Unlock installed Garmin maps on PC

Normally I always provide unlocked maps since it’s easier to work with them, create new compilations, upload to GPS, etc, but sometimes either because we don’t find an unlocked map or because we want the very latest versions of maps we’re forced to install a blocked map. How can use installed locked maps? By being blocked leaves us with hands tied because we can hardly do anything with them.

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At the beginning I unlocked some maps in MapSource by pure filly, now the issue has fallen back into my hands and I decided to create this post.

I will assume already you’ve installed the locked maps or go after some, I must warn you don’t download installers from anywhere because can place in the same installation “another things”, do it in a site or uploader trusted.

  1. Download PGFT and run them as Admin. Warning! there’re two executables, one for 32bits and other for 64bits.
  2. Lets go to ‘MapSource’ tab, will appear us the base map and we have luck the locked map, then would select it and go to step 5.
  3. If not listed we need to know where is, for this run BaseCamp. We’ll get a warning that there’re blocked maps.
  4. Execute the command Maps; Manage products maps, and see that indeed the state of map is “locked” but we’re interested is the installation location which we’ll take note: is needed.
  5. Go to PGFT and click on Unlock a TDB file, after which we can browse to find the TDB file in the path that we’ve noted before.

    It was installed for me in ProgramData which is a hidden folder, for which you can disable hiding hidden files/folders or my favorite (+ fast): Type it directly. For which write c:\programdata and press [enter], as the rest of subdirectories are not hidden we can browse them normally until the file TDB is found.
  6. PGFT load the data of map, with the name, FID, PID, etc, and click on Unlock selected TDB to unlock it.
  7. Close all: BaseCamp and PGFT.
  8. Open BaseCamp to open the map already unlocked. If we are retailers can see that don’t jump the warning of “locked map” that can confirm executing the command “Map; Manage map products”.

    It would be good if you’ll confirm that work with the cartography that you want and not continue using the BaseCamp’s basemap instead a detailed cartography.



16 pensamientos en “Unlock installed Garmin maps on PC

  1. Chris

    Hi, I’m trying to unblock the map but I won’t get green (even though it says it’s UnLocked it remains in pink.. I can see it on the map source but its blocked in the GPS.. HELP, please

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    1. Obiwan2208 Autor de la entrada

      I don’t understand what you mean.
      Where’s the map? on Mapsource, or GPS? the post is about locked installed maps on computer

      You must to have in mind that although you’ve an unlocked map installed on your computer (Mapsource/Basecamp/Mapinstall) at time to transfer it (completely or a part of it) to the GPS (or mem.card) is transferred BLOCKED, so it must be unlocked. Once is done, no more problems.

      It’s a Garmin’s snare to force us use the new maps with digital signature.

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  2. Steel Rx Male Supplement Review

    You have brought up a very great details, thank you for the post.

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  3. Christi

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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  4. Romulo Oliveira

    Hi there! Is there an option to download Birdseye Satellite Imagery? I mean, I have some images on Basecamp and I would like to use them on Qgis.


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    1. Obiwan2208 Autor de la entrada

      My device not support Birdseye so I don’t know a lot about the subject.

      If you want a Birdseye cartography check out this:

      But if you want just satellite images for make a new cartography you only have to make a search: Youtube

      I hope it helps you

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  5. Mark


    thank you for the tutorial. This works very well to unlock maps in basecamp.
    However when I copy the maps from basecamp to my GPS, the GPS says
    “cannot unlock maps”

    Do you have a solution to this?

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    1. Obiwan2208 Autor de la entrada

      Garmin has changed his policy, file system, firmware, etc., and depreciates the old maps that don’t require electronic authentication for use. Therefore when transferring maps through MapSource/BaseCamp/MapInstall the created maps are blocked, a small drwaback having to unlock them, but …

      I apologise by don’t have an english version, but i hope this translation be helpful to unlock maps.

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  6. luiz

    does it works with new garmin map south america 2016.30? I am trying to unlock, but doesn’t works. Very ease to use by the way, congrats!

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    1. Obiwan2208 Autor de la entrada

      In principle works on all maps, apart Europe map I downloaded a random locked map for check it out. We’re talking about Garmin road maps and wouldn’t have to have problems.

      If possible give me a link for try it with your map.

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