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Garmin Nuvi 260


One of the least expensive GPS devices with text-to-speech (it can speak street names in addition to typical voice prompts) the Nuvi 260 is essentially a replacement for the highly acclaimed Nuvi 350. With a slimmer profile and an integrated antenna, the 260 is highly portable yet still comes with a good set of features.

Other improvements over more basic models include maps of the USA and Canada pre-installed. Despite the compact size the speaker is loud, although the voice quality suffers a little bit at the highest volume levels. But that shouldn’t impact most people from checking out one of the most popular models around.

558 Responses

  1. I am interested in the Garmin 260 and am also interested in a feature that gives you an approximate distance and travel time to your destination. I believe the 205 and 255 have this, but can’t seem to find in the specs if the 260 has this. Would you know?

    Geoff - August 12th, 2008
  2. Geoff – Every auto GPS will give you that.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  3. How is the quality of the text-to-speech on the 260? I’ve read that voice on text-to-speech units aren’t as good a quality as non-text-to-speech units because non-text-to-speech units are actually recorded voice versus digital. Can you at least understand street names in TTS?

    Thanks in advance.

    Geoff - August 12th, 2008
  4. Correct. You can understand them. Sometimes the pronunciation is a bit off… but you can almost always understand it.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  5. Thanks for the quick response, Tim. One more question on TTS. If you have a TTS unit like the 260, does that mean you won’t get any voice prompts as to the distance (i.e. 500 ft, 200 ft, etc.). Will the voice on the 260 say the street name as well as the distance in feet, or just the street names? If it only speaks the street names, and you have to read the distance on the GPS screen, that would be more distracting than a cell phone I think.

    Geoff - August 12th, 2008
  6. It will still speak everything the non TTS models will speak.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  7. hello all….after much research, got the 260 on the web for under 200.00…had it for a week and love it….found I had the right usb cable..same one a lot of digital cameras use..out of the box,
    went to garmin site and downloaded communicator and web updater…if you take your time, not hard to register and unlock the maps at all.said I have the 2009 maps..found the device easily…I was able to aquire signal inside house….not much use in pedestrian mode….we put it in car
    and found sattellite in 5 seconds…full 5 bars..
    set it for shortest distance and it gave us shortest routes to places we knew…I like the ” go home feature ” at night , would not be without it….only thing , a gas station I can see from my home was not on the poi database..it’s been here 8 years….no big deal…still give it 5 stars…the mount works great..battery time was over 6 hrs on mine..most street names were pronounced correctly using american english jill..
    will keep using and post if any problems…thanks

    Gary - August 12th, 2008
  8. Gary, unlike the road database where they strive for 100% inclusion, they don’t try to fit every known POI onto each GPS. Typically 5-25% of all known POIs will be included.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  9. Tim, I have a built in GPS unit in one car and are looking for a portable unit for the other vehicles. If we don’t like the directions our GPS gives us, we ignore them, and the unit will recalculate based on the road we chose. Will the 260 and 260w also alter it’s directions or simply turn us around to get back on it’s listed directions?

    David - August 12th, 2008
  10. David: Yes.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  11. David, make sure you have U-Turns checked in the Settings/Navigation/Avoidances.

    Even then it might try to take you back to the old route by having you do turns around a couple blocks. (technically not a U-turn) But, be tough with it, and keep going along the route you want to go until it finally capitulates! :-)

    Or, set a Via Point along the route you want to take.

    Dave - August 13th, 2008
  12. Using my Garmin map source. Can I make a route, download it to a sd card, and use it on my 200 ?

    Manny - August 14th, 2008
  13. The Nuvi 200 doesn’t accept routes from MapSource.

    Tim - August 14th, 2008
  14. Does Garmin have a software that will let me download any routes made by me, To my 200?

    Manny - August 14th, 2008
  15. No, the 200 doesn’t accept routes, so any software that generates routes won’t be able to give the 200 anything it can use. So it isn’t a software issue so much as it is a restriction on the device itself.

    Tim - August 14th, 2008
  16. What garmin would you suggest where there is advanced planing and is pocket size?

    Dave - August 14th, 2008
  17. My garmin 260 will not shut off when I slide the switch to the left. Any suggestions on what I can do?

