Unlocking Maps in Basecamp

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by pckopp, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    I have a Garmin GPS that has lifetime maps. It gets updated about twice a year. When I do that update I always have the option to install the map to my computer. I always have. It never works.

    When I start Basecamp after that it immediately tells me the newly installed map is locked. I guess I don't understand why that is. I have lifetime maps on my device. If I connect my GPS to my computer, it recognizes it and the map that is installed. So under Maps in Basecamp I have two entries for the same map. One is the GPS unit, one is the 'installed' map. It displays, but there is no detail since it is indeed locked.

    Basecamp always prompts me to unlock the maps online. It doesn't work. When I click 'Unlock Online' it takes me to a Garmin page
    https://my.garmin.com/maps/unlockMaps.htm
    and I get a pop-up dialog that says
    Garmin Communicator Plugin is NOT detected.
    It is installed, it shows in the list of programs under Settings (Windows 10). There is no Garmin plug-in or extension installed in any browser. Since the Garmin page doesn't see the plug-in I can't click the 'Find Devices' button. In fact, all the options are grayed out.

    What am I missing?

    Thanks!

    Edit:
    SOLVED!

    This solved it. I was able to use this program to transfer the unlock code from the Nuvi GPS and now all the maps are unlocked.
    #1
  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Totally normal, it's Garmin software
    #2
  3. ceevu

    ceevu Adventurer

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    Hah,i have succeeded to install that plugin, and garmin site has found it( needed IE,firefox didnt work),but maps are still not unlocked. When i asked local garmin support for help,they informed me that this feature is remaining from some very old navigators,and not needed anymore... They did not say directly it doesnt work,but i have a feeling that was meant.
    Maps are very slow to zoom in/out from montana or zumo and its very frustrating that lifetime maps can not be opened from computer.
    #3
  4. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    You should be managing software updates and maps updates in Garmin Express, not Basecamp.
    #4
  5. deserteagle56

    deserteagle56 deserteagle56

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    Not sure why you are having these problems but every map I have on my GPS units is also on my computer in Basecamp.
    #5
    bkg123 likes this.
  6. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    I am doing exactly that. Using Garmin Express is where I get the option to download to my computer. It goes through the steps and reports success. It does in fact install the map. It just doesn't unlock it - which is what I don't understand.

    There isn't any map unlock function in Garmin Express that I know of. It is in Basecamp the locked map messages originate. And where I need them to be unlocked so they are usable without the gps unit attached.
    #6
  7. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Your situation is my goal. Can you tell me something about how you went about getting the maps unlocked and working?

    Thanks.
    #7
  8. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    A local friend reported the same thing. He got the plugin to show in IE, but it didn't help in any way.

    As others have said, software is not really a Garmin strength.
    #8
  9. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    I should say that I have had this situation for some time. I went through this process a few years back and resorted to calling Garmin support. The young lady was very competent but it took her quite a while and lots of steps to unlock the map. I think it is CN 2017.2 or around there. I hoped these issues might have been solved in the intervening years.

    I'm still hopeful someone here has the answer.

    Thanks all.
    #9
  10. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Did you buy the Gps used? If so, is it registered to them still?
    #10
  11. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    I bought it new and it is registered to me.
    #11
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    My limited experience that when it comes to locked map problems, you should just call Garmin support. They are easy to work with and very good at fixing these issues. And mainly they have a collection of magic wands that most of us nonhackers don't have. And that's their job.
    #12
  13. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    My apologies in advance if these tools aren't available with your OS, I'm a Mac guy. In BaseCamp there's a menu option to "Unlock Maps Online" as well as an "Installed Map Info". These are dropdown in the Map menu. There's also a utility called "MapManager" that has unlock functionality. Have you been able to utilize any of these?
    #13
  14. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    See my first post. All those tools take me to a Garmin page that is supposed to allow me to unlock the maps. It fails because it can't find the plug-in. All the other buttons on that page are grayed out so there is no going forward.

    I can use the most recent maps as long as I have the gps attached to my PC. I guess I don't understand why Garmin Express gives me the option to download and install the map to my PC and not unlock it at the same time. It knows I have a license. It knows I have an unlock code. The gps with the map, the unlock code, and the lifetime maps are all connected.

    Eventually, I will call Garmin support but I just thought it might be something obvious I was missing. Or that I don't understand Garmin's purpose of installing the maps on my PC.
    #14
  15. mattebox

    mattebox Been here awhile

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    Which GPS are you using? Is it the Montana 600? Garmin allows a copy of your map to be installed on your computer when you do an update so that you can use it for trip planning without having to have the GPS connected to the computer.

    I have several nuvi GPS and I routinely install City Navigator to Basecamp when I do a map update. I've never had a problem with locked maps in Basecamp with those devices. Because we're dealing with computers, the problem could be caused by any little thing. If you want to try fixing it yourself, here are some things you can try:
    • Start over and uninstall Garmin Express and install the latest version. This usually installs any plugins needed. Then plug in your GPS and let Garmin Express detect it, then add it to the Garmin Express home screen. Redo the map update, but select install to your computer.
    • If this still doesn't work, you can try reinstalling Basecamp. But first backup your Basecamp data (File > Backup...) and any custom maps that you already installed (or if you want just reinstall these custom maps).
    • If you don't want to try reinstalling all the software, try deleting your GPS from Garmin Express (right click, then remove from Express). Then connect your GPS to your computer and it should detect it and add it again to the Garmin Express home screen. Then try again.
    #15
  16. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Exactly what I am trying to do without success.

    Question: When you install the maps to your PC do you have to unlock them or are they already unlocked? If you have to unlock them, can you please share what your steps are? I am using Win10. Thanks!

    I will try these. Thank you.
    #16
  17. mattebox

    mattebox Been here awhile

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    The City Navigator map installed on my computer is unlocked and ready to use. I own a handful of nuvi GPS with lifetime maps. I am using Win10 with BaseCamp 4.6.2 (with installed driver grmnusb.sys v2.3.1.0) and Garmin Express 6.1.10.

    The only time I've had to unlock maps is with my old GPSMAP 60cs which has a one time install of City Navigator that is locked to the serial number of that GPS. To unlock that map, I have a long unlock code that came with the map when I bought it many many years go. My maps nowadays are all lifetime maps and with those you don't mess with unlock codes.
    #17
  18. smbjm

    smbjm Been here awhile

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    There is a file along with the map that contains the unlock code. For some reason it's not installing to the correct location on your computer. The easiest fix is to just call Garmin - they can download a new unlock code and make sure it loads to the proper place.
    #18
  19. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Exactly my system. Win10, Basecamp 4.6.2, grmnusb.sys v2.3.1.0, and Garmin Express 6.2.0.0. I reinstalled it today.

    I have two Nuvi units, both with lifetime maps. Both have the same map. Like you, I have a Montana with a different map. I have an unlock code for it, I just can't get to a place to enter it that makes any difference.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    #19
  20. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Interesting development.

    I have two accounts on my computer. One has administrator priviledges, the other a normal account and that's the one I use 99% of the time.

    I logged into my admin account and opened Basecamp. And my map is installed and unlocked.

    It is a different instance of Basecamp so all my stuff is not there, but I can get it by doing a backup and restore. Maybe I just have to use it from the admin account.

    Now my call to Garmin support will have different questions.
    #20