How to Reset My Garmin Navigation System

by Benjamin Aries

Garmin produces several different GPS navigation units, including the popular "Nuvi" and "StreetPilot" models. As with any computerized device, a Garmin GPS can occasionally freeze and become unusable. There are two ways of dealing with this issue. A soft reset will cause the unit to turn off without losing any saved data. A master reset will erase all of the saved favorites and restore the GPS to its default factory settings.

Soft Reset

Attempt to turn off the GPS using the normal power button. Press and hold the power button located on the side of the unit. The device should normally shut down after several seconds.

Use the reset button if the screen is frozen or the Garmin GPS will not shut down normally. Locate the small reset button on the side of the unit or under the collapsible antenna.

Push the reset button using a finger or pen. The GPS will shut down. Press the power button to start the unit normally.

Master Reset

Turn the GPS off and disconnect the power cable. If the unit will not turn off normally, perform a soft reset.

Use a finger or a soft pencil eraser to press and hold the bottom right corner of the touchscreen. Press the power button and continue to press the screen.

The words "Do you really want to erase all user data?" will appear. Release the screen and press the "Yes" button. Wait for the GPS to completely reset.


  • Most modern Garmin navigation units use the same reset procedure. If your device cannot be reset using these steps, consult the GPS owner's manual or the Garmin website for assistance.

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