UNL file icon

UNL File Extension

Garmin Unlock Format
  • Developer
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3.4 (12 votes)

What is UNL file?

UNL is a backup copy file used for unlocking maps on Garmin devices. Unlock code copy can be generated using MapSource program, which is used for managing navigation maps. Generated UNL file and codes it contains are tied to one Garmin device and cannot be used on multiple devices.

Code generation

Map codes are used as a security measure to prevent the loss of built-in Garmin maps. Maps and associated security keys are stored on the device and in the MapSource program. Code copies are stored as an additional security precaution. UNL files are generated and managed using MapSource via Unlock Maps function. It is worth noting that generated codes will only work on the device to which they are dedicated and thus cannot be used across multiple Garmin devices.

Programs which support UNL file extension

Programs that can handle UNL files are as follows. Files with UNL extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Programs that support UNL file

Windows Windows

Updated: 01/24/2023

How to open file with UNL extension?

Problems with accessing UNL may be due to various reasons. What is important, all common issues related to files with UNL extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with UNL files.

Step 1. Install MapSource software

Install software to open UNL file Problems with opening and working with UNL files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with UNL files being present on your machine. The solution is straightforward, just download and install MapSource. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. If you want to download MapSource installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Garmin Ltd. website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of MapSource

Update software that support file extension UNLYou still cannot access UNL files although MapSource is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. The reason that MapSource cannot handle files with UNL may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of MapSource should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open UNL files to MapSource

After installing MapSource (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open UNL files. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Associate software with UNL file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the UNL file
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where MapSource is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open UNL files and clicking OK.
Associate software with UNL file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected UNL file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with UNL extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the UNL for errors

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the UNL file in question. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check UNL file for viruses
1. Verify that the UNL in question is not infected with a computer virus

Should it happed that the UNL is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the UNL file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If you obtained the problematic UNL file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. When downloading the file with UNL extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Garmin Unlock Format file.

4. Check whether your system can handle MapSource

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with UNL extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with Garmin Unlock Format files. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with UNL files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the UNL file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on UNL file.

Top File Extensions
Show more
File Extension of the day
vfs icon


UFO Game Archive Format

File with .VFS extension is a game data archive for UFO, a computer game series developed by Altar Interactive, later renamed Altar Games. VFS file...