2017 Ford Explorer - How can I update GPS

How can update the GPS

Instructions should be in owners manual.

Thank you. Have a great day.

You will end up at this website anyway, start here:

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Why go through the hassle, your phone should have Google maps, free with automatic updates

I am used to the one in my car. Where ever Is connected. My phone, IPod, and Navigation is all connected in the car. For me it’s easier.
Thank you so much for your help.

What does it mean to “update the GPS” on a car? I know it has something to do with the maps displayed on the screen to assist finding how to get where you are going, but what needs to be updated? Or how would you know that an update is even needed?


My Explorer is a 2017 vehicle. The new addresses does not show up. The GPS came with the car. I need to do an update because what was constructed after 2016 dos not appear in the GPS.


There are several different updates available.

A software update can be performed on the navigate unit.
A map date update can be performed, the data usually comes at a cost of $110 to $150.

There are sometimes Gracenote updates available for the audio system.

Besides the dealers, where can I take my car to do the work?

You can perform the updates yourself using a USB drive.

Enter the vehicles VIN in this link to find updates.

Ford - Sync3 Map Update (syncnavigation.com)

You should have Sync 3. To update the factory navigation, there are two legitimate ways to do it.

  1. Order a flash drive that’s loaded with the current maps from Ford. This will cost around ~$150 last time I checked. It will be sent to you in the mail. When you get it, you plug the flash drive into a USB port in your car, and it’ll update. The car has to be “on” , not necessarily running, but in accessory mode for this to happen. Keep in mind that most vehicles these days will turn off if left in accessory mode for more than 30 minutes and the update can take upwards of 45 minutes to do.

  2. You still go to the update website, you still have to pay some money (~$100) but this time you supply your own flash drive ( a name brand 64GB USB 3 flash drive is recommended). You will download the update to your computer, it’ll come as a zip file. You’ll uncompress the files, making sure to keep the file structure the same as the instructions mention, and you’ll copy everything to the flash drive. The rest of it is the same as option 1.

Also keep in mind that if you haven’t updated your Sync 3 system (which is separate from the map update), you may have to do that first in order for the maps to be updated. The process for that is similar to the steps mentioned in option 2. Just with different files. Sync 3 system updates are free though.

There are less-than-legit ways to update Sync 3 and the navigation maps for free, but I won’t get into that here.

You can also use FORscan to change some things about Sync 3. I used it to use the Ford GT/Ford Performance Sync 3 theme.

I’ve updated the maps on my Mustang once, never bothered to update the maps on my F-150 and decided that going forward I was just going to use Apple carplay with Google Maps for my navigation needs. It’s always up to date, and easier to use than the Sync 3 navigation IMHO.

George, roads and routes change. Would you use a 1940s map of the Bay Area? My portable GPS came with free updates. I update it frequently. Sometimes I will use my phone but size and location of the portable GPS is preferred.

+1–on all points.
New roads, streets, and highway interchanges are constructed, and new addresses are created, periodically. Using old GPS software will still get you to most destinations, but there will inevitably be problems with finding some destinations if the latest update isn’t used.

Waze, and other smartphone-based GPS apps are useful, but I much prefer to be able to see the map on my car’s 14 inch screen, and to hear the directions through the car’s speakers. Also, the vehicle’s audio system is temporarily muted when the vehicle’s GPS is reciting directions, leading to much less confusion.

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Another question by someone who thinks they have to make a guess on almost every question asked here.

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+1 100%

If you moved away from Nashville in 2016 and drove through it now, you would not recognize a lot of things.
The Iconic Firestone that had been their for 40+ years right off the interstate (I40&I65) on 12th ave and Broadway (13th ave IS also the the on/off ramps) was torn down for a 40+ story skyscraper now, as well as many other buildings…
I think it was around 2016 that Nashville had more tower cranes than any other city anywhere close, it had borrowed tower cranes from many other states, IIRC I counted 17 one morning on the drive in…

Middle TN is booming, with some cities among the fastest growing in the country. This growth has led to new housing developments, more roads, and the arrival of many businesses.

So if your GPS is not up to date, you WILL get lost if you don’t live here and keep up with it…

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No personal experience, but I’d be concerned about going down the rabbit hole, spending hours and hours of my time, and ending worse after the update attempt. Much peril is possible when attempting to update 7 year old software. I wouldn’t recommend attempting an update unless OP is 100% sure it will work, or has no reasonable alternative.

OP, whatever you decide, please let us know your experience. It will be helpful to other posters here.

Updating the maps has little risk, and takes little time. I’ve done it on my 2 Fords (Lincolns), with no problems.

George, for some reason, this is what I picture in my mind you using whenever you are talking about late model vehicles that you have no personal experience with…


In my experience, it takes all of… maybe… 20 minutes.