    Jimmy - August 14th, 2008
  18. Dave – If by “advanced planning” you mean creating a route with a starting point different than your current location– you can do that. See our article here.

    Jimmy – I’d call support if it is no longer working properly.

    Tim - August 18th, 2008
  19. Dave, I think you have to get into the Nuvi 500 series to have a 3.5 inch screen with route planning capabilities. Higher than that and the units are 4.3 inches.

    Guess you’d just need a bigger pocket then.

    Dave - August 18th, 2008
  20. Jimmy– Are you connected to an external power source when you are trying to turn it off? If so, then this is typical behavior for the 260. If you want to power down, make sure you are disconnected from external power, then shut it off using the slider switch (or the screen menu, if it pops up.)


    Les - August 18th, 2008
  21. Les, no I am not connected to any external power. It is operating on it’s own battery.

    Jimmy - August 20th, 2008
  22. Tim — great work here. Just a quick question that I didn’t see an answer to (and perhaps because it’s so late and I’m tired).

    Every now and again I need lat and long coordinates to input a location into another piece of equipment I use in one of my hobbies. I have typically used a handheld GPS for this. Can the 260 output lat/long data? Also, can the USB interface be used to get raw NMEA data into a laptop? If so, I can potentially eliminate a device that I need to carry all the time. Thanks so much!

    Tony - August 24th, 2008
  23. The 260 won’t do any sort of NMEA output. I don’t recall if the 260 does this or not, but try tapping on the car icon from the map view to get your current coordinates.

    Tim - August 25th, 2008
  24. I bought a 260W after reading this webpage and the reviews, questions and answers from Tim. They helped me a lot to choose this GPS.

    This was my first GPS and I used it when I went to Boston (I live in Washington DC) and got around smoothly and very easily. I just love it. Since I don’t have much experience with these GPS devices, I can’t say I have anything bad to say. It worked like a charm.

    I also bought it as refurbished from [snip] and I’m happy with the price. I also bought the bean bang stand as open item from [snip] at $24 which I absolutley recommend. I would’ve paid $40 but got lucky and bnought it for $24 and would certainly recommend it. I’d have had dickens of a time with the suction mounting.

    Thanks for helping me make the right choice. BTW I also used the review about “refurbished” GPSs which actually brought me to this page next.

    Kai - August 25th, 2008
  25. Tim,

    Quick question…..I am looking to buy a gps with text to voice for my wife, who is not tech savvy at all. I am debating between the Garmin Nuvi 260 and the TomTom One 130S. The price seems to be about the same. What would your recommendation be?


    David - August 28th, 2008
  26. I am trying to decide between the Garmin 255 and the Garmin 260. What are the diffrences? Is the 260 going to be obselete soon?

    Donna - August 28th, 2008
  27. The 255 is compatible with optional traffic services… that is the biggest difference.

    Tim - August 28th, 2008
  28. When I travel by plane, my 260W takes over 45 minutes to acquire a satellite. I saw the recommendation was not to do a hard reset, but is there something else I can do to speed up the process? 45 minutes to an hour just is not a practical solution either.

    Doug - September 1st, 2008
  29. I don’t recall if this works on the 260w or not, but sometimes you can help tip the GPS off to where you are. Turn on GPS simulation mode, find your current location, and then use the ‘Set Loc’ function on that position (or somewhere nearby). Then turn the GPS back on, by turning the simulator off. That type of process helps on some devices… not certain if it applies to the Nuvi 200 series or not as i haven’t experimented.

    Tim - September 2nd, 2008
  30. I typed in a name of a retail store I was looking for and it was in the Garmin. The problem is the hour glass went on for SEVEN MINUTES! Is this a defect–and are others having this problem?

    Lee - September 13th, 2008
  31. My Nuvi 350 just broke after a drop from my purse to a store floor. The screen no longer displays anything although it still ‘talks’. Question, is it fixable, if not should I replace it with the same Nuvi 350 or get a 260? I don’t use the MP3 or traffic, and also a little worried about durability.

    Alice - September 14th, 2008
  32. Lee- I’ve heard of that issue before, but I don’t know the resolution. Although members of our Garmin Nuvi Forums might.

    Alice – It would likely be more expensive to fix it than to replace it with a 260.

