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How to Update Your Bmw Navigation Maps

I am a tech-savvy car enthusiast who loves coding and driving BMW's.

starting of the update process

starting of the update process

What you need to know

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

  • The full size units are called Professional Units or s609 as on option
  • The small screen units are called Business Units or s606 as an option

This is just for your personal information but you will need to figure out which map version you need for your car.

Various bmw unit types

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

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 types of units and this can be a confusing task but it's actually really simple and I will point 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.

My go to source for map updates

Errors and Problems Installing the Update

I will show you a comprehensive list of problems you might face while installing the update and how to solve them:

  • The navigation data is incomplete or manipulated

This means that the map file didn't download completely, got corrupted during the download process or your usb drive might be faulty but the last rarely happens. It's most likely a problem that occured while downloading the file.

  • Your car doesn't detect the update
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You either ordered the wrong map for your car or one of the following things happened:

  1. Your USB drive is not FAT32 formatted (exFat or NTFS will not work for the majority of navigation units). If your USB drive is up to 32GB then it will be by default FAT32 formatted but if it's over 32GB then you will need to re-format it because it will most likely be exFat.
  2. You are not using the correct USB port of your car. Depending on the map version you need to use either the glove box usb port or the center console.
  3. You are using a USB device such as an external hard drive or an sd card to usb adapter which doesn't work with your car. You would be surprised but not any device that has a usb plug can be used so a USB stick is recommended.
  4. Your car is manufactured before 2010 and doesn't detect USB updates so you will need the map version made for update through DVD.

Speed Cameras

BMW maps don't include speed camera warnings because of different legislation across countries and they'll probably never include this type of information because they want to avoid legal issues or if they include it they will disable or enable it according to your GPS location information but such a technology has not yet been implemented.

Always check the legislation of the country you're traveling in. It might be illegal to use radar detectors or gps devices that have speed camera warnings enabled.


How long does the update take

Because there are different units and a multitude of USB drive manufacturers with varying transfer speeds, this question cannot be answered exactly but from my experience the update takes roughly 30 minutes.

update in progress

update in progress


Always turn your engine ON before starting the navigation map update for your BMW.

The car has a power-saving feature which will turn off the unit after some time if the engine is not running and you don't want that to happen while your updating. It's nothing to worry about usually 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 be up to date with your navigation data because it makes life much easier when you're traveling and you don't need to be a computer wizard to do it on your own. It may be harder the first time but after you succeed the next time it will be a piece of cake.

Stay safe and if you have any questions don't hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I always do my best to answer most of them.

© 2021 Balog Sebastian

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