Load and View .img Files in Garmin Basecamp

If you have an .img file on your Garmin GPS device and you want to view the same map in BaseCamp, there’s a way of loading it in without any complex conversion utilities. The map will also load in BaseCamp just as quickly as if it was installed on your machine. These instructions are for Windows and assume your .img file isn’t locked and doesn’t require authentication to view.

  1. Download and install ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver. Once installed, open Control Panel and select ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver
  2. Click Mount New…
  3. In the Mount New Virtual Disk window that appears:
    1. Select any Drive Letter
    2. Set the Size of Virtual Disk to be slightly larger than the .img file you want to view. For example, if your .img file is 3.5GB create a virtual disk that is 4GB in size.
    3. Make sure Removable Media is checked
    4. Leave the other fields with their default values
  4. Press OK
  5. Open File Explorer and open the drive letter that you set earlier. You should be prompted to format the disk you just created. Select Format Disk
  6. Make sure the File System is set to FAT32 and that Quick Format is checked. Press Start
  7. Once the drive has been formatted, create a folder named Garmin inside of it
  8. Copy your .img file into the Garmin folder you just created
  9. Download and install JaVaWa Device Manager. Once installed, open the program
  10. Press Scan Drives
  11. Click the Manage Maps button for the drive you just created
  12. Select the .img file in the window that appears and click the Visible in BC button.
  13. Click Yes to confirm that you want to change the visibility of the .img file
  14. Close JaVaWa Device Manager
  15. Open BaseCamp. Wait a while and your drive should appear as a Memory Card on the left hand side listing the map inside of your .img file.
  16. Open the Maps menu at the top and select the map inside your .img to view it

At this point you should be able to view the map in BaseCamp. However, you will find that if you restart your computer, the virtual disk you created will disappear. To save you from having to repeat the steps above to recreate the virtual disk, you can create a snapshot of the disk so that you can load it quickly in the future.

To create a snapshot of your virtual disk:

  1. Open Control Panel and select ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver
  2. Select the drive you wish to create a snapshot of and click the Save Image… button
  3. Press OK and select a location to save your .img file

To quickly recreate the virtual disk after a shutdown or restart:

  1. Open Control Panel and select ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver
  2. Click Mount New…
  3. In the Mount New Virtual Disk window that appears:
    1. Select the Image File of the snapshot you created. This is NOT the .img file of your Garmin map, select the .img file you created with ImDisk earlier
    2. Select any Drive Letter
    3. Make sure Virtual Disk Drive Accesses Image File Directly is selected
    4. Make sure Removable Media is checked
    5. Leave the other fields with their default values
  4. Press OK. Your virtual disk should be created and mounted. You can now open BaseCamp to view your map

This method has been confirmed to work on Windows 8.1 with Basecamp 4.6.2, ImDisk 2.0.9 and JaVaWa Device Manager 3.8


  1. gfleck · October 16, 2016 Reply

    Works perfectly!

    Now I can plan my trip to Italy on PC!

    Thank you so much!

  2. Chase · May 1, 2017 Reply

    This worked perfectly to view my map in Base Camp. Is there now a way to load this new map onto a GPS unit?

  3. Marco · August 31, 2017 Reply

    Works like a charm!
    Windows 10 X64
    BaseCamp 4.6.2

  4. babur karaoglu · December 10, 2017 Reply

    just tried but javawa site gives 403 error…

  5. Dave Thum · January 18, 2018 Reply

    Dang! Didn’t work. Everything went well until it was time to view in BaseCamp. No map showed on the virtual drive so it could not be “installed”. Not sure what went wrong.

    • Dave Thum · January 18, 2018 Reply

      So, it turns out that the .img files were already “visible” so the JaVaWa app reversed that and made them NOT “visible”. The only clue is the tiny BaseCamp icon that turns on and off (in an unlabeled column). So I can see the maps now. BUT I finally read down to the bottom of the process. All the work we did is perishable when we have to reboot – in others words, EVERY DAY. Yes there’s a “shortcut” to minimize the time required. Why is Garmin such a pain in the ass?

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