    Tim - September 14th, 2008
  33. I am having a hard time finding an AC adaptor/charger for the Garmin Nuvi 260. Are the adaptor/chargers for the Garmin, Tom Tom and Magellean interchangable?

    Deb - September 17th, 2008
  34. Here are some places where you can find a Power Adapter and some places where you can find the straight .

    Tim - September 18th, 2008
  35. Is the Nuvi 260 being charged when it is connected to a PC through the USB cable?

    kim - September 18th, 2008
  36. Kim, yes.

    Dave - September 18th, 2008
  37. Although it will charge much slower over USB.

    Tim - September 18th, 2008
  38. Thanks just one more question, I’ve tried putting in addresses (number & street name) but a couple of times I’ve typed say for example “23” & for some reason the unit changes this to “22” or a number either side of what I’ve typed. Originally I thought it must have been a typo but the same thing happened when I retyped it. Has anyone else experienced this & is there a logical answer as to why it happens?

    kim - September 19th, 2008
  39. Kim, that will happen when the address range that the GPS thinks that street has doesn’t match the address you are typing in. For example if Main Street goes from house number 100 to house number 800, and you input number 900, it will type in 800 for you as the closest match.

    Tim - September 19th, 2008
  40. Ok Tim Thanks, at least it will get me close to my destination.

    kim - September 21st, 2008
  41. Should the POI icons show up on the map when driving?. I’m on highest detail and they don’t show up?
    I have a 260W.

    Piotr - September 29th, 2008
  42. No, POI icons will not show on the map while driving.

    Tim - September 29th, 2008
  43. I was told that coordinates could be inputted into the 260. How is it done can, anybody help me?

    Kerrin - October 3rd, 2008
  44. Does the Garmim 750 have the same “text to voice” prompt like the Garmin 260?


    Alan Adcock - October 4th, 2008
  45. Yes, both the 750 and 260 come with text-to-speech.

    Tim - October 4th, 2008
  46. does this unit come with the commercial truck route?

    frank - October 8th, 2008
  47. Depends what type of commercial routes you are trying to make. It doesn’t know things about weight or height restrictions for example.

    Tim - October 8th, 2008
  48. no just wanted to no if it knows like commercial highways onstead of parkways.. which units have this option

    frank - October 8th, 2008
  49. Tim: please provide more info about the pedestrian mode. How useful is it? How many steps do I have to take in order for me to see if I am walking in the right direction?

    Chris - October 15th, 2008
  50. Frank, I think that feature has been removed from most Nuvi models as the data just didn’t seem to be good enough to support it.

    Chris – the feature is very useful if you need directions walking around a city. You probably only need to walk 20 feet or so for it to show the direction.

    Tim - October 15th, 2008
  51. I’m buying a GPS for my 66 yr. old mom. She needs something nice, but pretty basic and easy to use. TTS is a must. I have a garmin (streetpilot340) which I’ve been happy with. I’m thinking of either the Nuvi260 or 260W for her. I’ve read all your posts on both units. Is the only difference between them the wider screen? I’m thinking the wider screen might be helpful for her to see it better. What do you think between the two?

    Dawn - October 20th, 2008
  52. Yes, that is the only significant difference. I agree, go for the widescreen.

    Tim - October 20th, 2008
  53. Dawn,
    Another plus for the wide screen is that the buttons are a bit larger. Makes it easier to enter letters and numbers.

    Dave - October 20th, 2008
  54. Hi – I bought a Nuvi 260 recently and it works really well, however i find it does not give much advanced notices for turns. It tells you about 50 metres before the turn which is not nearly enough time. Any other gps i have used will tell you “turn left in 500 metres/feet”.

    any idea?


    Ryan - October 27th, 2008
  55. Ryan, there really are not any settings you can change to impact that– if that is what you mean.

