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How to Update Your Bmw Navigation Maps

starting of the update process

What you need to know

There are many types of BMW Navigation units depending on the year of manufacture of your car and the units installed.

  • The full size unit is called Professional Unit or s609 as in option
  • Small display unit called Business Unit or s606 as an option

This is for your personal information only, but you will need to find out which version of the map you need for your car.

Various types of bmw unit units

The units shown above may differ based on the car type. For example some cars may have it in-dash but it's the same unit

How to find the right map for your car

As you can see there are many different types of units and this can be a confusing task but it is actually very simple and I will direct you to a page that shows in detail how this is done. I have been buying my updates from them for a long time and they have always been a reliable source.

I went to source for map update

Errors and Problems Installing Updates

I'm going to show you a complete list of issues you might encounter while installing updates and how to fix them:

  • Incomplete or manipulated navigation data

This means that the map file was not downloaded completely, got corrupted during the download process or your usb drive might be corrupted but the latter is rare. Most likely a problem that occurred while downloading the file.

  • Your car is not detecting the update

You ordered the wrong map for your car or one of the following occurs:

  1. Your USB drive is not formatted FAT32 (exFat or NTFS will not work for most navigation units). If your USB drive is up to 32GB then by default it will be formatted as FAT32 but if it is more than 32GB then you will need to reformat it as it will most likely be exFat.
  2. You are not using the correct USB port in your car. Depending on the map version, you will need to use the glove box or center console usb port.
  3. You are using a USB device such as an external hard drive or an sd card to usb adapter that doesn't work with your car. You will be surprised but not all devices that have a usb plug can be used so a USB stick is recommended.
  4. Your car was manufactured before 2010 and does not detect USB updates so you will need the version of the map created for the update via DVD.

Speed ​​Camera

BMW maps do not include speed camera warnings due to different laws across countries and they may never include this type of information because they want to avoid legal issues or if they do include it they will disable or enable it according to your GPS location information but technology like it has not been implemented.

Always check the laws of the country you are traveling to. It may be illegal to use a radar detector or gps device that has speed camera alerts activated.

How long will the update take?

Since there are different units and many manufacturers of USB drives with varying transfer speeds, this question can't be answered exactly but from my experience the update takes about 30 minutes.

update in progress

Preventive measure

Always start your engine before starting a navigation map update for your BMW.

The car has a power saving feature that will turn off the unit after some time if the engine does not start and you don't want that to happen when you update. There's nothing to worry about even if it happens because you can start the update process again but it's better to be safe than sorry.


It's always best to keep up to date with your navigation data because it makes life easier when you're on the move and you don't have to be a computer expert to do it yourself. It might be harder the first time but once you succeed next time it will be a piece of cake.

Stay safe and if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section. I always do my best to answer most of them.