Garmin GPS does not unlock

Correcting the Message “Can’t Unlock Maps” Or “Can’t Authenticate Maps” on a Garmin Automotive Device

If your Garmin device displays the message of Can’t Unlock Maps or Can’t Authenticate Maps, then it means it has detected a map which cannot be validated for the use with your device.

This can be caused due to:

  • Installation of a memory card that contains maps that are intended for a different device
  • Copying maps from one device to another
  • A problem with the map file data
  • Incorrect or missing unlock information for an installed map

To resolve the above issues, please follow these steps:

  • If a memory card is inserted into the device, remove the card it and restart the device. If the error message no longer shows up, then this indicates that a locked map isthere on the memory card.
    • If the memory card was previously used in another device then it is likelythat the maps installed to the card were only unlocked on the previous device.  Therefor the maps will either need to be deleted or reinstalled on the current device to unlock them.
    • Maps that were not unlocked for the device may have been installed to the memory card via MapInstall or MapSource. For this you need to first unlock the maps for the device on the computer and then reinstall them to the memory card.
    • If the memory card was preloaded with the maps then please contact the Product Support*.
    • If the memory card contains maps that were copied from another preloaded card then delete the map files from the card and use the original card as it the preloaded maps cannot be copied from one card to another.
    • If these situations do not apply or the issue is still not resolved then proceed to the following steps.
  • If the issue occurred after updating the maps then make sure that the Garmin Express is updated and reinstall the maps. If the device is being updated on a Windows computer then make sure you use Safely Remove Hardware option (if available) after the update has been completed. Even though the update appears to be complete, the write-caching feature on some computers may not be completely built or has transferred the maps to the device. Ejecting the device before disconnecting it from the computer can prevent this type of error.
  • If this message is displayed after installing a Downloadable Content (DLC) map, reinstall the maps and try again. If the issue still persists then follow these steps:
  • If maps have not been installed or updated recently then update the maps using Garmin Express if updatesare available.
  • Maps may have been installed to the device using MapInstall or MapSource that were not unlocked for the device. Unlock the maps for the device on the computer and then reinstall them to your device.

The Garmin device should now turn on without showing the error message.

To safely remove the device, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key +  E
  2. Click This PC(Windows 10 only)
  3. Right-click the Garmin device
  4. Click Eject(if there is no Eject option, the device does not need to be ejected)

*To contact the Garmin Product Support, go to the Support Centre and identify your product by entering the name or serial number of your device into the search box. Once the product is identified look for the Contact an Expert option at the bottom of the screen and select Chat, Call or Email to contact our technical team through whichever channel works best and is readily availablefor you. With the help of our experts you can find solutions to all your Garmin GPS device issues whether it’s about GPS map update or map download we provide help regarding all the issues.