    Tim - October 27th, 2008
  56. My nuvi 260 gives notices usually around 0.6 – 0.8 mile and as you get closer it goes as low as 0.2 – 0.3 miles. never at 50 meters

    kai - October 28th, 2008
  57. GREAT GPS. i have been through a mio and a tomtom. i despised the mio. horrible. LOVED the TomTom but it was more curved to the european side then the american side. loved the mapshare with tomtom as well. Returned it for undisclosed reasons. Bought a Garmin Nuvi 260 online, received it and bam! it worked like a charm. i live in a real remote part of North Carolina right outside of Charlotte and work for an ambulance service, so i really needed one. So naturally its going to be out of date with a new street and buisness being added everyday to my area. No Worries! you can custom make or upload your POI with a variety of websites for FREE. Garmin is a great product. only two downfalls: 1. you cant update your map like tomtom and mapshare (which is free). you can purchase a yearly update from garmin for around $70.00, eh… it may be worth it. 2. the Text-to-Speech feature is GREAT but the voices are too bland and often have trouble saying roads (example: left on Ballantyne Commons, pronounced bal-an-tine, garmin prounces it as bal-en-teen) no biggie, nothing is ever perfect, plus i am a perfectionist when it comes to my gadgets! but this really hit the spot when it comes to GPS. exactly what i wanted and more. love it. please spend the extra to get the garmin. you will not regret it!

    Cory - November 1st, 2008
  58. update on my above comment… its does take a while to acquire sattellite reception when your first turn on the unit after not using it for a while. let it be. it makes up for it when it has to recalculate. super fast.

    Cory - November 1st, 2008
  59. I found out I qualified for the map update on my Nuvi 260 and all seemed to go well until the screen gave me a choice to give the software full or partial access to my computer. I selected partial and that’s when I got a message that said it couldn’t do the update because of the restrictions. When I went back to give total access, Garmin now says that their records show that update has been made. Is there a fix for this or do I have to contact Garmin directly about this? I’m open to all suggestions. I’m working on a Mac.

    Donna - November 2nd, 2008
  60. Core you said: “you can custom make or upload your POI with a variety of websites for FREE.”

    Which website(s)? can you provide a link? thanks

    Kai - November 3rd, 2008
  61. Hi, If the 255 and the 260 were the same price, which one would you buy?

    Diane - November 7th, 2008
  62. 255

    Tim - November 8th, 2008
  63. Tim, why pick a 255 instead of a 260?

    Jay Leeming - November 11th, 2008
  64. Sorry Tim, got the answers from the previous days. Thanks though.

    Jay Leeming - November 11th, 2008
  65. Jay, because of the next turn arrow and traffic compatibility.

    Tim - November 11th, 2008
  66. The 260 has a next turn arrow! and traffic compatibility is so over rated. its not even legal in some areas yet. a 260 is a Great GPS. do your research before posting on here.

    Cory - November 14th, 2008
  67. Cory, the original shipping 260 does not have the next turn arrow. Some of the newer models coming off the production line do. Traffic “not legal” in some areas? Tell me where– I’d love to hear where it is illegal to receive traffic reports.

    Tim - November 15th, 2008
  68. From what I can see the 260 only announces turns when you are “there”, doesn’t give you voice prompts for advance notice of how far ahead the turn/exit you want will be, unless you touch the distance icon in bottom RH corner of screen. Have I not accessed something correctly because our Garmin 650 does this handsfree? We actually returned it to the store because for a new driver this is a great feature that appears to be missing but are now wondering if we missed accessing it?

    Patty - November 22nd, 2008
  69. Patty – it should alert you about 1/2 mile before the turn and then again about 200-500 feet before the turn depending on the length of the segment and the road speed.

    Tim - November 23rd, 2008
  70. does the 260 have the “where am I? emergency locator”

    Carl - November 24th, 2008
  71. I have found this site extremely helpful. I’m a new user. I agree that the voice prompts are at the last minute however the distance to the next “event” appears on the bottom at the right, works great when you have a passenger, the driver can concentrate on driving and not worry about navigating. My question is I would like to change the speaker’s voice, can you please advise me on how to do this. Thanks

    Roger - November 26th, 2008
  72. Roger, go to Settings, Language, Voice to change. Remember that you have to pick one that has “(TTS)” if you want the unit to speak the street names.

    Dave - November 27th, 2008
  73. what’s the difference between 260c and 260cc?

    Xi - November 27th, 2008
  74. Carl – Officially, no. However some users are reporting it does appear on some of the newer production runs.

    Roger – There are a couple of extras you can download through the Additional Updates section of the WebUpdater application.

    Xi – Typically a suffix like that simply denotes a difference in packaging style… Some come in a plastic container while others might come in a cardboard box.

