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Hiking Gear & Outdoor Technology

How To Copy Garmin TopoActive Maps From GPS Device to Basecamp

In this video I'll show you how to create a local copy of your Garmin TopoActive on your hard drive so that you can use the (free) Basecamp program without having to wait for the (slow) maps to load from your GPS device when you plug it in.

In this Guide:
  • The Problem With Accessing TopoActive Maps From a Device
  • Copying TopoAtive Maps to Your Mac or Windows Computer

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver (Windows):

** If you have City Navigator Maps, you can copy them directly from Garmin Express. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to TopoActive maps. -

In order for this to work you'll need a Garmin GPS device preloaded with TopoActive maps and the Basecamp program installed -


  1. Create folder on computer.
  2. Copy all files from Garmin GPS device into folder and then unplug the GPS
  3. Load Disk Utility program (included with macOS)
  4. Create a disk image from the folder that you created and copied into
  5. Double click the new image file to mount it.
  6. Load Basecamp and it will recognize the mounted disk as a GPS


  1. Create folder on computer.
  2. Copy all files from Garmin GPS device into folder and then unplug the GPS]
  3. Download and install the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver
  4. Open ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver from inside Control Panel
  5. Create a virtual disk on your computer, at the size of your GPS folder, MAKE SURE YOU'VE CLICKED ON 'REMOVABLE MEDIA'
  6. Format the new virtual disk
  7. Copy your Garmin files into it
  8. Open Basecamp and it will see the virtual drive as a GPS unit

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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.