Clearing Recalcitrant “Favorites” on the Garmin nuvi 50LM

A couple years ago I had procrastinated severely in regards to vacation prep, and foolishly walked into a retail store the day before departing and purchased a Garmin nuvi 50 GPS navigator based on price. It was (at least to my sense of worth) expensive, so I foolishly assumed it would be more feature rich than the tiny Magellan device I purchased many years ago for my motorcycle. I had delusions of being able to set waypoints or routes on this device so it would give turn by turn directions using my “secret shortcut” routes to our favorite vacation spots. Was I ever disappointed.

Nevertheless, I managed to find a way to create waypoints / viapoints in .gpx / xml format (Garmin calls these “favorites”), and could copy them to the device by plugging in to a PC and copying the waypoints file to the “GPX” folder. Unfortunately in one of my more recent experiments with waypoints, I managed to create about a dozen or so with the latitude and longitude transposed, resulting in favorites that the device wouldn’t let me delete. Not to mention every single favorite I’d ever attempted was showing up in the list after I deleted the Current.gpx file. And as it turns out, the master reset function which claims to remove all user data, doesn’t touch favorites. Here’s how to remove them.

To wipe the favorites and recent routes one must locate the developer screen. This is done by bringing up the map view, then clicking the speed button, and holding down in the middle of the speedometer dial for approximately 7 seconds. There are several interesting items here to play with, but the one I found that seemed to do the trick for me was Developer Info > Nonvol Available. Down at the bottom of this screen is a big “Clear Nonvol” button. Pressing it gives a prompt, and then the device reboots just as it would after doing the master reset. Thankfully, all those favorites over the Indian ocean are gone!

For those interested, the master reset function can be initiated by powering the device on while holding down on the lower right corner of the screen until the prompt appears.

Also, there’s a diagnostics screen that can be initiated by a long hold on the battery icon.

It’s a good thing I figured this out, because I was just about to bounce this thing violently off the pavement.

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