    Tim - November 29th, 2008
  75. When I am looking at any navigator literature how can I tell if I can feed in coordinates as well as addresses?

    Dennis - November 30th, 2008
  76. Tim, I want to get the cheapest unit I can that works well and simply and has TTS and street names as a gift for my senior brother in law. I love my street pilot c304 and see that it is still available online. The more I read, the more confused I get. I do not live in a town, just a CDP and “Gracie” (my gps’ nickname) finds addresses well, although not my own home address. I guess old roads have been renamed and some roads that are no longer available are still listed. No big deal. Help me make a decision, PLEASE!!!!

    Judi - December 1st, 2008
  77. Judi – This Nuvi 260 is likely your best bet. See prices on the top half of this page.

    Tim - December 1st, 2008
  78. What about factory refurbished?

    Judi - December 1st, 2008
  79. See Refurbished GPS Devices.

    Tim - December 1st, 2008
  80. I used a Mio before and the thing does more harm than help. There was only one feature about the Mio that I liked, it would display the itinerary of your trip and allows you to select which roads to avoid. Does the garmin 260 have this option?

    Aby - December 5th, 2008
  81. Please can you tell me what is the utility of CAPTURE D’ECRAN and what can we do with this operation. Please answer me. Thank you.

    Bernard - December 6th, 2008
  82. Bernard, my french isn’t that good, but the Screen Shot function when enabled from: Settings -> Display -> Screen Shot -> Enable allows you to save any image that is displayed on the gps.

    A little window with a camera symbol is displayed. Touch the camera on any screen and it will capture the image as a bitmap file (*.bmp) in the /Garmin/scrn folder on the gps.

    What you do with it after that is up to you. e.g. You could hook your gps up to your pc via usb and download the bitmap into an email to show someone where you were.

    Dave - December 6th, 2008
  83. voice prompt for turning is too late – usually inside 100m .. can this be correct?

    Leon - December 13th, 2008
  84. Leon,

    No, there isn’t any settings that you can tweak to change when the turn prompts occur. The topic was discussed around entry #277 above.

    Dave - December 14th, 2008
  85. Can you look at the serial numbers or something to see if a recently purchased 260w has the “Where am I?” feature? If so, anybody know the difference?

    Matt - December 16th, 2008
  86. I know garmin offers a GPS for Harley Davidson with their locations programed in. Is there a way of buying this information on a SD card for my Garmin 260?

    Marvin - December 16th, 2008
  87. NEED help please! Just bought brand new 260W that is loaded with 255 software. Installed web updater twice, no additional updates available. My audio version is only 1.0 !! Only total of 8 English (American, Brittish and Australian) voices. (I would like more options). Sounds VERY “tinny”. Will having a higher audio version help? Why do I only have a 1.0 and is it possible to get this updated even though I’ve done webupdater 3 times now (and looked under additional-no additional’s available). Should I return this because audio is only 1.0? It’s the lowest I’ve seen on many boards. Thank you!!!

    GPS SW Version-2.55b
    Audio Version-1.0

    Thank you so much!

    Rachel - December 17th, 2008
  88. I purchased the Nuvi 260 and love it except it tends to take me on city streets instead of using expressways. I can’t find an option in the menu to utilize expressways more. Is there a way to do this?

    James - December 28th, 2008
    • Not really… just check to make sure you don’t have some strange avoidances set (like highways). Otherwise it is taking you over what it thinks is the best route.

      Tim - December 28th, 2008
    • If my memory serves me correctly my 250 has two options for selecting the route, quickest and shortest. It sounds like you might have shortest selected

      Ken - January 4th, 2009
  89. Recently I bought Nuvi 260 but is not giving me the street name in the text to speech feature. It still says “In 50 ft turn left” instead of saying “in 50ft turn left on Maple Avenue”.
    Do I need to do some setting?

    Nishat - December 28th, 2008
  90. Tim,

    Thanks a lot!
    It helped and now I am able to use TTS feature with street name.

    Nishat - December 28th, 2008
  91. In Garmin Nuvi 260 – is there a way to see the complete calculated route (after entering the destination address) before actually starting travelling?

    Nishat - December 28th, 2008
    • Two ways to do this. One would be to touch the top green bar. You will get a window that you can scroll through to see all of the route. You can also select view map from this screen and it will show you a map that has the entire route in screen. You can zoom in if you care to. On the map it also shows you time for the entire route.

