My Garmin GPS Won’t Turn On

Your Garmin GPS device can be a powerful tool when you’re driving through uncharted territory, but the device won’t be much help if you can’t get it to power on. In most cases a hard reset can resolve whatever software problem the device is experiencing and clearing out software bugs will allow your device to boot cleanly.

Perform a Hard Reset (Nuvi 30, 40, or 50 Series)

Step 1
Disconnect your Garmin GPS device from its power source.

Step 2
Press and hold the lower right-hand corner of the touchscreen. Turn on the GPS device while keeping your finger on the display.

Step 3
Wait for the “Erase all data?” prompt. Select “Yes.”

Step 4
Follow the onscreen prompts when your device reboots. This should clear any software issues preventing a boot.


Fix the Software (Nuvi 30, 40, or 50 Series)

Step 1
Download and install Garmin’s USB driver for Windows (link in Resources). There is a known issue with the Nuvi 30, 40, and 50 series that may cause a failure to boot.

Step 2
Download the Recovery Application and appropriate recovery file for your specific Garmin device (link in Resources). Save these items somewhere convenient.

Step 3
Drag and drop the RGN file on top of the Updater.exe portion of the Recovery Application. This will launch the Recovery Application with the appropriate repair files.

Step 4
Touch and hold the upper left-hand corner of the Garmin touchscreen. Connect the Garmin device to your computer with a mini USB cable while still touching the corner of the screen.

Step 5
Locate your device in the Recovery Application. It should be listed in the “USB Device” drop-down menu.

Step 6
Click the button next to “USB Device” and then click “OK.” Release your finger from the touchscreen.

Step 7
Wait while the Nuvi updates its software. Select “No” if prompted to install old software.

Step 8
Disconnect the Garmin device from your computer. Reconnect it to your vehicle and it should power on correctly.

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