Garmin For Mac Os X


Mac OS X® 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is an older OS X version that is no longer compatible with modern software. To use our software and desktop apps, you will need to upgrade your operating system to Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer. I have nothing good to say about Garmin Express software for Mac. OS X El Capitan OS X Yosemite OS X Mavericks OS X Mountain Lion Download Information; File Size: 16.05MB.

Here’s how to run the Garmin 430/530 (400 and 500 series simulators) on a Mac / Apple computer, a newer version of Windows or even Linux.

The free trainers offered on Garmin’s website are great tools to anyone who might use a 400 or 500 series unit. Whether you are new to these systems and want an introduction, or maybe a flight instructor wanting to show students, the Garmin simulators are fantastic!

These simulators (for Windows) are available for free and can be found on Garmins website here.

Unfortunately, these programs are not compatible with all types of computers and operating systems. So, the following is how to best install them on a Mac, Linux, or newer Windows computer.

The normal 430 or 530 simulators will not run on a Windows Vista computer or newer (Windows 7, 8, 10, etc.). As noted by Garmin: “Windows XP Operating System required” and they are “not compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7 Operating Systems”.

The easiest solution is to download the WAAS 400W/500W simulator which is compatible with “Windows XP or later operating system”. (Download Here)

After downloading and installing, select from the options menu the type of unit you need to simulate.

The functionality on the WASS units (430W, 530W) are similar enough to to the non-WAAS 430 and 530 units that they should fit your needs just fine.

Here is the easiest way to run the Garmin sim on your Apple or linux computer. With this method I was able to get the Garmin 430 trainer up and running on my Macbook Pro within within about 30 minutes! The only time consuming part is downloading ~4.1GB of files.

It just takes 3 quick steps:

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  1. Download and install VirtualBox
  2. Download and install a free Windows Virtual Machine
  3. Within the virtual machine, download and install the Garmin Sim

1. Download and install VirtualBox

You need a free program called VirtualBox to create a “virtual” Windows computer on your Mac. Here are the steps:

Visit the VirtualBox website.

Download “VirtualBox platform packages” for “OS X Host”.

Install VirtualBox just like any other program – Double click on the VirtualBox.pkg icon and follow the on screen installation prompts

2. Download and run a free Windows Virtual Machine from Microsoft

Microsoft gives out free versions of windows for web developers and programmers to download and test their software on. The only catch is that they have a 90 day trial limit. However even Microsoft themselves suggest that you create a “SnapShot” in VirtualBox in order to simply keep resetting this 90 day trial when the time comes.

Visit Microsoft’s website and download a free virtual machine

Chose “IE8 on Win7” or whichever version you prefer, select “VirtualBox” for the platform, and download it.

When the download completes, double click on the the file “IE8 – Win7.ova” and it will automatically bring up VirtualBox and begin loading the virtual Windows machine.

The standard “Appliance settings” should be just fine (depending on your computer) and you can just select “Import”.

When VirtualBox finishes loading the Windows machine, Start the machine, and boot into Windows.

Within windows you should now be able to access Wifi and download and install the Garmin Sim from their website within the host Windows machine. That’s It! You’re up and running!

Also, don’t forget to create a “Snapshot” of your virtual machine to easily reset the windows trial period. Microsoft even recommends doing this.

Go to the upper right-hand corner that says “Snapshot”

Then click the little blue camera to create a new snapshot. It will ask you to name it, I named mine “New Install with Garmin”. Click “OK” and the snapshot will be created.

When the time comes to reset windows just come back, right-click, and “Restore Snapshot”.

Garmin BaseCamp is a nice (and free!) software for viewing maps, managing geographic data, and planning routes. There are maps offered by Garmin and there are also free alternatives, usually based on the OpenStreetMap project. BaseCamp for Mac OS X uses a specific format—it’s usually a file ending with gmapi. Sometimes the free maps are not offered in this format, so you first have to convert them. As I always forget how this works, I created this page.


  • 1 OpenMTB maps
  • 2 Garmin IMG format

Garmin Mapsource For Mac Os X

OpenMTB maps

OpenMTBMap is a project based on OpenStreetMap which offers detailed hiking and mountainbiking information. You can download a map for free here. In the following guide I have chosen the Alps map.


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You will need a Windows computer (sorry, but I don’t know any other way) with the following free tools installed:

Garmin connect for mac os x

Map installation

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Copy the downloaded file mtbalps.exe to the Windows computer and start it.
Click on Next and select Mapsource-Qlandkarte_GT as layout. Choose a directory where you want the map to be installed, e.g., the default one C:Gaminopenmtbmapalps. You should now be able to see the map in Garmin BaseCamp.

Map conversion

Start Garmin MapConverter and select the just installed map. For the Alps map it is called FAMILY_6528. For other OpenMTB maps it will be called differently. You should be able to guess the family id by looking at the beginning of the file names in the installation directory of the map. Click Next and select an installation directory, e.g., the default one C:Garmin. After conversion is finished there should be a directory called FAMILY_6528.gmapi. This can be directly imported into Garmin BaseCamp on Mac OS X: simply copy this directory to you Mac computer, start Garmin MapManager and install it. Finished.

As a last step, I recommend uninstalling the map on your Windows computer. Go to the installation directory C:Gaminopenmtbmapalps and execute openmtbmap_alps_uninstall.

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Garmin IMG format

Assume we have a map map.img in Garmin’s IMG format.


You will need a Windows computer with the following free tools installed:

First step (GMapTool)

Copy the map map.img to your Windows computer. Start GMapTool.

Click on Add Files and select map.img.

Go to the tab Options, select MapTk, and select the directory where MapTk is installed.

Go to the tab Split. Select some empty directory where you want to save the parts of map.img created by GMapTool.1 Select Compile preview map and enter some name describing your map. Select Set mapset FID and enter the FID and PID of your map. You should be able to get these numbers when you click on Info in the Files tab of GMapTool. Otherwise, try some random number between 100 and 9999 for FID.

Now, click on Split all. The process should hopefully finish without error messages. If so, you can close all windows and GMapTool.

Second step (Garmin MapConverter)

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With the Windows explorer go to the directory you selected in GMapTool for the splitting process. Right click on install.bat and select Run as administrator. You should now be able to see your map in Garmin BaseCamp under Windows. Now, start Garmin MapConverter. Select your map (the one with the FID you have chosen above) and click Next. Choose some directory. After the conversion is done, there should be a directory called FAMILY_FID.gmapi inside the directory you have chosen (where FID is your FID). This file can be used for Garmin BaseCamp under Mac OS X: simply copy it to your Mac OS X computer and install it using Garmin MapManager.

I suggest uninstalling the maps under Windows. Go to the directory of the split process you selected in GMapTool. Right click on uninstall.bat and select Run as administrator.

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  1. In case you use Parallels, this directory should lie on the Windows drive since in the next step we have to execute a batch script with administrator rights and this does not work on a remote drive.
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