      You can also hit the box on the lower right and it will show you a smaller map with the routes turns on the right. You can also scroll through all the route in this box.

      Ken - January 4th, 2009
      • Thanks Ken! It hepled.

        Nishat - January 5th, 2009
  92. I just purchased a nuvi 260, I have a two issues.

    First, when I installed the Garmin Communicator Plugin and went to the test page, the message stated, The Communicator plugin is not detected.

    Secondly, I’ve done something I should not of done, when I power up my nuvi 260, the following message appears,
    No detailed maps found that support routing. The nuvi cannot be used wihtout them

    Chuck - December 31st, 2008
    • Did you try rebooting the computer after installing the plugin? Was your browser turned off when you installed the pluging? If you go to tools -> settings -> map -> map info (or thereabouts… going from memory) is the map listed and checked?

      Tim - December 31st, 2008
  93. Just got a garmin 260 does garmin have computer software like TomTom home?

    RC - January 4th, 2009
    • Garmin does have software called WebUpdater for updating the application on the device, but it doesn’t offer as many of the other supplemental features that TomTom HOME does like backups, map updates, user shared POIs, subscription services, etc.

      Tim - January 5th, 2009
  94. We were at the store today and the Garmin 260 (model number was verified on the bottom of the unit) on display had a microSD card slot. I thought that all of the Garmin 260’s had the regular SD card slot. Will there be a difference in the software package that is in these units?

    Denise - January 6th, 2009
  95. Tim:
    I purchased a Nuvi 260 and was able to register my product and also successfully download webupdater, however, when I try to use webupdater it tells me “device not found”.
    Please help. Garmin is closed today and tommorrow. Thank you.

    Mary - January 17th, 2009
    • I like to take days off too. :) I’m not sure what to tell you. Garmin support is your best option with questions like that, or our Nuvi Forums.

      Tim - January 19th, 2009
    • Tim: I spoke with Garmin customer service. All I needed to do was plug it to a port on the back of the PC and it worked perfectly. The customer support lady said sometimes it works on the ports on the front and sometimes it doesn’t so you have to use the port on the back. I had it plugged to the ports on the front initially and that didnt work for me.
      FYI in case others experience the same problem.

      Mary - January 19th, 2009
  96. I’ve a nuvi260 and would like to buy a additional sd card with europe navigator. The question is where to buy, is possible by internet (cause i live in brazil)

    Ricardo - January 21st, 2009
    • Ricardo,
      how did you get the maps for Brazil? I am going back to live there and would like to update my nuv260 with maps from S. Paulo and Salvador.

      Amarilio - April 2nd, 2009
  97. Every once in a while, I stumble on a screen that has information that I’d love to know how to call up, like elevation of my current position along with latitude and longitude. (The coordinates screen does not give it, just lat-long.) Is there some “secret manual” that tells how to get neat stuff?

    Also, sometimes the regular screen information changes, such as replacing the normal ETA and distance to next turn on the lower corner and replacing them with speed and direction. I’d like to know how to control that.

    Bob - January 30th, 2009
    • You get to the elevation and coordinate screen by touching the vehicle icon on the screen.

      The info on the bottom of the screen changes depending on the mode you are in. If you have a route set it will tell you the ETA and distance to the next turn. If you just have it in map mode, with no destination selected, it will show you your MPH. In this mode the top bar also shows you the closest intersecting roads’ name. I use this feature at times.

      Ken - January 30th, 2009
  98. If I know the latitude and longitude of a place that I want to go can I enter these coordinates in the 260 GPS and have it direct me to that location

    Billy - February 6th, 2009
  99. Tim, I have the USB cable to upload maps etc to my 260. Having difficulty, I get a message to close all sites and retry. I have downloaded webupdater. the wait for support is about 20 minutes, not at home now and am using a cell phone and would use up lots of minutes waiting. Can you help? By the way, really like the bean bag and and more importantly this unit saved us from getting lost many times.

    Roger - February 9th, 2009
  100. I have a 260W and I’m trying to use it to see my tracks sometimes when I make mistakes, etc. Is there any feature on this unit that does this, or is there an accessary? If not, what product could you reccommend?

    Ron - February 9th, 2009

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