GPS How-to page

How to - load GPX tracks to eTrex 10/20/30

These notes will be useful if somebody sends you a GPX track and you have no dedicated software to load it to your GPS.
The notes have been written for a computer running Windows 7


To copy the track to your GPS, the necessary preliminaries are.....

  1. Locate the GPX file on your computer.
  2. Open a window showing the file
  3. Plug your GPS into your computer using its USB cable.
  4. Open a second window to show the GPS contents.

(If you are unable to do any of the above steps then get help and advice locally)


1   Copy the data to the GPS

You should have two windows open as in the example below.

Select the file and drag it to the Garmin GPS in its GPX directory.

The situation should now look as follows.

If so, you now have a copy of the track file in the GPX directory of the Garmin. All is well!


Now unplug the Garmin from the USB cable and check to observe the outcome.

  • Switch on and let the GPS start up
  • You will see a menu looking somewhat like this one.....
  • Use the joystick to go to "Track Manager" on the menu and press
  • Select "Current Track" and press joystick
  • The screen will now look like the one below

  • Note that the track will most probably have a different label. The Garmin will not use the file name but the internal name stored within the GPX track. For the example in the photo the track had a filename of PyramidenSpitze.gpx but its internal name was 06-AUG-03 which was the date when I recorded it.

  • Click on the track name and the screen will look like the one below

  • The track is loaded and ready to navigate

  • (In the example shown here, if I was to click on Go then nothing useful would happen unless I was standing outside the Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte in Austria!)



1   To transfer the files to/from your computer, all you need to do is to connect the GPS to the computer with the lead provided by the manufacturer. The GPS will appear as an additional drive and you will see the file there. You can copy it or move it to the computer.

2   In the Garmin eTrex 10/20/30 models, for the first time, the file format is GPX - a public domain format. A very welcome step forward! Such files can be used with a lot of software and on-line mapping.

3   In the menu images of the notes above, please be aware that the menu items can be re-sequenced by the owner of the GPS.