource productt.

    What have I to copy (and where) from DVD to HD?

    Thank you,


  • Nick

    Great tip!!! Thanks!!

    juancarlos80: You need to install a map after installing mapsource for it to run.

  • juancarlos80




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